UPSC Civil Services Exam, as you know is a 3 stage exam- Prelims, Mains and Interview and all three stages requires an altogether different approach to get through this exam.
For beginner's who have just started their preparation or thinking to start, I would say that they must understand the nature of this exam, i.e. what the exam demands.As CSE is different from your university exams, hence you must know what the exam demands.You need analytical skills and a clear understanding of the concepts, as only then you can be able to write an excellent answer in the Civil Services Exams.
As Sunny sir always guides, you must do the following to develop a clear and deep understanding of the concepts
1) Read the Newspaper daily
It is very important and just cannot be left out. Newspaper is important in all the 3 stages of the exam.
2) Beginner's must stay motivated through the entire journey and possess enthusiasm, sincerity and dedication to study.
3) Understand the syllabus of UPSC- CSE and prepare every topic mentioned in the syllabus.
4) Your class notes will be sufficient for you. They already are a compilation of all the relevant study resources. Your hard work has already been done by the institute. You only need to understand the concepts being taught to you and revise and practice numerous times.
5) For a better preparation, you can add on a standard text book along with the notes and stick to it.
6) Lastly, try to give maximum tests in the institute for your performance evaluation.
Also, practice Daily Answer Writing in the institute. It is a very important aspect of preparation.
My message to all the aspirants- " There is no substitute to Hard Work"