A career in the civil service is aspired by lakhs of people in the country irrespective of language, region, culture, social, financial and educational backgrounds. Clearing this exam means a step up in the social ladder for anybody. The reason behind the prestige given to this service is the opportunity it gives to the successful candidates to serve the country in various capacities. Apart from that, it is common knowledge that clearing the tough IAS exam requires a person to be determined, hardworking, intelligent and perseverant. How to go about preparing for the civil services is a question rattling many fresh aspirants. Read on to find out about the three stages of UPSC exam preparation.
Initial Stage of UPSC Preparation
The first question asked by many IAS hopefuls is, “When do I start civil services exam preparation?” A rule of thumb is that you have to start preparing for the UPSC exam at least a year in advance. For instance, if you wish to take the 2019 UPSC CSE, which would be held on 2nd June 2019, you have to start preparing now!
In the initial stage there are a few things you have to do:
- Go through the UPSC syllabus.
- Read NCERT textbooks.
- Start the habit of reading daily newspapers.
Once you go through the UPSC syllabus, you will get an idea of how much you have to cover. Accordingly, you have to make a study plan and stick to it.
Then, you have to start with the basics, and the best way to get started is to read NCERT text books. They are of immense help in the UPSC civil services exam.
At this stage, you also have to start reading the daily newspaper. ‘The Hindu’ is the most recommended for IAS preparation. Reading the newspaper is essential because current affairs form the backbone of the UPSC exam. Every year a lot of questions are directly asked from current affairs. Apart from that, many subject-questions that are asked are linked to current affairs.
Preparing for CSAT
The CSAT paper in the prelims exam is a qualifying paper. You need to score at least 33% in this paper. You can finish CSAT preparation in 2 months before the exam. Most of the portions in it like comprehension, logical reasoning, numerical ability, etc. would have been covered in school. But you must decide your own abilities and prepare accordingly.
Middle Stage of UPSC Preparation
In this stage, you should prepare for the prelims, mains (plus optional subject also). This would involve a lot of writing practice. The prelims would happen somewhere towards the beginning of this stage. After this, you must not abandon your habit of reading the daily newspaper. Continue making notes of current affairs. Also, don’t ignore revision. This stage would be more demanding and therefore, you must be really sincere and committed to your goal.
Final Stage of UPSC Preparations
The final stage of your UPSC preparation is when you have covered the UPSC syllabus. This is also a time for introspection. You must solve mock test papers and assess your strengths and weaknesses. Work on your weaknesses and carry on the momentum till the actual exam. Also, keep on revising till the last few days.
It is important to stay motivated and focused throughout the UPSC civil services exam preparation process. It is long-drawn and strenuous, but completely worth it.
“When You Feel Like Quitting Remember Why You Started”
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