There are various civil services in India and to get into one, requires attempting the annual Civil Services Exam (CSE), conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The exam is considered to be one of the most difficult recruitment exams in India, mainly due to high competition and the vast syllabus. However, with enough preparation and strong willpower, one can easily crack the exam and become a civil servant.
The first thing an aspirant needs to do is to register at UPSC Online and submit the application with correct personal details and choices. The information about the process and specifications could be found in the official notification. Every year, around 700 to 1,000 vacancies are announced and lakhs of candidates apply for the exam. To crack the exam successfully, one needs proper strategy and hard work.
A correct strategy is important for the IAS exam to save you time, and increase the efficiency of your studies. A proper strategy is composed of the following components:
- Right books and study materials: There are tons of resources and study materials available for UPSC preparation in the market. Yet, an aspirant only needs to rely on some standard books and a few secondary resources to ace the exam. It is however strongly advised to not study multiple books for the same subject/topic. Below is the list of suggested books:
|Modern Indian History||● A Brief History of Modern India by Spectrum Publication|
|Medieval Indian History||● Medieval Indian History by Satish Chandra|
|Ancient Indian History||● India’s Ancient Past by R.S. Sharma|
|Art and Culture||● Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania|
|Geography||● Geography NCERT Books for Classes 9, 10, 11 and 12|
|Environment and Ecology||● Environment Notes PDF by Shankar IAS|
|Indian Polity and Governance||● Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth|
|Economics||● Introductory Microeconomics by NCERT|
● Introductory Macroeconomics by NCERT
|Current Affairs||● The Hindu|
● The Indian Express
- Making concise notes: Making concise yet detailed notes is very important for revisions. Reading bulky books multiple times, that too for such a vast syllabus, is not feasible. There are multiple ways to make notes; some use sticky notes to write down important keywords, some write notes in notebooks, while some just highlight the important concepts in the book itself. No method is wrong. It all depends on the personal choices and comfort of individual aspirants.
- Effective revision: An efficient revision requires effective notes, and as discussed earlier, revision should be done multiple times before the prelims and mains exam. Doing a minimum of 3 to 4 times revision of each subject is essential, but more revision is always helpful.
- Time management: A good timetable and schedule are crucial to make sure the whole hard work yields results. Time management can be accomplished by prioritising day-to-day activities in such a manner, so that the number of hours of studies is optimum, as well as the body and mind gets enough time to relax. Time management while attempting the exam is a different thing, and one can develop ways to deal with it while attempting mock tests. Therefore, it is suggested to attempt many mock tests to improve your knowledge base and teach you time management tactics, which is very important for the examination.
The above strategy is developed by our experts and could be used as a blueprint to create your personal study plan. But before creating a study plan of your own, it is highly recommended to check out the UPSC Notification, to make yourself perfectly acquainted with the process and demands of this examination.
Candidates who have already taken the exam in the past, but failed to clear it would understand the need for a good strategy, along with dedicated and effective studies for clearing such a prestigious exam.