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List of Things You Should Have Handy While Appearing for the UPSC Exam

List of Things You Should Have Handy While Appearing for the UPSC Exam

Union Public Service Commission is a central organization that recruits all group ‘A’ level officers, such as Indian Administrative Services, Indian Foreign Services, Indian Revenue Services, Indian Police Services, and Indian Forest Services, under the government of India. It was formed on 1 October 1926.

It is one of the few such bodies in India that operate with autonomy and freedom, alongside the Judiciary and Election Commission of India. Dr. Manoj Soni, an academician, is the chairman of the organization.

To make recruitment to the mentioned group ‘A’ level possible, UPSC conducts an annual national competitive exam known as the Civil Services Examination. It is popularly called the UPSC exam.

It is modeled upon the British-era Imperial Civil Service Test. The existing model of the exam came into being only after 1947. It comes in the list of toughest exams in the world.

An ample number of students aspire to clear the examination. However, the success rate of the UPSC exam is reasonably low. On average, only 5% of appearing candidates make it to the selection list.

Cut-off marks vary every time. While the number of vacancies keeps changing, they have been on a decline in number since 2018.

This is something other than what the aspirants would like. Though difficult, the exam is possible to crack on the first attempt.

Things You Should Keep Handy Before Preparing For The Exam.

A Copy of the Format

The exam is conducted in 3 stages: preliminary, mains, and interview or personality test. General Studies 1 and General Studies 2 are the two objective papers that make up the prelims.

These two papers carry a total of 400 points. Both papers are often presented in two sessions on the same day.

In 2 hours, each paper must be tackled. It’s a paper-and-pencil or offline test. Every year, a different cut-off for the GS 1 paper is used to determine merit. However, to clear GS2 or CSAT, only qualifying marks are required (a score of 33% is needed).

The Mains exam is the second phase. Only those applicants who passed the preliminary examination show up for this exam.

At this point, the candidate is assessed based on their general intelligence and amount of knowledge on a range of topics.

Since 2018, the paper has followed a redesigned pattern that consists of 7+2 written papers. All of these are descriptive essays.

There are two qualifying language papers: one in English and one in one of the 22 scheduled modern Indian languages. They both have 300 marks each. The remaining four papers are in general studies.

Each paper is worth 250 marks, for a total of 1000 marks. The curriculum is at the graduate level.

The candidate must select one optional paper and submit two papers, each with a maximum score of 300. The optional scope is higher than the bachelor’s level but lower than the master’s level.

The personality test is another name for the interview phase. It carries 275 total points.

It serves as a channel for two-way communication between the board and the candidate. Numerous subjects can be discussed. An interview is expected to last 20 minutes on average.

Thus, the total number of points for the mains is 1750. The CSE exam is given in conjunction with the interview phase and is worth a total of 2015 points.

A Copy of the Syllabus

The syllabus booklet is important for aspirants who do online UPSC preparation. Understanding the exam syllabus is essential for every exam one plans to prepare for.

The exam’s scope is typically broad. It is broad. Getting a copy of the curriculum should be the first step in your preparation.

The core concepts of social sciences and rudimentary scientific knowledge are emphasized in the curriculum.

The previous 12–14 months’ worth of recent events is of the highest importance. You must have accurate facts for the prelims, which is an objective paper.

However, it is crucial to have clear concepts for the lengthy and descriptive Mains exams. Read your political science, economics, history, and geography books thoroughly.

Make sure you understand the fundamentals of biology, physics, and chemistry in addition to knowing some simple math.

The candidate should be knowledgeable about ethics and philosophy. Environmental science is a topic of some of the questions.

Basic Course Books

Are you planning to join a coaching institute? Does joining it mean no self-study?

Well, I suppose you might be wrong. It is always better to have a basic understanding of the subject matter beforehand.

This will make the learning process fairly simple for you. Hence, start by reading all the basic books prescribed for the Mains exam.

The foundation of the UPSC exam’s curriculum is the NCERTs. Science and mathematics NCERTs up to class 10 should be read and studied, as well as social sciences up to class 12.

Then, depending on your preference, you can purchase a bundle of fundamental course books from the market or order them online.

On the list, there are two most famous books: Spectrum and Lakshmikant. Online searches and professional advice are both options.

However, there are plenty of suggestions, so pick carefully. Also, subscribe to some bi-weekly or monthly magazines for regular current affairs updates.

Previous Year Papers

Last but not least, make sure to have enough past-year papers. Previous year papers can be considered the oar of the boat that will help you sail through the UPSC exam.

By regularly solving the papers, you will have a clear idea of where your strengths and weaknesses lie to work with them better.


With this, we come to an end of our discourse on the things that one needs for the UPSC preparation online course.

We want to make a non-materialistic addition to the list, which is a study buddy—having a friend who keeps a tab on you and vice-versa is always beneficial.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What are the basic eligibility criteria for the UPSC examination?

Ans. To sit in the UPSC examination, the candidate must not be less than 21 years of age and not be more than years. The candidate must possess a degree of graduation from a recognized university.

Q2. Are NCERT books important to study?

Ans. Ans. NCERT books help build the foundation of the UPSC exam. Reading NCERTs help you understand the key concepts of standard books. Sometimes, frequently questions are asked directly from NCERTs.

Moreover, reading NCERTs will lay a solid foundation and help accelerate the understanding of the key concepts.

Q3. How to stay focused during the UPSC exam preparation?

Ans. Eliminate distractions and remember that distractions will come but staying distracted is a problem where you have to work. Take adequate sleep, practice yoga, eat wholesome food, and take regular breaks.

Q4. What are some prominent tips to develop a focus while studying for the UPSC exam?

Ans. Avoid negative people

Take regular breaks to regain energy

Build any habit that can refresh you

Listen to music

Practice yoga and meditate




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