A comprehensive guide on how to prepare for IAS Exam

  • utkarsh
  • Jul 09, 2020
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  • Blog English, UPSC,
A comprehensive guide on how to prepare for IAS Exam

UPSC is considered one of the most prestigious exams in the country. Every year, lakhs of students appear in this examination with a vision of cracking it and landing the job of their dreams. As much as it aspires, the exam is considered as one of the toughest competitive exams in India. The cut-throat competition and the high difficulty level of the examination results in only a handful of students clearing the same. The UPSC exam preparation can be a very taxing deal if not done properly.

Strategic planning and defined study plan is the key to success for every examination and when it comes to national-level competitive exams like UPSC, the preparation of a student must be top-notch. In this article, we will guide you through the most efficient ways in which you can set yourself to ace the exams of your dreams and give you a firm path to follow which will lead you to success. We will guide you through how to prepare for the IAS exam and clear it with flying colors.

While beginning with the IAS preparations, the students are generally very confused about where to begin with and tend to lose a lot of their precious time stuck in this dilemma. The students can go ahead with the basic study plan which has been devised by our experts which can ease out the way to their dreams.

  1. Prepare yourself mentally.

It is not news that IAS is the toughest exam in India. The candidate must prepare themselves mentally for the journey that they are about to begin. The path towards the examination is not an easy one and requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. The candidate must be geared up both mentally and physically for the preparations. The candidate must set up their goals and be prepared to stick to them until they are achieved. It is crucial that a candidate is ready to face the hardships and challenges that might come in the way and not get disheartened with the same.

  1. Prepare a time table.

Maintaining proper discipline and sticking to a certain time table is one of the most effective ways to ensure that you are well-organized and steadily marching towards your dream. If you wish to become an officer, you must be well-disciplined like one. Making a timetable will organize your daily routine and help you with keeping a track of your progress. You should set a comfortable time table for yourself which covers all the subjects that you have to study so that you are gradually covering the entire syllabus and making sure that nothing is left unattended.

  1. Know the syllabus and paper pattern.

Knowing the syllabus and paper pattern beforehand can be very advantageous for the candidates as they can make their time table accordingly. Knowing the UPSC Exam Pattern allows the students to know what type of questions will be asked in the examination so that they can start preparing for the same. It also helps them analyze the time required to attend to each question which gives them an idea about their speed and provides them with a scope for improvement if needed. Similarly, UPSC Syllabus is the list of topics and subtopics which are asked in the question paper. Once a candidate is thorough with the syllabus, they have a certain bracket of topics that they must master in order to ace the exam. This saves a lot of time and effort for the candidate and helps them focus.

  1. Stay updated with current affairs.

It is very important for a UPSC aspirant to be updated with what’s happening in the world and the best way to do it is by regularly reading the newspaper. Reading the newspaper daily ensures that you have exhaustive knowledge of current affairs.  The students can also refer to quality Current Affairs Books and Study Material which provide extensive knowledge of the current affairs in a precise manner. These books can be referenced complimentary with the newspapers so that no headline is missed out from your eyes.

  1. Make an appropriate choice for the optional subject.

The UPSC exam has a provision of choosing the optional subject as per the candidate’s choice which accounts for 500 marks. The candidates must be very careful while making this choice as it is a factor that greatly affects your chances of cracking the IAS Examination. Before choosing a subject, the candidate must thoroughly go through the pros and cons of the subject. The candidates must choose the subject based on how keen are they to study it, their basic knowledge of the same, the availability of proper IAS Coaching for the subject along with quality study material, and its overlapping with the General Studies Paper.

  1. Choosing the right study material.

Good books play a major role in ensuring your success in the UPSC exams. Having simple to understand study material that provides correct and authentic information is the fundamental requirement of a UPSC aspirant. Although there are lots of IAS Study Materials available online as well as in the market, it is crucial that a student chooses the right one. NCERT books are an excellent option for candidates who want to brush up on their basics and start their preparation from scratch. These books cover plenty of basics that make the base of the UPSC Exam Syllabus. These books provide authentic and reliable information as they are published by government bodies and help the students kick start their UPSC journey. Other than these books, there are many e-books for IAS Preparations which the students can refer to for their further preparation. Certain magazines like Yojana, Kurukshetra, Economic & Political Weekly, etc. are excellent resources for quick and last-minute revisions.

  1. Enroll for IAS Mock Test Series.

Mock tests are one of the most efficient ways to prepare for the IAS Exams as they help you with self-assessment which is crucial for constant improvement. IAS Mock Tests provide the students with an opportunity to experience the actual examination and know-how prepared are they for the same. It helps them know about their speed in attempting certain sections, let them know where they are lagging, and points out the sections where they need to work more. It is highly recommended that the students who are preparing by themselves enroll in such mock tests as they help you in knowing your weaknesses so that you can work on eradicating them.

  1. Utilize your spare time.

Preparing for IAS is a continuous process and the preparations must go on whenever possible. You can download mobile applications for IAS Preparations which help you study and revise on the go. Other than that, there are myriads of Youtube Channels dedicated to preparing you for the D-day. These channels provide video lectures that can be accessed from anywhere at any time so that your learning is never at a halt. These can be a boon for the candidates who are trying to manage the UPSC preparations along with their job or while still in college.

  1. Solve previous year question papers.

Solving previous year questions papers of the UPSC examination is one of the easiest ways to get understand the paper pattern, syllabus, and trends of the UPSC examination. They help the students in getting an idea about what kind of questions will be asked in the exams and how long will they take to solve the test paper. This can greatly help them with the preparations and forming a notion about the exam while being mentally prepared for it.

  1. Utilize the resources provided by the government.

Since the exam is for the government posts and the candidates must be ultimately working for the government of India, they must be aware of the resources which are provided by the Government for the UPSC preparation. Government websites like the official website of the Press Information Bureau (PIB) and the PRS Legislative Research can be very informative. Along with these, the candidates can also watch the programs on the Rajya Sabha TV which provides insights into various important events taking place in the country.

  1. Thorough revision

UPSC is notorious for being the toughest exam in the country as a result of its never-ending syllabus. In such a case, it is natural to forget some topics which you have studied previously. To avoid such a situation, it is elementary that you revise everything you study multiple times at certain intervals. Doing timely revision will ensure that you remember everything that you have studied precisely. Timely revision is the key to success not just for the UPSC examination, but for every examination.

  1. Maintain your health

In the process of preparing for the IAS examination, the candidates tend to overwork themselves which consecutively takes a toll on their physical as well as mental health. The candidates must understand that they need to be physically healthy, fit, and active to be able to study properly. The candidates must not stress themselves and take proper breaks while studying so that they are not exhausted by the end of the day. The candidates must ensure that they take a proper diet which includes healthy meals along with daily exercises. The candidates can also practice yoga as it helps with increasing concentrating and keeping the mind calm and stable.

  1. Get yourself in a habit to write.

In IAS Examination, having a decent writing speed is essential. The candidates have to write lengthy answers within a certain time frame which requires constant practice. The candidates can do this by preparing notes while they are studying. Preparing notes while studying keep the candidates in a habit of writing, increases the writing speed, and also amplifies the chances of remembering the topics for a longer time as it has been written by themselves. These noes can come very handy for last-minute preparations. Since the notes are prepared by the candidates themselves, they will be easy to understand too.

  1. Participate in discussions.

Discussing the topics that you have recently studied is like indirectly revising it again. Discussing the topics with your friends and family will help you in understanding them exhaustively and help you see different perspectives on it. These discussions will act as food for thought which will help you go into the deeper aspects of the topics and have an in-depth understanding of the same.

Bonus Point

Mistakes to avoid while preparing for IAS

The entire process of preparing for the very renowned and prestigious IAS exam can be mentally draining and tiresome if not done right. Many aspirants commit a few common mistakes which unfortunately result in them not being able to clear the exam. Common mistakes such as inadequate time management, improper analysis of question paper, insufficient or no revision, and not reading the newspaper properly rank on the top of the list. These mistakes can greatly hinder your success in the UPSC exam and take you farther away from your dream of becoming an IAS officer. Here we are mentioning the most common mistakes to avoid while preparing for IAS.

  • Not having adequate writing skills
  • Slow writing pace
  • Not knowing what to read in a newspaper
  • Half knowledge or no knowledge of paper pattern and syllabus
  • Insufficient or no revision
  • Not solving previous year question papers
  • Choosing the wrong optional subject.
  • Referring to unreliable study material.

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