Here’s How You Can Crack Your UPSC Exam

Hello aspirants! Congratulations on the fact that you have gathered the courage to write the dreaded UPSC CSE examination. You must be worried for all the right reasons. Hence, we bring you some tips on how to crack the UPSC exam. Keep reading to know more.

While clearing your UPSC exam is not an easy nut to crack, however, with sheer determination, the right strategies and correct guidance can all help you!

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Here’s How You Can Crack Your UPSC Exam 1

Top Ways To Clear Your UPSC Exam 1

  1. Make Up Your Mind About Writing the Exam 1
  2. The Syllabus 2
  3. The Timetable 2
  4. Newspapers and Magazines 3
  5. NCERTs and Note Making 3
  6. Practicing Mocks 4
  7. Frequently Asked Questions 4

Top Ways To Clear Your UPSC Exam

  • Make Up Your Mind About Writing the Exam

UPSC is not an easy nut to crack. Not only because it is the second most difficult exam in the country but also because people from all streams sit to write it. For most people, it is a trial-and-error attempt, while for others, it becomes the only way they wish to tread. 

However, you can neither just wake up from sleep and plan to give the exam nor invest ten or more years of your life in the exam. It is important to make up your mind about writing the exam at the right moment.

Serious UPSC aspirants should hardly take two years to crack the exam with some background knowledge. A humanities student will take significantly less time to prepare for the exam when compared to a science student. You can start studying seriously for the exam in the third year of your graduation and then dedicate one year completely to the exam. Taking a gap year is your choice.

Making up your mind does not simply include having a set plan for writing the exam. UPSC in India is like the Kaju Barfi that everyone wants to have. But they are expensive, and hence, the plate hardly has some of them. So, most people have to settle for another sweet. 

Similarly, vacancies in India very rarely touch the 1000 mark, while applicants are nearly 10 lakh people. And even the most brilliant minds might sometimes fail to crack the exam on their first attempt. It is, therefore, important for aspirants to develop a thick skin towards the multiple questions of society.

  • The Syllabus

The next and most important step of the journey is to know the syllabus. UPSC has an exhaustive syllabus with different abilities being assessed at all three levels. 

Print a copy or purchase it and read it extensively in one go. But the work does not end here, as most people like to stick it on their walls. It should be done to remind you of your goal every single day. Plus, it also helps in figuring out how much work is left to be done yet.

  • The Timetable

Most of us have made timetables to study better or work out harder at some point in life because we know that making timetables help us be efficient. The timetable for UPSC, however, is not the same as your school or college day timetable. It has to be made in two steps: the overarching timetable and the minute details timetable. 

An overarching timetable spans months and sometimes even years, depending on when you plan to start your preparation. It requires you to divide your time between studying the whole syllabus and practicing sample papers. 

The minute details timetable has to be the everyday timetable. It should contain time slots for reading the newspaper, revising a particular topic, doing certain math sums, etc.

  • Newspapers and Magazines

Newspapers and magazines are the two most important sources of preparation and information for UPSC. They are helpful for the preliminary examination, UPSC mains examination, and also the interview round. Magazines are necessarily helpful for the prelims and the interview. They can be directly helpful for the mains.

The preliminary examination requires one to be up to date with current affairs, and newspapers are the best source of everyday news. While all the sections of the newspaper might not be important from UPSC’s perspective, once they become a habit, you will be able to mark out relevant portions. 

However, information in the newspapers is often not sufficient. That is when magazines come in handy. They take the information one step backward by informing the history of an event and one step forward by mentioning the event’s implications.

The editorials of the newspaper help in building the vocabulary which can be used both in the essays and in the interviews. They also teach you a writing style. Plus, you will have enough points which may be included in an essay if you get a topic that you have read in the newspaper. They help maintain freshness in your answers.

  • NCERTs and Note Making

NCERTs are where one needs to start. While no exam is fully based on NCERTs, at least 15 to 30 percent syllabus for different competitive exams can be covered solely by NCERTs. The same goes for UPSC CSE. They prepare the base for the rest of the syllabus too.

For other basic books that are readily available in the market, note-making at the time of study is important. Making notes is the most helpful tool when learning anything. It keeps you in touch with writing practice, saves time when you need to revisit the same concepts another time, and helps in memorizing things better.

  • Practicing Mocks

The final step in the preparation should be to practice as many sample and mock papers as the time allows. Get your hands on the previous year’s papers and start solving them once you have completed the whole syllabus. 

This will help in answer writing, plus you will have an idea of how much you can recollect. Some questions might give a sense of repetition; hence, they are important and should not be skipped. This will help in self-assessment.


UPSC CSE examination is by no means an easy exam, but it is not the most difficult one either. Above all, it is not impossible to crack the exam. UPSC bails out significantly less number of vacancies each year. However, when combined with the state boards, they are significant in number. Hence, it is advised that one should be practical in their approach and write the state examinations simultaneously. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Much Time Will It Take To Clear UPSC?

UPSC Exams require a candidate to be dedicated and consistent to reach the final goal. It depends on the candidate and the level of preparation done to clear the exam. Clarity about choosing the correct optional subject is also an important factor. 

  • Is Reading Newspapers and Magazines Fruitful for UPSC Exam?

Newspapers and magazines improve the knowledge of an aspirant in several horizons. Candidates do improve their general knowledge and remain updated about current affairs with the same. Candidates also improve their language and vocabulary skills by reading newspapers and magazines suggested for UPSc exams. 

  • How Mock Tests Prepare A Candidate for the Competition?

Mock tests provide a candidate with the idea about the sort of questions a candidate will enquire in the UPSC exam. Mock tests provide a mindset that allows candidates to tackle the difficulty of questions in real time. Candidates can also realize their strong and weak points through mock tests. 

  • What Role Does Time Table Play in the Preparation of UPSC?

Time table allows candidates to cover all the portion of the syllabus. Having a rigid time schedule regarding studying allows candidates to remain focused on the required aspects.