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Beginners Guide to UPSC

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Categories: Beginners, Published: 1st Jun, 2021

One day I met a boy who came to our GS SCORE institute. He was hard working, meticulous, confident and clueless. “Sir”, boy said “please help me as I want to prepare for UPSC but unable to get clear idea about this examination as I am finding myself not very much comfortable with the changing requirements of UPSC.

Aspirants, when they begin IAS preparation, are generally confused. They are unsure about how to start, and what to study. UPSC aspirants have numerous queries in their mind regarding UPSC exam eligibility, exam dates etc. Many are not sure if coaching is essential or not. Their worries are not unfounded.

Misguidance can cost any aspirant a lot of time and money. Many coaching institutes are unsure how to properly guide aspirants as per the latest requirements of UPSC. There are coaching institutes which charge hefty fees but provide poor service and low-quality study materials. Whether you are a beginner in the arena of UPSC Civil Services Exam preparation or an experienced candidate, knowledge about the changing requirements of the UPSC is essential for success. This post covers the necessary things you should know for becoming well verse with the changing pattern of UPSC.

The UPSC has introduced changes in the pattern in recent years that were met with both resistance and open armed-welcome. The most recent change was in 2015 when the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) was made a qualifying paper buckling under huge pressure from aspirants. Again, there are several rumours going on about possible changes further.

But apart from these kinds of Structural changes UPSC is approaching towards Academic changes in which what matters now is not how knowledgeable you are, but how quickly can you process the information in your brain to present the different sides of a relevant issue.

Unfortunately, many coaching institutes haven’t still understood this change. Many of them are still teaching a lot of junk facts to students. Students are overloaded with almost everything under the Sun. However, in the exam hall, aspirants are unsure of what to do with this ‘junk’ information on questions which test their analytical skills in a short span of time.

UPSC is no more looking at specialised knowledge or information; rather they are looking at your analytical skills. No coaching institutes can do the analysis for you. Only you can do it in the exam hall.

Does this mean the end of coaching institutes or mentors? No. We didn’t mean that. Nevertheless, if they don’t adapt to the changing requirements of UPSC, the methods won’t help candidates.

What should the ideal mentors of UPSC do now?

They should guide aspirants on the right path and demonstrate the importance of cultivating analytical skills. Yes, analytical skills are becoming more and more important in UPSC CSE Exam. Not just for Mains, but for Prelims and Interview as well.

Aspirants should learn to analyse questions within a limited time. You won’t get specific questions where you can just repeat and reproduce what you have mugged up – as you may see in other exams.


  1. Avoiding heavy reliance or expected questions from any test series.
  2. Make sure that your basics are strong enough to tackle any static question. Static UPSC syllabus like geography, history, polity where one can bank on them. Because as we know unpredictability of current affairs.
  3. Positive attitude towards the exam. Treat UPSC Exam as one among the mock test that you are going to give.
  4. Do multiple revisions, especially the subject which you feel I am weak in this subject
  5. Holistic preparation, don't segregate prelims syllabus from main exam. Your approach may be different but the subjects are almost same. Focus on authentic sources. For example, budget, economic survey, Yojana, year book and annual reports. These books are bulky but no need to read word by word. Just skim through, and read exam relevant.

Most importantly work on your mistakes and wrongs in test series. If you able to rectify, and don't repeat in next exam, your skills in tackling UPSC real exam get improve automatically.

This is not at all easy for beginners.  That is why you need to practise with the right kind of model questions. You need proper practise to – think, analyse, understand, and present it on the exam sheet!

As an online/offline UPSC coaching institute, we at GS SCORE refrain from overloading our students with too much junk information.

                                Rather our approach is to empower and guide students in the right direction so that aspirants can take care of the challenging nature of UPSC questions themselves.


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