The fact that only 0.1-0.3 percent of the candidates get through the final list in the Civil Services Examination explains that you are preparing for one of the toughest exam in India, and you might as well accept it.
Aspirants who top the Civil Services exam are just ordinary candidates scoring average marks somewhere around 45-55%. They are different from the rest in the way that they just get hold of the right strategy at the right time.
So if you are planning to prepare for the Civil Services Exam, here are some tips we came across from Quora that helped many IAS candidates succeed.
Current affairs form a major component of your preparation and following a good website will ensure that you get the important points.
There is more to an atlas than just learning Geography. You can locate and mark important events, places and other landmarks as and when you come across them during your studies.
Following a good newspaper religiously will help you prepare the most comprehensive current affairs notes, and you wouldn't miss anything important.
You should start from the subject you are comfortable with and practice as many MCQs as possible. This will prepare you better to understand the questions in the preliminary examination.
General Studies Paper IV calls for you to solve case studies as a civil servant. You need to be precise and concise while you answer the questions and drawing flow diagrams can do the trick for you.
There's no book that can prepare you well for essay writing. Rather, you should listen to the strategy followed by the toppers and then formulate your own road map.
Knowledge is essential for success in any exam, but Civil Services asks for more. It is your presence of mind and the ability to analyze events around you that can help you go a long way. Because you see, nothing is predictable when it comes to UPSC.
If you go through the syllabus for CSE (Mains), you'll see that it is a comprehensive one. And you should keep a hard copy of the same to be read again and again. It'll come handy to you while writing answers when you are short of points.
During the course of your preparation, you'll see lots of people studying lots of books, especially the lengthy government documents and reports. Not everything under the sky is important for you. For instance, the Administrative Reforms Commission releases lengthy reports but you need to be selective while reading them.
The day you get this point you'll learn to filter out what to read and what not to. And once you do that you are on the right track.
It's all about how you get your basic concepts right, and NCERT books are the best thing to read when you are beginning your preparation.
Make peace with the fact that you would spend most of your time studying optionals because this is where you get to stand out from the rest.
Each optional subject has its own pros and cons. Once you choose a subject be ready to face the limitations that come with it, if any. For instance you will hear that Public Administration is scoring, but you should only go for it if you like studying that subject.
It makes sense to spend quite some time and doing productive research while selecting your optional subject. Read the syllabus, basic NCERT books, and previous years' question papers to get an idea of the subject.
Aspirants generally tend to associate civil services with IAS. You need to know that IAS is just one of the several other services offered by the GoI, like IRS(IT), IRS(Customs & Excise), IAAS, IFS, IDAS, and they are equally lucrative and sometimes even more interesting.
You cannot take any of the stages of this exam lightly. They have their own share of importance in your success in the exam.
While you should be passionate about your dream of cracking the civil services exam, it is also important that you realize there's also life beyond this. Love you preparation, only then you'll be able to enjoy it.
With inputs from Rohit Ghodke, IRS(IT).
Design Credits: Lucky Mehendiratta