The UPSC civil services exam is one of the most competitive exams in India and lakhs of students attempt the exam every year. Only the most hard-working students crack the exam and even they have revealed that a proper plan of study is very essential.
Guide to Prepare for IAS Exam:
Here are a few steps that will help you with your IAS preparation journey.
1. Preparation and setting goals for yourself
Before starting your preparation, prepare mentally and physically for the examination. Check everything about what UPSC is all about and moreover, analyze the qualities needed for an IAS officer. Set goals and be prepared to devote time effectively.
2. Know the syllabus well
Knowing the syllabus is very important. The UPSC has provided a detailed syllabus for the Civil Services Preliminary and Main examination and students should follow the syllabus. Knowing the syllabus will help you to choose relevant study options, prioritize the subjects, help you avoid other topics, and so on.
3. Make a timetable and stick to it
Set a strict timetable before your preparation and adhere to it. This will help you to be more systematic. Set realistic deadlines so that you would work better and complete the syllabus.
4. Daily reading of newspapers
The newspapers are the most important as it helps you to be strong in current affairs. If you do not read the newspaper or follow the daily news, it would be really difficult as the questions asked are directly or indirectly related to current affairs. Hence, it is very important to follow the relevant news items.
5. Choosing the right optional subject is important.
The optional subject accounts for 500 marks in the final score and hence, you should choose an optional subject wisely. Think of all the possibilities, both positives and negatives and some of the factors to keep in mind before selecting can be:-
- Interest in the subject
- Prior knowledge /your favorite subject ins school
- Overlap with the GS papers
- Availability of coaching
- Availability of study materials/other resources
6. Prepare from NCERT textbooks
The NCERT textbooks play a very significant role in the IAS exam preparation. Aspirants can get their basic concepts and theories cleared and they provide all the information in a simple way which is easy to understand.
7. Make notes while studying
It is helpful to make notes while studying for the exams. Since the UPSC syllabus is very vast, it is easy to keep track of the portions covered and also serves handy when revising before the exams.
8. Practice writing the answers
The IAS main exam papers are descriptive in nature and it is mainly about checking your analytical, critical, and communicative abilities. Hence, you need to organize your thoughts and views in a meticulous way.
9. Solving previous answer papers.
Previous question papers are the most reliable sources to understand the UPSC pattern and its difficulty level. You can judge the trends easily help you understand which areas are the most important. Solving tests daily can boost your confidence as well.
10. Do as many tests as you can
Self-assessment is an essential part of UPSC preparation as there is no point in just reading but applying that knowledge too. It can help in learning from mistakes and also concentrate on the weaker areas. It is highly recommended to join the mock test series, as this will help you to assess yourself on a whole new level and boost your confidence.
11. Check some important Government resources
There are many government sources you can rely on for your preparation. Government websites like the PIB, PRS, and national television programs featured on the Rajya Sabha TV are very helpful.
12. Take time and revise
Revision is very important when you are facing an exam as tough as the UPSC exam. Since the UPSC syllabus is vast and diverse, covering all topics is a must as one can forget things they studied earlier. To avoid this, timely revision starting a month or even before is very important.
13. Preparing for the UPSC Interview
The final stage in the UPSC exam is the UPSC interview or Personality Test and this is an important stage as it tests if you have all the qualities necessary for an IAS officer. You will be assessed by senior officials on qualities such as diplomatic skills, communication skills, presence of mind, reaction to stress, etc. You will also be asked questions about your interests, education, and work experience, so you need to brush up in those areas as well.
The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is a highly prestigious career option for all who aspire to be an IAS officer in the future. It is one of the All India Services along with others such as Police Services, Defence and Emergency Services. IAS officers serve as the permanent bureaucracy of the Executive Branch of the Government of India and hold a prestigious post to serve the nation. Hence, rigorous training and effort are required to reach this position. To become an IAS Officer is definitely a herculean task but the one who has the determination and is willing to work hard will definitely make it. All the best.