(Article) Crack IAS Preliminary in your first attempt
There are lot of rumour about civil services preparations, what should be done what should not be done. What can be done and what can not be done etc. One among them is the perception that UPSC exam can't be cracked in first attempt. However the fact proves that there are lots of aspirants who crack this exam in very first attempt. In this article we would try to give you the strategy by which you can clear this exam in very first attempt.
First we would like you to go through the entire syllabus and the examination process before starting the preparation. We would also suggest you to go through previous years questions for understanding the level of questions being asked.
Also please take a look at for learning the process and how to study.
As you can see that syllabus of this exam is very huge and level of questions is also good, so preparation needs to be thorough. It needs time to cover big syllabus in detail. So preparation should be started around an year before the prelims of next year e.g. if you are planning to give 2017exam july 2016 would be the ideal time to start the preparation. This would provide you with enough time to finish both prelims and mains syllabus.
Next big challenge is the choice of the optionals. Your choice of optional can decide your success in the UPSC exam. Lot of thoughts should be given to the decision of optionals. First make a list of few probable optionals, then look at their syllabus and previous year question papers and finally decide the optional which you think is best for you. Please try to avoid the impulse of taking an optional because everyone else is taking it.
Next challenge is about what to study and from where to study. A list of books have been mentioned in the portal, please go through them. However, Initial focus should be on building the concepts, for that purpose NCERT Books are the best source. Only and Only when you have finished NCERT, go to higher level books. UPSC takes special care to check about the concepts of the candidates. Having said that you also need to remember many things from government sources but that comes only after your basics are clear.
We keep on saying in all our articles that please go through single source again and again and dont switch the source.
Many people make the mistake of trying to read many books and they end up remembering vey things. Its an exam where reproduction of what you have read is the only thing which is important, if you have not seen the same thing multiple times it becomes very difficult to reproduce.
Another thing which will immensely help any candidate is making short notes. Make it a habit of preparing daily notes of whatever you study. If you are making regular notes, it will greatly help you at the final stage of your process. It is better to read few pages than an entire book.
Next issue is whether prelims and mains should be prepared separately or together. Different people say different things about it, but most of the successful candidates prepare for mains and prelims together. However they take special care about prelims and completely devote themselves to prelims three months before the prelims examination.
The most important part of the strategy is to remain focused on the main goal, which is cracking the exam in the first attempt. It is a long preparation time of around two years till interview. Aspirant needs to be very focused to keep on studying for such a long period of time. It takes lot of efforts but once you clear it, it is totally worth it.