How to Start Civil Service Preparation

Civil Service Examination tests a candidate’s resilience to withstand immense stress at all 3 levels of the examination. In the Prelims and Mains a candidate’s ability to withstand stress is tested implicitly whereas the candidates resilience to stress levels is tested explicitly at the interview stage. Some of the tips that a candidate has to follow before starting the preparation for civil service are listed below.

Aspirants would find this topic very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

Understand the Syllabus

Everyone desires the highly coveted positions donned by Indian Civil Servants. However, one must carefully consider the difficult path that must be taken to reach those coveted positions. First and foremost clearly understand the massively wide variety of syllabus that one must study to be prepared for taking this examination. A person from a technical background or science background should assess whether he will have interest and the motivation to study topics related to art, culture, history etc. Everyone is bound to face the subjects that he/she may not enjoy nevertheless they should be mentally prepared to study them to clear the exam.


Once you have a clear understanding of the syllabus for the examination, prepare a comprehensive time table to cover the entire syllabus. This time table should help you attain your short term, medium term and long term goals. Without setting up goals to cover in a stipulated time frame, it is impossible to cover the syllabus for UPSC Civil Service examination.

Cap on the Study Materials

It is extremely important that you don’t overburden yourself with too many study materials. Follow some of the important magazines and think-tanks for best analyses of topics for UPSC exams. Market is filled with hundreds of magazines, if you refer to many of them you would end up wasting plenty of your precious time and money. Hence stick to 1 newspaper like The Hindu, magazines like Yojana, Kurukshetra, Science Reporter. For optional subjects choose the most leading book. 

Choice of Optional Subjects

As per past statistics some of the optional subjects gives added advantage to aspiring candidates in clearing the examination. However there is no hard and fast rule that your chances of clearing the exam solely depends on the optional subjects. It very much depends on your interest levels, determination and discipline. Always make sure that you thoroughly go through the syllabus of the optional subjects and check whether it aligns with your interest levels. If you choose the optional subjects merely on the basis of pass percentage then you would end in a situation where you would want to change the subject after a few months of preparation. This undesirable situation should be strictly avoided since you will end up wasting precious time.

Build-up of Stress

Always remember that an increase in stress levels is imminent in majority of the aspiring candidates due to various reasons and the long journey which will be riddled with difficulties like fatigue, demotivation etc. There is always a solution for the problems. One can reduce stress levels by everyday allocating some time for exercise and meditation. It can work wonders on reducing stress levels and thereby give you more physical and mental strength to carry on with your preparation for many months or years.

Previous Year Question Papers and Mock Tests

Without fail, solve the previous years question papers to gather an understanding of the type of questions asked in the UPSC Civil Service Examination. To answer those questions you will recognize the importance of curiosity in acquiring knowledge and developing the ability to link topics. 

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2021.

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