How to Prepare for UPSC CSE 2024- Subject-Wise Preparation Tips & Strategies

Updated By Tiyasa Khanra on 09 Jan, 2024 10:48

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How to Prepare for UPSC CSE 2024

How to prepare for UPSC CSE 2024 is one of the most common concerns of candidates who wish to get recruited for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and Indian Police Service (IPS) among others. UPSC CSE is considered one of the toughest competitive exams in India that requires years of preparation, dedication, and perseverance to crack it.

Students who are preparing for UPSC CSE 2024 require proper guidance as to how to prepare for the Civil Services examination. To be successful in a national-level examination like UPSC CSE 2024, it is important to have a proper and effective preparation strategy in place. UPSC is a competitive and prestigious exam conducted on a yearly basis to fill in various civil service vacancies for the Government of India.

The UPSC Civil Services examination consists of a Preliminary exam, followed by the Mains examination, and finally an Interview-cum-Personality Test. Candidates who qualify for the Preliminary exam become eligible for the Mains examination. The UPSC CSE Mains Exam is subjective in nature and comprises General Studies, Essays, English, and optional subject papers. The final stage of the examination is the Interview-cum-Personality Test. For those appearing for the exam this year, here are some tips and tricks that can be used to take the Civil Services exam preparation to the next level.

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Subject-Wise Preparation Tips for UPSC CSE 2024

In order to prepare effectively for UPSC Civil Services (CSE), it is better that the students adopt a different strategy for different sections. The section-wise preparation tips for UPSC CSE 2024 have been given below:

Preparation Tips for Indian Language Paper

The students will have to select one Indian language from the available options. The preparation tips for an Indian language paper are as follows:

  • For the language paper, you should start preparing 2 months prior to the exam.
  • Start practicing writing as many of the questions in the language papers require descriptive writing. It can be difficult for some students to write as efficiently in the language paper as in English. Therefore, it is advisable to start to answer writing practice.
  • Stick to the syllabus. Topics like reading comprehension, essay, precis, and translation sections will help you score the minimum cutoff marks.
  • Also, go through the sample papers and previous years' questions so that you get an idea of the type of questions asked in the exam and prepare accordingly.
  • Read newspapers and magazines in your selected languages daily which will help you learn new vocabulary for answer writing.

Preparation Tips for English Language Paper

The preparation tips for English language paper are as follows:

  • This paper is comparatively easy to prepare than other subjects. So, do not waste much time on English if you are from English medium background.
  • Stick to the syllabus. Topics like reading comprehension, essay, precis, and translation sections will help you score the minimum cutoff marks.
  • Also, go through the sample papers and previous years' questions so that you get an idea of the type of questions asked in the exam and prepare accordingly.
  • Read newspapers and magazines daily which will help you learn new vocabulary for answer writing.

Preparation Tips for Essay

The preparation tips for the Essay paper are as follows:

  • Focus on your General Studies preparation and you don't need to prepare for essay topics separately. The questions asked in the essay will be based on GS topics. So, if you have prepared well for GS, you can easily write an essay.
  • Start practicing writing as it is the main pillar of the essay paper. Make sure you write in simple, clear, and good handwriting.
  • Prepare Ethics concepts well as many concepts from GS-4 such as ethical values, principles, and theories, etc. formulate essay questions.
  • Read newspapers and magazines daily which will help you learn new vocabulary for answer writing.

Preparation Tips for GS1

GS1 consists of core subjects such as History, Art & Culture, Indian Society, and Geography. The preparation tips for the GS1 paper are as follows:

  • For history, cover Ancient, Medieval, Modern, World, and Post-Independence history. Many questions come from the History in GS1 paper.
  • The best sources for the preparation of GS1 are NCERTs and Spectrum. Use the summary at the end of the chapters to revise the concepts.
  • Geography can be prepared using Majid Hussain and NCERT. Cover topics related to current events too such as cyclones, earthquakes, floods, etc.
  • Indian Society – Ram Ahuja is the best book for preparing for Society. Apart from this, current events can also be prepared.
  • Practice diagram for GS1 paper. Using diagrams in questions will fetch you some extra marks in the exam. 

Preparation Tips for GS2

GS2 consists of core subjects such as political science and International relations. The preparation tips for the GS2 paper are as follows:

  • Laxmikant should be prepared thoroughly. Cover the Laxmikant at least two times before the exam. Do not forget to memorize all the schedules, articles, and important amendments. Vital supreme court and high court judgments can also be quoted to gain extra marks in the exam.
  • Go through the current events topics. Try to relate your answers to Current developments like new acts, important judgments, NITI Aayog reports, new schemes, etc.
  • Also cover international relations with respect to topics such as Recent summits, conferences, groupings, international politics, etc.

Preparation Tips for GS3

GS3 consists of core subjects such as economy, internal security, external security, and disaster management. The preparation tips for the GS3 paper are as follows:

  • For economics, budget & economic survey is one of the most important topics. Stick to NCERTs for basic concepts and then move to Economics Survey and budget.
  • You can go through Mrunal videos freely available on YouTube to prepare for Economics. 
  • Focus on major challenges to India’s internal and external security.
  • Coaching institutes materials or youtube videos can be used to prepare for Agriculture and the environment.
  • The information available on the internet related to recent developments can be used to prepare for science and technology. Focus on learning important applications & definitions.

Preparation Tips for GS4

GS4 consists of core subjects such as ethics, ethical theories, philosophies, etc. The preparation tips for the GS4 paper are as follows:

  • There is no specific book or material to prepare for GS4. Start by learning basic ethical principles. 
  • You can also go through the toppers' answer sheets and youtube videos to learn how to prepare for Ethics.
  • Also, go through the sample papers and previous years' questions so that you get an idea of the type of questions asked in the exam and prepare accordingly.
  • Use Coaching institutes materials or youtube videos can be used to prepare for Ethics.

Preparation Tips for Optional Paper

The students will have to choose one optional subjects (2 papers Paper I and Paper II for one optional have to be chosen) for the Mains exam. The preparation tips for the Optional paper are as follows:

  • The syllabus for some optional papers is short while for some it is wide. So make sure that you go through the detailed syllabus before starting the preparation.
  • Start practicing writing as it is the main pillar for the Optional paper. Make sure you write in simple, clear, and good handwriting.
  • Also, go through the sample papers and previous years' questions so that you get an idea of the type of questions asked in the exam and prepare accordingly.
  • For static subjects such as Medical Science, Mathematics, etc. keep practicing as much as you can to prepare for answer writing.
  • You should aim to score above 300 in both optional papers. Since optional papers are the only paper in UPSC CSE that is syllabus oriented, they will help you increase your overall score.

Also ReadList of NCERT Books Required for UPSC Preparation 2024

UPSC 2024 Preparation Tips for IAS Aspirants

The UPSC preparation tips listed will be helpful for IAS Aspirants who have recently started to prepare for a competitive examination. Also, Students who are planning to appear in UPSC Civil Services Examination must follow these tips for UPSC preparation given below in order to find tips that will help you ace your speed in this journey of preparing for this national-level competitive examination. 

Be Acquainted with the Syllabus

It is essential for all candidates to be thoroughly acquainted with the UPSC CSE Syllabus 2024. If the candidates are familiar with the syllabus, it will reduce their mental burden by a great percentage. Candidates are advised to go through the syllabus thoroughly.

Know the Exam Pattern Well

All the candidates should be fully acquainted with the exam pattern. If the candidates are familiar with the exam pattern, they will have a clear idea regarding the number and type of questions, total marks for every paper, the time duration for the exam, the number of papers, and the number of sections in each paper.

Regular Practice from Sample Papers

All the candidates are advised to regularly solve the CSE sample papers. This will help in improving your proficiency and speed level. 

Select the Right Preparation Material

All the candidates should have quality preparation materials for all the subjects. It is advisable to choose one book per subject which will clarify all the basic concepts. If the candidates study too many books on one topic, it will create much confusion and also waste a lot of time.  

Regular Revision

All the candidates for UPSC CSE should regularly revise all the topics previously prepared. The revision will help to recall all the topics studied along with grasping new concepts. The revision process is an important part of the preparation as it helps to boost recalling and memorizing power.

Don't be Stressed and Be Calm

It is very necessary to remain calm while preparing for a competitive exam like CSE, for it is one of the toughest exams in the country. The candidates should not be stressed and should prepare well for the exam.

Making Short Notes

The candidates appearing for the exam should make short notes which will make their revision much easier. This is one of the best ways to remember the topics easily.

UPSC CSE Important Instructions 2024

Here are some important instructions related to the UPSC CSE 2024 examination that candidates must follow.

  • Candidates should not bring mobile phones, smart watches, pagers, or any other communication devices to the exam hall. 

  • Candidates must avoid bringing any of the banned items including mobile phones/pagers, Bluetooth, or any other communication devices to the exam venue, as Commission cannot assure arrangements for the safekeeping of such items.

  • Test takers must not bring any valuable/costly items to the examination halls. The Commission will not take responsibility for the safekeeping of these items.

  • If a candidate is found guilty of being involved in any fraudulent practice such as obtaining support for his/her candidature by offering illegal gratification to, applying pressure on, blackmailing, or threatening to blackmail any person connected with the conduct of the examination, or submitting fake documents, he/she will be disqualified.

  • Candidates are strictly prohibited from resorting to any unfair means during the exam, writing obscene matters, drawing obscene sketches in the scripts, or misbehaving in the examination hall. The Commission might even take legal action if required.

Last-Minute Preparation Tips for UPSC CSE 2024

This section deals with the last-minute preparation tips for UPSC CSE 2024 exam. However, it may sound bizarre to acknowledge last-minute UPSC preparation tips for such a comprehensive exam. But the tips which we are presenting are based upon the executions of the toppers and have been curated by the experts as well. Please follow these tips to be at the top of your potential and increase your chances of clearing India's most prestigious UPSC CSE Exam:

Lay More Emphasis on Essay Writing for Paper I

It is seen that most of the candidates fail to score the desired marks on the essay paper. It is because they pay a little less attention to this paper than other GS papers. It is also obvious that an Essay paper tests your writing skills as much as your knowledge of the topic. Candidates feel that they acquire the required information while learning the GS topics and therefore subside their stress over essay writing. Therefore, in this UPSC preparation tip, it is advised to pay more attention to paper 1 as well during these last 20 days.

Final Trip for the Optionals

There are two papers for the optional subject.  All in all, 500 marks are judged upon the optional subjects in the UPSC CSE mains exam. Therefore, the optional subjects consume most of the efforts of the candidates. With this UPSC preparation tip, we will advise the candidates to accelerate this rate even higher. The selection majorly depends upon the options and one should not let any instance ruin this opportunity.

Previous Year Question Papers

Solving the UPSC Civil Services Previous Year Question Paper has always been a boon for UPSC aspirants. In this 11th hour of the CSE mains exam, we will advise the candidates to solve at least two previous year question papers for each subject in a week. This will help them to assess themselves intrinsically with respect to each paper.

Relaxed Mind Without Any Chaos

UPSC is a paper of wisdom. Wisdom is acquired through practice and experience. What you have studied and learned will remain with you. The degree of calmness of your brain will decide how best you will present your views on the questions asked in the examination. Therefore, it is one of the most important tips for UPSC preparations, to try to remain as calm as possible without any chaos.  

Take Mock Tests

Mock tests, nowadays, are the secret to successfully cracking any competitive exam. UPSC CSE mains mock test puts the candidates in a real-time exam-like situation and tests their knowledge. Attempting the mocks will also help you to analyze the subjects and topics which you have mastered and also the topics which still require more strenuous brush-up. Analyze the mock tests to get the best results. This will help you cut short your mistakes which will ultimately help you on the exam day.

Avoid Taking Up New Topics

The syllabus for the UPSC CSE Mains exam is vast. There is no end to the topics that one needs to study. Introducing anything new would put you under pressure and insecure. This will affect your productivity and in no way anyone would want this to happen. So, we advise you to keep on revising what you have learned to date without addressing anything new to your regime.

Revise the Basics

Revision during these peak hours will help you to frame the answers in an effective way. As already mentioned, there is no end to the syllabus and topics at UPSC. One needs to keep a good hand over the basics. This UPSC Preparation tip will help you in keeping your basics correct and will ultimately increase your chances of selection.

Related Links

UPSC CSE 2024 Expert Tips and Last-Minute Strategy

UPSC CSE Prelims Passing Marks 2024

UPSC CSE Mains Passing Marks 2024

UPSC Prelims Question Paper - 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019

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