Frequently Asked Questions – related to Civil Services Exam Preparation

Well, it is bothYESand NO. YES: The IAS Exam really tests your patience. The truth is that it is your entire personality that is put to test, including your temperament encompassing the way you respond to failure and depression resulting because of one reason or another. The IAS exam is often considered as the toughest of all the exams. NO: You might fail in the IAS exam and opt for another career. But what if you fail in LIFE? So, the mother of all exams is LIFE and not the IAS exam.
Though it is not essential to join a regular classroom coaching for IAS exam preparation, it is advisable to analyze your own need for guidance before you decide whether you should opt for joining a coaching institution or not. If you feel that you can manage with online preparation and self study, you may prepare at home. However, your decision should not make you regret later. If you feel that studying at home would put you at a loss while opting for the right kind of study material, and preparation strategies, in the absence of guides and mentors, then it would be better to join a regular coaching institution. In coaching you get like minded students/friends who are also preparing for same competitive exam. You can discuss subject-matters with them to develop better insight about the topic(s). You come in touch with some brilliant students and this can help you improve you performance and motivation.
Well, destiny may play a role. But, do you think that an IAS aspirant who leaves all to luck and does not prepare for the exam would be able to join the Indian Administrative Services? Of course, NOT! So, study hard and luck would have no option, but to grant you the success in the IAS exam!
Though lakhs of competitors apply for the exam, those worth competing with are only a few thousands. These are the candidates who opt for not only a sincere, but also a smart approach while choosing their preparation strategies for the exam. If you do the same, the probability for your being successful in the IAS exam would obviously shoot up!
Any logical minded individual would consider all the factors and then opt for the most effective of the strategies to accomplish a task successfully right in the first attempt itself. The same applies to clearing the Civil Services Exam as well. However, if we ignore one or another aspect that might affect your preparation for the exam in a negative manner, you might never succeed in spite of facing the exam year after year!
No!The entire process of conducting the UPSC exam and making recruitments is absolutely transparent. Besides, RTI and Supreme Court of India have made it all very clear concerning the examination scheme and recruitment process.
Do not allow the mockery to bother you! If you have decided that you want to join the Indian Administrative Services, you must work on your strategies to transform your dreams into reality! Do you think that you have the time to think of what people say? You only have to focus on your preparation for the exam!
It is best to choose the best of the books and magazines etc., as per the UPSC syllabus. Do not pile up whatever books you may lay hands on at your study table. Choose the best of the books. Make a thorough reading and prepare your notes.
Had that been true, Arvind Kejriwal, Durga Shakti Nagpal and many others would not have quit their jobs and switched over to different fields. It is you who has to decide what interests you best.
No! UPSC strictly adheres to the syllabus. Even if some students may think that a question has not been based on the syllabus prescribed by UPSC, it is not true. All of the questions are, in some way or another, based on the UPSC syllabus. For example, a question is asked in GS Paper-I, like “Me Too movement”, nowhere in syllabus you will find such movement – but intention of examiner is to judge your analytical power. You should relate this ‘current affairs’ with Women Empowerment, violence against them etc. So, some of the questions that UPSC asks might be related indirectly to the subject, and you have to answer analytically, but none of the questions would be out of the scope of the syllabus.
No! Your aim is not to build a library, but to prepare well and clear the IAS exam. So, it is best to decide which books, magazines etc., would be really useful as per the UPSC syllabus. Buy the same, read them and revise frequently.
Chatting endlessly on the mobile phone would only result in a big waste of time. If you cannot control talking and/or chatting with your friends on mobile phone, it would be best to quit using the phone altogether.
It is advisable to purchase different types of ball pens. Write a few sentences with each of them. You will get to realize which is the best one for your hand writing. You may use the same kind of pen for writing answers in the exam.
The room where you study should be far from any disturbance. Besides, the light should be sufficient. There should be at least a table and chair to study comfortably. And it is preferable that the adjacent rooms should also be calm and quiet so that there is no noise coming from anywhere and you can concentrate wholeheartedly on your preparation for the exam.
A beautiful handwriting is not going to help you score more in the UPSC exam. However, the handwriting should be legible. If it is not, work on it so that it gets legible. You may buy a book of cursive writing and practise regularly. (Finally, don’t be bothered about your handwriting too much – you have passed your 10th, 12th and graduation from same handwriting, it means it is legible.)
Only those people can achieve something who believe in themselves. So, believe in yourself! Self-confidence is the greatest friend who will go a long way with you while you prepare for the IAS exam, and then actually join the Indian Administrative Services.
Get a bundle of 1000 sheets so that you have sufficient of them whenever you need to write down something. Also it is advisable to hang a map of the world and that of India on a wall of your room. It is preferable to get the maps laminated. You will be able to locate a place on the maps and mark the same when you study about it.