Tips to Prepare for a UPSC Subject Without a Background
How to Approach a Subject Without Background in it for UPSC CSE:
Many UPSC IAS Exam candidates have this question. General Studies, which is required for both Prelims and Mains in the UPSC Exam, covers a vast range of courses, and most aspirants find it difficult to tackle areas that they have not been in contact with since high school. The same is true for applicants who have chosen an optional subject that they did not study throughout their graduation years. A science graduate, for example, may struggle to cover the vast syllabus of humanities disciplines.
What is important to remember here is that the UPSC does not want Civil Services Exam candidates to be experts/specialists in each of the subjects of the syllabus, but rather to have a generalist understanding of all the areas. So, first and foremost, let go of the notion that a subject is inherently difficult just because you lack prior knowledge of it. You must approach each subject with the proper mindset; else, any subject might be challenging.
A Few Essential Factors to Consider When Preparing a Subject for UPSC CSE Without Background
- First and foremost, you must master the fundamentals. That is why it is suggested that one begins with the NCERT texts. They give clear, unambiguous explanations of all the major topics and so provide a solid foundation upon which to build from other sources. Once the fundamental grasp of topics is established, one can proceed to some of the classic texts on the subject.
- Consider the fact that it is better to limit your sources for the subject to the most significant ones and update them several times than to have several sources and not even learn one effectively.
- Examine previous years' question papers to see what kinds of questions were asked, and try to comprehend the subject's requirements from an exam standpoint. This criterion may vary across all three levels of the test. As a result, you must arrange your preparation properly.
- Enhance your curriculum knowledge with current affairs from newspapers (Hindu and Indian Express) and magazines (Yojana, EPW, and so on) for courses that need you to be up to date on current events. Refer to official websites, read government publications, thoroughly study the Economic Survey and Budget, and so forth. Not only should you study these additional materials and take notes, but you should also strive to create connections with the syllabus themes to acquire comprehensive knowledge. Make your own brief notes for easy review and memory retention.
- Even if you have prior knowledge of a subject or not, answer writing practice is an important element of the preparation process. The more you write, the more you will learn about the issues and the subject as a whole. The only thing left to do is let go of any fears or inhibitions. When you first start writing, your first responses may be inadequate, but don't give up and quit writing. Try to think about and analyze how you might have written it better, and you will get extremely good at it over time. The trick is to keep writing and get better.