Are you just a college goer and decided to opt Civil services to serve our country?
You are on the right path but you need some strategy to clear the exam. Because you do know that you are unique and very honest citizen. But UPSC Panel wants not only an honest aspirant but also a smart one. Here I’m explaining you how to Start Preparing for IAS exam from College or school days. Follow this simple strategy to clear the Civil Services Exam.
UPSC Exam Pattern:
The first and foremost thing is to know the pattern of this examination. The pattern of this examination had a major changes in last 5 years. According to the latest change in 2015-16 UPSC notification There will be three tiers of Examination. Preliminary Level, Mains and Interview. All graduated candidates can write Preliminary Level Examination. It consists of two papers. Paper I (General Studies) and Paper II (CSAT). Candidate should score 33% of marks in Paper II and it will be just a qualifying paper. Paper I (General Studies) is the real game. After clearing Preliminary level we have to clear Mains level Exam too. Click here for more details on UPSC Civil Service Exam Pattern.
Learn Your Subjects Thoroughly:
Many of the students who start to prepare for competitive exams while studying in college will make this blunder mistake. They will focus for the UPSC exam to be held after 3 years but will fail to score more in semester to be held in next month. UPSC likes candidates with good academic records. It does not mean that they will only prefer students with good scores. But if you have high grades it will help you in the interview. I’m listing this first because I took decision to enter into civil services and prepared for UPSC without focusing on grades. UPSC interview may have questions relating to your graduation. So Learn Your Subjects thoroughly.
Buy any one National newspaper. Preferably The Hindu. Magazines are not necessary if you are reading newspapers regularly. If you feel difficult to read the news in English don’t go with your regional language(Tamil or Hindi). Try to read in English with the help of Dictionary else buy The Hindu Tamil Version and The Hindu English Version. It is not recommended to skip the English language as UPSC prelims/mains questions will be in English and Hindi only and also many materials won’t be available in our regional language. Just don’t read newspapers and throw it off. Take notes from the newspaper. Reading necessary news is as much important as the reading newspaper. Skip waste politics news and pity police cases. It is not necessary for our preparation and will be useful only after clearing this exam. In fact, it will be our duty to read such news on those days.
NCERT is the next step in preparation. Some of you may have gone to good schools like KV, DAV, AV etc, but the majority of us would have studied in Government schools or at small matriculation schools so that we would have just memorised the facts to pass the examination. Read school textbooks once again. This time you should focus more on concepts and you do not need to focus on facts. UPSC always demand concepts and not for facts. Eg: They don’t ask for the year on which war took place. they only need the period/hierarchy of incidence.
I do not recommend you to read magazines if you are reading newspapers regularly and taking notes from that. If not, in that case, read CSR, Pratyogita Darpan or any other civil service related magazines. These magazines may give you what is the current trend in UPSC Civil Services Examination but if you are using the internet regularly and visiting mrunal.org, forumias.com, upschub.com then you may don’t have to worry about those messy magazines which try to make money with little useful content and huge ads.
Extra Curricular Activities:
You should not only focus on studies rather be focused on Sports/Arts too. Learn additional languages. If you are from Tamilnadu learn Hindi just to understand and respond to Hindi fanatic UPSC board members present in interview panel. After becoming IAS let us spread our Semmozhi. To keep you actively learn to write in the left hand, learn Thirukkural which will be useful for you in mains answer writing too. You can quote Thirukkural in answers for mains paper 4. Read non-fiction books, Books like India after Gandhi, My Experiments with Truth, Wings of Fire, Train to Pakistan.