Civil Services Exam is regarded as the mother of all the examinations in India. Beginners are often baffled by the vastness of the syllabus and time it takes to complete the whole process of examination and training before you join the prestigious services. Aspirants spend months together reading the success stories of toppers and their strategies. But it is essential to understand that what worked for one person might not work for you. If you are beginning your preparation for UPSC 2020, here are a few things you must keep in mind.
- Understand the pattern of the exam. The process of selection for the central and all India services is divided into 3 levels namely prelims, mains, and the interview. Preliminary exam is objective type test while mains exam is of descriptive type.
- Make a note of all the important dates such as the due date to submit the application, date of the preliminary examination and mains examination, etc. so that you do not miss out on any of those. A forgotten date could lead to a wasted year.
- Understand the requirements of the exam. The notification contains the details of IAS eligibility, educational qualification, age limit and other details with respect to the examination.
- Download the syllabus and go through it multiple times. Since the syllabus is vast, topics to be covered are huge in number. In order to avoid wasting time on unnecessary topics, make sure the syllabus is on your fingertips.
- Prepare a time table in such a manner that you have enough time to cover the whole syllabus (both prelims and mains) at least two months before the date of the preliminary examination. The last two months have to be set aside for revisions only.
- Choose the optional subject wisely and according to your comfort level. Make sure you complete studying the optional subject thoroughly at least once before the Prelims, as it constitutes a major chunk of mains examination marks.
- Make use of online resources judiciously. There are lakhs of websites and blogs that could help you in your IAS preparation. Choose the ones that are best suited for you and do not waste much of your time on the internet.
- You can join a coaching institute only if you feel the need to. It is purely a personal choice. Just because the coaching institute helped a person clear the exam doesn’t mean it will help you too. Weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.
- Start practising answer writing from day-1 of your preparation. Do not wait until you complete the syllabus. Answer writing practice is essential to score good marks in the mains examination which is a deciding factor for your rank in the Final list.
- Test your preparation. Solve previous year question papers, take online quizzes or enrol for a good test series. You do not have to do all of the above. Take up anyone and do it with sincerity. This will help you check if your preparation is in the right direction or not.
UPSC exam can be cleared in the first attempt. All you need to do is be dedicated, determined and consistent. Motivate yourself every day.