UPSC exams are not about being a bookworm but an all-round development of the individual apart from academic knowledge. While preparing for the topics in the syllabus, other than the academic knowledge one needs to focus on constantly acquiring information and insights about the latest happenings/current affairs within the country and beyond. The purpose of the exam is to choose the best candidate for "civil services", so all the values and qualities needed for a civil servant are tested by the written exam as well as the interview. So a student needs to build an empathetic liaison with the concerns of the people along with the wisdom how to solve it. An organized and disciplined approach along with balanced and constant reflection, is the key to success.
An overview of NCERT gives coherent information regarding basic concepts and theories hence are suggested as the best source to start the preparation. Later as a student consults other relevant academic sources, notes should be simultaneously in separate files or notebooks for separate subjects as it also serves as a ready-reckoner for revision. Regular answer-writing practice brings conceptual clarity, organizes your views, perceptions, and thoughts in a flawless manner. It also helps to build analytical, critical, and communicative abilities in minimum words within the stipulated time. Practicing the previous question papers is essential as they are the most reliable sources of UPSC pattern (trend analysis), difficulty level and question type. It is also a good source of self-assessment. One needs to govern one's resources effectively so that time-bound completion of the syllabus and a rounded revision is possible.
Lastly, remaining positive is the most critical quality to be inculcated as the journey is tedious and needs a lot of resilience. Just remember to take one step at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time, and things would get done when they need to get done.
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