IAS Exam: Studying Hard vs. Preparing Smart

Well, you may go studying in the hardest of the hard manner for the IAS Exam.  But, the point to be noted is, howsoever hard you might be studying, there is no guarantee, you would be cracking the CSE.

In sharp contrast with burning the midnight oil, it’s high time you should have thought of preparing smart for the IAS Exam. That is to say, an examinee, specifically an IAS aspirant needs to be smart enough in order to make the preparation for the Exam a successful one.

Why opt for preparing smart rather than studying hard?

Let us focus on each of the approaches.

Studying Hard:

Keep studying hard. Tire yourself endlessly and to no end! That would not serve any purpose. Moreover, the approach is not a feasible one either. It would be short lived.

You may try the same for yourself. Study hard for 14-15 hours every day. Do you think you would be able to continue with the schedule for more than 3-4 days? Of course, not!

Preparing Smart:

Preparing smart for the IAS Exam comprises a lot more, apart from studying hard. Thus, it implies in a very obvious manner that simply reading book after book is far from being sufficient to crack the IAS Exam.

Had that been the case, every IAS aspirant would have studied for 15 hours every day and cracked the Civil Services Exam! But, the facts reveal an entirely different picture!

And that explains that preparing smart definitely scores over studying hard. The former approach makes you a winner. It enhances the probability of your clearing the IAS Exam.

On the other hand, the latter would only serve to distance the success from you. Needless to say, there is a huge majority of the IAS aspirants  who fail to crack the Civil Services Exam in spite of the repeated attempts.

How does preparing smart help crack the IAS Exam?

Preparing smart comprises focusing more emphatically on the goal. It’s perfectly ok to study hard. But, the entire hard work should be oriented in a manner so that you finally hit the target!

In other words, it is preparing smart that actually counts. It’s what that will enable you to crack the Civil Services Exam. Besides, the strategy would help you score the highest and beat the competition. As a result, you would be able to realize your goal to join the Indian Administrative Services.

What makes the few join the IAS successfully?

Preparing smart for the IAS Exam is, by no means, a Herculean task. However, it might seem to be so at the first thought. There are only a few who are declared successful in the CSE result.

Further, fewer are asked by the Union Public Service Commission to join the Indian Administrative Service.

To top it all, UPSC assesses the complete personality of all the candidates before making recruitments for the IAS. (The same applies to all other cadres.)

All what has been said above makes a few points noticeably visible.  It is the smart preparation made by the successful candidates that enables them crack the CSE. Most importantly, they score higher beating the entire competition. Finally, they are asked by UPSC to join IAS.

What does it take to prepare Smart for the IAS Exam?

Now, for once and for all, the point has been driven back home that opting for preparing smart scores an edge over studying hard. What’s required further is that an IAS aspirant ought to know how to prepare smart?

1. Prioritize Your Tasks:

A smart candidate preparing for the IAS Exam would always prioritize the tasks first. If it is not worth the effort, he will simply not go ahead for it.

For instance, let’s consider reading the newspapers. Are you sure what pages are actually relevant for the preparation of CSE? If yes, prioritize your reading. It simply does not make any sense to read the entire newspaper from the beginning to the end.

2. Do not procrastinate:

Next to prioritizing the tasks, they should be implemented as well in the same sequence. If you procrastinate, you would only end up in a highly perplexed state of mind. As per the human psyche, procrastination would gradually rob you off your confidence.

Needless to say, the same applies to the preparation for the IAS Exam. Besides, you would be required to keep a provision for sufficient time for making the revisions.

So, do not procrastinate. And manage time for making revisions as well. As you proceed further preparing for the Civil Services Exam, you would come across various other complexities that would require, nay rather gnaw upon your time.

3. It pays to be selective:

It simply implies that a smart IAS aspirant ought to know what to study and what not to? It’s another crucially important feature that distinguishes him from the competition who simply studies hard.

It’s but obvious that nobody can study the entire content available under the Sun. You might be too fond of self study to resist the temptation to divert from the syllabus. However, you would do yourself a great favour if you resist the same successfully.

Any diversion from the UPSC syllabus for the CSE is only going to make you regret later. You might gain tremendous knowledge. But, you would find it far from being an easy task to prepare the entire CSE syllabus well within time. And the unusual depth to which UPSC prescribes the syllabus is no secret at all.

4. There is no Utopian model to prepare for the IAS Exam:

should be noted for once and for all that there is no Utopian model to prepare for the IAS Exam. It only serves to indicate the diversity in the requirements encountered by all to prepare for the CSE.

Thus, there simply can’t be a specific model paving the road for all to crack the IAS Exam with flying colours! It is the aspirant himself who would be required to take all the major decisions co-related to the Exam preparation.

Go on reading to make the concept crystal clear further. It will help make your IAS Exam preparation go farther than the competition.

5. Self awareness counts:

It counts a great deal more than what you might have anticipated. It would help you make a self assessment. And the same would definitely help contribute to decide upon a number of factors.  It would leave an impact on your Exam preparation much deeper than what might have seemed to you initially.

For example, there are quite a few points to ponder including:

  1. How fluent is your English? In case, you are not very comfortable with the language. You might opt for Hindi as the medium of instruction.
  2. Can you spare a few hours every day to attend regular classes? If not, it would be better to opt for an online IAS coaching institution.
  3. How focused are you at your goal? In case, your mind gets diverted easily, you should try harder to stay focused. Otherwise, it’s going to be anything, but an easy task for you to crack the IAS Exam.
  4. How easily do you succumb to the peer pressure? Well, if you do, make it a point to take your own decisions. If you allow others to do the same for you, you definitely do not have the personality of a potential IAS officer.
    Besides, it would also affect a number of perspectives co-related to your preparation for the IAS Exam. You would be very likely to choose a lot not as per your own requirements, but the influence of your friends and acquaintances.
    It might include:
    (a) Choice of the IAS Coaching Institution
    (b) Choice of the Optional Subject
    (c) Opting for the medium of instruction, etc.

Not understanding your own requirements is definitely going to be far from preparing smart for the IAS Exam.

5. Employ the apt strategies: Making use of the smart strategies would certainly help you prepare smart for the CSE. Some of these might be:

(a) Employing Memory Sharpening Techniques
(b) Solving the Past Years’ Question Papers
(c) Making it a point to get all your queries solved
(d) Revising Frequently
(e) Looking after your health to stay fit and fine
(f) Keeping all the negative influences at the farthest possible distance
(g) Studying as per the time table, etc.

A Word of Caution

Preparing smart is the fundamental requirement to beat the

competition for any of the Exams. However, it gets the most prominent when it comes to prepare for the IAS Exam. The competition is toughest of the tough!

Thus, you need to prepare in the smartest of the smart manner to realize your goal. Most importantly, you need to be aware all the time concerning all the bottlenecks during the preparation.

Try simplifying all the complexities encountered while preparing for the Exam. And you would definitely see the difference for yourself!

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