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How to Crack UPSC Mains in First Attempt?

How to Crack UPSC Mains in First Attempt? Banner - The Best IAS Coaching in Delhi | SHRI RAM IAS Study Centre

Cracking the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) on the first attempt is a formidable challenge, especially when it comes to the Mains stage. The Mains exam is the second phase of the UPSC CSE, and it requires a deep understanding of various subjects, analytical thinking, and effective writing skills. Here are some essential tips to help you crack the UPSC Mains on your first attempt.



Understand the Exam Pattern and Syllabus



The UPSC Mains exam consists of nine papers:



  1. Paper A: Compulsory Indian language (qualifying)



  1. Paper B: English (qualifying)



  1. Paper I: Essay



  1. Paper II: General Studies I (History, Geography, Society)



  1. Paper III: General Studies II (Polity, Governance, International Relations)



  1. Paper IV: General Studies III (Economics, Environment, Science and Technology, Security)



  1. Paper V: General Studies IV (Ethics, Integrity, Aptitude)



  1. Paper VI & VII: Optional Subject Papers I and II



Understanding the exam pattern and detailed syllabus is crucial. Familiarize yourself with the weightage of each paper and the topics covered.



Create a Comprehensive Study Plan



A detailed study plan is essential for systematic preparation. Break down your study plan into phases, covering the entire syllabus over a specified period. Allocate time for each subject and paper, ensuring a balanced approach. Include regular revision sessions and time for practicing answer writing.



Focus on NCERTs and Standard Reference Books



Begin your preparation with NCERT textbooks to build a strong foundation. Once you have a good grasp of the basics, move on to standard reference books. Shri Ram IAS provides an extensive collection of study materials tailored specifically for the UPSC syllabus. Our comprehensive study materials cover all necessary topics and are curated by experienced faculty to ensure you have the best resources at your disposal. Using these materials can greatly enhance your understanding and retention of the subjects.



Master the Art of Answer Writing



Effective answer writing is crucial for scoring well in the Mains exam. Practice writing answers regularly to develop clarity of thought and a concise writing style. Focus on structuring your answers well, with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. Include relevant facts, data, and examples to support your arguments.



Stay Updated with Current Affairs



Current affairs play a significant role in the Mains exam. Reading newspapers like "The Hindu" or "The Indian Express" daily is essential, but having a reliable source that compiles all important events and updates can save a lot of time. Shri Ram IAS offers a monthly current affairs magazine that covers all significant national and international events, government schemes, policies, and much more. This magazine is meticulously prepared by our expert faculty, ensuring you get comprehensive and accurate information.



Practice Previous Years' Question Papers



Practicing previous years' question papers helps you understand the exam pattern, question types, and difficulty level. It also improves your time management skills. Solve as many papers as possible and analyze your performance to identify weak areas. This practice will also help you become familiar with the UPSC's expectations and improve your answer writing.



Take Mock Tests



Mock tests are an integral part of UPSC Mains preparation. They simulate the actual exam environment and help you assess your preparation level. Shri Ram IAS offers an excellent test series designed to prepare you thoroughly for the Mains exam. Our test series includes a variety of questions covering the entire syllabus, helping you practice under exam-like conditions. Regularly taking these mock tests can significantly improve your time management skills and answer writing techniques. Review your answers, understand your mistakes, and work on improving them. Mock tests also help in managing exam stress and time effectively.



Develop a Strong Revision Strategy



Regular revision is crucial for retaining information and performing well in the Mains exam. Revise your notes and important topics frequently. Focus on key concepts, facts, and current affairs. Create short summaries and mind maps for quick revision. Ensure you revise all subjects multiple times before the exam.



Choose the Right Optional Subject



Choosing the right optional subject is crucial for scoring well in the Mains exam. Select a subject that aligns with your interests, background, and strengths. Ensure you have access to good study material and guidance for the chosen optional subject.



One highly recommended optional subject is Public Administration. It is an excellent choice due to its relevance to the civil services. The syllabus overlaps significantly with General Studies papers, particularly with topics on governance, polity, and ethics. Public Administration helps in understanding the administrative aspects of the Indian government and enhances your ability to write well-structured answers. Moreover, Shri Ram IAS is renowned for its expertise in Public Administration, offering detailed study materials, expert guidance, and comprehensive test series. Our faculty members provide deep insights and thorough analysis, making it easier for you to grasp complex concepts and excel in the subject. Consistent preparation and practice are key to excelling in the optional papers.






Cracking the UPSC Mains on the first attempt requires a well-planned strategy, consistent effort, and effective time management. Understand the exam pattern, create a comprehensive study plan, and focus on answer writing practice. Stay updated with current affairs, take regular mock tests, and revise frequently. With dedication and perseverance, you can achieve your goal of becoming a civil servant.


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