If there is one exam in India that has everyone’s eyes on it, it would definitely be the UPSC (CSE). So, to give you an idea, every year, around 10Lac aspirants apply to sit in this exam, and only 800+ aspirants get to live their IAS dream. The prestige associated with the IAS tag magnets many graduates towards it. And the reality of this exam is that not everyone succeeds to crack UPSC on their first attempt. But cracking IAS in the first attempt is no fairy tale as many graduates have done it successfully, and today we have gathered some proven strategies to help you out so that you can crack the IAS exam on the very first attempt. So let’s get to these tips without any further ado.
- Crack UPSC with Originality
- Understand UPSC to Crack IAS
- Prepare Well and Crack UPSC (IAS)
- Stand Out in Your Answer
- Balance Hardwork and Smartwork
- Be Discipline and Truthful (BONUS!)
- FAQ | How to Crack UPSC Exam in First Attempt – Tips for IAS Exam
- Editor’s Note | How to crack UPSC
Crack UPSC with Originality
Yes, you’ve read it right. In order to get into the Lal Bahadur Shastri IAS academy in your first attempt, you have to have an original plan to follow. If you analyze the strategy of the toppers, you will find that no two toppers have followed the same strategy. However, you may find some elements to be the same, but the overall plan is original. And that’s what you have to do, make an original plan glorifying your strengths and balancing your weak points. You may take inspiration from the toppers, but you have to draft a strong original plan if you desire to crack IAS in the first attempt. Here are two aspects which need your originality most.
A great strategy is what you need to crack the IAS exam, and to know whether the chosen plan is good for you or not, observe its outcomes. Implement it for a week, test its limits, and find out the maximum productivity you can leverage from it. Also, remember that, everyone has their own limits and plus points. Chose a strategy that will amplify your plus points and rectify your limits.
The internet has made it so easy to access topper’s notes, but is it really beneficial? Think about it for a moment. What difference would it have from the books that you will read? Yes, the notes will be shorter and more concise, but it will become another concept to mug up. And to break this mug up routine, you have to make your notes with your words, it will give you a more clear idea about the concept, and following this, you’ll remember things for a longer period. You can still get the topper’s notes but do not use them as the primary source. A bonus – Making your notes will help with your writing skill, which is necessary to crack the main stage of the UPSC (IAS) exam in the first attempt.
Understand UPSC to Crack IAS
Every year the union public services drafts their exam calendar, which contains all the required information, right from the date of exam notification to the commencement date. Following this calendar, you can understand the pattern for the IAS exam and set your preparation accordingly. Now to get the knowledge of exam patterns, you’ve to understand the three stages (prelims, main, interview) thoroughly. Every stage of the Civil Service Exam (CSE) has its own importance and a different exam pattern. Hence, understanding this three-tier exam is the first step that you should follow to crack UPSC in the first attempt.
UPSC conducts many exams every year, but the CSE is the most eyed one. CSE is a three-stage exam viz, Prelim, Main, Interview (personality test). And every stage has its own pattern. The prelim is an objective type and is just a screening test to get eligible for the main exam. But the main is a descriptive type exam where you write detailed solutions for every question. The last stage is a personality test, hence called an interview. Therefore, having a dedicative strategy for each level is necessary for this exam.
The syllabus for CSE is quite vast and contains many topics from different subjects. Often aspirants overlook the syllabus and follow popular reference books as a guide to the CSE syllabus, which contains extra information that is not part of the official syllabus for CSE issued by UPSC. The syllabus is the first thing you should check thoroughly before starting your preparation. Remember that UPSC wants you to know something about everything and not everything about something.
Prepare Well and Crack UPSC (IAS)
Need not to say that you have to prepare well, but how? By following good reference books and exploring different sources. For every competitive exam, you need to have a set of books to follow the same, which goes for UPSC. There are millions of content available on CSE, but you have to choose the best one out. Here are two sources that would definitely help you out.
Only Best Books to Crack UPSC (IAS)
Since it so a popular exam, there are literally thousands of books claiming to be the best for UPSC, and that many numbers could be overwhelming. But one reference that every aspirant should follow besides other books of their choice is the NCERT. Every topper, every coaching institute stresses the importance of NCERT to form a strong foundation of concepts. But following only NCERT books will not help you either, have at least 2-3 books to follow and stick to them. Remember these books that you’ll choose should contain every topic mentioned in the syllabus with some PYQ. So, check out this booklist (Hindi Medium), click here.
Leverage Online world
In this digital era, everything is available at a click. So, leverage it. Search out and find the best content that suits your style, be it audio, video, or great text content. Use every possible source and leverage. Most of the online content is free to access, another plus point. Little tip – The best way to prepare for the interview round is to watch mock interviews of toppers on You-Tube, also giving mock interviews is highly beneficial.
Stand Out in Your Answer
Although the prelim is an objective type, the main and interview are not. These two last stages contribute to the final ranking. Hence, it is important that your answers sound, look, and feel different from the rest of the candidates. Now how would you do that? Well, here’s an easy breakdown;
Crack UPSC (IAS) Main Exam
Take care of little details when drafting solutions for the main exam, use bullet points, use paragraphs only for introduction and conclusion, and when you do not have enough content. Avoid overwriting, have adequate space between words, draw diagrams, highlight important words (only a few do not overdo). To conclude, make your answer sound confident by using strong adverbs, have an unbiased viewpoint on social issues.
Crack UPSC (IAS) Interview
The same goes for the interview round, avoid multiple hand gestures, make good eye contact, sound informed and aware, pronounce the word clearly, have a good volume and pitch, and if you do not know the answer politely, convey it to the board members. Trust this, saying no is way better than answering unsure questions.
Sounds tough? Well, practice writing, interview sessions. Be aware of the word you use. All these small things will add up, make you stand out from others, and help you crack UPSC(IAS) in the very first attempt.
Balance Hardwork and Smartwork
It would suffice to say that the IAS exam requires a long term commitment. The exam itself takes a year to get completed. And most aspirants start their preparation a year early. Therefore, it becomes a journey of hard work and determination. The more focused and determined you are, the more is your chance to get selected in the first attempt. Understand that every UPSC aspirant does hard work and tries to crack the UPSC (IAS) exam. Hence, you need to balance hard work with smart work to get some extra advantage. Here’s how;
Hard Work to Crack IAS
Hard work is necessary for every stage of life. And to crack UPSC (IAS) exam in the first attempt, you have to do hard work and be consistent. Have 5-6 productive study hours, be consistent with the timing, every day same time. Do physical exercise to get wholesome fitness, cut off addictions and bad habits, treat your time as money spent wisely. So, be accountable and stop giving excuses.
Smart Work to Crack IAS
Remember, the difference between a selected aspirant and others is the little amount of smart work in their strategy. Because it is no secret that every aspirant has worked hard to crack the UPSC (IAS) exam, but not all of them get selected due to the less availability of seats. Hence, the role of smart work is paramount. Now, how to do smart work? Well, worry not, here are 3 things to note down.
- Listen to audio content while traveling ( bus, metro, train, etc.).
- Study with a fellow UPSC aspirant, and do a weekly analysis of the studies with them, compare your progress and get the fuel you need to do better.
- Study dynamically – meaning, if you’re reading about floods (Geography), check out if there are any natural disasters that has occurred due to floods (current affairs), what did the authorities do to get control over it (law enforcement). By this, you could cover 3 different topics under one topic.
P.s: Since it is called smart work, think something creative, and find more custom smart moves and go crack UPSC in your first attempt.
Be Discipline and Truthful (BONUS!)
In this battle of who cracks the UPSC, only a disciplined person wins. Why discipline and why not motivation? Because motivation is overrated. You can not rely on motivation all the time one day or the other, you are going to run out of it. Instead of being motivated, be disciplined, follow your routine, and remain truth full to it. If you understand the importance of discipline in this stage, it will get easier as you go ahead in being the IAS officer. To be the discipline, you have to follow a timely routine, and this does not mean every second of your day is preplanned. In-fact being discipline means every step you take is towards your goal, and here your goal is the IAS tag. Remember following a routine makes your life monotonous, and monotony brings peace, clear thoughts, and productive outcomes mean less stress!
Also check about other UPSC Strategy like How to do Essay Writing, Interview Process of IAS Exam & How to prepare for overall exam and specifically Prelims Exam.
FAQ | How to Crack UPSC Exam in First Attempt – Tips for IAS Exam
Yes, it is possible. It is rare but definitely possible. There are numerous IAS officers who have cracked UPSC (IAS) exam in their first attempt. The only thing that will prevent you from being one of them is your mind set. Be discipline and have a strong self believe.
First of all, understand that procrastination does not equal laziness. And the best way to stop procrastination is by being disciplined. So, make a routine turn it into a habit this will help you in stopping the un-easiness of procrastination. Set rigid time for your daily study /tasks.
This exam is also known as the mother of all exams. This exam guarantees a reputed job with good money, prestige and government facilities. Also, UPSC holds a different respect in the eye of the Indian society. All these factors have made IAS exam the most popular and prestigious. Also, remember the job of an IAS officer is not an easy one, it is stress-full and tiring.
Editor’s Note | How to crack UPSC
Clearing UPSC (IAS) exam in the first attempt could be a hard nut to crack, but it is absolutely a possible thing to do and many aspirants have proved it so. Besides, this short informative article has the potential to be the reason for you to kick start your UPSC preparation. Have a strong self believe and be discipline, trust the process your efforts will show results soon.