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9 Underlying Facts That Play An Important Role In Your IAS EXAM Preparation


9 Underlying Facts That Play An Important Role In Your IAS EXAM Preparation

Devising a proper strategy is essential for successful and timely completion of the task. Along with a proper strategy, the honest and strict implementation can bring the aspirants to the doorsteps of victory. A successful strategy should be formulated keeping in mind, not only the nature and structure of the examination but also the candidate’s positive and negative traits. A strategy would prove effective only if all components of the preparation would be given suitable importance while preparing the same.

The components of reliable strategy should include selection of study material, time management, effective study methodology, notes making, selection of coaching institutions, group discussion, regular revision, mock tests, maintaining good health and finally, an effective and efficient delivery of knowledge on the examination day.

1. Selection of Study Material

The syllabus of General Studies is vast and theoretically has no limits. The official notification by UPSC gives only broad outlines of the syllabus and does not go into specific details. For our purpose, we can divide the syllabus into two parts- dynamic and static. The static part contains topics which do not change much from year-to-year like History, Geography, Economy, Polity, Art and Culture and General Science etc.

The dynamic part contains topics which require the candidate to update his knowledge regularly and include Current Events of National and International importance, Science and Technology, issues related to Governance, Development, Inclusion, Social Sector and Environmental Ecology. The preparation of syllabus requires both extensive and intensive study.

For the dynamic part of the syllabus, the availability and reliability of books is a problem, but the certain basic background can be built over these topics by reading the books. The best way of preparing these topics is to regularly update your knowledge through a newspaper since it is possible that you may end up spending too much time on the news, which is irrelevant from the point of view of the exam while missing out the important bits.

The focus should be on covering national and international news of recent importance as well as editorial and opinion article on current issues. The role of magazines should be a kind of supplement to the information obtained from newspapers. Due to the availability of more space, magazines are able to cover the issues in greater detail through special articles. These magazines contain quizzes and other material of national and international importance, which will enable the aspirants to get an overall picture of events and topics currently in focus. Some of the magazines which are useful include Yojana, Kurukshetra, Frontline, etc.

2. Importance of Valuable Guidance

A knowledgeable and experienced mentor can guide a candidate towards success in an effective way. A good mentor can be a person associated with an academic institution, a coaching institute, senior friend, a family member or a selected candidate. However, choosing a person to play the role of a mentor is in itself a daunting task for the new and inexperienced Civil Services Aspirants.

A candidate must consult with a large number of people associated with Civil Services competition and after carefully analyzing all the inputs, he/she should identify the correct mentor. Though joining a coaching institute is not the only way to clear the examination, an association of a candidate with a reliable institution brings certain benefits to the candidate. These benefits include study material, mock tests, group discussions and most importantly discipline and consistency in the preparation.

3. Effective Study Methodology

It is a well-known fact that the study methodology adopted during preparation can be the key to the success of the Civil Services Preliminary Examination

The last 3 years have seen a drastic change in the nature of questions asked in this paper.The questions, now being asked, are very conceptual and not factual in nature. The candidates should always keep this in mind while preparing and should not be tempted to only memorize facts, without understanding the underlying concepts or issues.

A harmful method of study is selective study. Do not give more time to subjects that you are interested in at the expense of the topics which do not interest you. Also, do not study only those topics, which have been covered in the previous years’ papers or which you think are important. While reading books, remember that it is better to read a few standard books multiple times rather than reading multiple books single time.

4. Revision for Perfection

The main purpose of the revision is to understand the topic, thoroughly and memorize and practice it by applying it to solve the previous year’s examination questions. The main task in revision is, to go through the marked, underlined and highlighted portions of the books on each subject quickly, understand again what you have noted there and still, if it is not clear, write it down separately for further clarification.

5. Role of Mock Test

It plays a crucial role regarding one’s progress in Civil Services Examination. It is for this reason that Mock Tests are to be attempted seriously and evaluated afterward, to find out where the preparation is inadequate.

6. Importance of Internet

In the context of the qualitative and quantitative changes, that have been introduced recently by the Union Public Service Commission, in the Preliminary and Mains Examination pattern, the candidates should explore the internet as a source of exam-oriented information and knowledge.

Contemporary national and international developments in the realm of polity, economy, and society can be better covered by the internet. Various government and private websites do have the information and analysis, that is important from the examination point of view.

A number of commercial websites, run by media houses or coaching centers, have been designed to help students in their preparations by providing previous years’ solved question papers, new practice question sets, and study materials also. Choosing the right website which provides quality material is, in itself, a huge challenge for an inexperienced aspirant.

7. Preparation of Notes

The notes prepared by aspirants assist the candidate to internalize the facts and concepts in a relatively easy manner. Some facts should be kept in mind when the aspirant prepares notes like it should cover only the facts and concepts that are perceived important from the examination point of view, not of the whole syllabus.

In addition, notes should be in the form of points, for quick reading and easy understanding. One thing that makes the individual notes very adequate is if the notes are properly updated with the additional information (e.g., newspapers, current events and so on).

8. Effective Discussion

Effective discussion means pooling of knowledge, analysis, and experience of individual participants for the benefit of all the candidates taking part in the discussion. This exercise develops certain qualities in active and alert participants. These qualities include- carefully and patiently others stand, respect for diversity of views and gaining more knowledge in relatively less time spent.

A topic for discussion should be identified by all participants after due deliberation. On such topic, all participants should do a lot of homework which would include, gaining factual knowledge and then, inducing thought process involving multiple dimensions. So that, while entering the discussion room, all participants are enthusiastic enough, for sharing and gaining knowledge and for finishing that topic once for all from examination point of view.

Candidates should ensure that none of the participants strays from the topic being discussed, otherwise, it will a waste everybody’s time. The time and duration of the discussion should be decided in advance so that, it will be convenient for all to attend without disturbing their study schedule or other duties.

9. Importance of Time Management

Time management is a crucial part of the preparation. Effective time management will help you to complete syllabus in time and maintain a regular rhythm in your studies. Time management is the key to success, it allows you to take control of your life rather than going with the flow of time. In addition, by taking control of one’s time, the individual is able to stay focused on the task at hand. This leads to higher efficiency since he/she never loses momentum which leads to accomplishing more tasks with fewer efforts in less time. Maintaining discipline and selection of higher quality work are important attributes of effective time management in Civil Services.


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