#CareerBytes: How to prepare for UPSC CSE from scratch?
The UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE), also known as the IAS exam, is a tough exam, and cracking it is not easy without the right preparation. The Indian Civil Services are a dream for lakhs and many spend years preparing to crack the IAS exam. However, many candidates are often confused about how to start. Here's how to start UPSC CSE preparation from scratch.
Before starting their CSE preparation, aspirants must know and understand everything about the exam, including the eligibility criteria, requirements, important dates, syllabus, different stages, and the latest exam pattern. UPSC CSE is conducted in three stages: Preliminary examination, Main examination, and Personality Test or IAS interview. One should ideally start preparing for CSE at least a year before they want to appear for it.
After knowing about the UPSC IAS exam and requirements thoroughly, aspirants must create a study schedule as CSE preparation is a demanding task that needs an integrated approach. They should have a 10-12 months preparation plan apart from short-term goals and targets to be able to cover the vast syllabus of UPSC. Candidates must adhere to their plan without fail and utilize time properly.
While aspirants aren't required to buy a lot of books, investing in some essential books and good study material recommended by experts can help them prepare better. In addition to NCERT textbooks from Classes 6-12 for going through fundamental concepts, they should collect at least two good books per topic and read and revise them at least twice to retain information for longer.
Once they start preparing, aspirants must also regularly take mock tests to analyze their performance and make changes to their preparation process as required. Also, candidates should decide which is better for them—coaching classes or self-study/online programs—and prepare for CSE accordingly.
When it comes to CSE, self-study is very important for aspirants to crack the exam. They must go through each and every topic in the syllabus and should not ignore anything as it might hamper preparation. Also, while studying, candidates must prepare notes on important topics and note down important points to grasp the concepts better. This will also help them in quick revision.