10 Must Habits Which Will Help You Crack UPSC in First Attempt

Most aspirants wonder “How to crack UPSC in the first attempt?”. It is a myth that no one cracks the UPSC Civil Services.

Exam in the first attempt. Here we are breaking that myth and giving 10 Must Habits Which Will Help You Crack UPSC in First Attempt.

Here is “How to crack IAS exam in the first attempt?” answered:

How to become IAS in the first attempt?

1. Objectify the UPSC Syllabus.

Most of the IAS aspirants feel that volume of the IAS syllabus deters them from the determination needed to clear the UPSC examination in the first attempt. No doubt, the syllabus is huge but remind yourself that it is something that you have already studied before! Brush up your past knowledge to give your IAS vision a start. Start by simply jotting down the entire syllabus into points and divide them into sections according to your strengths and weaknesses, and then proceed with designing a study plan.

2. Stop looking at the IAS curriculum as a whole – Divide and Conquer

Let’s take a quick look at the definition of Divide and Conquer: It basically means that you divide the population (in this case the subjects) into manageable parts and that makes it impossible for them to come together (dividing them) and fight against the sovereign authority (conquering them). Let’s subject cracking IAS in the first attempt to it:  

  • Theory Papers: History, Economy, Polity, Geography, Optional subject (Demands a lot of your time!)
  • Aptitude Test: CSAT (Demands a fragment of your time, more of your intelligence!)

3. Make a timetable and follow it judiciously

Draw out a timetable for yourself, and the time table should be a realistic one. Do not make a timetable which needs more than 8 -10 hours of your day to dedicate to your IAS preparations. Once you have decided on the amount of time you will put in every day and what topics you will cover when making sure you follow it every day.

4.Indulge in Quality Discussions

Keep a habit of discussing all important developments that are important according to UPSC Exam point of view. All former IAS toppers who have cleared the exam in their first attempt itself give this tip. Good discussions will give you an edge over others – not just in Prelims and Mains, but in interviews as well.

5. Solve Mock Papers Regularly

Make sure you solve enough number of mock papers for both Prelims and Mains; this is a must before you step into the UPSC exam for your first attempt. Regular evaluations will help you keep track of your progress. You get to know your weaknesses and can work accordingly. This helps you keep yourself motivated.

6.Develop Answer Writing Skills

In an exam like the civil service mains, studying the syllabus is not the only important thing to do, How you write the exam is what counts the most. No matter how much you study prior to the exam, how skilfully you are writing the answers within three hours is what makes one topper and another failure. Hence having a regular practice of essay/answer writing is highly necessary. Evaluate yourself before UPSC evaluates you and write proper analytical answers.

7. The Two Time Revision Rule

When you plan your studies, make sure you have enough time on your agenda for a minimum of two revisions. Both general studies, as well as CSAT syllabus, should be reviewed twice – a week before the examination. Without revision, you cannot succeed in this exam.

8. Do Not Ever Skip Newspapers

If there’s a bible that can guide you towards success, it’s the Newspaper Readings’ that acts as an integral whole in your entire preparation process. Many questions that are asked in the examinations come directly from the newspapers. Therefore, it becomes prudent on your part to know ‘How to read a newspaper’, ‘what to read and what not to read’.

9. Start Framing your own Questions

Develop a habit of asking yourself questions and anticipating the questions that can be asked in the examinations. Keep a separate notebook for your Current Affairs section and continuously update it with recent developments in the fields of Art, Polity, Economy, and Social Sector Initiatives. This notebook will be your guide for revision of the current affairs which is now the most important part for your preparation.

10.Plan and Execute

Planning is always the first step towards success and to execute it the next step. It may be possible that one may not stick to the plan earlier envisaged. But one needs to develop the habit of reviewing the plan and, if needed, go for mid-course correction. Without a proper plan, you cannot accomplish your goal.

11.Maintain a Healthy Diet and Regular Sleep

Maintaining good health during the course is an important prerequisite to excel in these exams. Late-night studies can hamper one’s circadian rhythm. But late-night studies are also inevitable. Therefore, following a healthy, regular diet must count amongst the topmost priorities for a CSE aspirant. If it is your first attempt, don’t let the nervousness bring you down.

Also Read:

Useful Mnemonics for UPSC Exam GS 1 Structure, Strategy and Syllabus
How to prepare for UPSC Exam at home GS 2 Structure, Strategy and Syllabus
GS 3 Structure, Strategy and Syllabus GS 4 Structure, Strategy and Syllabus


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  1. Useful

  2. Thank you so much for all these informations

  3. Very useful app to the aspirants for those who wants to clear the UPSE CSE Exam . Thanks a lot for this useful information.

  4. Thanks a lot to help us

  5. is it important to make current affairs notes while you have current affairs compilations provided by coaching?

    • Yes, self-written or compiled notes are important for the examination. Current affairs compilations are a good source of revision but these do not outsmart self-written notes. So make note-making a habit.


  7. good