UPSC Civil Services Examination – Preparation and Success Tips


In this article you will get Success/Preparation Tips for UPSC Civil Services, Examination Plan for UPSC Civil Services, Why you should strive to join Civil Services.

Dear MockBankers

The 21st century Indian Youth is aspiring for joining Civil Services, the most coveted service, and service the nation rather than being part of the corporate world and driving the global market. Reason being, civil servants are eyes and ears of the government. They serve as an important link between the government and the people at large.

To become part of this machinery every year about five lakh aspirants from all over the country apply to appear for the Civil Services Examination conducted by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission).

Why you should strive to join Civil Services?

The reasons are:

  • Opportunities it provides for the fullest development and utilization of one‘s potential;
  • Opportunities for public service;
  • Job satisfaction;
  • Social status;
  • Job security

Civil Services: The Most Coveted Service of India

Every year Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts Civil Services Examination (CSE) for 24 service (2 All India Services, 17 Group A Central Services and 5 Group B Central Services) in 45 centres across India.

A candidate who have attained the age of 21 year is eligible to apply for the examination Maximum age limit for a candidate is 32 with age relaxation of 3 years for OBCs, defense service personnel who are disabled during combat operations, 5 years for SCs, STs, Jammu & Kashmir domicile and ex-servicemen, and 10 years for blind, deaf-mute and orthopedically handicapped persons.

Examination Plan for UPSC Civil Services

The quality of governance is dependent on its bureaucrats/ Civil Servants. Hence, in order to recruit quality civil servants what is required is good recruitment process which is apart from being transparent, objective, fair and equitable and should also ensure that the right-type of persons join the civil services.

The Civil Service Examination comprises of two stages – one, Preliminary and second, Main.

  1. Preliminary Examination: The Preliminary Examination consists of two compulsory papers – General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II- of 200 marks each. Both the papers are of objective type (multiple choice questions).
  2. Main Examination: The Main examination consists of two parts: written examination (1750 marks) and interview for personality test (275 marks).
  3. Written Test: The written examination consists of two types of papers qualifying and papers to be counted for merit.
  4. 9 papers will be of conventional essay type. Out of nine papers two papers (compulsory English and language paper) are qualifying in nature. Marks obtained for rest seven papers i.e. all the compulsory papers (Paper-I to Paper VII) will be counted for merit.

The number of candidates to be summoned for interview will be about twice the number of vacancies to be filled. Marks obtained in Interview for Personality Test will be counted for ranking.

Marks thus obtained by the candidates in the Main Examination (written part as well as interview) determine the final ranking of the candidate. And candidates are, further, allotted to the various Services keeping in view their ranks in the examination and the preferences expressed by them for the various Services and Posts.

Success Tips for UPSC Civil Services Examination 

Cracking civil services examination is a ‘cake walk‘ for some and a ‘hard nut‘ for other Hence, it is too difficult to say, in absolute terms, whether making into civil services is easy or tough. Every year UPSC selects some 800-1000 candidates who are like any other student. All those who have made into civil services including the toppers have the same text books, same guidance, same study routine, similar hours of devotion to studies, same worries, same pressures and above all same set of question papers in the exam. Then why few succeed while others do not?

Any examination is cracked through a winning strategy. The strategy is made through a thorugh involvement in the examination process. Only seriousness could sharpen your observation and discriminative powers. Observation powers to choose what is required and discriminative powers to leave what is not required. Putting them in order, a strategy is made on the knowledge of picking all that information which are essential and discarding all those which are not. Once this is achieved, civil services exam is a smooth cakewalk. So an honest and serious involvement is necessary. Involvement thus requires studying with full interest and concentration. This leads to a firm grasp over the subject and its various dimensions.

The next stage pertains to going through previous year question papers looking at the questions and the perspective through which the same are asked. This either confirms your way of looking at the subject or kindles all together new dimension to analyse the subject when revisited. Those aspirants and candidates who develop this say the UPSC examination is the easiest one.

Three other factors which have, time and again, proved that preparation of Civil service exam and finally achieving the goal is rather an easy job. There three factors are:

  • Syllabus
  • Planning
  • Implementation

The UPSC publishes syllabus for Preliminary and Main examination for the optional subjects and general studies. If you go through the syllabus, starting with the general studies, most of the preparation requires the same level of information at the Boards or +2 level, which every candidate has done during the academic years. But the perspective of inferring information requires a mature handling.

Once or twice reference to the previous year question papers sharpens this skill, apart from some other areas that have to be touched afresh like keeping abreast of current events happening in India and the world. Many candidates had been reading newspapers and current affair magazines since their school days. For them this area also poses no problem. However, for those who have started taking interest in current affairs in recent times have to give a little more effort in inculcating a keen interest.

The second most important point of discussion is planning. Everybody make plans – those who have succeeded and also those who have not. So what‘s the difference? The successful candidates had adopted engineering approach while others only approached the planning. The engineering approach refers to taking full view of work and time in hand. The planning should reflect the actual time in hand. The successful had always known the real time (excluding the time for fun not feeling motivated to read, etc) in their hand, while the unsuccessful had interpreted the time in terms of years and months. The goal perception for the former had been easier. Is not it?

Now we come to the most important part-implementation. Mere planning has not made out to the success. A ruthless implementation of it does. However, a strategic and realistic planning helps and complements the latter as the view of the goal is clearer. All the successful candidates have implemented the plans they have made and have regularly adapted and adopted the changes. Unfortunately, those who have not succeeded had made a fool proof plan but did not implement it in words and spirit.

  • shilpa

    very usefull for me

  • Sumit Mahajan

    really very useful information and tips for beginners