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How To Clear UPSC The Toughest Exam In The World

The UPSC Civil Services Exam is highly competitive, with many qualified candidates competing for a limited number of positions.


The exam covers a wide range of subjects, including History, Geography, Economics, Indian Polity, Environment and Ecology, Science and Technology, Indian Society, Social Justice, Ethics and Integrity, Disaster Management, International relations, Internal security challenges, etc

Number of candidates appeared in UPSC

YearNumber of candidates who appliedNumber of candidates who took prelimsNumber of candidates who qualified for mainsNumber of candidates who took mains examNumber of candidates who appeared for interviewFinal number of candidates who got selected for posts
20198 Lakh
20179,69,06546284813300130602564(Number shortlisted)1056
201611,28,26245965915382151492961 (Number shortlisted)NA

Like you can see here, the exam is highly competitive. If this is the case then how to clear it?

Union Public Service Commission(UPSC) conducts Civil Services Exam(CSE) for the recruitment to various Civil Services of the Government of India, and it is an all-India level competitive exam conducted every year in 3 different stages namely Preliminary Examination, Mains Examination, and Personality Test.


Is it possible to prepare for the UPSC CSE examination from home? This is the most common question every UPSC aspirant have in their mind. The answer to this question is Yes! It is possible.


Preparation from home is not an impossible task and you can surely opt for it. Not every aspirant will have the luxury to go to a coaching institute or go to Delhi for UPSC preparation as they can have their own problems and limitations which can include financial constraints, need to manage work/college/family along with the preparation, and also their preference to study from home.


UPSC syllabus and Pattern: 

Understanding the UPSC syllabus and pattern is the key. UPSC syllabus should be the guiding light in your preparation. It is always advised to have a copy of the syllabus handy on your study table when you start your preparation.


Read More: UPSC Syllabus 2023 –  IAS Prelims & Mains Syllabus


Solving the old UPSC question paper is equally important. A candidate needs to analyze the past trends and analyze the questions asked, it helps to know the important topics on which UPSC concentrates and the topic that is assigned more weightage.


Based on these analyses, an aspirant should orient their preparation. This is one of the smart ways to prepare. Also, old UPSC question papers are a good source for self-assessment during your preparation. It can be said that “study the exam before you study for the exam


Book List:

The market is flooded with Books and Study Materials and the aspirants are often in a dilemma to choose from them. It is important to buy only relevant books and keep your resources as simple as possible so that you can easily revise them multiple times.


This helps to retain the contents you studied for longer time. NCERT books are the base on which the entire UPSC preparation will be built. Always have your basics clear and then move on to standard books.



 It is important to have a well-thought-out strategy for UPSC Preparation. Given The amount of syllabus, a well-planned strategy will surely help. The difference between an aspirant and a UPSC Topper is that Toppers plan their studies and execute those plans well.


Find yourself a Mentor, they can be a senior aspirant or a topper or Faculties from IAS Training Institutes in Bangalore. This assures proper guidance throughout your preparation.


Irrespective of your preparation from home or through offline classes from coaching Institutes, one thing is more common, it is preparing a Blueprint. It is a study plan for one complete year(most common).


The plan must be broken down into more detailed monthly and daily study targets. Aspirants must have a daily study routine to follow and a timetable to stick to. This will ease your preparation and make it more streamlined. Through the below link we put across some successful IAS Preparation strategies that have been utilized by our previous year’s IAS Toppers.

Check out the Our 150 Day Study plan -> 150 Days study Plan To Crack UPSC


Mock tests:

 You will never know where you are in the race until you assess yourself. Therefore dedicating enough time for mock tests is as important as the time given to prepare for the exam.


Click Here To Register : Prelims  Test Series


This is true for both Preliminary Examination and Mains Examination. Solving test papers available in the market or downloading them from Civil services coaching institutes or enrolling in a test series program will be very useful. Thus your study plan must also include time for mock tests either daily or weekly based on your preferences and needs.


Answer writing practice: 

UPSC Mains Examination needs descriptive writing, unlike Preliminary Examination which is objective type. When to start answer writing? The answer is today. You should start it simultaneously while covering the syllabus.


UPSC preparation is never complete and waiting to enrich on the content and trying to be a perfectionist will not help. Starting answer writing as early as possible with whatever knowledge you have is best advised and it always improves with practice.


It is rightly said-“The beginning is always the hardest”.


Daily Answer writing should always be practiced in a controlled exam environment adhering to the word limit and completing the questions in a given time i.e., in a 3-hour format.


In answer writing speed is the key. A well-thought-out, organized, neat, to-the-point answer substantiated with relevant facts and figures is what is needed. This requires a lot of practice. Aspirants can enroll in online guidance programs to get expect feedback.


It also helps to follow a disciplined approach as they come with numerous practice tests based on UPSC standards.


Current affairs: 

Current Affairs play an important role in UPSC Civil Services Exam preparation as the questions from this section appear in all the stages of the examination- Prelims, Mains, and in the Interview.


The Questions can be direct or even indirectly linked to the static or basic part of a particular topic. Reading at least one newspaper daily is important and it can also be supplemented with a monthly current affairs magazine from any civil services coaching institute along with following RSTV debates, PIB, and other government websites.


Click Here To Read :- Legacy IAS Daily Current Affair


Choosing Optional Subject:

Choosing the correct Optional subject is the key. Blindly choosing a popular optional or following a topper’s choice may not help. Thus when choosing an optional, an aspirant should ensure the following:


  • Need basic interest in the subject
  • Availability of Study material for the preparation
  • Availability of coaching and test series for that subject
  • Percentage of its syllabus overlapping with General Studies syllabus
  • Performance of the Optional in the past 3 years and so on.


Consistency and Patience: 

Aspirants often face issues with being consistent and effective during their preparation and this is more common among the ones preparing from home compared to the ones attending Coaching as they lack the peer group and positive peer pressure when studying from home.


But you should be your boss and keep checks on you to be consistent and effective throughout the preparation. Be patient as consistency keeps you going, and patience reminds you why.


Revise and Re-revise:

Read and revive what you have studied. Always underline/highlight/make notes when studying and this makes revision quick and easy.


Revision and re-revision help you to retain content for a longer time and ensures that you recall them quickly during exams. Repetition can be tedious, but that is how one can master anything.


Thus studying from home an aspirant will have the luxury to utilize the day as per their suitability, prepare and organize according to the time available to them.


Preparing from home can in fact increase aspirants’ flexibility. They prepare according to one’s unique learning style and pace and can choose from a wide range of online study materials, Interactive online coaching classes, and so on and thanks to technology. This also assures you to study within the safe confines of your home during this pandemic.


You should focus on how you prepare rather than where you prepare as long as you stay focused. Think about what works for you, and take the time to get it right.


Good luck!

December 2023