Srushti Jayant Deshmukh bagged AIR 5 in the UPSC CSE in 2018. Here are some tips she shares:

Identify your habits: Srushti says it will help aspirants make a schedule and follow the same to maximise their time.

Do not overexert yourself: Do not indulge in activities that physically and mentally tire you out.

Build a strong foundation: Always begin with the standard NCERT textbooks.

Strategise your time: While it is good to focus on reading and revising, now aspirants must also start actively solving mock tests.

Check your internal body clock: Attempt mock exams in the same time frame that the actual examination will be held and create a similar ambience to help you get into that zone.

Srushti recommends the following books: NCERT Textbooks – Use the Social Studies textbooks of classes 6 to 12 as your base books.

History Ancient India – Tamil Nadu textbook (class 11) Medieval India – Tamil Nadu textbook (class 11) Modern India – Rajiv Ahir (Spectrum) World History – Norman Lowe (World War I and II)

Culture – Nitin Singhania Geography – GC Leong Polity – Lakshmikanth M and DD Basu

Economy – Ramesh Singh Ethics – Lexicon for terms and R Rajagopalan book for case studies