By Aditya

Union Public Service Commission, popularly known as UPSC, is a government body which is responsible for selecting candidates for various civil service appointments such as Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and Indian Revenue Service (IRS) amongst others. In total, there are about 24 services combined, for which about 1000 candidates are selected from a mammoth pool of aspirants who appear for the UPSC Examinations each year. As per a recent survey, out of the 7 lakh+ candidates who applied for the exams last year, only 50% appeared for it!

In terms of demographics, India is the youngest country in the world with every second person less than the age of 25 years. With a proven track record of excellence in Indian and foreign shores, Indian youth is ambitious, intelligent and hardworking. Since Independence, the heavy inclination of youngsters towards civil services has been an open secret. Due to this reason, the Indian Civil Services admission process has been rated as one of the toughest examinations to crack in the world with an extremely high seat to applicant ratio. The Government also is under considerable pressure to administer the most efficient selection process in order to choose the “right candidates”.

Structure and fees for the examination

The broad structure of the Civil Services exams along with the timelines is explained below diagrammatically:


The fee for appearing in this examination is given below:

  • Male candidates:                                                                             Rs. 100
  • Female/SC/ST/OBC/Handicapped                                            Free

In comparison to the last year, about 50% more students (over 1.1 million) will be appearing for the Civil Services in August. This means much tougher competition for both prelims and mains can be expected this year to test the analytical ability of the aspirants.

Early preparations are the key for achieving success in this examination including unrelented focus, hard work and learning from experience of others. So, here are some valuable tips, which I have compiled based on my past experience:

Valuable Tips to Clear UPSC

  • The conventional way of revising won’t help. You have to constantly evolve mentally and upgrade your standards to clear the UPSC examinations;
  • Newly introduced topics, including climate change, biodiversity, environment and sustainable development carry around 15 marks in the prelims. Keep yourself updated on these subjects through general reading of newspapers, business magazines, press releases issued by the Government etc;
  • Put special emphasis on the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) because chances of scoring well in this paper are high. Scoring more than 95 in general studies is a tough task and therefore, the candidates should try and score more than 125 in CSAT;
  • Memorizing theoretical subjects won’t help; you need to get your concepts clear about India’s culture, heritage, history and current events;
  • A candidate is judged on various parameters, which includes balance of judgement, ability for social cohesion & leadership, intellectual & moral integrity, variety & depth of interest, critical powers of assimilation, and clear & logical exposition. So you have to first imbibe and then fortify these qualities in yourself;
  • Staying updated is the key to success in the UPSC examinations. You should convert yourself into a walking encyclopaedia of current national affairs, Indian economy, politics, geography and modern Indian history; for this, you should constantly check out reputed journals and leading news channels (especially Lok Sabha TV);
  • Get connected with individuals who have cleared UPSC exams in the past in order to learn from their experiences. For achieving this, platform like prove to be extremely useful;

I hope the above mentioned suggestions will be useful in your conquest to conquer the Civil Services Examination. But, please be wary of the fact that the road does not end only at the Prelim and Mains stage. After clearing the mains, you have to appear for an interview which is more of a personality test. A great personality can’t be developed overnight and there needs to be a lot of deliberate effort put-in for clearing the interview. In my experience, lot of candidates’ year-on-year are able to clear the Prelims and the Mains however fail to clear the interview stage every time.

As per Oxford’s dictionary, personality is defined as “The combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character”. One of the most important attributes of personality is communication skills & body language. To develop your personality, one should make it a goal to interact with people who already possess a dynamic personality. While preparing for UPSC examination, you won’t get much time to go out and interact with people. However, I personally believe social learning platforms such as provide a great facility to do it online! Such learning platforms are a hub of intellectuals with inspiring academic and professional achievements.

For all the UPSC aspirants, here’s your chance to connect with me on MyEdge

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Expert Tips for Clearing UPSC Examinations