5 key steps for UPSC CSE preparation

Afnan Abdu samed
2 min readJun 16, 2020

UPSC Civil service exam is the most coveted exam in the country. Here are 5 key steps and some details that most people would not pay attention to while preparing

  1. Content is king, But context is God: CSE has a vast syllabus and we all feel that everything under the sun is important for the exam. Content is never ending for the exam , however what one must look at is what is really important.”LESS IS MORE” should be the motto of one who prepares.
  2. Static and dynamic are to be studied separately:I once had allotted separate time for both and realized later that both are one and the same and different approach would make things a lot easier for me.Static is key and is what has to be studied for the exam and dynamic is nothing but pointers to the syllabus which tell you to what portions one must focus to achieve best cost benefit ratio. UPSC does not ask what is happening in the news currently but looks at the static part of the dynamic issues happening around us.Take covid19 for example: they wont ask how is corona trend in india different from other countries , rather they will ask how is the health infrastructure in india equipped enough to deal with a pandemic,which are the various stakeholders involved in it?.
  3. How to revise everything daily? if daily then no time for new content!! Vast content makes it impossible to revise everything daily and we prefer to postpone revising things so that we can learn new things to improve our chances at the exam. If we follow a scientific method to revise problem is solved!!! EBBINGHAUS Forgetting curve tells us the frequency of how our brain forgets and the exact points where we need to refresh things to permanently retain content. I will post a separate column for this later.
  4. These is no perfect student in the exam: we all run behind perfection in terms of studying everything or writing the best answers.The reality is that people clearing the exam get only 50% of marks and that shows how much really people can get out of this exam. “It is not about winning or losing, but how well you perform while you lose that matters”.
  5. Study like you are already in the service: Change the person you are entirely so much that when you look in the mirror you must see the person who has cleared the exam.If not then your preparation strategies has some flaws that you need to correct.

Finally i must say there are nearly 800 seats for which nearly 8 lakh people compete.So looking at that proportion we can say that we must look at newer ways to clear this exam. INNOVATE,IMPROVISE,ADAPT,CURIOSITY are key mantras.

After a while this also will be outdated as there will be newer ways of cracking this exam which only adds to the beauty of how great an exam this is.