UPSC fever is ON! Most of the college students find themselves in a dilemma when it comes to prepare for the Civil Services Examination. Most of the students just follow the trend such as if the whole class is preparing for MBA, they start preparing for that, and if the flow is towards UPSC, then they start preparing for UPSC.
IAS 2024 Exam Preparation Tips
But friends, UPSC is not a child’s play which you can clear by just preparing in 3-4 months. It requires dedication and 1-1.5 year complete hard work. Here are some practical tips for your IAS Exam preparation. Most of the websites talk about the same repeated things such as knowing the syllabus, making time table etc. But there are things which drive the motivation and are above all. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Mental Preparation
First of all, if you are preparing UPSC for a big car, house or money, then please don’t waste the seat. The first and foremost duty of a civil servant is to serve the nation and its citizens. Having passion and determination to become a civil servant will drive you through the UPSC waters.
Make sure you love what you are preparing for. Rather than being motivated by people or your colleagues, you should be self-motivated. Your reason for preparing, your passion and your interest should be enough for motivating you to prepare for this arduous journey.
Having a positive attitude is a driving key to success. Also, it would be best if you had a backup plan ready. It should not be that if you are not able to clear the exam in the first attempt, then life is over. It would be best if you did not carry this attitude.
2. Stay away from low class coaching centers
Yes, this is true, rather than taking coaching from low class coaching centers and wasting your time and money, it’s better to start self-study. The material will be not as per the mark, and you may not be sure regarding the faculty, so start the self-studying. There are many options available such as online studying.
3. Stay Away from distractions
Well, go underground for a few years till you are preparing for UPSC. Civil Services require full and dedicated effort. It would be best if you had complete self-control so that you are not distracted from anything. Try to stay alone or if you can afford to take a PG and study. This will help you in focusing on your studies.
Please don’t argue with the people who say that you cannot crack it. Don’t raise your voice in front of them. Stay calm and composed. Your numbers in UPSC will give them the answer.
Many people don’t prepare for CSE thinking that it requires a high level of English. This is not true. Even the students with Hindi background can prepare for the exam and can even crack in the first attempt. Stay away from smartphones, social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, etc. Even if you want to use social media, use it purely for academic purposes.
4. Make a routine
To become a successful IAS officer follow a routine else you won’t be successful in this journey. It’s not necessary that how much time you are giving to your studies, but the thing which matters the most is how you have utilised that time. You should not perform the irregular study pattern. Make a schedule and work over it. It should not be done that today you have studied 15-16 hours and the very next day you go for only 5 hours study. Be consistent in your approach. Continue studying in the same pattern.
Study at least 10 hours a day. You may feel a little uncomfortable in the beginning, but sooner you will get acquainted with it. Work as per your capacity and capability. Don’t pressurize yourself. Set up small milestones and never go for bigger leaps. Fix a target for every subject and give it a suitable time frame. Try to complete it in that given time. Move slowly and steadily with a systematic approach.
5. Be optimistic always
Never thing of long term plans. The more you peep deep in your future, the more stressed you will feel, and you will start fearing of the consequences which will affect your performance.
Just concentrate on your present and focus on what you can do to make your present better. Whatever you do today, will reward you in future. You may feel low sometimes or may feel demotivated or sometimes bored. At this point of time, you can watch some motivational videos, listen to some good music or pursue your hobby. This will refresh you and will re-energise for the new start.
Keep the fighting spirit alive. You may face many difficulties but stick to your target, and you will see your problems fading away. UPSC is not everyone’s cup of tea, but with strong determination and hard work, you can make your cup delicious!
6. Art of writing subjective answers for Mains
To begin with, start with a basic introduction. Then support your answer with specific facts and figures. Give everything in bullets and then move on to the conclusion. Make sure that whatever you are writing falls perfectly in the context, and everything is interconnected from introduction to conclusion.
The more perspectives you will explain in your answer, higher are the chances of good marks. Try to connect the situation with the current scenario; this will add more relevancy to your answer. Write your answers within the word limit and focus on the quality-driven answer.
You can highlight the most important things, such as quotes, opinions. Do not complicate the answer by using jargon. Try to use simple but effective language which should easily convey your perspective to the examiner, maintain the relevancy.
Your answer should carry optimism. Try not to give your own opinions such as “as per my suggestion.“ etc. Do not criticise anyone in your answer. Even if you want to criticise, do it positively. If your answer demands any flow chart or diagram, make sure you provide that. Avoid repeated lines. Make sure that your handwriting is tidy and is easily readable by the examiner.
Well, Preparation for UPSC is a never ending thing. You won’t be satisfied till the last day. As the syllabus is vast and you never know where the question comes from. But the best success mantra is to revise.
Revision aids you in better learning and quicker recalling. Dedicate the last month entirely for your revision. I hope you guys are making notes side by side. Revision is best done from notes.
8. Join mock test series
Once you have finished your subjects, it’s time to move on with the mock tests. You can either join a coaching center for mock test series or opt for an online one. Test series will help you in better self-assessment. It will let you know on which areas you need to work more.
Moreover, it will help you know the pattern and also how speed and accuracy can be maintained. If you are making mistakes in your mock tests, don’t panic. Instead, learn from them so that you don’t repeat them in the main exam. This will also help you to know how to apply tips and tricks for solving any answer. Secondly, you will get an idea of how negative marking works.
Make sure that you do not study from many books. Just follow NCERT’s and one additional book for every subject. If you feel that you are not able to grasp the concept, only then refer to other books. Revise from that book only. Referring to so many books may create confusion.
If you don’t know the answer, don’t go for guesswork. The probability of the answer going wrong is very high. This follows negative marking, which may affect your final score, thereby affecting your ranking. Study with proper planning and time management. If you don’t follow strategic planning, the consequences may cost you a precious attempt.