Competitive exams are on the rise and we are sure that you have already started preparing for them. With growing competition, everybody wants to be the best at whatever they are doing.

When it comes to government jobs, the competition is tough. There are at least forty people competing for one post. This is where it gets hard because the ratio is forty to one. For being the one who secures the only available seat, good preparation is needed. For any exam, be it CAT or one of the civil services exams, that is, IAS, IPS, IRS, ITS, IDES etc., being well prepared is not only essential but it is the only way to crack these exams.

Most students tend to join coaching classes or coaching centres to be able to crack the UPSC exams and score well. But that’s not a compulsion. You can do it without the help, but with the right frame of mind. It is important that you join coaching centres, agreed.

But it is not that if you don’t join them you would fail. Your hard work and efforts can pay off if you try your level best into achieving what you wish to. Here are six tips to help you prepare for the UPSC exams from home:

  1. When to start?

It is important to know when to start preparing so that your time is properly managed. As a civil services aspirant, you must set aside at least a year of your life in the preparation. Rigorous studying and practice is what is expected of you in that period.

The more you study a year before your prelims begin, the more time you will have to revise when the prelims are only two months away. This will help you focus more and then when you do have your exams, you will be better at knowing things by heart all thanks to the practice that you have done and the well managed time.

  1. Detailed Preparation Plan

Everything we ever do in our lives needs to be planned. And of course, when it comes to these exams that will decide where your career will go, planning in advance is important. Since, you are preparing at home, you must create a study plan and follow it.

A study plan will help you stay organized and facilitate a systematic way of studying. This will help you in the long run when you will not be experiencing stress because you will be prepared well in advance and must have revised numerous times, if your plan permits that.

  1. Conceptual clarity on reading

Whatever you are studying, make sure that you understand every little thing. This is important because if you mug up, chances are that you will forget important information during the exam. There is a common misconception that for the UPSC exams one has to remember a lot of facts and figures. That is not the case as UPSC does not want you to cram all this information in your head. It requires you to understand whatever you are studying and use that information in the exam.

  1. Importance of Current affairs

Current affairs form a major part of your life now that you have decided to apply for the civil services exam. You need to know everything that is happening in the world and how and what effects does it have on India. A lot of the questions in the exam will be based on current affairs and will test your knowledge and understanding of the world.

For example, if a certain activity or a certain news is making headlines quite frequently, you must collect relevant information from credible sources to ensure that you know correct information regarding the topic.

  1. Role of Online medium in Preparation

With digital India, we have access to a lot of things on the internet. A lot of classes offer video lectures and have online classes these days. This is great for distance learning but if you have the resources, why not make use of them? This way, you will get professional guidance and also learn and understand things better. Also, a lot of classes discuss and analyze past papers in detail in such video lectures.

Make sure that you have attempted solving the questions before watching these lectures so that you will be able to figure out whether you have used the right approach or not. It will also help you if you haven’t understood a question or maybe the approach. These video lectures are quite important as they will also show you what the past years toppers did to prepare and provide you with accurate guidance.

  1. Practice Mock papers

Of course, this is an essential step in the study process. Solving mock papers will give you an idea of where you are lacking and what topics you will have to work on. It will also help if you solve more and more mock papers as they will enable you to derive strategies that suit each type of questions.

Hope these tips were helpful to you. Stay calm and focus well and you will have the world at your feet. Good luck!