IAS Exam Preparation Tips for Students from Topper

Motivational Quotes
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A few pointers to clearing the UPSC Exam :

  1. Do not panic: It takes some time to gain a rhythm in UPSC preparation which works for you. If a concept seems hard and you get stuck, do not panic, think it through and you will get clarity on how to study that particular concept.
  2. Plan meticulously: Always have a realistic and achievable schedule to follow while preparing for IAS. Try to stick to it as much as you can. Making a planner and keeping track of the goals helps too.
  3. Understand yourself: Understanding your own strengths and weaknesses will help you in focussing your preparation. This focus and understanding will help immensely in optimising every stage of UPSC preparation according to your needs.
  4. Practice: Before you take the actual exam, you should take mock practice tests both for the prelims and the mains. This will help you gain confidence and gain experience in framing your answers properly.
  5. Stay focused: Preparing for the UPSC exam can be extremely challenging, so keep yourself motivated and stay positive. Always look at the bright side of things and be confident about your ability to crack the IAS exam.



Anudeep Durishetty, UPSC Rank: AIR 1; CSE 2017, gives the following suggestions to UPSC civil services aspirants in writing answers.

Attempt only those questions whose answers you are sure of. You cannot fool the examiner. Underline what you feel is important. Write grammatically correct sentences. Take care of your spelling. Write in simple language. Read the NCERT textbooks multiple times. Focus on current affairs.

UPSC Topper Strategy, Saumya Sharma, Rank: 9, CSE: 2017

Saumya studied only for 5 – 6 hours per day. She relied a lot on the internet and gave a lot of importance to the daily current affairs. She suggests candidates to not take the CSAT lightly and practice CSAT papers to be able to clear it with ease. She read the newspaper daily to keep track of the daily current affairs.

Saumya Sharma – IAS Topper Booklist

Here is Saumya Sharma’s booklist for the GS papers:

  1. Current affairs: The Hindu, online sources
  2. Polity: Laxmikanth, selected chapters from DD Basu and ‘Our Parliament’
  3. Ancient history: RS Sharma’s old NCERT, new NCERTs
  4. Medieval history: 7th NCERT, selected chapters from old NCERTs
  5. Modern history: Bipan Chandra’s old NCERT, Spectrum, India After Gandhi
  6. Art & Culture: 11th NCERT book on Art, NIOS, CCRT
  7. Geography: GC Leong, NCERTs, Oxford India Atlas
  8. Environment: Down to Earth magazine

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interests.”



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