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#UPSCSeries: Toppers share 5 Things to Remember While Preparing for the Exam

Set micro goals for yourself and when you complete each of those tasks, you will feel more confident.

Preparing for the UPSC can be a daunting task. With so much material and content available both online and offline, it is useful that you know exactly what to focus your time and energy on.

In this article, we bring you five things to keep in mind while preparing.

1. Scour the syllabus before starting

Make a note of all the topics in the syllabus before you start studying. A schedule of when you will cover what will help you be systematic about it as well.

It will be helpful if you first cover the entire syllabus and then move on to reading material beyond the scope of the syllabus.

Planning is the key to achieving success in the competitive examination, so spend ample time doing that.

Surabhi Gautam. 2016 batch.

Set micro goals for yourself and when you complete each of those tasks, you will feel more confident.

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Read 2016 topper Surabhi Gautam’s tips here.

2. Pick your content source well

Pick only trusted sources and when going through videos on YouTube or other online sources, remember not to get distracted by the quantity of content.

Stick to the plan and do not deviate even if you feel that you have stumbled upon some great material.

Abhisekh Surana. 2017 batch.

Once done with the plan, move on to newer content.

Read 2017 batch topper Abhisekh Surana’s tips on books here.

3. Get your basics right

Remember that there are three stages that an aspirant must clear to qualify – prelims, mains, and the interview. All three are equally important, so keep that in mind during your preparation.

Several UPSC toppers have recommended the usage of NCERT books for the prelims examination.

SP Rema Rajeswari (Source: The Better India)
Rema Rajeshwari. 2009 batch.

These, they say, provide a solid foundation and understanding of various concepts.

In preparation for the interview, try and create opportunities for yourself to speak on various subjects. Be well versed with all that you have mentioned in your application form as well. Attend mock-interviews as well, if possible.

Read 2009 batch topper Rema Rajeshwari’s tips here.

4. Schedule your study time wisely

Spending all day studying is not an option for most aspirants given that they may be employed somewhere. In such a scenario, focusing on the quality of your efforts is far more important than the quantity of time spent studying.

Many who qualify have done so while holding a day job.

Anu Kumari. 2017 batch.

Therefore, with proper planning and a schedule, you will be able to succeed in the examination.

Read 2017 batch 2nd rank holder Anu Kumari’s story here.

5. Be aware of negative marking

Sometimes aspirants believe that attempting maximum questions will result in better chances of qualifying. However, be mindful of the fact that wrong answers carry negative marks, so it is better to attempt only those questions that you are certain about.

Once you receive the question paper, spend a few minutes going through all the questions and then start writing your answers.

Rahul Pandve. 2015 batch.

This way, you will have a better idea about the paper and can plan your writing time accordingly.

Read 2015 topper Rahul Pandve’s advice here.

With these pointers in mind, we wish you all the best!

(Edited by Shruti Singhal)


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