Preparing for the UPSC exam highlights the idea of an intimidating, near-impossible task for an aspiring student to accomplish. However, the right mindset and preparation will always remain the surefire method to convert this fulfilling journey into a potential prestigious career in the government’s civil services.

Understanding the exam structure and giving importance to the syllabus by following a solid preparation strategy is paramount for a beginner. We have listed some of the most beneficial tips and tricks for first-timers to follow during the preparation process, along with a few dos and don’ts to remember while going through the preparation process for the exam.

Tip 1: Start with Understanding the Exam Structure

The UPSC exam consists of three stages – Prelims, Mains, and Interviews. The Prelims stage consists of two objective-type papers, while the Mains stage consists of nine subjective-type ones. The final stage of the exam presents the Interview. One must prioritize understanding the exam structure and the syllabus before starting the preparation.

Tip 2: Make a Study Plan

Make a syllabus once you understand the exam’s structure and the required syllabus. A study plan will help you to stay organized and focused throughout the preparation process. Divide the syllabus into small topics and allocate a specific time for each separated section. Make it a habit of including spontaneous, short breaks in your study plan.

Tip 3: Read Newspapers and Magazines Regularly

Current affairs constitute a primary portion of the UPSC exam. Regularly reading newspapers and magazines will help you to stay updated on the latest happenings in the world. Make sure to take notes while reading and revise them regularly.

Tip 4: Practice the Previous Year’s Question Papers

Practicing previous year’s question papers will provide you with varying ideas regarding the questions that appear in the exam. It will also help you to understand the exam pattern and time management. Analyze your mistakes, get back to work, and fix them.

Tip 5: Join a Coaching Institute

Joining a coaching institute can be beneficial for beginners. Coaching institutes provide guidance and support throughout the preparation process. They also provide study materials and conduct mock tests.

Tip 6: Take Care of Your Health

Let us not forget amidst all the chaos, taking care of your health takes the topmost priority! Incorporate a healthy eating schedule with regular exercise sessions and get enough sleep. A healthy body and mind will help you to stay focused and motivated throughout the preparation process.


– Understand the exam structure and syllabus before starting the preparation

– Make a study plan and stick to it

– Read newspapers and magazines regularly

– Practice previous year’s question papers

– Join a coaching institute

– Take care of your health


– Procrastinate

– Overload yourself with too much information

– Neglect current affairs

– Avoid tackling your weak areas

– Ignore your health


In conclusion, preparing for the UPSC exam is a challenging but rewarding journey. As a beginner, one should understand the exam structure, divide the syllabus according to time and make a proper study plan. Reading newspapers and magazines regularly, practicing previous year’s question papers, and taking care of your health are subtle tips and tricks to follow during your preparation process. It is important to remember that hard work, dedication, and persistence are the three keys to success in the UPSC exam.

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