How to Prepare for UPSC Exam while you are in College?

Golden days of life are the college days and therefore live every moment of it to the fullest. Study hard and party harder should be the goal of the college. But if you work little harder in your graduation than you can cover up to 70% of the syllabus of the UPSC Exam.

The UPSC Exams cycle consist of  three stages – Prelims, Mains and Interview, which normally has a fixed schedule in July (for Prelims), October (for Mains) and March/April (for Interviews).

The IAS is the perfect harmony of social and personal good, an opportunity, that only few can careers can provide. Be inspired. The 3 golden tips for IAS preparation is to aspire for this golden service you need to prepare smartly, persistently, and patiently.

Remember one thing that if you want to clear UPSC Exam than you should keep your basics clear because if your basics are clear than you can think about the problem and can try to find the solution for the same.

Must Read: How to Prepare for IAS Exams While Doing a Job?

Things you should keep in mind while you are preparing for UPSC Exam.

  • Start reading newspapers. The Hindu and The Indian Express are very good and read them religiously.
  • As you read the newspapers, make notes of important events. Divide in 8 divisions, namely, International Relations (Middle East and Asia), International Relations (Americas and remaining world), Government Policies and schemes, Personalities and Awards and Sports, International Organisations, Social Issues, Economic Policies, Defence. Classify all news in these categories. These will help you a lot as a ready reckoner while you are revising for the General Studies syllabus.
  • Start reading NCERT books from class 6 to 10. These are basic textbooks which will give you the gist of the subject and then you can go deeper and deeper into that subject. (For history, you should start reading India’s Ancient Past by R.S. Sharma, then Medieval India by Satish Chandra and then India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra.)
  • Don’t restrict your reading to only books. Go through Internet. They will provide you with knowledge which can’t be gained by reading books.
  • Remember that never try to learn all the things at the same time but what you read, read it with complete concentration and keep in mind for always.
  • Make use of the Internet. Watch documentaries like BBC’s days that shook the World which will increase your knowledge base.
  • Visit the websites of government ministries whenever a new bill is introduced. It will help you to know the government point of view on the bill.
  • Read at least 4 of the following magazines of your choice: Frontline, Civil Services Chronicle, Economic and Political Weekly, India Today, The Economist, Yojana, Kurukshetra.
  • Whenever any current issue comes up, look up all the details on the internet, including the history of the issue in question.
  • Decide your optional fast and then look online for the recommended reading list for that optional.
  • Invest 6-8 hours in your study daily and 14-16 hours on the weekend and occasional holidays. And the most important thing sleep for 6-8 hours which will keep you energetic and feel fresh throughout the day.

Also Read: How to Crack IAS Exam? 10 Tips for IAS Preparation

Selection of the Optional Paper

This is very important decision. First start preparing for GS and then after some time take this decision. Because in GS papers you will be introduced to variety of optional subjects like
History, Geography, Public Administration, Political Science, Sociology.

This will help you to determine your inclination to a particular subject. Selecting an optional paper without having knowledge of other subjects or without knowing your own writing and presentation styles and thinking patterns will put you in trouble.

Following are some basic criteria for selecting optionals:

  • Interest and understanding in the subject (about which you will come to know when you study for GS)
  • Analysis of the syllabus and previous years’ question papers of the shortlisted subjects
  • Writing style and presentation techniques suitable for that particular optional (about which you will know once you start writing for GS and essay)
  • Thinking Pattern expected for a particular optional (you will come to know about yours after you prepare for GS.)
  • Availability of study material and guidance
  • Weightage of optional in GS
  • Graduation background

In college your studies, hobbies and extra curricular activities should be your priorities. Try to gain as much experience as you can. Be open to all sorts of projects, assignments and ideas.

Also don’t develop a negative attitude towards private sector jobs. If you are getting an opportunity to work with some firm (start up or giant) then grab the opportunity ! It will give you altogether different experience.

Don’t Miss: All About Civil Services Exam