IAS Preparation Strategy for UPSC CSE
The UPSC civil services exam being one of the most competitive exams in the country might often create a sense of overwhelming anxiety among the candidates, since clearing the exams can shape the career of an individual and redefine his future prospects of success. Some of the key factors that most candidates fear as challenges that the vacancies are fewer and the applicants are many, the syllabus is vast, attempts are limited and there is an age bar. However, in reality, the challenges regarding competition, syllabus or limitations are mental fears caused by misinformation and misguidance. Thereby, they should not be considered actual challenges.
UPSC civil services examination can be passed by anyone; it is a misconception that those who qualify for the exam have a high IQ. The truth is – a majority of people have an average IQ level. Success of a candidate depends on his attitude and approach; how positively one is focusing on the goals and what strategies are chosen to achieve these goals. The sheer fact to remember hereby; UPSC is a great leveller and the opportunities are equal for all.
The UPSC civil services examination doesn’t require any minimum percentage during graduations to qualify for attempting and aspirants from any educational stream can take the test. While students from different fields of education can apply for the exam, cracking the UPSC examination can be challenging if not prepared with the right discipline and good guidance.
While preparing for the UPSC civil services exams, most often students get anxious and seek suggestions and opinions from seniors and experts. In this process, they often get overloaded with redundant information, which eventually leads to confusion and dilemma. The basic thing to remember, UPSC exam preparation should not be interpreted as hiding oneself beneath a pile of books. Instead, it is all about choosing a few right books according to the syllabus. In fact, covering the NCERT books thoroughly and taking the help of two or three reference books to seek clarity on a particular chapter or topic will be enough to qualify for the written exams.
Understanding the UPSC syllabus should be of prime importance since it is well-illustrated and committees have been formed towards drafting it. Hence, any part of the syllabus cannot be neglected. There should be a set goal and clear analysis of the syllabus and the requirements in it and then finally chalking out the strategies to reach the goal. These simple steps will help candidates avoid over-anxiety or over-consciousness, which will protect them from getting de-stabled.
The UPSC syllabuses are designed in a manner that after going through it properly and covering it entirely, an individual will get transformed to take on an administrative role regardless of the background he/she is coming from. There are certain knowledge bases we gain during our graduation and through the UPSC courses; one gets trained to apply the knowledge on an administrative level during the professional career at government offices.
Another strategy for clearing the UPSC exam is to go through the previous years’ questions, even though the questions might not get repeated. Carefully analyzing the previous years’ questions will provide candidates with an understanding of the pattern and range of questions that might be on the present year’s exam. It will also give an insight into what is there on the examiners’ minds and what areas to focus on while preparing.
Most importantly, candidates must shortlist the books, subjects and topics to focus on. After that, the only mantra for preparing is to read, think and write. If a candidate is reading from a relevant book for around one and a half hours, he should give 15 minutes on thinking about what s/he has learnt and how it can be implemented after becoming an administrator. Then the important points should be noted down in handwritten notes so that they can be revised later. Revision is one of the most important parts of the preparation for UPSC exams.
Furthermore, to effectively prepare for the UPSC civil services exams students should keep attempting test series to get their skills honed up for the actual tests. Also, there should be a disciplined lifestyle in which students will learn to maintain a balance between studying for the exam and pursuing their personal hobbies.