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Tips to Crack IAS in the Very First Attempt

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Crack IAS Exam

Cracking IAS exam in the first attempt is a dream of many UPSC aspirants. There isn’t any magic formula to crack IAS in the first attempt. But it is 100% possible with a judicious mix of hard work, dedication and proper strategy. Preparation strategy for IAS exam implies planning carefully to achieve something in the given circumstances within your decided time period.

There is a myth that one can’t crack IAS Exam without joining coaching classes. If you start preparing with the right strategy you can crack it in the very first attempt. And always remind yourself that nothing can stop you from achieving your dream(s).

As you know some people say that cracking this exam in the very first attempt not only requires hard work but also includes a little bit of luck. There is one explanation for this. Read the lines below which clarify that we make our own luck. Nothing can be left to chance.

Luck is no chance-
It’s Toil-
Fortune’s expensive smile
Is Earned-
The Father of the Mine
Is that old-fashioned Coin
We spurned-

Best Time to Start Before It’s Late

The best time to start preparing for UPSC IAS exam is from the starting of June or middle of May, right after your final exams complete.

Note: Before setting into the preparation mode, take a look at IAS 2019 Syllabus and make sure that you are eligible. The minimum age limit is 21 years.

Important Topics

1. Stay Updated with Current Affairs

To crack IAS you should keep one of the most important tasks in mind. And that is to regularly update yourself with current affairs’ knowledge from a newspaper like The Hindu (recommended) and The Indian Express, etc.

2. Take Notes of Current Affairs

Daily read the newspapers and take notes on important topics. This will help you in revision as the exam approaches.

3. Read NCERT books

Make sure you read all NCERT books from class 6 to class 12 to crack IAS exam. This is important because most of the UPSC exam questions are asked from NCERT books.

4. Practice Writing Answers

Writing answers daily is an important practice for UPSC preparation. It’s not hidden from anybody that you need to write good and attractive answers to qualify the written exam.

5. Solve Previous Years’ Question Papers

By solving previous years’ question papers, you will get a fair idea about the exam and understand its methodology. As a result, you can prepare a preparation-methodology that can even provide you the chance to crack IAS exam in the very first attempt!

6. Stay Motivated

You need to stay motivated during the preparation time and it is very important to maintain your health as well. It is also one of the important reliefs that you can need to take the support of from time to time. Hence, follow this approach whether you want to crack the IAS exam in the first attempt or in subsequent attempts.

7. Practice Writing Essays

One of the main topics while covering the strategies to crack the IAS exam in the very first attempt is that of writing essays. And, the upper word limit for the essays is about 2500 words, per essay. Also, such an essay carries 250 marks. Therefore, it is necessary to have a fair selection of the essay and maintain the flow with regard to your thoughts. Those who have sociology as an optional paper can make use of various scholars and their theories to enhance their writing. Below, are the points which can prove helpful to you in preparing a strategy for writing essays:

Selecting an essay: Selection of an essay is most important because once you start with it, you cannot look back or start with a new one. Therefore, select an essay in which you know very well that you can write on. Only remember to stretch it for around 1500-1700 words, otherwise, you won’t carry enough prospects for scoring good marks. It is the part of the strategy to crack the IAS exam in the very first attempt.

An Important Tip: Starting to write essays on topics covered by newspapers, established online news portals of at least 200 words will help a lot initially. Remember always to use simple English.

Structure Your Train of Thoughts: The reader of your essay should get the flow satisfactorily and without breaks or ups and downs. This requires the article to be well structured. And for this to happen, it is a good habit to pen down your thoughts on paper. This exercise will give you time to view and review the various headings, sub-headings, sections etc. of your written piece. And you can do this for as many times as you may like to make it your best. It is the most important part of the strategy to write an impressive essay. And writing such an essay is important to crack the IAS exam in the very first attempt!

Catch Hold of The Time-Limit: While developing the habit to give your best in the form of your essay, remember to remain within the time-limit. The time limit for essay particularly is not specified, though calculatedly, 1 to 1:15 hours of time should be sufficient.

Some Dos for writing an impressive essay!

  1. You can include relevant quotes, examples, popular sayings from literature, idioms, phrases etc. to give your writing that extra edge that you crave for. Such an exercise not only adds to the beauty of your writing but also adds diversity and volume to it.
  2. Prefer to use shorter sentences and form concise paragraphs (try to keep yourself within 20 words or so in a sentence. For paragraphs, you can extend that to 150 per para).
  3. Remember to go with the flow and not to deviate from it.

Some DON’Ts!

  1. Be careful when criticizing government programs and schemes as you show the idea of balancing yourself with independent views. Hence, abstain from it. Do the same for the sake of showing yourself as the person who has completely understood the topic.
  2. Neither show your judgment (s) towards an issue nor exhibit your likings and disliking. You must instead try to be neutral. Do not ever blame a person or a political party.
  3. To strengthen your arguments, you may produce some facts and figures which can’t always qualify the criterion of being 100% (or nearly 100%) correct. Hence, quote such instances only from authenticated sources. Prevent yourself from misguiding the readers by such facts and figures as you can’t afford them to take place even mistakenly.


And Some Recommendations!

  1. Practice structuring your thoughts, practice writing them, practice connecting the paragraphs, practice the flow, practice writing conclusion in various ways. Practice, practice, and practice for getting that extra edge, every time! This is the single mantra for getting near to perfection, as much as possible.
  2. Develop and refine (if you already have) the habit of reading newspapers and magazines (that talk of and analyze various government- programs). Reading newspapers and magazines widen your perspective of the world, in general. They also enrich your vocabulary along your journey with them.
  3. For guidance and inspiration, read some of the essays penned by the toppers.
  4. Besides toppers look for a highly competent authority that understands your medium of language well and has a good grasp of the topic.
  5. In case you require any guidance, and mentoring, never go to and so-called “young” teachers or instructors, who themselves are just preparing and are nouveau coaches. They can harm you beyond your imagination. Always look for experienced and knowledgeable people.


Bearing in mind all the above suggestions, can and will help you in building an impressive writing. You may also add some more tips of yours if you find they go with it.

Must Read: IAS 2019 – Important Dates, Exam Pattern, Syllabus and Cutoff (Complete details)

Wrapping Up:

Always remain focused on your main goal. Do not divert yourself. Most of the students are preparing for different exams simultaneously and in such case, your minds will be definitely diverted. If you want to crack IAS exam in the very first attempt, formulate and follow a proper strategy. Thus finally, you stand better chances to crack the IAS exam really in the very first attempt.

Best of luck and the wishes that you carry for which you have taken so many pains!

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