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UPSC Preparation Tips For Beginners

ARISE AWAKE AND STOP NOT UNTIL YOU CRACK UPSC”


UPSC is one of the many competitive exams that requires sheer hard work and smart work to become an IAS officer.

“NO MATTER WHAT IS THE ENVIRONMENT AROUND YOU, IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE TO MAINTAIN THE BRAND OF INTEGRITY”

– APJ ABDUL KALAM


Topics covered:

  1. UPSC EXAM PATTERN ALONG WITH SELECTION CRITERIA
  2. CUTOFFS OF PRELIMS, MAINS, AND INTERVIEWS
  3. AGE CRITERIA AND NUMBER OF ATTEMPTS FOR UPSC ASPIRANTS ACCORDING TO CATEGORY
  4. LIST OF OPTIONAL SUBJECTS
  5. ANALYSIS OF TOPPERS MARKS OVER THE PAST 7 YEARS
  6. AGE CRITERIA AND NUMBER OF ATTEMPTS FOR UPSC ASPIRANTS ACCORDING TO CATEGORY
  7. BOOKLIST FOR UPSC
  8. CONCLUSION

“UPSC EXAMINATION IS NOT DIFFICULT, IT IS DIFFERENT”


This examination has got 3 stages

NOTE: The exam can be taken up in English or Hindi

  • Prelims: 400 marks

TYPE: OBJECTIVE PATTERN

NEGATIVE MARKING: YES: for every right answer 2 marks will be rewarded and for every wrong answer 0.66 marks will be deducted

PAPERNO OF QUESTIONSTOTAL MARKSDURATION OF THE EXAM
General studies I1002002hrs
General Studies II (CSAT)802002hrs

NOTE: MARKS SCORED IN PRELIMS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR PREPARING THE FINAL /RECOMMENDED LIST

GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 1

For every correct answer, 2 marks are rewarded.

For every incorrect answer, 0.66 marks are deducted.

GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 2 (CSAT)

For every correct answer, 2.5 marks are rewarded

For every wrong answer, 0.83 marks are deducted

FOR EXAMPLE:

In the General Studies paper-1 if a person has attempted 70 questions correctly, out of 100 questions and 30 incorrectly then the marks scored by the candidate in the General Studies paper-1 will be:

70 * 2=140

30 * 0.66=19.8

Your score in General studies paper I will be: 140 – 19.8 = 120.2

In general studies paper II (CSAT), if a person has attempted 50 questions correctly, out of 100 questions and 30 questions incorrectly then the marks scored by the candidate in General studies paper II will be:

50 * 2.5 =125

30 * 0.83 = 24.9

Your score in general studies paper II (CSAT)will be: 125- 24.9 = 100.1

Your total score in prelims will be: 120.2 + 100.1 = 220.3

QUALIFYING CRITERIA FOR MAINS

Students who have acquired a minimum of 33 % in CSAT and the desired cut off in general studies paper I as declared by the UPSC board are considered to be selected for writing UPSC mains

PRELIMS CUT OFF OVER THE PAST 4 YEARS

NOTE:

PwBD(person with benchmark disability )

PwBD 1 ORTHOPEDICALLY HANDICAPPED

PwBD 2: VISUALLY IMPAIRED

PwBD 3: HEARING IMPAIRMENT

PH IS NOW CALLED AS PwBD. THE TERM PH WAS USED TILL 2017, FROM 2018 THE WORD PwBD IS IN USE.

YEARGENERAL MERITEWSOBCSCSTPwBD1PwBD2PwBD3PwBD5
2019989095.348277.3453.3444.6640.6661.34
20189896.668483.3473.4453.344045.34
2017105.3102.6688.6688.6685.3461.3440
2016116110.6699.349675.3472.6640
  • Mains: 1750 Marks

TYPE: SUBJECTIVE /DESCRIPTIVE

NEGATIVE MARKING: NO

DURATION: EACH PAPER IS OF 3 HRS

TYPE OF PAPERSUBJECTMARKS
Paper ACompulsory Indian language300
Paper BEnglish300
Paper IEssay250
Paper IIGeneral studies I250
Paper IIIGeneral Studies II250
Paper IVGeneral Studies III250
Paper VGeneral Studies IV (ETHICS AND INTEGRITY )250
Paper VIOptional I250
PAPER VIIOptional II250

EXCEPTIONS:

  • Paper A is not compulsory for candidates from the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim as well as candidates with hearing impairment, provided they can prove that they have been exempted from such 2nd or 3rd language courses by their concerned board or university.
  • Paper A is no considered compulsory for the candidates of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram. It is also not compulsory for candidates with hearing impairment, but they have to prove that they have been exempted from 2nd or 3rd language courses by their boards or universities
  • The Indian language chosen by the candidate must be mentioned in the 8th schedule of the constitution.
  • Paper A and B are only of a qualifying nature.

PREVIOUS YEAR MAINS CUT OFF

YEARGMEWSOBCSCSTPwBD 1PwBD 2PwBD3PwBD5
2019751696718706699663698374561
2018774732719719711696520460
2017809770756749734745578
2016787745739730713740545

  • Interview /personality test: 275 mark

The final and the most important of all stages is the personality test. no qualifying marks will be declared in this stage by UPSC.

FEW QUESTIONS LIKE 

  1. Why do u want to be an IAS officer
  2. Can we know your strengths and weaknesses
  3. How is your degree relevant to civil services
  4. Why have you chosen ABC optional, although it is something different from your specialization during degree?
  5. What is your hobby? (the board members are going to check if you really possess that hobby)

FEW TIPS FOR THE INTERVIEW

  • Think positively in every situation
  • Improve your communication skills so that you can express yourself
  • Read newspapers
  • Try to give impartial and an unbiased answer to all the questions asked
  • Stay calm and showcase a positive body language
  • PRO TIP: give an honest answer during the interview. Don’t try to impress the UPSC interview board members by lying.

FINAL MERIT LIST /RECOMMENDED LIST

This list will be created on the basis of marks scored in the mains examination and interview/personality test. Marks scored in PRELIMS will not be considered for preparing the final list, prelims marks are considered only for writing mains.

Services like (IFS, IPS, IRS, IRTS, IAAS, IRAS, IDAS etc) will be allotted to the candidates according to their preferences and ranking.

FINAL CUT OFF OVER THE PAST 4 YEARS

YEARGMEWSOBCSCSTPwBD 1PwBD 2PwBD 3PwBD 5
2019961909925898893861890653708
2018982938912912899908754718
20171006968944939923948830
2016988951937920927951817

The number of students appearing in UPSC has seen an increasing trend in the past few years .over 10.58 lakh students approximately have put the application for prelims in the year 2020 and 8 lakh students approximately applied for UPSC prelims in the year 2019. But 15 % – 20 % of candidates don’t even appear for the prelims .0f 8 lakh students approximately 11845 students were selected for mains, 2034 students made it to the interview and at last 829 students were under the recommended list. Surprisingly choosing the right optional subject can increase your score and rate of success.

LIST OF OPTIONAL SUBJECTS:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Animal husbandry and veterinary services
  3. Anthropology
  4. Botany
  5. Chemistry
  6. Civil engineering
  7. Commerce and accountancy
  8. Economics
  9. Electrical engineering
  10. Geography
  11. Geology
  12. History
  13. Law
  14. Management
  15. Mathematics
  16. Mechanical engineering
  17. Medical science
  18. Philosophy
  19. Physics
  20. Political science and international relations
  21. Psychology
  22. Public administration
  23. Sociology
  24. Statistics
  25. Zoology
  26. Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, English.

HERE IS THE ANALYSIS OF THE PAST 7 YEARS ALL INDIA RANK (AIR) 1, 2 & 3:

UPSC 2019 ANALYSIS

AIRNAMEMARKS SECURED IN OPTIONAL SUBJECTMAINS MARKSINTERVIEW MARKSTOTAL MARKS
1Pradeep Singh293(PD)9141581072
2Jatin Kishore294(ECO)8781851063
3Pratibha verma305(PHY)8691931062

UPSC 2018 ANALYSIS

AIRNAMEMARKS SECURED IN OPTIONAL SUBJECTMAINS MARKSINTERVIEW MARKSTOTAL MARKS
1Kanishak kataria361(MATH)9421791121
2Akshat jain335(ANTHRO)8821981080
3Junaid ahmad321(GEO)8931841077

UPSC 2017 ANALYSIS

AIRNAMEMARKS SECURED IN OPTIONAL SUBJECTMAINS MARKSINTERVIEW MARKSTOTAL MARKS
1Durishetty anudeep318(ANTHRO)9501761126
2Anu kumari318(SOCIO)9371871124
3Sachin gupta339(ANTHRO)9461761122

UPSC 2016 ANALYSIS

AIRNAMEMARKS SCORED IN OPTIONAL SUBJECTMAINS MARKSINTERVIEW MAKRSTOTAL SCORE
1Nandini K R331(KANNADA LITERATURE)9271931120
2Anmol sher singh bedi-(POLITICAL SCIENCE )8992061105
3Gopalkrishna ronanki322(TELUGU LITERATURE)9361651101

UPSC 2015 ANALYSIS

AIRNAMEMARKS SCORED IN OPTIONAL SUBJECTMAINS MARKSINTERVIEW MARKSTOTAL SCORE
1Tina dabi299(POLITY)8681951063
2Athar amir UI shafi khanPHILOSOPHY8251931018
3Jasmeet singh sandhuPUNJABI LITERATURE8241901014

UPSC 2014 ANALYSIS

RANKNAMEMARKS SCORED IN OPTIONAL SUBJECTMAINS MARKSINTERVIEW MARKSTOTAL SCORE
1Ira singhal305(GEO)9201621082
2Renu raj319(MALAYALAM)8581981056
3Nidhi gupta316(PHY)8461791025

UPSC 2013 ANALYSIS

RANKNAMEMARKS SCORED IN OPTIONAL SUBJECTMAINS MAKRSINTERVIEW MARKSTOTAL SCORE
1Gaurav agarwal296(ECO )769206975
2Munish sharma202(LAW)732204936
3Rachith raj272(ZOOLOGY)796138934

AGE CRITERIA  AND NUMBER OF ATTEMPTS FOR UPSC ASPIRANTS ACCORDING TO CATEGORY

  • All the UPSC aspirants must be of Indian origin and must have completed their graduation (those who are in final year can also appear for the prelims , but while appearing for prelims one should have completed mains)

EXCEPTIONS:

  • For the Indian Administrative Service, the Indian Police Service and Indian Foreign Service the candidate must be a citizen of India.
  • For other services, the candidate must be one of the following
  1. A citizen of India.
  2. A citizen of Nepalor a Bhutan
  3. Tibetanrefugee who settled permanently in India before 1 January 1962.
  4. A person of Indian origin who has migrated from PakistanMyanmarSri LankaKenyaUgandaTanzaniaZambiaMalawiZaireEthiopiaor Vietnam with the intention of permanently settling in India

UPSC AGE LIMIT

The candidate must be at least of 21 years as on 1st august 2021 (if he or she is sitting for UPSC 2021)

CATEGORYUPPER AGE LIMITATTEMPT
GENERAL LIMIT326
OBC359
SC/ST37(unlimited attempts until the person reaches age of 37)
DISABLED DEFENCE SERVICES PERSONNEL359
EX-SERVICEMEN379
PEOPLE WILL BENCHMARK DISABILITY – economically weaker section429
  • BOOK LIST FOR UPSC:
SUBJECTSBOOKS
HISTORYMODERN HISTORY: a brief history of modern India by Rajiv Ahir, spectrum IndiaArt and culture by Nitin SinghaniaAnicent and Medieval India by Poonam DayalNCERT Class XI and XIIIndian culture and heritage by Devdutt Pattanaik
GEOGRAPHYNCERT: 6th to 12th old and newGes periods Vol 1 : Physical, world and environmental geography by Mohan KrishnamurthyGes periods Mol 2 : Indian, human and economic by Mohan KrishnamurthyCertificate Physical and human geography: G C LeongOxford atlas or orient BlackswanGlobe and wall mapsNATMO AtlasIndian geography by Dr. KhullarPhysical geography by StrahlerHuman geography by Majid Hussain
POLITYIndian constitution at work: 11th NCERTDemocratic politics:10th NCERTIndian polity: LakshmikanthIntroduction to Indian constitution: Durga Das Basu
ECONOMYIndian Economy by Ramesh Singh
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGYScience and technology by Ravi P AgrahariScience and technology: Arihant publications
CSATA modern approach to verbal and non-verbal reasoning by Dr. RS AggarwalCSAT Paper- 2 manual by McGraw Hill
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONSNCERT XIIInternational relations: Pushpesh pantIndian polity by M LaxmikanthCurrent affairs and Hindu newspaper
ESSAYContemporary essays by Ramesh Singh
ENGLISHCompulsory English by AP Bhardwaj
SOCIAL ISSUESSocial problems in India by Ram AhujaThe Hindu newspaper: EditorialsIndian Express editorialsNCERT class 11th and 12th
ETHICS AND INTEGRITYEthics, integrity, and aptitude by Santhosh Ajmera and Nanda Kishore Reddy, McGraw hill publicationsEthics, Integrity and Aptitude by M Karthikeyan
INTERVIEWImportant Judgments that Transformed India: for UPSC Civil Service Examination by McGraw HillHow to score high in the IAS interview: tips to clear IAS interview with flying colors in the format of a PDF

CONCLUSION

The number of candidates who applied for prelims in 2010 was 6 lakh approximately, the number has seen a drastic increase to 11 lakh approximately. Along with the increase in the level of competition, the number of candidates in the final list or the recommended list has also come down from approximately 1000 to 800. UPSC is called the mother of all exams, if you prepare for this examination, all the other central and state government group A and B and also the other competitive examinations will be a cakewalk. Now it is time for all of us to raise out of our comfort zones and let’s start working harder, and at the same time smarter. Only hard work doesn’t lead to success. If only hard work led to success then the daily wage workers had to have a lavish and contented life .so let our goals not stop for anyone, let’s raise every day from bed and do what is needed rather than doing what is easy

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