Since many people are vying for one post, there is intense scrutiny of the candidate who qualifies for the IAS exam. This scrutiny is done to identify the basis of the strengths that the candidate possesses in the core functioning areas of government working. It also tests the knowledge of the candidate about the organizational policies of the Government of India. For qualifying for the examination, the following steps must be followed by a candidate-
A study plan always begins by mentioning how you should prepare yourself before you dive into the details of the subjects. Having a core understanding of the papers is necessary. Understanding the basic criteria of any subject is considered to be necessary. Therefore you should follow the following steps to begin your pre-preparation work-
Being thoroughly versed with the Syllabus
Before beginning your preparation, be thorough with the syllabus. Memorize the contents of your syllabus. For example- if you have General Knowledge in your syllabus scope, identify the topics. Then divide your syllabus scope according to the level of difficulty. Try completing the easier chapters earlier. Then start with the difficult chapters which require intense study. A methodical approach would help you organize your study pattern better.
Reading is a good habit. An individual should have a habit of reading at least 10 news in detail. It helps you learn about the ongoing situation across the world and also helps you develop vocabulary.
Appearing for practice test series before exams help you understand a lot of things such as time management, build confidence in solving problems, get aware of the challenges facing in the limited time, etc. Test series could be a confidence booster for the students appearing for the IAS exam.
Get the Exam Dates
The IAS Preliminary Exam Dates are posted on the Internet. See the dates and prepare yourself accordingly. An exam schedule is posted on the requisite website of the IAS department. The website contains information regarding openings and vacancies. Read the exam dates thoroughly and remember them.
Understanding the Question Paper Format and Pattern
The third most important activity that you must perform is understanding the question paper pattern. The format of the question paper is mandated by the Government authorities. See the marks distribution in the sample question papers. Solve question papers from the previous years. Solving last year’s question papers would give you an idea about the difficulty level of the questions that appear in the examination.
Accept the Changes that your Life would go through
An IAS preparation routine is not just about meticulous studying. It requires you to switch off from social connections and requires single-minded focus. Accept the changes in your routine. Be thorough with your study patterns. Give adequate rest to your body. Instead of surging your cell phone till late at night, sleep for a considerable period. That would help your body rest and would provide you with the energy to work harder and perform better.
Preparation and Study Plan
Now we come to the preparation bit for the IAS examination. There are two separate categories of examination in this regard- IAS Prelims and IAS Mains. The Prelims involve MCQ-type questions. Questions come from the designated study topics which are included in the syllabus for IAS examinations. Candidates start preparing for the IAS Prelims. In the meantime, as they lend all their focus to the Prelims, they forget about the Mains completely. Thus the difficulty level of the Mains catches up with them after some time. Therefore it is advised to adopt an integrated approach. Start preparing for both the Prelims and the Mains simultaneously. It will give you a better idea about the study pattern necessary.
When Should the Preparation Start?
The preparation for an IAS examination should start well beforehand. Therefore you should give at least 10-12 months before preparing for the examination. This will help you allocate your subjects better. Lend more emphasis on the compulsory core papers. After you have completed your core syllabus, move on to the optional papers. Look to complete more than 75% of your core syllabus and 50% of your optional syllabus well before the examination begins. That would give you the necessary time to revise and practice more vigorously.
When should the Preparation for Prelims Start?
The preparation for Prelims should individually begin 2 months before the Prelims of the IAS are held. This period is for revising what you have learned for the last year. Focus on solving MCQ-type questions. Many NCERT books are available where you would get innumerable MCQ-type questions. Solve them regularly.
There is an important tip for beginners. Firstly the ones who are appearing for the examination get complacent. Secondly, they panic under intense pressure and the results are unproductive. To counter these two problems, the candidate must increase the self-confidence level. Have faith and trust in the knowledge that you have gained. It will help you execute your performance more efficiently.
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