How to Crack the UPSC Exam in Your First Attempt

How to Crack the UPSC Exam in Your First Attempt || Oracle IAS


Cracking the UPSC exam in the first attempt is the dream of every aspirant. While there’s no guaranteed formula, with the right approach and proper planning, you can significantly increase your chances of success. This comprehensive guide aims to provide valuable insights and strategies to help you navigate the UPSC journey and maximize your probability of clearing the exam in the first attempt.

Disclaimer: It’s important to understand that the UPSC exam is a multi-stage process with varied components like Prelims, Mains, and Interview. The breadth of the syllabus makes it challenging to claim any foolproof method to crack the exam in the first attempt. However, by following the principles outlined in this guide, you can enhance your chances by 20-60%.

Understanding the Demands of the Exam:

The first and crucial step is to comprehend the demands of the UPSC exam. This involves understanding the different stages, the nature of the questions, and the evaluation criteria. By gaining this knowledge, you can tailor your preparation accordingly and increase your chances of success.

The Three Stages of UPSC Preparation:

1. Beginner Stage:
At this stage, aspirants often make common mistakes like chasing multiple books without reading them thoroughly, spending excessive time on irrelevant current affairs, making detailed notes without understanding concepts, and aimlessly attending coaching classes.

2. Intermediate Stage:
To reach the intermediate stage, you need to understand the exam’s nature and design your studies accordingly. This includes recognizing the different stages (Prelims, Mains, and Interview), focusing on elimination and intelligent guessing techniques for Prelims, mastering scoring subjects like Environment, Economy, Polity, and Technology.

3. Advanced Stage:
At the advanced stage, you should have a comprehensive grasp of the exam pattern and be able to implement the following strategies:
– Focus on high-reward areas and scoring subjects
– Prioritize Mains preparation as it’s the most crucial stage
– Start with the Mains syllabus, then move to Prelims
– Practice previous year questions and mock tests for Prelims
– Aim for average but comprehensive answers in Mains
– Master core books and use others for revision and additional knowledge

Mastering the Prelims:

The Prelims stage is a test of elimination, designed to filter out unprepared candidates. To excel in this stage, you need to understand the pattern of questions and develop intelligent guessing skills. The key is to master the scoring subjects like Environment, Economy, Polity, and Technology, as these account for 60-70% of the questions. Achieving an 80% accuracy in this range can significantly increase your chances of qualifying for the Mains.

Acing the Mains:

In the Mains stage, the focus shifts to comprehensive and insightful answer writing. Remember, an average but well-rounded answer is better than a few stellar ones, as the Mains evaluates your breadth of knowledge. Master a set of core books for each subject, and use supplementary resources for revision and knowledge enhancement. Continuously practice answer writing to develop a strong command over the required skills.

The Interview Stage:

The Interview stage assesses your personality, confidence, objectivity, and presentability. While you cannot prepare extensively for this stage from the beginning, ensure that you develop an authentic and well-read personality. Be honest, pleasant, confident, and objective in your responses, demonstrating your ability to address issues without bias.


Cracking the UPSC exam in the first attempt is achievable with the right mindset, dedication, and strategic approach. By understanding the demands of the exam, progressing through the stages methodically, mastering the core subjects, and continuously practicing, you can significantly increase your chances of success. Remember, the UPSC journey is a test of perseverance, and with the application of mind, this challenging exam is crackable, and you can indeed secure a top rank.

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