Most of the people reading this page must already be aware of the Civil Services Exams, one of the most difficult-to-clear exams to get entry into the IAS, IPS, IFS and other prestigious services in India. Still, it’s doable. The thing that matters is your determination, diligence, and some smart (hard) work.
This article provides the most important tips to keep in mind when preparing for the Civil Services IAS Exams conducted by UPSC.
Set your goal
Setting your goal at the starting of the day is the most effective approach. Write all your targets for the day in your journal and tick one by one when you are done with them.
Get ready to devote complete two years to IAS study
Yes, that’s right. If you thought you can work as well as prepare for the civil services exams, then it’s mighty difficult and something that’s not advisable. As you have to prepare three complete subjects, one essay, and two languages, you will need a complete, the unmitigated concentration of at least two years.
Also remember that one complete civil services cycle consists of the preliminary exam, main exam, and interview that together take one complete year.
If you are unable to clear the exam within the first two years, nothing to worry as most people clear only after two years, then you can continue to prepare for the IAS exams along with other activities, including job and giving other exams. But do this only when you have mastered your subjects thoroughly and have preferably given at least one mains.
Choose the right subjects for IAS exams
Once you have decided to take the plunge, proceed methodically. First, choose the prelims optional, the second subject can be taken up later. Now, which subject should you take up as your first optional?
Take a subject that excites you and implores you to find out more about. That’s the thumb rule. Don’t take a subject just because that’s the most popular one, like History, or because your friend or mentor told you to take it up.
As you will have to study the subject in depth and reproduce your knowledge in the IAS mains exams according to the demands of the question, you should have a passion for the subject knowledge. Once you have mastered the subject, the marks will follow. Don’t worry about it, there’s nothing called a high scoring or low scoring optional.
Don’t neglect your general awareness
So many candidates focus only on the optional subjects, ignoring the General Studies paper of the civil services exams till the last month. Don’t do this.
For the past few years, UPSC has made the GS paper very dynamic and the prelims paper is based largely on general awareness and not the conventional rote based knowledge. Even the mains paper has become very analytical and issue focused. For this, you will have to stay on pace with the latest developments in India and worldwide, read up general knowledge based yearbooks, magazines and most importantly, read a good paper like The Hindu on a daily basis.
Habit of Writing
Writing your answers down is the best way to present your opinion and thoughts. Also, it helps you in memorizing things for a longer time.
Develop a habit of reading
Read Newspaper or Magazines etc. to keep yourself aware with all the current affairs. Though, you can also opt for diverse mobile apps available contemporarily such as In shorts, The Hindu & many more.
Prepare for Interview
Last but not the least – Interview. The most crucial point here is mannerism. From the moment you will enter the room for an interview, you will be noticed entirely – so your body language should be virtuous with good manners.
Another major point is to show respect to all the members. Also, make sure to revise whatever you wrote in the main examination – as most of the questions are asked related to the matter you wrote.
Besides all these tips, the right approach along with the right study material, hard work and dedication will be the key to your success. All the best for your preparation.