UPSC Main Preparation 2022: Tips and Tricks to Crack the Exam

UPSC Civil Services Exams are one of the most prestigious and difficult exams to pass in India. UPSC stands for the Union Public Service Commission, which conducts the nationwide Civil Services Examinations (CSE) for recruitment to the higher civil services of the Government of India. UPSC recruits for both civil and defense services.

When we hear of UPSC, the top service jobs we think of are IAS, IPS, and IFS. However, there are 24 different civil service posts that UPSC recruits candidates for through their Civil Services Examination. Based on all three types of civil service, here are the 24 job posts that you can explore.

1. All India Civil Services

  • Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
  • Indian Police Service (IPS)
  • Indian Forest Service (IFoS)

2. Group ‘A’ Civil Services

  • Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
  • Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS)
  • Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)
  • Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS)
  • Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS)
  • Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES)
  • Indian Information Service (IIS)
  • Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS)
  • Indian Communication Finance Services (ICFS)
  • Indian Postal Service (IPoS)
  • Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
  • Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
  • Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
  • Indian Revenue Service (IRS)
  • ndian Trade Service (ITS)
  • Railway Protection Force (RPF)

3. Group ‘B’ Civil Services

  • Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service
  • Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS)
  • Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Police Service (DANIPS)
  • Pondicherry Civil Service
  • Pondicherry Police Service

To get jobs in the above posts, you have to appear for UPSC exams. The examination is conducted in three phases: UPSC Prelims, UPSC Mains, and UPSC Interview. You have to qualify in each round to secure a job in the civil services.

UPSC Prelims has two papers, which are General Studies I and CSAT (General Studies Paper-II). The marks scored in Paper I will be considered for the prelims cutoff. Prelims have objective MCQs, whereas for UPSC Mains you have to write descriptive and subjective answers.

How to prepare for the UPSC Mains exam?

Before discussing tips to clear the UPSC main exam, let’s look at the subjects and the paper pattern.

Paper Subject Nature of paper
Paper A Compulsory Indian language Qualifying

Paper B

English Qualifying

Paper I

Essay Merit


General Studies I


Paper III

General Studies II


Paper IV

General Studies III


Paper V

General Studies IV


Paper VI

Optional I


Paper VII

Optional II



Below are the subjects that General Studies covers.

General Studies I

Indian Heritage and Culture, History n Geography, Society

General Studies II

Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, International Relations

General Studies III

Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

General Studies IV

Ethics, Aptitude, Integrity

For optional subjects, you have over 20 options to choose from that include some fields like agriculture, history, civil engineering, psychology, public administration, and zoology.

Each exam is 3 hours long and carries a weightage of 300 marks. To begin your preparation, the first thing you need is your UPSC Main books. It’s extremely important to choose your study materials wisely.

Pearson has UPSC books that cover contemporary topics, have accurate information, and focus on learning through storytelling. Below is the list of books that you must get your hands on.

Apart from these books, you also need to adopt a certain lifestyle and discipline that can help you crack the exams as well as the interview.

It is important that you build a routine that helps you study well and shapes your personality too. Any civil job post that you will apply for requires utter sincerity. Hence, it is better to start preparing beforehand.

Stay up-to-date with current affairs and general knowledge. While you can learn from books for your exams, you will need much more to prove your eligibility during your interview. Reading newspapers, learning about history and laws can help you gain more clarity and knowledge.

For IAS Main books, you can study from NCERT textbooks of class 6th to 12th. They are ideal to learn or relearn basic concepts.

Always make notes that you can later refer to. Do not limit this just to study materials. Build a habit to research and read about new subjects that help you build your general knowledge or are related to your UPSC subjects.

UPSC exams have extremely diverse subjects and topics. If you are a curious learner, preparing for the exam will be easier than you think. However, it is crucial that you stay consistent from the day you commence your preparation and continue learning even after securing your dream job in civil services.

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