Common Doubts Students Have Regarding UPSC CSE Preparation

Highlights: UPSC CSE preparation

Do the following complexities while preparing for the CSE leave you perplexed?

  1. The right time to begin?
  2. How to Prepare?
  3. How long to study?
  4. How to Choose the Optional?
  5. What about NCERT and The Hindu?

UPSC CSE preparation: Well, it can’t be taken for granted that clearing the Civil Services Exam requires to chart out the best possible strategy. However, the point to be noted is that the entire process is far from being a simple one.

What are the doubts an IAS aspirant usually faces while preparing for the CSE?

There are quite a few factors that add to the complexities involved in the preparation for the IAS Exam. The syllabus for the Civil Services Exam as prescribed by UPSC seems to run till eternity. Besides the intensity of the competition would see you competing with the IAS aspirants from almost all walks of life from all over India!

Apart from the syllabus and the competition, an IAS aspirant usually finds himself highly perplexed trying to overcome one doubt or another. The most common ones are briefly described below:

1.    The right time to begin?

Though most of the IAS aspirants begin to prepare for the Civil Services Exam an year before, it’s advisable to begin at the earliest possible. However, beginning at the earliest does not imply that you are supposed to be studying for the CSE while you are still a XIIth std. student. Though you might have made up your mind that you would like to join the Indian Administrative Services only, it’s advisable to begin with the preparation not before you are a Final Year undergraduate.

Beginning earlier than that might be accompanied by a few disadvantages and that would not be in the best of your own interests. If you begin with CSE preparation before the Final Year, it would not leave you with much of the time to pay attention to what has been taught in the school or the college classroom (as the case might stand). Besides, by the time, you actually face the CSE Exam, UPSC might have produced some changes in the syllabus and/or the Examination pattern for the CSE as well.

However, beginning to prepare for the CSE while you are still pursuing graduation as a Final Year student does have its own advantages. It will give you a considerable time to prepare well. Besides, in case, any of your subjects chosen by you for graduation overlap with what has been prescribed by the UPSC syllabus, you would be preparing for the Final Year Exam as well as the CSE with a greater success and better motivation.

2. How to prepare?

It definitely implies charting out a thoroughly competent strategy. A flawless strategy is simply indispensable when it comes to prepare the complete UPSC syllabus for the CSE. Besides, an IAS aspirant needs to strategize well with a greater skill than his competitors.

You must score higher than the majority of the competitors in most of the Papers in the Mains CSE so that UPSC allows you to join the Indian Administrative Services. Clearing the CSE with a not so good rank does not lead you anywhere for you do not aim at joining any other UPSC cadre, but IAS. And UPSC allows only the highest of the rank holders to join the same.

3. How long to study?

It’s best not to study for unusually long hours. Besides, sitting in the same posture for longer spans of time affects the human health adversely. And you would feel rejuvenated and hence, focus on the preparation for the Exam with a greater concentration if you take break for, say 10-15 minutes, after every hour or as required. 

Besides, the time management should be such that it has a suitable provision both for the short term as well as the long term study plans. It will help you prepare for all the Papers for the Prelims and the Mains as per the syllabus for CSE. Also, you should not forget to keep a provision for time to make the revisions regularly.

When it comes to the total number of hours you should be studying in a day, it should not be forgotten that it’s the quality rather than the quantity that actually counts. The golden rule applies to the preparation of the Exams as well specifically the IAS Exam. However, though it’s wiser not to waste for your time, you would be required to study at least for 6 to 8 hours every day for it’s simply not possible to prepare the complete syllabus otherwise.

4. How to choose the Optional?

  1. There are 2 Papers for the Optional subject in the Mains carrying 250 marks each. Thus, it’s a total of 500 marks that you would be putting at stake if you do not opt for the Optional subject carefully.

Thus, the candidates should choose only the Optional subject that interests them and they can study comfortably. In case, they are confused, they should seek guidance discussing the same with their teachers and/or peers.

5. What about NCERT and The Hindu?

The NCERT books are among the best of the sources that help you make the concepts clear for various subjects. They are highly important while preparing for the IAS Exams.

Reading the newspapers also counts when it comes to gaining knowledge, improving the reading and writing skills, and to top it all, gaining and updating the knowledge of the Current Affairs. Reading The Hindu keeps you updated with all these perspectives.

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