Every UPSC aspirant looks up to the toppers and aims to be among them. Once the results are announced, aspirants seek guidance from UPSC CSE toppers to create strategic plans, adjust their approach, and kickstart their preparation. Since preparing for the Civil Services Exam is a lengthy process that requires at least one year of dedicated effort, aspirants want to minimize risks by following the path taken by top rankers. Also, incorporating their strategies into their own preparation. So, if you are interested in following the path taken by UPSC CSE toppers to increase your chances of clearing UPSC exams, Continue reading!
However, it’s important to note that UPSC CSE toppers follow the strategy that suits them personally, tailored to their expertise, competence, and experience. Also, every topper employs a set of common tactics and strategies. So, each aspirant is expected to develop a unique approach based on their own circumstances.
However, only a small percentage of the thousands of aspirants who take the exam actually qualify for the UPSC Civil Services. So, we will now analyze and discuss some of the common and important preparation approaches used by every topper. Also, these approaches should be incorporated into the study plan of UPSC aspirants.
UPSC CSE Toppers Know the Syllabus
Familiarize yourself with the UPSC CSE syllabusUnderstanding the complete syllabus will help you decide what needs to be studied and what can be skipped while reading news or study materials. To familiarize yourself, try handwriting the syllabus and keeping it somewhere visible in your room. By reading it three times a day, every day, you will become well-acquainted with it.
Understand the UPSC CSE pattern
By analyzing the trends and patterns of the questions asked in the exam, you can plan your study strategy accordingly. This knowledge will guide you on how to study and how that knowledge will be tested. Before you begin your preparation, review the question papers from previous years and assess the patterns and trends of the questions asked.
Utilize limited resources like UPSC CSE toppers
It’s important to stick to a limited number of resources. Clearing the exam depends on thoroughly studying a limited set of resources multiple times, rather than studying from multiple sources. Create a list of foundational and reference books, establish a strong foundation using the foundational books, and use reference books for in-depth knowledge.
Master the essentials like UPSC CSE toppers
General Studies Subjects
Whether you are enrolled in a coaching program or self-studying, it is crucial to have a strong foundation in General Studies subjects. No matter how much time you invest in your studies, clearing the exam will be difficult if your foundation is weak. Consider enrolling in a coaching program that can help you build a strong foundation in these subjects.
Newspaper and Current Affairs
Mastering current affairs is essential since a majority of the UPSC CSE questions are based on them. It will enhance your chances of clearing the Prelims and allow you to use current events to your advantage in the Mains. Your familiarity with current issues will also be tested during the Personality Test. It is a good habit to read newspapers every day. Also, try to go through current affairs magazines.
Make Diligent Revision
Regular revision is crucial as only a small portion of what you learn today will stick in your memory. To effectively recall knowledge and switch between topics during the exam, create a revision schedule and revise the subject matter at specific intervals, such as after three days, seven days, one month, and three months.
Upgrade your knowledge and abilities
Taking MCQs regularly, evaluating your performance, and identifying areas that need improvement can increase your speed and accuracy in answering questions in the Prelim Test. It also helps in exhaustively revising the UPSC CSE syllabus. Prioritize topics based on your strengths and weaknesses and practice answering questions within the time limit. Enrol in the Prelims Test Series 3–4 months before your exam and practice as much as you can.
Answer Writing Practice
Mastering the skill of writing answers takes time and effort. Relying solely on knowledge acquired through classes won’t be sufficient. It is essential to focus on answer structure, content prioritization, and time management. Allocate the 100 days following the Prelims for revising the subject, evaluating and improving your scores, rather than learning new skills. Start writing one answer every day, without fail, after three months of learning the fundamentals. This will help develop the habit of writing answers and utilizing your knowledge effectively. After the Prelims, join the Mains Test Series.
Areas for Improvement
Instead of fixating on your weaknesses, consider them as opportunities for improvement. Avoid overthinking and overanalyzing your performance. Instead, concentrate on identifying areas that need strengthening and make improvements in those areas. Enrol in a mentoring program that can help you develop a preparation schedule, identify areas for growth, and provide guidance throughout your UPSC CSE journey.
Cultivate positive powers
UPSC CSE Toppers believe in themselves, even if others may not. Pursuing this exam requires taking a significant risk of investing at least a year in preparation. Many people around you may not be supportive or have faith in your abilities. Remember that everyone’s journey and aspirations are unique, and you are solely responsible for your goals and aspirations. Never forget that others’ words cannot define you, and even if your dream seems delusional to others, it can make perfect sense to you.
Discipline Yourself like UPSC CSE toppers
Discipline is crucial to stay ahead of the competition, especially when motivation wavers. Your lifestyle and academic conduct should be highly disciplined as you prepare for the UPSC CSE. It helps you stay focused, maintain your drive, and stay on track to make the most of your preparation. Create a schedule, track your hours, and identify areas where you tend to waste time.
Be Consistent like UPSC CSE Toppers
Consistency is more important than the duration of your daily study sessions. Whether you spend an hour or two studying each day, what matters most is maintaining a consistent study routine. Even if you don’t fully understand what you’re reading, try to maintain the flow of studying. Never evaluate your days based on yesterday’s achievements. Start each day anew, intending to invest as many hours as possible, establishing a reliable and productive habit.
In addition to willpower, the Civil Services Exam requires relentless determination. You should be committed to finding ways to accomplish your goals. Prioritize your preparation above everything else and avoid distractions.
Motivation rules UPSC CSE Toppers
It’s normal to experience motivational lows during UPSC CSE preparation. Therefore, it becomes vital to find methods to boost motivation. Motivation helps alter perspectives, build competencies, set objectives, make plans, improve skills, and maintain consistency. Track your progress and celebrate small victories. Read inspirational writings to uplift your spirits.
Strive to strike a balance
- Patience: The UPSC CSE is a highly challenging process, and each day demands your complete commitment. Developing patience will allow you to set logical, achievable goals. It will also make you more perseverant and resilient. Focus on your everyday efforts rather than obsessing over the immediate result.
- Optimistic Attitude: There may be instances when you lose motivation due to difficulties in understanding certain subjects, providing accurate answers, or facing personal challenges. In such situations, it’s crucial to maintain a positive outlook and concentrate on finding solutions to the things within your control. Meditation can help relax your mind, and if a topic is challenging, try reading it multiple times or seek assistance from a knowledgeable person.
- Balance: Establishing a balance between your study and personal life is crucial to prevent mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. Take breaks to rejuvenate yourself. Choose a hobby that helps maintain your sanity and that you can highlight in your Detailed Application Form (DAF).
Remember, what sets UPSC CSE toppers apart from other rank holders is their commitment to using traditional approaches that other aspirants overlook. Many Civil Services aspirants focus on intricate strategies that often lead them astray. Also, toppers rely on simple strategies, stick to them, and emerge victorious. strictly adhere to the approaches discussed above and maintain an uncomplicated, consistent preparation schedule. Your road map to achieving your UPSC CSE dream lies in dedication, discipline, and determination, applied to all areas of preparation.