UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2020: How to prepare for UPSC exam amid Covid-19 pandemic

With a couple of months left for the UPSC exam, aspirants must be in full swing, studying with sharp concentration to leave no stone unturned. While marching towards the final day, a sense of anxiety, fear must be lingering deep down within them.

These concerns being natural for the students, the current year has added on to their uncertainties. From the dire shift in the preparation method to the skepticism surfacing the entire world, they are highly prone to visualize a bleak future.

Therefore, compared to earlier, the aspirants are in urgent need of expert assistance to keep them motivated under the reeling effects of Covid-19.


  • The very first step before sitting to study is to detach yourself from the surrounding. Where people are becoming restless with Covid-19 news, it is necessary not to be affected by such a scenario.
  • Likewise, aspirants fear the outcome, whether they will be able to crack the exam or not, if not, then what lies for them. Throughout the preparation, they are burdened with family/relative’s expectations, comparisons, and peer pressure. It is necessary to be free from these distractions to focus on the study. Detachment can alienate you from the overlying pressure, helping you to give 100% on the learning.

Enjoy the process

  • Mostly, students are anxious and frustrated when they are unable to reach the goal set by them or when they are unable to solve more than one or two mock tests.
  • Being disheartened, they sulk in thinking that they are incompetent. Here, the situation should analyze from a different perspective. One should stop counting the amount studied and what is left, instead enjoy the process of studying. By differentiating from a conventional mode of learning, the preparation will not seem burdensome.
  • Instead of thinking that such a small amount of syllabus is covered, you can see the brighter side of it where you have gained knowledge, cleared your concepts about a topic.

Perfection just an illusion

  • As observed, aspirants are reluctant to write answers even during practice out of fear that it will not be perfect. Therefore, it is crucial to get out of this web of perfection.
  • Initially, the possibility of answers being below par is high, but it is the practice that will make you perfect. Begin with writing answers irrespective of the quality. Compare your answers with good ones and analyze where you lack behind. Eventually, there will be an improvement, and you will be able to pen down quality content.

Be Consistent

  • It is a known fact that UPSC has a vast syllabus. The major mistake that aspirants commit is to deal with the humongous course as a whole. It can send chills down the spine.
  • Break down the syllabus into small parts. Achieving small goals will eventually lead to the ultimate goal. Aspirants get baffled by the loads to cover the entire course and end up doing nothing. Therefore, consistency will help to turn the impossibility into reality. Give your 100% every day, and a day will come when you will have achieved your target.

Avoid negativity

  • It is exceedingly essential to surround yourself with the right people. Avoid people who doubt your capabilities. All those who keep your morale down are not worth your company. Incidentally, dissociate yourself from them as they will repeatedly make you doubt you are potential. Others can come in the path of your dream. Hence, keep yourself out of their reach.

Adapt with time

  • There is a rising concern amongst the students over a change in preparation method owing to covid-19. Students are uncomfortable with the technological shift. Previously, aspirants were very much at ease with taking physical classes, being surrounded by a competitive environment, participating in group discussions and studies.
  • But with restrictions of social distancing, they are forced to take online classes, get acquainted with reading through PDFs rather than books, and give online mock tests. It has proven to be very frustrating, but one needs to adapt to the latest trend, as it is always the survival of the fittest.

Authored by Aditya Prakash Bhardwaj, IRS Officer