How to Prepare for Civil Service Exam

Several aspirants seek to become part of India’s Civil Services in any given year. In turn, they get an opportunity to serve their country. However, they have to clear the Civil Service Examination to avail the opportunity. Also, the CSE is a tough exam and they have to start preparing early if they have to excel in the exam.

Every year, the Union Public Service Commission holds the Civil Service Examination (CSE) to enroll candidates in the country’s Civil Services. In all, 24 services come under India’s Civil Services. These include the Indian Foreign Services, Indian Police Services (IPS), Indian Administrative Services (IAS), among others.

The CSE has 3 stages that include the Preliminary (objective), Mains (written), and Interview (personality test). The aspirants have to clear each stage to be promoted to the next one. Also, the levels increase in difficulty as they progress. The exam is considered tough because of the vast syllabus, covering a variety of subjects.

Civil Service Exam: Preparation Tips

  • Learn to manage your time and make sure to answer the questions in the prescribed time limit. Also, you must manage your time at attempting the questions with maximum accuracy.
  • In addition to referring to books, you must draft notes as well. They help for revision during the final preparation stages. In fact, you can make notes after completing each topic. Note that you tend to memorize the topics if you prepare notes.
  • Take regular mock tests to know more about the exam pattern. You can invest in a good online mock test series for getting sufficient practice.
  • Start your preparations early. Keep in mind that there is a large syllabus for covering all 3 stages; and by starting early, there will be enough time for revision.
  • Keep aside enough time for revision after completing the syllabus. Remember revision is key for excelling in exams.
  • Work to complete the syllabus 1-2 months before the exam. The rest of the time, you can leave for revision.
  • Prepare a time table and divide the syllabus to cover all subjects. Also, make time for regular revisions. More so, you must stick to the given deadlines.
  • Become familiar with the extent of the syllabus and structure your study time table accordingly.
  • Focus on learning the basics of the subject concepts from the study material and do not rote the topics.
  • Make sure to have multiple study material sources, including the online ones.
  • Engage in periodic discussions and debates with fellow aspirants on current affairs and syllabus topics. By doing so, you get experience of putting forth your views and, also, can become comfortable while talking to a crowd.
  • In addition to the mock tests, you must get enough practice from previous years’ question papers too. This helps to become familiar with the exam setting and given time limit.
  • Inculcate the habit of reading newspapers (as many as possible) to remain updated on the latest happenings. This is important because several questions are based on general knowledge.
  • Apart from books, as part of your preparation, you must interact with others to develop your communication skills too.
  • Make sure to eat well and sleep for the required 6-8 hours during the night. Besides, practicing a regular exercise regime can help to boost health. You must, also, drink adequate water to remain healthy and hydrated. Additionally, you should take time out to meditate and perform yoga - to reduce stress.
  • Schedule your studies in a manner that suits you and avoid following others. Plan your study hours when your concentration levels are at their peak.
  • Ensure to take breaks at regular intervals to remain focused on your studies.
  • Work on developing your personality, so you can clear the personal interview rounds with ease.
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