Strategy to qualify UPSC and become an IAS Officer

Know about the Exam

The Civil Services Examinations are very different from all other forms of examinations conducted by different recruitment commissions and boards. Its challenging both Physically and Psychologically, where student goes through various up and down moments along with voracious reading. Thus, first step begins with knowing the examinations-Service Posts, Pattern, Syllabus, Marks Distributions, Previous Year Cut offs, Book lists etc,.
Role of SYLLABUS
Civil Services examinations are not only about blindly studding anything and everything. However, many think that questions may come from anything under the Sun. But the case is not so! UPSC and other state PCS have a well defined Syllabus published along with exams notifications every-year. More than 80 percent questions remains within the syllabus range. As most of them are from the current affairs but are although linked with the syllabus. Current affairs remains the heart and soul of CSE. But the static knowledge forms the basis of understating the current affairs. Thus both had to be managed equally.
Role of CURRENT AFFAIRS
UPSC focuses more on the current affairs both in Prelims and Mains Examinations so as to give the fresh candidates a fair chance with the old guards. The older candidates have a natural advantage in static knowledge due to going to the continuous preparation phase. Thus current affairs give the Key to Success.
Current affairs can be prepared by reading and making notes of the daily Newspapers-The Hindu/The Indian Express. However as their are many other sources of Current Affairs, such as-
1. PIB Website,
2. PRS Website ,
3. Economic Survey,
4. India Year Book,
5. NITI Ayog Reports,
6. Yojna and Kurukhetra magazines and also
7. Famous reports of Worlds agencies.
Monthly current affairs magazine from the coaching institutes are helpful in this. Thus covering Current affairs becomes the toughest part of this examinations. However every year, through persistent reading and with never giving up mindset, scores candidates have qualifies this examinations.
Role of STATIC Subjects
Almost half of the question paper in both prelims and mains examinations can be answered by static knowledge. While in the next half , the current affairs questions can be added with static knowledge and concepts to give a wholesome view to the answer. NCERTs remain the building blocks of all the subjects. While Old NCERTs were traditionally considered more, but now the NEW ones find themselves more in question papers.
PRELIMS Strategy
Out of the three stages of the examination, Prelims is the most difficult phase. Its more of a rejection process than of selection. Last year about 8 Lakh candidates applied for the UPSC CSE 2018, out of which only about 10 Thousand qualify the prelims examination. Thus, Prelims should be taken with all seriousness.
For next Years Prelims Exams on 31st May 2020, one should :
1. Start reading newspapers and collecting Current Affairs data of a year before appearing in  Prelims
2. Finishing the NCERTs before last days of September
3. Read the reference books and continue reading along with optional subject till last days of January 2020. Attempt test papers after completing every subject
4. From February till May,revise and sharpen your knowledge and attempt Prelims Tests twice a weak and analyse your attempts.
5. Attempt UPSC CSE 2020 Prelims with a cool mind and confidence.
Role of CSAT Paper-2
Second Paper in Prelims is of qualifying in nature. Which means its marks will not be counted in making the qualified list but candidates have to score a minimum of 33% to qualify the second paper of Prelims. However, it should not be taken casually, as it could spoil all your efforts in the General Studies Paper. Students from non-science background may find Math and GI questions hard to finish within time. But Comprehensions being of most in numbers can be practices well and reasoning can also be done with little effort.
MAINS Strategy
Role of GENERAL STUDIES Papers
With four General studies papers comprising about half of the total marks in main examination, need to done well averagely if not exceptionally.
Answering the questions Info-Graphically has been seen to get more marks than the traditional essay type format of answer writing. Thus students should prepare and revise the notes accordingly.
Enough possible Answering writing practices should be done before appearing in the mains exams, so that one is not beaten by running time.
Role of ESSAY, OPTIONS SUBJECT, and ETHICS PAPER
Empirically it has been found that scoring average marks in all the subjects makes a candidate see his/her name in the Final Selected List. But all do not get IAS or IPS.
Thus, to get into the top 100 list one has to score exceptionally well in Essay, Optionals and Ethics Papers. Essay and Ethics require individual command on language and creativity in writing. Which makes their answers different from others positively.
Optional Papers requires expertise and dept in knowledge about the subject both horizontally and vertically. As the syllabus for optional subjects are of graduation level, thus students with greater knowledge will gains more marks if written relevantly. Thus a person having chosen his/her optional subject wisely will have greater opportunity to qualify mains and appear for the Personality Tests stage.
. “Once you start working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.”

 – Chanakya

All The Best !

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