To begin with, I must admire you for being firm in your decision to NOT join a coaching and searching for steps on how to prepare for UPSC Civil Services Examination without coaching? That’s the first and the very right step. Not many have this clarity. When I started preparing, I thought only coaching can save me. I’m here to help you with your UPSC Preparation.
Please do read and finish your NCERTs in the least of times. They are essential but not sufficient. They help you assess where you stand, what you lack and what needs to be done.
After NCERTs, focus on standard textbook like GC Leong, Laxmikant, Spectrum, Shankar and Nitin Singhania notes. Here is also a difficult part. Do not be lured by your other friends who are reading different difficult books. The exam is cracked not by reading too many books but by reading the same book, many times.
Then you must develop a habit of reading newspaper daily, either The Hindu or Indian Express. This is very important. Current affairs are 60–70% of the question paper at all the three stages- Prelims, Mains, Interview.
By now you are also expected to have finalized on your optional. Be very careful here. Optional can make or break it for you. Please don’t be egoistic here.
“Main toh college topper tha maths mein, toh maths hi lunga” ( I will take Maths optional; afterall I was the college topper). Despite my love for English, I did not have the courage to take English Literature optional because its performance ain’t good. Over the time, also practice answer writing. And do solve previous years question papers.
One of the most challenging examinations conducted in our country is UPSC Civil Services exam. It is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission which is a central recruiting agency. The task of cracking UPSC 2021 Civil Services exam is not a piece of cake. The aspirants need to a lot of hard work in order to succeed.
The first thing you should do before starting your preparation is to know whether you are eligible for taking this exam. The aspirants must be a graduate and their age should fall under the given age limit.
The next thing which you should know is the exam pattern. The UPSC conducts civil services examination in three stages. They are:
I :- Prelims
II :- Mains
III :- Personality test
The Prelims examination is objective and the General Studies Paper II is qualifying in nature. The question paper is set in English and Hindi. The UPSC IAS Prelims examination consists of two papers.
• General Studies Paper-I
• CSAT Paper-II
The General Studies Paper I comprise of Geography, History, Economy, General Science, Environment and ecology, and current affairs. The CSAT Paper II comprises is aptitude paper which has the quantitative aptitude, logical reasoning, and comprehension skills.
When a candidate clear prelims exam, they must fill up a form called “Detailed Application form” (DAF). The mains examination consists of nine descriptive papers including one optional subject (2 papers). This is considered as the crucial stage which decides an aspirant fate.
Candidates who qualify the mains exam, are called for the final round, i.e., personality test or interview. This round decides your rank in the final list.
Many candidates wrongly believe that they cannot crack the UPSC CSE exam without UPSC coaching. If approached with the right strategies one can crack this exam in the very first attempt. Firstly, one needs a combination of both hard work and smart work for cracking this exam. One must make a study plan which works the best for him/her. They can start their preparation by reading NCERT books which are considered as the indispensable part of UPSC IAS Exam and an authentic newspaper like The Hindu.
We have already come up with the study plan and complete list of books including NCERT for UPSC civil services Examination.