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Not Sure How to Start Preparing for IAS? Here is a Head Start

Preparing for IAS: The Union Public Service Commission conducts the Civil Services Examination, also known as the IAS exam, every year. Through an unified exam, UPSC chooses applicants for more than 20 civil services, including the famous IAS, IPS, and IFS. It is regarded as one of the most difficult exams in the country. The size of the syllabus and the diversity of the themes are two aspects that contribute to this. Because the UPSC Civil Services Exam is the most difficult in the country, it demands more than just preparation. Without proper preparation, an objective remains but a fantasy. This is also visible in the case of UPSC. Being a bibliophile would not help you pass the UPSC exam. It necessitates the use of “technique in addition to planning.”

We have attempted to clarify all that an aspirant needs do to begin their preparatory journey in this article.

Duration of UPSC IAS Preparation:

  • Before one can be exam ready for civil services, one should study for at least a year. There are three stages to the exam: preliminary, written (main), and interview.
  • It takes a year to appear for all three levels.
  • As a result, each candidate must devote at least two years of his life to the entire process.
  • When beginning your planning, keep this time element in mind. Students in college, for example, may begin their IAS preparation in their final year of study.

 Beginning of the IAS Preparation

·       The most important thing is to comprehend the exam. Research the exam thoroughly and speak with any government officials you know or anyone who are currently preparing for the exam.

·       The exam syllabus, including the sub-topics, should be thoroughly studied.

·       The next stage will be to look at question papers from prior years.

·       You may also firm up your own approach by watching a few prior exam toppers’ strategy films that are available online.

Important books to start UPSC Preparation

·       Begin by completely reading the NCERTs. This will assist you in grasping the fundamentals of each subject.

·       If you want to take coaching, this will also help you understand the subjects better in class. It’s also a good idea to start reading the newspaper every day.

·       The importance of current events in the IAS exam is increasing. This necessitates keeping up with current national and international events.

Understand your syllabus: 

  • For effective preparation, a thorough understanding of the syllabus’s nature, clarity, and scope is required.
  • It aids in determining what should be read and what should be avoided.
  • Because the exam questions are always from the syllabus, keeping a constant check on the syllabus is essential.

Selection of the Optional subject

  • An aspirant’s optional subject can make the difference between passing and failing this exam.
  • After a comprehensive analysis, it is critical to select the optional subject.
  • An optional should be chosen based on your area of interest, the length of the optional syllabus, the amount of time you have to prepare, and your academic background.
  • The optional subject’s preparation must be done in conjunction with the General Studies syllabus.

Strategy is important: 

  • A sensible approach must be established before you begin your preparation, bearing in mind the nuances of each phase you must complete.
  • A proper strategy is a detailed plan that outlines what you’ll do, how you’ll do it, and what resources you’ll need.

Concise study material:

  • Choosing study materials is a difficult undertaking that necessitates expert advice.
  • It’s always a good idea to start your preparation with learning the fundamentals of the subject.
  • The NCERT books are the best source for gaining clarity and a firm grasp on many subjects (from class VI to class XII).

Focus on Significant concepts:

  • The key principle of smart study is to read the material that is relevant to the exam.
  • Instead of intense studies, smart studying is the way to proceed.
  • It entails being aware of the exam’s nerves and adjusting accordingly.

Necessity of Preparing your own Notes: Preparing for IAS

·       Making one’s own notes is a crucial habit to establish in preparation for this exam.

·       After the initial reading of General Studies themes, an aspirant should begin taking notes.

·       It is critical to know not just what to study for the IAS exam, but also what not to study. This will allow you to keep your notes brief and relevant to the exam.

·       Your notes’ essential terms should be highlighted. Incorporate as many illustrations and mind maps as possible into your notes.

·       This will make several modifications easier in the future.

Current affairs: Preparing for IAS

  • Keep yourself informed about what’s going on in the globe. In truth, current events and current challenges are the most dynamic regions.
  • Read one national newspaper every day and incorporate current events into all of the topics covered in the syllabus.
  • You’ll also need to read some specialised periodicals, such as World Focus for International Relations, to cover some specific aspects of the syllabus.

Study the pattern:

  • Aspirants should review the question papers from previous years. It aids in deciding the type of questions to be asked as well as locating the finest reading material.
  • An examination of prior year’s papers aids in gaining a better knowledge of the syllabus and identifying areas where additional questions have been asked. Candidates can benefit from practise tests.
  • These tests assist all candidates in not just studying for the mains, but also in learning how to manage their time. Daily writing practise is essential.
  • Take a newspaper editorial or a topic from the syllabus and create a question and write an answer to it.

Practice Tests

·       One of the most significant aspects of the exam approach is taking practise tests and composing answers on a regular basis.

·       An applicant should solve at least a few questions per week after the first reading of the syllabus.

·       As the exam approaches, you can gradually increase the amount of practise questions and attempt full-length examinations.

·       Do not be discouraged by a poor performance on practise tests.

·       Your score will improve over time. Continue to chart your progress. Answer writing and practise examinations can also assist to alleviate anxiety on exam day.

Focus on key words: Preparing for IAS

  • After reading a topic numerous times, take small notes to function as an oxygen canister during exam days.
  • Look for keywords when preparing for the exam and while taking it.
  • Every inquiry, for example, would have a question tag like “critically analyse,” “discuss,” “elaborate,” “comment,” and so on.

Use your resources:

  • In UPSC preparation, the utility of material obtained from books or newspapers is critical.
  • You must be astute enough to fit a fact or piece of information into the best possible context.
  • The Internet aids in keeping up with what is going on in the world.
  • The Internet’s usability, on the other hand, is something that candidates should take advantage of in order to add value to their preparation.

Need of coaching during IAS Preparation

  • Coaching does provide direction in preparing for the IAS examination, although it is not required.
  • Other senior candidates and college lecturers can also provide advice to students. You might also seek advice from someone in your network of family and friends who has just passed the exam.
  • In addition, many candidates ask if moving to Delhi is necessary in order to prepare for the IAS exam.
  • Delhi does offer a competitive environment as well as access to coaching programmes and resources.
  • Those who are unable to relocate to Delhi, on the other hand, can pass the exam with flying colours.
  • With the rise of online courses and modules, especially after the epidemic, the need to go to Delhi has become even less of a need.

Last Milestone: UPSC Personality Test: Preparing for IAS

  • The UPSC Interview, often known as the personality test, is the last stage of the IAS exam.
  • This is when your habit of reading the newspaper will come in handy.
  • Before taking the personality test, you must complete a Detailed Application Form (DAF).
  • It includes details on your educational history, previous employment experience, interests, and so on.
  • You should thoroughly prepare potential questions from these areas, as they will almost certainly be asked during the interview.

Quick Tips to Accelerate your UPSC IAS Preparation:

  1. Begin reading newspapers on a regular basis.
  2. Compare and contrast recent events and hypothetical facts in Political Science, History, Geography, and Economics, for example.
  3. Plan personalised notes based on your weak points and how you remember information best.
  4. Make use of the large number of resources at your disposal.
  5. Use educators’ guides, internet recordings, manuals, and instructing focuses.
  6. Make sure to manage your time wisely, focus completely, and put yourself to the test on a regular basis.
  7. Keep taking proper care for your health.
  8. Exercise or go to the gym, to remain healthy, as well as maintain higher concentration during study hours.
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