What to Learn From UPSC Civil Services Exam Toppers?


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What to Learn From UPSC Civil Services Exam Toppers? Blog Image

Are you aiming to follow the preparation path taken by UPSC CSE Toppers to boost your chances of clearing the one of the toughest exams in the world? Read on!


Every aspirant idolises the toppers and aspires to be among them. After the results are announced, aspirants seek guidance from UPSC CSE toppers to build strategic plans, alter their course, and jump-start their preparation. Given that preparing for the Civil Services Exam is a lengthy process that at the very least requires one year of diligent preparation, aspirants want to reduce the risk as much as they can by following the path that top rankers had followed and by incorporating toppers’ strategies into their preparation. 

Aspirants should keep in mind, nevertheless, that each topper follows a strategy that suits them personally and is specific to their level of expertise, competence, and experience. 

Every topper follows a set of common tactics and strategies, and when developing their unique approach, each aspirant is expected to do the same.

Due to the fact that only a small percentage of the lakhs of aspirants who sit for the exam actually qualify the UPSC Civil Services Exam, we'll be analysing and discussing about some of the common and important preparation approaches that every topper employs and any aspirant who hopes to work in the civil service should incorporate into their study plan.


Learn the ropes: 

UPSC CSE Syllabus

Knowing the syllabus in its entirety can help you understand and decide what should be studied and what should not as you read the news or any study material. 

Familiarity Tip: Handwrite the syllabus and then paste it somewhere in your room. You'll get the hang of it if you read it through three times a day, every day.

UPSC CSE Pattern

Understanding the trends and patterns of the questions asked in the UPSC Civil Services Exam might help you plan your study strategy in the right direction because you'll know how to study and how that knowledge will be tested.

Preparation tip: Before beginning, review the question papers from past years and assess the patterns and trends of the questions asked. 


It's important to stick to the limited resources. The secret to clearing the exam is to thoroughly study the limited resources multiple times to absorb them extensively rather than studying from multiple resources.

Studying Tip: Make a list of foundational and reference books. Establish a solid foundation and solely use the reference book for profound knowledge.


Understand and master the essentials:

General Studies Subjects

For the Civil Services Exam, you have either registered in a coaching programme or are self-studying. In order to lay a strong foundation, you must completely comprehend the fundamentals of the General Studies subjects. No matter how many hours, months, or years you invest in your studies, you won't be able to clear the exam if your foundation is weak.

Foundational Tip: Do not take a chance; instead, enrol in a coaching programme that will assist you in building a strong foundation in your General Studies Subjects.

Newspaper and Current Affairs

You must master current affairs because the majority of UPSC CSE questions are based on them, which will enhance your chances of clearing the Prelims and allow you to use current events to your advantage in the Mains. Your familiarity with current issues will be tested even on the Personality Test.

Mastering Tip: Assiduously study (not just read) the newspaper every day and then use a monthly current affairs magazine to revise.


Periodic revision is crucial because just a small portion of what you learn today will stick in your memory. In order to effectively recall knowledge and oscillate between topics during the exam, it is advisable to reread the subject matter several times.

Cementing Tip: Make a revision schedule and revise after three days, seven days, one month, and three months.

Hone your knowledge and abilities:


By taking MCQs on a regular basis, evaluating performance, and determining areas that need improvement, you can increase speed and accuracy of answering questions in the Prelim Test. Additionally, taking MCQs will help in an exhaustive revision of the UPSC CSE syllabus.

Tip: Prioritise topics based on strengths and weaknesses and practise answering questions within the time limit. 3–4 months prior to your exam, enrol in the Prelims Test Series and practise as much as you can.

Answer Writing Practice

It takes time and effort to master the skill of writing answers. One cannot solely rely on the knowledge they acquire via classes. Structure, content prioritisation, and time management are necessary when writing an answer. The 100 days following Prelims should be spent to revise the subject, and evaluate and enhance the scores rather than learning a new skill. 

Proficiency Tip: After 3 months of learning fundamentals, begin writing one answer every day, no matter what, to develop the habit of writing answers and using knowledge. After Prelims, join the Mains Test Series.

Areas for Improvement

Instead of concentrating on your weaknesses, you should see them as chances at improvement. Avoid overthinking and overanalyzing your performance; instead, concentrate on identifying areas that need strengthening and make improvements in those areas.

Exceeding Tip: Enrol in a mentoring programme that will help you develop a preparation schedule, identify your areas of growth, and provide the best possible guidance for your UPSC CSE journey.


Cultivate powers in your preparation:


Even if the rest of the world doesn't, every topper believes in themselves. Risking at least a year in preparation for this exam is a risky move, and frequently, those around you will not be supportive or have faith in your abilities. Remember that everyone's journey and ambitions are unique and that you are solely responsible for your goals and aspirations.

Self-assuring Tip: Never forget that no one's words can define you, and that even if your dream seems delusional to others, it shall make sense to you.


Discipline will enable you to stay ahead of the competition when motivation fails at times. Your lifestyle and academic conduct must be extremely disciplined as you prepare for the UPSC CSE. Discipline will help you stay focused, maintain the fire, and keep you on track so that you can make the most of your preparation. 

Preventative Tip: Create a schedule, keep track of your hours, and identify areas where you waste time.


No matter how long you spend studying each day—for an hour or two—the most crucial thing is that you do it consistently. Even if you don't comprehend a word you're reading, the flow shouldn't be broken. 

High-yielding Tip: Never evaluate your days in relation to those of yesterday. Start over every day with the intention of investing as many hours as you can to develop a reliable and productive habit.


The Civil Services Exam involves relentless determination in addition to basic willpower. You should be committed to figuring out how to accomplish it. You should prioritise it above everything else, leaving aside anything that might distract you. 

Propelling Tip: Recall the day you decided to prepare for the exam and the driving force behind it.


It is normal to have motivational lows when preparing for the UPSC CSE exam. Therefore, it becomes vital to find methods to promote motivation since it enables us to alter perspective, build competences, establish objectives, make plans, improve our skills, and increase consistency.

Uplifting Tip: Track your progress and treat yourself to small victories. Read inspirational writings.


Strive to strike a balance:


The UPSC CSE is a highly challenging process. Every day is Day Zero, and each day demands your complete commitment.  You can set more logical, achievable goals if you are patient. You will become more perseverant and resilient.

Everyday Tip: Pay attention to your everyday efforts rather than the result.

Optimistic Attitude

There may be instances when you lose motivation due to becoming stuck on a difficult subject, being unable to provide accurate answers, or experiencing personal difficulties. In that circumstance, you'll need to have a positive outlook and concentrate on finding a solution for the things that are within your control. 

Persevering Tip: Try meditation to relax your mind. If a topic is difficult for you to understand, reread it several times or seek assistance from a knowledgeable person.


In order to prevent mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion, it is crucial to establish a balance between your study and personal lives. The preparation for the UPSC CSE is a marathon, not a sprint. To keep jogging and cross the finish line, you must take numerous pauses.

Stability Tip: Choose a hobby that will keep you sane and that you can highlight in your DAF.


Toppers distinguish themselves from other rank holders by making sure to use traditional approaches that other aspirants overlook. Many aspirants concentrate on intricate strategies, which lead them nowhere, while toppers use simple strategies, stick to them, and win the race. 

Concluding Tip: All you have to do is adhere strictly to the approaches discussed above and maintain an uncomplicated, consistent preparation schedule.

Your road map to achieving your UPSC CSE dream can undoubtedly be found with  your D3: dedication, discipline, and determination, in all areas of preparation.