#CareerBytes: How to start preparing for the UPSC exam?
The Indian Civil Services are a dream for lakhs of students and many spend years preparing to crack the UPSC Civil Services Examination or IAS exam. However, one of the common questions aspirants have is how to begin the UPSC preparation process. Most of the candidates are generally confused about how and where to start. So, here are some tips to begin UPSC preparation.
Get to know the UPSC basics, exam syllabus, pattern first
Before getting started with UPSC preparation, candidates need to know and understand everything about the exam, including its purpose, eligibility criteria, requirements, important dates, the syllabus, different stages, and the exam pattern. The UPSC CSE is conducted in three stages: Preliminary examination, Main exam, and Personal Interview or IAS interview. Candidates should ideally start preparing a year before they want to appear for CSE.
Start preparation in advance, create a schedule
Once the aspirants have a good understanding of the UPSC syllabus and requirements, they should create a schedule as IAS preparation needs an integrated approach. They must have a good 10-12 months preparation plan apart from short-term plans and targets in order to be able to cover the vast UPSC syllabus. Aspirants should follow the daily schedule without fail and manage time better.
Get the right books, study material for the UPSC exam
UPSC aspirants do not need to buy a lot of books but investing in some essential books and study material recommended by experts and veterans can help them in preparation. In addition to NCERT books from Classes 6-12 for fundamental concepts, they should collect at least two good books per topic, read and revise them at least twice to boost their memory.
Read the right newspapers and magazines
Reading newspapers and magazines is essential for UPSC preparation. Candidates can create a list of good newspapers, magazines, and books and follow/read them. They can join Facebook groups, Telegram groups, YouTube channels for daily news analysis, newspaper PDFs, book recommendations, e-books, guidance videos, tips etc.
Decide whether coaching classes are for you or not
While joining coaching centers for UPSC preparation could be helpful, it is not necessary for cracking the IAS exam. In this digital era, aspirants can find the right guidance and required material online. However, they need to be serious, work hard, and dedicate themselves to prepare properly. They must regularly take mock tests, analyze their performance, and make changes to their preparation process accordingly.
One can also use their smartphone for preparation
UPSC aspirants can also take help of their smartphones in the preparation process. They can download mobile apps, visit UPSC-dedicated websites, or access other useful online resources that provide study material, e-books, preparation tips, previous question papers, practice questions, mock tests, etc.