Preparing for Civil Services Preliminary Examination
The Civil Services IAS (Prelims) examination is generally held around JUNE month every Year.. The online application for the civil services prelims starts around February of every year.
Any serious candidate should have started the preparations for the upcoming examinations by now. Still, it's not too late to start preparations seriously. This article deals with the right strategy for dealing with the IAS, IPS exam.
First, before going into the studies, prepare a plan of how to tackle the enormous syllabus. See how to study. Since, there are a few months left for the exam, you would need to prepare an extensive plan, in order to cover maximum part of the syllabus. Thus, write down your areas of your expertise and weakness, and then prepare rational plans of covering the topics one by one. For help and support with creating a practical study plan, you may contact our team anytime.
Second, do not hurry while studying. Instead, take your time and develop a comprehensive knowledge base. It's better to strongly prepare a limited part of the syllabus, than to have a superficial 'gyaan'.
Third, do not get bogged down by countless sources of study material, that are available in the market. Get your study material from a reliable source, and have faith in your preparation. You'll be wasting a whole lot of time in revisiting the same portions, from different books and notes available in the market. Thus, read from the handful of sources properly, and avoid being panicky about the reliability of your preparations.
Next, know the trends that the UPSC has been following, in the recent years. For instance, the recent prelims exams has seen a lesser number of questions from daily events, and an increasing number of questions from sections like- economy and social development, environment, polity, and geography. Knowing the trends of the UPSC questions papers can help you in adjusting your study plans, and fetching the maximum out of your preparations.
Paper-1 GS: The Ocean of Gyaan
The syllabus of Paper-I looks to be a giant, standing before the candidate. However, as mentioned earlier quite a number of times, a proper system of tackling with it can help the candidate cover the syllabus adequately.
Preparations for the GS paper, should be done with two main objective- First, and obviously, the candidate has to prepare for the upcoming prelims. Thus, the preparation should carefully cover the topics that are important from the prelims point of view. Second, as a long term strategy, a candidate should try to study the GS portion carefully, as most of it is important from the MAINS point of view.
Preparing the GS paper should be given an appropriate amount of time. Given the amount of time left now, for 2016 Prelims, the main aim of the candidate should be to make an initial reading of the different subjects, first, with an aim to gain a superficial knowledge of the GS portion. Once the initial reading is done, one would be able to select the areas that the candidate is comfortable with. Also, if you feel some topic is taking great amount of your time and effort. Skip it after the initial reading. It shall be dealt later, if possible.
The second reading should be an exhaustive one, so as to better understand and learn the different concepts. Along with this, the candidate should keep the studying process linked to the events happening around the world, as it would give a practical knowledge of the different subjects, which a multipurpose advantage to the candidate. See how to read a newspaper
Given the paucity of time available, it might not be possible to refer to the different books thoroughly. thus, you can look at different study materials like IAS PRE GS STUDY KIT, D. D. Basu, The Gist, NCERT Books, IGNOU notes, etc.
For more information and guidance on any topic, one may freely get in touch with the IASEXAMPORTAL team.
The Role of CSAT: the Dark-Knight
CSAT has emerged as the deciding factor in the recent prelims examination. Since the difficulty level of the CSAT examination is not too high, you need to prepare from the point of view of answering maximum question correctly. It is important here to focus on answering the questions correctly, rather than knowing the 'bookish-gyaan' of handling the aptitude questions.
Many of the questions of the CSAT paper, can be done without any basic calculations on the paper. Many of the questions can be answered merely by analyzing the options given for each question. Thus, it is wise to go for the shortcut approach, rather than wasting the time in deriving the answers through the traditional ways. This technique can prove to be a catalyst in your marks.
Also, do not feel discouraged if your preparation in the GS paper of the prelims is not up to the mark. The nature of the CSAT is such that a candidate can secure high marks even with a minimal amount of study. In fact, most of the candidates have, clearing the Prelims, got around 45-50% marks in GS, while attaining more than 70% in CSAT. Thus, many of the candidates secured their place in the Mains, not because of their consistency of marks in both papers, but because of their very good performance in the CSAT. Practice is the only 'mantra' in case of CSAT. For practice and understanding you might refer UPSC Previous year question papers, etc.
Thus, you can compensate for your limitations of learning and understanding in Paper-I, by preparing well for CSAT. An average performance in the GS paper of prelims, accompanied by a good performance in the CSAT paper, can secure your place in the MAINS.
A candidate should devote sufficient time for the two papers of the prelims, so as to maintain the balance between the two. It should be noted that- while GS requires time and devotion; CSAT, on the other hand, needs a basic understanding of the concepts along with great practice.
Thus, it is advisable to execute the study plan ASAP, and remain committed to it. Do not let the market rumors take onto your mind. Rely on genuine sources of information and have faith in your preparation, if you are following your plans properly. We are always ready to help you, in any way possible.
It is not difficult to conquer the Civil Services Prelims. As mentioned earlier also, even an average performance in both the papers would carry you through the Prelims.
It is important to expand your knowledge base to diverse disciplines, while avoiding to rely excessively on few subjects. Preliminary examination is set to test the width of your knowledge base. The test of your expertise is taken in the next phase of examination, which shall be dealt with in our coming articles.
(P.S : lesser study period , say 5-6 hours with full devotion and concentration is more productive than longer duration of 14-16 hours with fatigued mind.)
All the Best Candidates!!