7 Tips to Choose the Best Study Material for UPSC Exam

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The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the prestigious Civil Services Examination (CSE) every year to select candidates for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and other top government positions. 

Clearing this examination is considered a dream come true for many aspirants as it opens the door to a rewarding and fulfilling career in public service. However, clearing the UPSC CSE is difficult and requires hard work, dedication, and the right study material. 

This article will discuss tips to help you choose the best study material for UPSC. By understanding the syllabus and pattern of the examination, using a combination of online and offline study material, looking for authentic and reliable sources, being selective about the study material you choose, using previous years’ question papers, and getting feedback from experts, you can increase your chances of success in the UPSC CSE.

1.Understand the Syllabus and Pattern of the UPSC CSE 

The UPSC CSE courses have a vast syllabus, and it is crucial to understand the syllabus and pattern of the examination to make the most of your preparation. This will help you to identify the subjects and topics you need to focus on and choose the study material accordingly. 

Additionally, you can use this information to identify gaps in your knowledge and work on them. For example, if you find that you are weak in a particular subject, you can focus on that subject and use study material specifically designed for that subject.

2.Use a Combination of Online and Offline Study Material

The UPSC CSE has a vast syllabus, and it is not possible to rely on one source of study material alone. Using a combination of online and offline study material will help you better understand the subjects and topics. 

The online study material for UPSC prelims, such as video lectures, mock tests, and e-books, can be accessed anytime and anywhere, making it convenient for aspirants with busy schedules. On the other hand, offline study material, such as textbooks, newspapers, and magazines, can be used to supplement online material. 

A combination of online and offline study material will also help you get different perspectives on the same topic, which can aid in understanding and retention.

3.Look for Authentic and Reliable Sources

With the increasing popularity of the internet, there is a plethora of study material available online. However, not all sources are authentic and reliable. Verifying the source’s credibility before using it for your studies is crucial. You can do this by looking for reviews and ratings of the source and cross-checking the information with other credible sources. 

Also, check the credentials of the authors or creators of the study material and see if they have any experience or expertise in the field.

4.Be Selective About the Study Material You Choose 

With so much study material available, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and try to cover everything. However, it is essential to be selective about your study material. Focus on the topics and subjects important for the UPSC CSE classes and avoid wasting time on unnecessary information. 

Additionally, it is important to remember that the UPSC CSE is not only about knowing a lot of information but also about understanding it, analysing it, and applying it. So, focus on understanding the material rather than just memorising it. This will help you retain and apply the information in the examination.

5.Use Previous Years’ Question Papers

One of the best ways for the UPSC CSE preparation is to practise with previous years’ question papers. These papers not only provide an idea of the type of questions that are asked in the examination but also give an insight into the pattern and level of difficulty of the examination. 

Solving previous years’ question papers will also help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and work on them accordingly. It will also give you an idea of the type of questions that are expected to come in the examination, and you can prepare accordingly.

6.Get Feedback from Experts 

It is always beneficial to get feedback from experts in the field. You can do this by joining a UPSE CSE institute or attending online classes. This will help you understand the subjects better, clear your doubts, and get guidance on improving your performance. 

The experts can provide insights into the UPSC CSE and help you prepare a strategy for the examination. They can also provide valuable tips and tricks that can help you score better in the examination. Additionally, getting expert feedback will help you identify areas where you need improvement and work on them accordingly.

7.Keep Yourself Updated With Current Events

The UPSC CSE tests a candidate’s knowledge of current events and issues, both national and international. Therefore, keeping yourself updated with the latest happenings in the world is essential. This can be done by reading newspapers, magazines, and online news portals.

It is also a good idea to subscribe to newsletters and podcasts that focus on current events and issues relevant to the UPSC CSE coaching. Keeping yourself updated with current events will not only help you to score better in the examination but also give you a better understanding of the world and its complexities.


Preparing for the UPSC CSE is challenging and requires hard work and dedication. Choosing the right IAS online study material is an important step in the preparation process. By understanding the syllabus and pattern of the examination, using previous years’ question papers, and getting feedback from experts, you can choose the best study material for UPSC and increase your chances of success. Remember, the key to success is not only about having the best study material but also about putting in the effort to understand and apply the material.

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