The complete guide to clearing UPSC examinations
There is no alternative to sheer hard work for success and thus clearing the civil service examinations. Regulated by the Union Public Services Commission, the examination for Indian Administrative Service requires an aspirant to distant himself/herself from all worldly distractions and be dedicated to studies for the most part of their day. However, the theory of correlation of intelligence & aptitude with chances of selection is quite hyped up. This is clearly a misconception that has prevailed long enough amongst the UPSC aspirants and still does. The aspirants that crack the examinations are not superhuman. It is just that something might have worked out for them due to which they cleared examinations and thereafter the interview process successfully.
Listed down below are a few points to prepare for UPSC examinations that are commonly followed by the successful civil service aspirants. Take a look:
- Prepare a timetable and strategize your schedule:
Lay the foundation of your UPSC preparations by strategizing your schedule. Sketch out a detailed timetable and pen down your long and short-term goals. Put it up on a bulletin board in front of you.
- Decide on what study material you need to begin with:
Research through various sources online and consult your seniors about the study materials that need to be bought, to begin with. Also, take into consideration the language you are comfortable in. For instance, if you think you can understand, mug up and retain the course content in Hindi better than you may invest in purchasing UPSC notes in Hindi.
- Work on strengthening your foundation and concepts:
As an aspirant, you should not read Books for IAS preparation just for the sake of mugging them up. It is crucial that you understand everything you read as the questions in UPSC examinations are application and analysis based. Hence, you will able to answer the questions only when you have a clear understanding of the subject content.
- Consolidate the content of the respective subjects and revise:
Once you have gone through your UPSC notes in Hindi or English, it would be time to consolidate whatever you have studied. You can do this by making notes as there would be an ocean worth of content to be revised. Organizing your notes topic wise would ease the task of revision for you. Revise all of what you have studied till you understand the concepts well and are able to retain the subject matter.
- Evaluate the quality of your preparation from time to time:
Evaluate the quality of the content you have read from Books for IAS preparation by practicing the IAS test series. Self-evaluation through test series are effective as they are designed keeping the actual exam pattern in mind. Hence, it will help you time your question-solving speed and improve your ability to make intelligent guesses.
- Work on your ability to express and articulate:
It is not important to only read, understand and retain your UPSC notes in Hindi or English. It is equally important to discuss these topics with seniors and/or peers, etc. This way your doubts and misconceptions (if any) will be cleared out. Also, discussing topics with people will help in improving your ability to debate, phrase and articulate it.
- Be optimistic:
This is one of the most important things to do. The path to clearing IAS successfully is not easy, time-consuming and full of obstacles. You will feel tempted to give up every few days. Hence, be optimistic. Every failure is a new opportunity to perform better.
The pre-preparation months are very crucial and need you to be very patient. You might not be able to figure out which books for IAS preparation should you choose, what newspapers to read, whose blog to follow, etc. Most people join coaching and believe that they are sorted for life. Others may begin heading in the direction of their seniors mindlessly. What you need to realize is that this is the stage where if you lose your momentum, it would get very difficult for you to realign things later. Hence, you need to start steadily and begin with covering up the NCERTs of Economics, Polity and other general subjects. In conjugation, you may read a few blogs of previously successful aspirants. Once that is done you should start reading UPSC notes in Hindi or English. This should be followed by practicing IAS test series.