(Getting Started) How to Crack UPSC In First Attempt - Mukund Kumar IAS (AIR-54)

(Getting Started) How to Crack UPSC In First Attempt - Mukund Kumar IAS (AIR-54)

Mukund Kumar has secured the coveted all-India rank of 54 in Civil Services Examination 2019 conducted by UPSC. He is a native of the Madhubani district of Bihar. He was a student of Sainik School, Goalpara, Assam, which he got admitted to by clearing an all-India examination. He graduated in English Literature from PGDAV college, Delhi university in 2018. 2019 was Mukund’s very first attempt and he made it to the top of the result sheet with his hard work and determination.

How To Begin IAS Preparation

  • Start with downloading the prelims and mains UPSC syllabus. Keep them in front of you always. Keep reading and rereading the syllabus. It’s the best way to familiarize yourself with UPSC.
  • Start with common parts with prelims and mains – integrated preparation is key. History, Geography, Economics, Polity, Environment – these are the main elements here. Preparing this well will take 12-14 months.
  • Next, start the potions exclusive to mains such as Ethics, World History, Internal Security and Disaster Management, etc. This would take another 3-4 months. 

UPSC Prelims

Devote 3-4 months before the prelims examination completely for the preliminary exam. Qualifying prelims alone can boost your confidence enough to push you through to the final list. Ensure you solve at least 30 mock tests and have a repository of 3000+ MCQ questions at hand. Take your CSAT paper seriously and solve previous years' questions. You do not want to be disqualified over it. Do not underestimate option elimination as that can fetch you up to 60 marks.

UPSC Mains Optionals

Your optional will make or break your result. The main reason is the marks for this paper can be as high as 60-70%. For G.S., your marks tend not to go above 50%. So this will push you to the front of the list with up to 100 more marks than the average aspirant. Mukund recommends taking 5-6 months to prepare your optional well.

Choose your optional based on your interest alone. Do not pick an optional based on toppers’ opinions or what has scored better in the recent past. You have to study your optional in much depth, so your interest must sustain. 

Book List

Mukund suggests the following books –

These are by no measure the best books, choose books as per your aptitude. And remember, it is better to read one book thrice than reading three books once. 

Current Affairs

Current affairs have become very important in recent times. It is integral to prelims, mains, and interviews. Read a newspaper such as Hindu or Indian Express, and read a monthly magazine to revise. Do not go for multiple sources.

Message To IAS Aspirants

Be happy. Stress never helped anyone. Try to focus on one subject at a time and don’t get distracted by the anxiety of studying another subject. 

Keep your head down and keep working hard. You will succeed. 

All the best!


Printed Study Material for UPSC IAS Exams

Online Coaching for IAS PRELIMS Exam

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