UPSC Civil Services Exam 2023: How to crack the exam in first attempt | Competitive Examinations | Rare Techy


Every year, lakhs of students attempt the UPSC Civil Services Exam, but very few find their names in the merit list. Rightly called as one of the most competitive exams in the world, it tests a person not only on academic rigor but also on the parameters of determination, mental stability and perseverance.

On an average, successful candidates take three to four attempts to clear the exam, but if done right, UPSC CSE can handle a lot in the first go.

Here is a list of few things that every serious aspirant should follow to ensure that he can crack the exam in the first attempt:

Start preparation as soon as possible

Many candidates start preparing for the exam in the first year of their college degree. This allows students to use their formative years to develop a holistic approach to the exam and train their minds for its rigor. Meanwhile, there are examples of late-starting candidates, often leaving well-paying jobs to pursue the exam successfully.

Find the right mentor

UPSC is often considered as an easy puzzle to miss. Getting clear guidance from mentors who are already a part of the process will help aspirants address some of the major issues that frequently plague aspirants. Although you have to do all the heavy lifting, proper guidance and advice is important to make the journey more enjoyable.

Make a clear plan

Lack of a clear strategy inevitably means that candidates get lost in the pile of syllabus constantly jumping from one topic to another. Without any unified work, it leads to confusion and distraction. Having a clear plan with a precise timeline will ensure that the syllabus is under control. It also ensures peace of mind where you can focus all your attention and energy on your task without worrying about other things.

Keep limited study materials

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the flood of study materials. The desire for perfection can send a candidate into an endless loop of reading all the material. Therefore, it is important to finalize your sources, stick to them and revise them again and again. It is often seen that candidates tend to asterisk new material and leave the existing one. It only leads to confusion and distraction. Remember, comprehensive coverage of no material can be guaranteed as that is the nature of the exam. Stick to one and do it as humanely as possible.

Regular revision is key

Candidates often cover the syllabus to various extents but tend to forget it after some time. Such a study is as good as no study. A simple rule of thumb is to revise everything you learned during the week on the weekend as well as every fortnight and month. Revision also allows making better connections and correlations with different parts of the subject or even between subjects for a more comprehensive understanding. This is important, especially for writing the mains answer which requires exploring different dimensions of the same theme.

Keep testing yourself

In all three stages of the paper, it is important to regularly test yourself on objective parameters. This not only allows necessary course correction but also serves as an important source of motivation to perform better. For prelims, one should focus on writing at least one exam every week and scale it down to two or three closer to the exam. For mains, start by writing one answer each day and slowly scale up as you focus on time, measurements and variations.

Stay motivated and healthy

Motivation and mental strength are often overlooked aspects of preparation. Because the journey is so long and exhausting, it is easy and natural to feel tired at times. Having a strong ‘why’ factor or in other words, being clear about the purpose of this pilgrimage helps a person come back at such times. Similarly, it is important to ensure short breaks for yoga, meditation or light exercises to give the brain and body adequate rest. It not only ensures mental comfort but also provides constant fuel for the journey.

Enjoy the journey

The whole process of UPSC CSE teaches a candidate a lot about his/her character and makes his/her personality better. It is not only intellectually stimulating, but also personally rewarding – the benefits of which can be reaped in one way or another for the rest of one’s life. Always remember, the competition is not with anyone else but with you. The goal is to become a better person than yesterday.


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