How to Crack UPSC Civil Services Exam - Check IAS Preparation Tips, Study Plan
How to crack UPSC Civil Services Exam- The UPSC civil service exam is one of the most coveted competitive exams. Lakhs of candidates aim to make their way to the administrative services. However, before achieving their goal, they question how to crack the UPSC civil service exam? Such candidates wonder what is the UPSC study material from where they need to study, how to start preparation for UPSC CSE and what strategy they should adopt so that they could crack the UPSC civil services exam. Owing to the COVID 19 pandemic, this year the UPSC civil services 2021 exam was postponed and will now be held on October 10. Read the full article that is given below to know how to crack the UPSC Civil Services Exam.
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Who can Crack the IAS Exam?
Aspirants who focus single mindedly on UPSC IAS 2021 as the goal, analyse & strategize their exam preparation such that they qualify all stages - (Prelims, Main, and Interview), can win the race to being an IAS officer. To do so, they must visualise only their goal and the path to reach it just like Arjuna’s arrow in Draupadi’s Swayamvar won him her hand.
One can see many examples of aspirants who have pushed their way to making their dreams come true and some of those inspirational stories include names like Govind Jaiswal, Ansar Ahmad Shaikh, Ira Singhal, Gopal Sunara Raj, Sandeep Kaur, Nirish Rajput, Komal Ganatra, Mohammad Ali Shihab and Rashmi Siddharth Zagade etc. The list is endless and the backgrounds varied. However, one thing is common - the zeal and the focus to make a change not just to their lives but also to society in general.
UPSC Civil Services Exam Pattern 2021
Candidates must be well versed with the UPSC exam pattern for the civil services entrance test as this will help them to draw a plan for their preparation.
Prelim Exam: According to the UPSC IAS exam pattern, there will be two papers which are objective type with negative marking (0.33% for wrong or more than one ans).
GS Paper-I: for 200 marks. The number of correct answers decides the merit to qualify for Mains exam of UPSC.
GS Paper-II: The minimum qualifying marks is 33%.
Main Exam: The UPSC main exam consists of a written exam followed by an Interview for final selection.
Written Exam: 9 papers for 2625 marks as follows
Paper-I (Language-300 marks) & Paper-II (English-300 marks) are qualifying.
7 Papers (for 250 marks each): Paper-I (Essay) + 4 GS Papers + 2 Optional Papers. Total marks are 1750
Personality Test (Interview): 275 marks
Note: Merit for final selection is based on the marks secured in the 7 Merit Papers + Interview.
How to Prepare for IAS: PT, Main & Interview?
Strategy for IAS Prelims Exam Preparation
Points to note: The UPSC Prelims consists of two mandatory papers that are objective in nature with multiple choice questions. Paper-II is a qualifying paper with minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
Prelims: Syllabus, Topics, Trends and Preparation
Prelims Paper I: Syllabus
Prelims Syllabus: Paper I‐ (200 marks), No. of Questions-( 100), Duration: 2 hours
Current events of national and international importance.
History of India and Indian National Movement.
Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
Indian Polity and Governance-Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization.
Subject Wise Trend Analysis of Previous Question Pattern
Prelims Paper II: Syllabus
Prelims Syllabus: Paper II‐ (200 marks), No. of Questions-( 80), Duration: 2 hours
Interpersonal skills including communication skills; Government strives to have a workforce which reflects gender balance and women candidates are encouraged to apply.
Logical reasoning and analytical ability
Decision making and problem solving
General mental ability
Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. — Class X level)
UPSC-CS Prelim Exam: Official Cut off Marks
Strategy for IAS Main Exam Preparation
When one’s mind is wondering as to how to crack the UPSC civil services exam, then it is essential for one to know the different stages and how many papers are there before drawing the final strategy. The exam has two stages, a written exam of 9 papers followed by an interview of 2350 marks for final selection. The strategy devised is in stages as given below.
Strategy- 1: Understanding the Nature of Questions of UPSC IAS Mains Exam
Questions asked in recent times are application-based linking social, economic, scientific, environmental, cultural, political, etc. problems faced by the people from different regions, religions, castes, genders on a local, national, and world level. Answering these questions needs concepts, facts, and data and not just knowledge of current affairs. A question from the previous year paper explains this clearly.
To what extent has the urban planning and culture of the Indus Valley Civilization provided inputs to the present-day urbanization? Discuss. (UPSC GS Paper-1:2014)
Strategy-2: Understanding Evaluation Methods
The evaluation takes not just the examinee’s educational background and his/her answers, but an analysis of how questions have been answered. Points checked are whether the answer is to the point, has adopted an interdisciplinary approach, and the skill in linking the answer with other relevant subjects and a positive concluding solution. Factors like conceptual clarity, content relevance, objectivity, language proficiency, use of examples, and illustrations in the question help secure good marks.
Strategy-3: Practicing Words & Time Limit
Candidates have to maintain a word limit and answer the questions within a time limit. This needs good practice and can be honed by solving past years UPSC IAS question papers.
Strategy-4: Keeping the Main Syllabus in Mind
Candidates must remember all the topics of the UPSC syllabus for different papers and be able to answer clearly on all of them.
Strategy-5: Other Techniques to practise
Practice as many solved papers, sample question papers of UPSC IAS civil services , and Mock test series as possible for both Prelims and Main exams.
Revision (daily, weekly & monthly) for each topic and subject is a must.
Make notes in brief for each subject you study with headings for each topic and subtopic.
Read newspapers, like The Hindu, Indian Express…, and note down important burning topics of current affairs with relevant information in bullet points and correlate with the static portion of the syllabus.
Strategy & Tips for IAS Interview Preparation
IAS interview or the personality test is the last stage in India’s toughest competition. The less than a half-an-hour exercise can change the life of a candidate. It is not a mere test of knowledge but a holistic test that takes stock of an aspirant’s true personality. Interview board members check candidates’ critical approach and thought process related to social, economic, administrative, political, demographic, etc. problems and their viable as well as practical solutions. Therefore preparation for UPSC-CSE Interview/Personality Test is crucial and some tips for that are:
Start preparing for the interview along with the Main’s exam.
Try to discover yourself and understand the different aspects of your personality including the hidden ones.
Know your biodata well as it will be the basis for questions related to information from the biodata like hobbies, education, work experience, service preference, etc. Be prepared for in depth questions on any aspect from your biodata.
Inculcate positive thinking during and after your preparation and give your best shot.
Check out topper interviews to understand and strategize your preparation. Be confident and try to avoid nervousness during the interview.
Be truthful in expression and deed. Always give correct facts. Impressing the interview board at any cost is not the aim but impressing them for the right reasons is.
Work on your communication skills and be calm during the interview.
Maintain soberness in both dress and body language.
Revise topics from optional subjects as well as keep stock of current affairs topics. Read newspapers regularly and keep abreast of all that's happening around the world.
Know about your district and state’s unique features.
Try to understand the interview questions first and then use common sense to answer.
Join IAS mock interviews in different coaching if possible for practice purposes.
Practice before friends to know your strengths and weaknesses.
IAS Success Formula - Study Tips for Cracking IAS exam
Setting up a Goal: First step towards cracking the IAS exam is to analyse eligibility, capabilities, and the required means/resources to achieve it. The goal should be SMART (i.e. S- Specific; M-Measurable; A-Achievable; R-Realistic; and T- Time-bound).
A set goal helps you stay focused
It helps in overcoming delay
It helps in measuring your progress.
It helps in setting barriers against distraction
It enables you in managing your time
It motivates in scaling milestones
Daily Routine (Time Management) through a timetable - The 24 hours in a day, 7 weeks in a month, and 12 months in a year is enough to prepare for the toughest entrance examinations of the country provided it is utilised to the best. One of the key factors which play the most important role in cracking the IAS exam is having a balanced routine or timetable that focuses upon studies as well as the normal daily activities. A timetable helps keep the study schedule on track.
"Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can't afford to lose." - Thomas Edison
However, no fixed timetable suits every aspirant. They should prepare their own timetable chart based on their strengths and weaknesses, their convenience etc.
Importance of Good Health for Cracking IAS Exam: The Greek philosopher Thales said, “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body”; means a sound body would ideally function better. A healthy diet, sound sleep and activities to destress and keep the body fit should be part of the routine for every IAS aspirant.
Emotion Management for IAS Exam: It is easy to be demotivated or stressed during preparation and combating this is important. A bonding with like minded professionals preparing for the exam will help make the preparation journey better.
How to Manage Study for CSE/IAS Preparation
How to Manage Reading Speed: This is important as the syllabus is vast and aspirants need speed to cover it all. So when the the question pops up in one’s mind as to how to crack the UPSC civil services exam, some habits that help are:
Concentration and focus on the content.
Avoid rereading and move on to new topics once done.
Use a timer to gauge your reading time and fix time slots for particular texts or pages
Learn to skim through the important facts
Practise till the desirable reading speed is achieved
Make your own Study Timetable
Divide the UPSC IAS syllabus into Prelims and Main. Further, divide both into subjects and chapters/topics.
Then divide the time span, say a year into months, a month into weeks, and a week into days. Now divide the day into a group of hours.
Next, make a chronological classification of subjects, topics, and sub-topics of prelims and the main syllabus according to strong and weak areas and the importance of questions asked in the examinations.
Put the chapters subject wise in months and topics/ subtopics in weeks and days categories to fix a schedule that completes them all.
Incorporate revision time every day, every week, every month, and every third month.
How to Schedule Revision for IAS Preparation?
Revision is crucial as one prepares for the UPSC IAS exam on their own . The concepts, facts, and other information studied have to be revised to avoid forgetting them. A gap of 9 to 15 days in between two revisions may cause forgetting some of the topics learnt. So most of the IAS toppers recommend a 3 Tier Revision Plan as given below
Also Read: How to Prepare for UPSC IAS Without Coaching
Time Table for IAS Preparation
3 Tier Revision Plan
Morning and Night recaps
Practice Sessions: Revision every 15th day and every 3rd month with not just study material but mock papers, past years question papers will make the plan a better and a viable one.
Daily Revision Schedule: Aspirants should look at all important points which they studied the whole day before going to sleep. Likewise in the morning, they should quickly revise all chapters and topics they covered the previous day from the UPSC exam study material.
Weekly Revision Schedule: Aspirants should revise all the subjects, chapters, and topics that they studied in the past 6 days of the week as doing this on a regular basis will help them to crack the UPSC civil services exam.
Monthly Revision Schedule: This is the third stage of revision which is better fixed on the last day of every month. The aspirants should revise all the subjects, chapters, and topics along with solved papers, and mock tests for topics they have revised in that month. Likewise a quarterly and six monthly revision schedule would be an ideal thing to incorporate in the timetable.
How to Evaluate Study Progress for UPSC/IAS Exam
A. Learning Evaluation: IAS aspirants must check their learning progress and evaluate their preparation from time to time (weekly and monthly). For this, they can take a mock test and previous questions asked from a particular topic and solve them. They need to check their capability of answering - hundred percent correct, or fifty percent correct as well as how many questions they could not answer. As per the test result of that topic they can reschedule that topic for study or revision.
B. Speed Evaluation: Mock tests are the best tools to evaluate speed as well as for improvement. Aspirants need to solve papers within a set time limit and gauge their performance. They should strive to improve on it with every test they take.
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Questions related to UPSC Civil Services Exam
i am 16 now due to this pandemic i am wasting all of my time but i had dream on ias any body help me to utilize this time
The pandemic has been utilised and could be utilised by different students in a different number of ways, for example some use it as a ample time to boost a preparations and improve their overall performance whereas others just based this time thinking it to be a boring period with the need to pass it somehow.
So, it pretty much depends on your mindset and how you respect your time and your dreams in order to how you will utilise this pandemic period. If you have a dream and you are really determined to achieve it, then I would suggest you to stop wasting your time on unnecessary stops and try to focus on your strategy you are going to achieve your goals.
Good Luck. If you have any further queries feel free to post it here!!
12th standard student are eligible for upsc exams or not
No, with qualification of just 12th you cannot appear in UPSC civil services examination.
this is because,
to be eligible you need a graduate degree, so after your 12tb you need to pursue graduation to be eligible
For reference, UPSC eligibility criteria is provided below:-
*You must have a bachelor's degree in any, discipline from a recognised university.
*Minimum age limit :- you need to be at least 21 years old to be eligible as on 1st of August of the year of filling the form i. e as on 1st August 2021 for UPSC 2021.
*Maximum age limit :- 32 years , also there's 3 year relaxation on upper age limit for obc and of 5 years for sc/st category.
For detailed information related to UPSC eligibility criteria , you can visit our page at
Your UPSC civil services examination consists of three stages
*prelims exam :- it is objective paper and is of qualifying nature , so you just need to at least qualify it to be eligible for mains examination, the score /marks obtained by you in your prelims examination is not added up or used in your final merit. Your prelims exam consist of 2 papers: -
-) general studies 1
-) general studies II ( csat )
You get 2 hours for each paper
*Mains exam. :- it is descriptive /written examination . There are a total of 9 papers which are listed below:-
-) compulsory indian language.
-) general studies I
-) general studies II
-) general studies III
-) general studies IV
-) optional I
-) optional II
The compulsory indian language and english are qualifying in nature . You just need to qualify them. The marks obtained by you in these two papers will not be counted towards merit list.
*Interview :- After qualifying mains, you have to go through interview round, and it is more of test of your personality rather than knowledge.
For detail examination pattern check out :- https://competition.careers360.com/articles/upsc-ias-exam-pattern
I am commerce student and now in BAFSY so can i give UPSC Or IAS exam
I assume by BAFSY you mean that you are working in a financial sector. Now coming to the topic whether you are eligible for Union Public Service Commission(UPSC) or not. Yes, you are eligible for UPSC as the academic eligibility criteria for UPSC suggests that candidates must have graduation in any discipline.
For more information regarding this refer the link below,
Hope this helps.
All the best!!
who is more powerful IAS, IFS, or CBI
If you compare between IAS and IFS then obviously IAS have more authority in the district and the public administration compared to IFS. Although for IFS, the country in which the officer is posted, becomes the diplomat who is responsible for the well being of the citizens of India living in that country and the officer becomes a authority and representative of Government of India in that country. So they have relative strengths of authorities.
Now CBI is an investigative agency mainly working on Corruption, Smuggling, Anti-terrorism etc. Now if a CBI officer is given the right by the Supreme Court of India for Investigation for a case related to a Public Administrator then yeah! then CBI will feel more authority to question any IAS and officials.
In general, the people think of authorities but when you become an officer, this things doesn't matter. If you are enthusiastic about the work then go for it and you will really like the job not for the authority but for the job.
To know more about UPSC visit the link below:
I hope this answer helps. All the very best for your future endeavors!
can I do ias after bsc honours mathematics
To become an IAS Officer, you need to appear for UPSC which has the eligibility criteria of passed graduation in any discipline from a recognized university, there is no specific aggregate required for this, you can also appear in the final year of graduation, and you can also appear for this exam if you have passed BSc Mathematics Hons from a recognized university, the exam is conducted in three phases that is prelims, mains and interview, candidate need to attain 21 years age as on 1st august of the appearing year.