How To Crack UPSC In First Attempt?

how to crack upsc in first attempt

Every year, exams for the civil service, administered by the UPSC, are held to choose deserving and qualified candidates for the nation’s numerous government jobs. With the growth in the IT industry across India and worldwide, there has been a rise in the number of people who yearn to serve the nation. Hence, it is not a surprise that more and more people are inclined toward clearing UPSC Exams. Yet how to crack UPSC in first attempt is a question that haunts all aspirants.

Well, it is a given that the exam is difficult, but, that doesn’t mean it is impossible to get hold of There have been several proven success stories of people who have cleared the UPSC Exams, and some even at their first attempt.

How to crack UPSC in first attempt? This is one query that has been expressed by both students and their parents. So here goes our take on how to clear UPSC in first attempt!

Stages Of  UPSC Civil Services Exam

To understand how to crack UPSC in the first attempt it is essential that you familiarize yourself with the stages of UPSC exams. These 3 stages of the UPSC examination are:

Prelims Exam

Passing this basic stage of the prelims exam is important because a civil services candidate must enter the main examination to move on. The prelims are scheduled for June 6 this year. 

The preliminary exam has two papers: General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper-II, or CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test). Each paper has objective-type questions, with 200 marks each.

Both papers have multiple-choice questions (MCQs) Both are qualifying exams and marks do not get added to the final score, but for the selection of candidates, they need to score at least 33% to get qualified for the evaluation GS Paper I.

Mains Written 

According to the UPSC Mains exam pattern, all of the exams consist of descriptive answer style questions.

The written examination includes nine papers, two of which are qualifying. 

It is a rigorous step, and your overall marks in the UPSC mains will have a direct impact on your final results. Thus, the UPSC exam marks for the UPSC Mains phase are quite valuable because they play a key role in merit determination.

Read the following table to understand the nature of the UPSC Mains paper as well as the maximum marks these papers hold.

Paper Subject Max. Marks Duration Nature Of The Paper
Paper A Compulsory Indian Language 300 3 hours Qualifying
Paper B English Language 300 3 hours Qualifying
Paper I Essay 250 3 hours Merit
Paper II General Studies I 250 3 hours Merit
Paper III Genera Studies II 250 3 hours Merit
Paper IV General Studies III 250 3 hours Merit
Paper V General Studies IV 250 3 hours Merit
Paper VI Optional I 250 3 hours Merit
Paper VII Optional II 250 3 hours Merit


The interview stage in UPSC is also known as Personality Test and comprises 275 marks. In this advanced stage of the UPSC, candidates are required to answer a series of questions that are designed to assess their personality and suitability for the job.

The marks obtained in the remaining seven papers, as well as those earned in the interview test, are combined to determine your final score.

Also read: UPSC Exam Pattern

12 Habits That Will Help You Clear In First Trial

UPSC is an examination that can make or break your career. How to clear UPSC in first attempt is a question you should be asking yourself as it is important to get into government service if you want to make a substantial difference in the lives of others. And while you don’t have to be perfect or even the best in your class, you do need to be better than everyone else who takes the exam. These 12 habits listed below that will help answer the question of how to crack UPSC in first attempt and further help in setting your own personal goals and study plan.  

  1. Start early and do not procrastinate
  2. Keep a daily study diary/log of proper notes
  3. Do not read long chapters at one go but read them in short doses
  4. Revise the previous day’s crisp notes before starting another chapter
  5. Refer to NCERT books to clear the basic concepts and make your foundation strong.
  6. Raise your level of understanding by going through the standard books on particular subjects. But keep your study resources limited otherwise in the end you get tangled among the string of books and are of no use.
  7. Prepare your own effective notes from the books you refer to for the UPSC exam
  8. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well and exercising regularly
  9. Get proper sleep each night, at least 8 hours of sleep is recommended for adults 
  10. Make time for relaxation, try meditation or yoga as these can help you stay calm during stressful times like UPSC Mains examination.
  11. Stay positive about your preparation and take regular breaks from studying 
  12. Learn to manage your time well and make use of it in the best possible manner

IAS Topper Who Clear On First Attempt Without Coaching

Many IAS toppers have successfully cracked UPSC without coaching in the first attempt. What better way to learn how to crack UPSC in the first attempt than by looking at their examples. Some of them are listed below:

  1. Arunraj secured AIR 34 in the UPSC exam in 2014 on the first attempt without coaching.
  2. Neha Banerjee secured AIR 20, in 2019 during her first attempt at the UPSC exams, without coaching.
  3. Koya Sree Harsha secured Rank 6, in 2017 on their first attempt at the UPSC exam, without coaching.
  4. Akshay Agarwal who secured AIR 43 in UPSC on the first attempt without coaching, prepared from only internet materials in 2018. 

These IAS toppers’ success mantra is that they are self-motivated, hardworking, and have a basic understanding of self-study. They spend virtually the entire day preparing and have no time for anything else. Their dedication and hard work, which have brought them thus far, are the key reasons for their success. Their personal routine in clearing one of the toughest competitive examinations is what you should read in order to answer the crucial question of how to clear UPSC in first attempt. 

make your upsc preparation faster with examarly

How To Crack UPSC In The First Attempt?

Let us dive into the unavoidable question – how to crack UPSC in first attempt? To crack UPSC (IAS) exam in the first attempt, you must understand the syllabus of the examination well. Analyze the previous papers of the IAS exam and divide the entire syllabus into small fragments. Make a timetable and stick to it. These are some of the most important tips that will help you crack the UPSC exam in the first attempt. So, follow them and you’ll definitely succeed in the examination.

Understand The Syllabus Thoroughly

If you have applied for IAS, it is crucial to understand the UPSC exam syllabus thoroughly. For the civil services examination, the syllabus is long and diverse, and some sections of it are open-ended. One of the most challenging sections of the UPSC exam is the current affairs section.  By understanding the syllabus you’ll understand what to cover and what to skip while preparing for the UPSC Exam.

The UPSC syllabus is divided into three categories – General Studies, Optional Subjects, and Indian Languages. The general studies section covers a wide range of topics including history, geography, economy, etc. The optional subjects refer to a number of specific subjects like Sociology or Psychology which may be chosen by candidates depending on their interests. The third category refers to Indian languages which include Hindi, English, and other languages among others.

Analyze The Previous Papers 

The IAS Exam is a challenging one that requires extraordinary preparation. Analyze the previous papers of the IAS exam to increase your chances of success. Analyzing these papers will give you a clear idea of the syllabus and exam pattern. You can also use these previous year’s papers to see what weightage each topic will get in the exam. Analyzing these papers will also give you an idea of the level of difficulty of each paper, which is crucial for success.

Divide The UPSC Syllabus Into Small Fragments

If you are worried about the UPSC syllabus, break it down into small parts. So that you can easily consume it and understand it properly in less time. This strategy will help you to study well for each part of the UPSC exam with ease. Since small chunks are easy to understand compared to long chunks.

Plan Your UPSC Preparation Strategy And Follow It

Planning your UPSC Preparation strategy is the key to success. This strategy can help you focus your efforts and ensure that you cover the entire syllabus. Besides, you will be able to find useful programs and materials in different media, and you will be able to interact with people from different socio-cultural backgrounds. In addition, you will have a unique perspective on questions asked in the examination.

Studying 24×7 is tedious and monotonous. With each passing year, the efficiency decreases. Instead of giving 2 good attempts, you might get 1 or two that require more time than usual. That’s why you need to plan your UPSC Preparation strategy and follow it to crack the exam in the first attempt. You must not forget to re-visit your study material at frequent intervals.

You need to learn about the UPSC Civil Services exam. The exam is considered one of the toughest in the world. Over eight lakh aspirants apply for the exam every year, but only a few hundred manage to pass it. The exam pattern is diverse and requires a detailed solution to each question. To prepare for the UPSC exam, you must develop a dedicated strategy for each level.

Also Read: 11 Tips To Easily Build A Good UPSC Preparation Strategy!

Make A Study Timetable And Follow It Judiciously

The most significant strategy to prepare for the UPSC exam is to make a study schedule. Every subject must be given a certain amount of time for preparation. It is better to study for as long as you can according to your capacity in a day rather than more than that. By making a study schedule, you can centralize your priorities and ensure equal efforts on every subject. You should also develop a rational mindset toward building up your basic knowledge.

It is imperative to study for the UPSC Exam according to the syllabus and paper pattern. It is also necessary to follow a study timetable that covers the entire curriculum and allows ample time for revisions.

Practice Answer Writing Skills

Developing answer writing skills is an important skill for UPSC, especially for the IAS Mains exam. While the examiner looks for correct spellings, appropriate grammar, and answer style, it is also essential to develop speed and accuracy in writing the answers. If you are not already proficient in answering questions, practice writing them in a timed manner until they become second nature. Then, you will be able to write the answers easily and quickly.

In UPSC mains, candidates should learn the structure and format of the questions. The outline should consist of an introduction, body, and conclusion. The structure of the answer should be consistent throughout. Avoid using too many technical words and writing only to fill the word limit. This will put the examiner off and cause them to skip a question. Make sure to make all of your points relevant and support them with basic facts.

Discussing Topics Will Help In The Preparation

Discussing different aspects of any news or issue is an effective way to broaden your horizon and develop a critical approach to the news. Discussing topics will enable you to identify both positive and negative aspects of any issue. For example, discussing the importance of dowry, IR, and labor laws will enable you to understand how these subjects affect society. Ultimately, such discussions will enrich your UPSC preparation.

Taking current affairs notes is important for UPSC preparation. It is important not to memorize all topics but select specific names. While preparing for current affairs, students should also make notes on dates and times of important events. If they don’t have time to make notes every day, they can shift this to the weekend.

Revision Will Boost Your Preparation

Dedicated revision of all subjects is the key to acing UPSC exams. The vast syllabus makes it difficult to recall all the relevant details and hence, consistent revision is essential for good performance. It also helps you stay updated about recent events and news. You can even turn this leisure activity into a useful tool for your revision. Moreover, solving previous years’ question papers is a great way to test your speed and learn the nuances of the exams.

Moreover, revising old question papers is a great way to boost your UPSC Exam preparation. Try to solve a mock test series or previous year’s question papers. This will help you identify weak areas and fix your bookish knowledge gaps. This will also boost your UPSC exam preparation significantly. You can do this by following some simple revision tips. You can also try to solve mock tests or practice papers.

Frame Your Own Questions To Boost Preparation

When preparing for the UPSC exams, it is important to practice answering multiple-choice questions and writing down your answers. While writing answers, it is important to reference your books throughout. If you know what questions will come up on the exam, you can write your answers in advance. You should practice answering multiple-choice questions and answer writing at least once a week. This strategy can help you boost your preparation in the end.

Many aspirants treat UPSC preliminary examination as a learning opportunity. The truth is, your first try is precious. Attempting the examination without preparation can result in disaster. Be sure to prepare thoroughly before the preliminary examination and to take home mock tests so that you can check your performance and figure out any short-comings. Then, when the time comes for the main examination, you will have an idea of what to expect.

You must know the UPSC syllabus and the pattern. Study the previous year’s question papers. These will help you understand the language and the expectations of the examiner. This will also help you develop a better strategy of question-phrasing. Lastly, frame your own questions to boost your Union Public Service Commission exam preparation. The process begins with analyzing the pattern of the examination. Once you understand the UPSC exam, you can formulate questions based on the format of previous examination papers.

Solve Ample Sample Papers For UPSC Preparation

UPSC students should solve plenty of previous year’s question papers to ensure that they know the syllabus well. UPSC previous year papers to help students assess their answers and filter out irrelevant information. In addition, they can filter out questions that are not directly related to their chosen subjects. It is important to keep in mind that UPSC sample papers may not necessarily reflect the exact syllabus for the upcoming examination. But these papers can give an excellent idea of what to expect in the final examination.

Also Read: 5 Solid Tips On How To Prepare For UPSC Exams Without Coaching

Best Way To Approach The Questions In The UPSC Mains Exam

Cracking the UPSC exam is a grueling process. Students must be careful about how they approach it, particularly when it comes to handling questions. There are several ways to give an effective answer in UPSC mains exam. Practicing the techniques mentioned below will help you ace the exam. It is also important to remember that the UPSC Mains exam is not an exam of perfection. Instead, the questions are meant to assess your understanding of concepts.

 Here are a few tips for first-time test takers:

  1. Approach questions from your own interests and strengths
  2. Avoid selecting topics that you don’t know too well. 
  3. Most of all, never hesitate to leave a question blank and move on if you’re not sure of a correct answer. You’ll have ample time to get back to these left-out questions later.
  4. Write analytical answers with the relevant data, and charts.
  5. Keep your paragraphs short. Use bullet points, charts, and diagrams instead of writing long paragraphs in the answer sheet. As this saves both time and space.
  6. Prevent yourself from writing the bush.
  7. If you can only remember two points of an issue, don’t waste time trying to remember the entire topic in the actual exam. Instead, write the answer using only the information you can recall. This technique saves time and effort.


Hope this answers your question on how to crack UPSC in first attempt. But before diving into your schedule it is important to understand your passion and your readiness to work towards your goal. To pursue a reputed government job a great deal of perseverance, diligence, and self-motivation is required. Without any target in your mind, nothing can be achieved. So, mark those targets on the wall and start moving towards them. Always remember hard work and dedication go a long way.

make your upsc preparation faster with examarly

Previous Article
best current affairs magazine for upsc

Best Current Affairs Magazine For UPSC

Next Article
what is adjournment motion

What Is Adjournment Motion?