How to prepare for UPSC 2023 | UPSC Preparation Tips with Vizle

What is UPSC (CSE) :

Union Public Service Commission conducts various examinations. Civil Services Examination is one of the main exams conducted by UPSC. Through this exam recruitment for IAS, IPS, IFS and allied services takes place. This is one of the most prestigious exams in the country. The successful candidates from the exams serve in various important positions as District Commissioner, Superintendent of Police, Ambassador, Income Tax Officer of the country to name a few.

Every year Lakhs of aspirants appear for these exams. The exam is conducted in three stages:

  1. Prelims Exam
  2. Mains Test
  3. Final Interview

Post qualifying these three stages the successful candidate undergoes training for serving our country. These are very responsible and important roles that they serve.


What is the exam pattern and overview of the syllabus:

To understand the process or how to study effectively for these exams we need to understand the structure of the screening process at every stage.

We will start with the prelims test:

UPSC prelims: This is more of a screening test for the aspirants. The marks obtained are not included for final marks calculation for rank determination. This exam consists of two papers:

Subject Name Marks Allotted Time Allotted No of Questions Nature of questions
General Studies -Paper I 200 2 hours 100 There is a minimum cutoff for this paper to qualify for the next round.
General Studies -Paper II 200 2 hours 80 Qualifying Nature - Candidates will have to score 33% to qualify for CSAT.

These two papers have a vast syllabus to be covered. This paper tries to assess our general awareness for the world and our country. In 1st paper it focusces mainly on the current affairs of world and country. It also tries to test the knowledge about our country in terms of history, geography and political affairs. The 2nd paper is more of aptitude test for us. It test are comprehension, mental ability and basic knowledge of science.

We have to understand that the pattern for test in this exam is objective in nature. There are negative marking for the wrong answers.

How to prepare for this prelim test?

There are two kinds of students who are generally appear for the UPSC-CSE. One who starts preparing well in advance and one who starts preparing after filling forms. The syllabus for this screening is vast and varied. It is not possible to memorize everything in limited span of time.

These are few study tips of cracking Prelims:

  • Understand the syllabus: We need to understand the syllabus of the exam. General focus is on the items that we encounter and read on daily basis but we tend to ignore. It is the test of our common sense with intelligence.
  • Divide the syllabus according to subjects: Political Science, History, Science, Geography, General Awareness, Mental ability etc. Try rating yourself on the subject knowledge and interest. Start with the subject in which you score low.
  • The study materials available around you are plenty. There are multiple online and offline coaching institutes. Every city has many coaching institutes. It becomes real difficult to select the coaching institute. There are multiple study videos available free on Youtube. Start with them, you can convert them into readable slides and PDFs using the application Vizle. This application converts the videos into PDFs which makes it possible for you to quickly skim through the study material without watching the videos at 2x/3x speed and straining yourself. Combining videos with your study materials and making notes is the best option for self study for UPSC-CSE.
  • Complete NCERT first: This is the base of your preparation so try and complete the NCERT. There are many free video lectures available on NCERT syllabus which can be followed for best results. Again for the help of students Vizle is very handy and gives awesome results. You can convert the videos to readable PDFs using this app and make notes with NCERT books.
  • Start reading general awareness books on a daily basis: Current affairs books like Pratigoyita Darpan, Competition Success Review etc cover the Current affairs for the country and world quite well. Reading a good newspaper daily is a good habit. Start this habit whenever you decide you have to appear for any competitive exam.

Strategies for Mains Exam:

After clearing the prelims you get to appear for your mains exam. The Mains exam is a subjective test of your knowledge. There are 8 papers in the exam.

Subject Name Marks Allotted Time Allotted Type of paper Nature of questions
Compulsory Indian Language 300 3hrs Descriptive Qualifying
English 300 3hrs Descriptive Qualifying
Essay 250 3hrs Descriptive Merit
General Studies -I,II,III,IV 250 3hrs Descriptive Merit
Optional-I and II 250 3hrs Descriptive Merit

There are 45+ options for optional subjects including various Literature subject options in the IAS Exam. You can choose subjects according to your qualification and interest.

These are descriptive papers so it tests your in-depth knowledge of your subject .

Few Study Tips for Mains Exam:

  1. Choose your study strategy: There are multiple ways in which you can prepare for your Mains. But always remember this is a comprehensive exam and you just cannot wait for your prelims exam results to start preparing for your main exam. When you prepare for your mains you automatically cover the syllabus for Prelims. Therefore prepare in a comprehensive way.
  2. Study videos help in understanding the subject matter: There are multiple video for every subject, you can convert the same into readable PDFs for quick studying and easy note taking. Vizle helps students in easy conversion with one click. Currently with early bird offer and student discount you can avail the services for pay as-you-go or subscribe for a monthly plan. Visit Pricing page for more details.
  3. **Foundation is important for the exam: **Don’t use shortcuts for studying as it is not a great approach.
  4. **Making notes for subject matter: **The syllabus is so vast that you cannot remember everything at once. You need the habit of note making using lectures, study materials , study videos and review and revise the content regularly.
  5. Solving questions, mock test papers and question banks of the last few years is always helpful and important. Practicing is the key to success.

Interview Preparation:

Post Mains, selected candidates are called for an interview on merit basis. There can be questions based on your prior experience to your background. The key to success is how you confidently answer the questions asked. Mock interview practice helps you in tackling the questions efficiently.

You can watch videos of mock interviews for practice and see how the questions are answered.

Few Study Tips for Interview:

  1. Be Confident. Try answering the questions with confidence and clarity. Noone expects that you should have every answer. But don’t try to fool around if you are stuck with any answer.
  2. Revise your selected subject topics
  3. Try giving mock interviews.
  4. Give some time for your personality development also: Healthy habits, mediation etc helps in your personality development.
  5. Be yourself. Last but not least try to remain what you are while answering questions.


This blog is just a quick summary of what is expected in the UPSC-CSE and other Civil or Public Services exams. The key to success for exams can be summarized as :

  • Building Foundation of topics
  • Current Affairs reading habit through newspapers, magazines etc.
  • Selecting study strategies
  • Making notes and timely revision
  • Perseverance and self control
  • Keeping distarction away during the preparation
  • Daily reading of the newspaper and reading current affairs. Try making this habit from today
  • Practicing questions
  • Mock test series and interview
  • Mentoring from seniors and study groups
  • Discipline and hardwork has no alternative
Latest Posts