Union Public Service Commission(UPSC) conducts Civil Services Examination (CSE) every year to recruit candidates for posts like IAS, IPS, IFS, etc. UPSC CSE is one of the toughest exams in the country. Securing posts under UPSC CSE in the first attempt is a very tough nut to crack, but as we all know, nothing is impossible. With utmost dedication, hard work and a well organized study plan, one can definitely hope to succeed in the UPSC CSE in the first go.

To crack UPSC CSE, candidates have to appear for a three stage selection process – Prelims, Mains and Personal Interview.

Stage I – Preliminary Examination

The preliminary examination will consist of two papers. Paper-I will be of General Studies and Paper-II will be an Aptitude Test. Both papers will carry 200 marks each. 

Stage II – Mains Examination

The UPSC CSE Mains exam will consist of a compulsory Indian language, English paper, essay, four general papers, and two optional subjects. All the papers including optional subjects will carry a total of 2350 marks. 

Stage III – Interview Test

The candidate’s general interest, mental caliber, social traits, etc will be tested by the commission in this stage. The UPSC Civil Services Interview test will be 275 marks in total. Candidates who pass this stage will be considered qualified for the UPSC CSE post.

Here are a few tips and preparation strategies that might help you get through the UPSC CSE in the first attempt itself. 

1.Get Thorough With Syllabus & Exam Pattern

The first step to prepare for the UPSC CSE is to download and get thorough with the syllabus and exam pattern. It will give you a clear idea of the topics to be asked and decide the study plan accordingly.

2.Refer to good books to understand topics

Aspiring candidates must learn, understand and clear their concepts with the help of good books. The syllabus of UPSC is vast including History, Geography, Maths, Science, Hindi etc. Cover the basics first from NCERTs and UPSC CSE specific books. 

3.Preparation for General Awareness

General awareness is one the most vital and determining sections of UPSC examinations. This includes G.K. and Current Affairs topics which require reading up to date newspapers, magazines, and weekly GK Blogs online. Also prepare State specific G.K. for this section.

Suggested books: Lucent’s general knowledge, General Knowledge by Arihant Publications

4.Revise Regularly

Candidates must make short notes for quick revision. They must revise the topics they feel they are weak at and also the ones which they are confident about.

5.Solve full length mock tests 

Devote a dedicated amount of time to solve as many full length mock tests as possible. Solving time bound mock tests helps maintain a balance between speed and accuracy. They also serve as a very helpful tool to analyze your performance. To crack UPSC CSE, rigorous practice is a must.

6.Practice Previous year’s papers

Download and solve previous year’s question papers and model test papers from the official website of the UPSC as that helps to get an idea of the question patterns and type of questions to be asked from each section.

Testbook offers test series for UPSC examinations. The Testbook test series include all the subjects of the exam as per the syllabus as well as previous year’s papers. The test series are available at a very low price. The level of question is high and as per the latest exam pattern. It includes some difficult and miscellaneous questions to prepare students to face any kind of questions while remaining calm and stress-free.