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How to Prepare for IAS

Under India’s Civil Services, aspirants have several options to choose from. Some of the country’s Civil Services include the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), the Indian Police Services (IPS), and the Indian Foreign Services (IFS).

Among the different choices, the IAS is a sought after career option by many aspirants. The opportunity to serve their country is the reason why a large percentage of candidates apply for a career in the IAS and Civil Services.

However, to become part of the country’s IAS, the aspiring candidates have to appear for the Civil Services Exam (CSE). Note that CSE is an extremely tough exam, with a very small percentage of candidates passing the exam. The fact that the CSE has an extensive syllabus that covers a host of subjects is the reason for the exam to be a tough one.

The CSE is held by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Also, the CSE entails three phases that are the Preliminary, Mains, and Interview rounds. The Preliminary round is objective in nature. The Mains exam consists of a Written Test. The Interview rounds help to judge the candidate’s overall personality.

The candidates have to pass each stage to progress to the subsequent ones. Moreover, the level of difficulty only increases with the following rounds.

IAS: Preparation Tips

  • Note that as per the eligibility criteria of the CSE exam, the applicants should be minimum 21 years of age and graduates. Final year students are eligible to apply for IAS prelims too. Now, if you are considering a career in the IAS, start applying during your graduating year to avail the early advantage.
  • If you are preparing simultaneously for both your graduation and IAS exams, prioritize your time suitably to study the different topics.
  • As part of your initial CSE preparation, go through the CSE syllabus and prepare a time table while covering all topics. Also, devote time to all subjects suitably.
  • Refer to only the recommended books to prepare for the CSE. You can start with the NCERT books that are purchasable online.
  • Taking mock tests can help to get practice. Consider enrolling in a mock test series too. By taking mock tests, you learn about the question pattern of the CSE examination.
  • Inculcate the habit of reading newspapers and magazines. This helps to increase your General Awareness and, also, add value to your career in the Civil Services.
  • For the Mains round that includes a Written Test, practice writing to increase your speed and clarity.
  • Organize discussions with peers that are based on current issues. By doing so, you can become confident of talking in groups while putting forth your views on global affairs.
  • The exam includes several subjects. However, do not study all the subjects together. Instead, learn one subject at a time. This is important because Multi-tasking may not give the desired results.
  • In the IAS Prelims, the Maps subject is a high-scoring one. So, work smart and become proficient in maps to increase your score tally.
  • Draft micro notes on the different subjects and revise from them regularly. Studying from self notes is easier than books.
  • Consider joining a coaching institute. They can help to suggest the best books. Also, you can get enough practice by way of their regular tests. More importantly, after the tests, they give exhaustive feedback on your performance, following which you can work to improve in the weak areas. More so, they provide a competitive environment that, in turn, propels you to deliver your best.
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