As aspirants, we often forget to focus on the fundamental things we need to know about UPSC.

I am not going to give you any strategies or steps in this short write-up, but simple advice on why you need to get back to the basics if you want to excel in UPSC.

  1. First, you should master the basic concepts.
    • That’s why NCERT is advised by so many toppers! Master the static subject. Without the basics, you can’t expect to know the more nuanced and detailed content.
    • You can’t be expected to answer prelims questions and write well in mains unless you understand the pure basics of that topic.
    • For example, if you want to solve a bond related Economics questions of UPSC in prelims, you should understand how inflation could move with change in interest rates by the central banks
    • In last few years, UPSC has majorly shifted its focus on questions that check your fundamental knowledge consistently for years.
    • So, if you think that pattern is changing and all, that’s just on the surface. If you know the basics, master them, you can write exam any year and do well (with some practice of course)
  2. Second, you need to stop philosophizing this exam.
    • You need to get it done! Start today. Don’t think too much about where and how. Where ever you feel comfortable is okay.
    • For instance, if you are good at polity, start there.
    • Don’t over-strategize or wait for a perfect plan.
    • Instead of thinking about strategies, sit down and study. Strategies are hundreds, but execution is far less. So sit down and study!
  3. Third, after you have mastered the fundamentals, practice, practice, practice.
    • Practice becomes the key after your static part is set. The battle afterwards really boils down to how broadly you have covered the syllabus, how many papers you have practiced, how fast and well can you write (crisp and well-rounded answers) etc. that I keep discussing in my video classes.
    • Remember, if Sachin Tendulkar was good at cricket, interested in it, made a lot of plans, but never actually went out to practice day and night, would he be so successful? Nope!
    • Same applies to you. Practice is the last walls you need to break for success in UPSC.