IAS Preparation Tips 2019 – Winning Tactics to Clear in 1st Attempt

IAS Preparation Tips will help channelize your thoughts and preparation efforts properly in the right way and help in preparation for IAS.

IAS is a career which can’t be compared to others. While the salary isn’t a dreamy one, it’s still great. People don’t strive to become an IAS officer just for money or fame, but rather for the opportunity it offers to serve people and the nation, unlike many other jobs. There are also many exclusive privileges and career perks and goals one can achieve alone. However, one needs to be persistent, smart and patient while preparing for IAS. One not only needs to work hard but also smart. Usually, we are used to hard work in studies to score well and not focusing on understanding the material inside. For IAS, this would mean studying more than 10 hours a day. So, unless we understand what we’re studying, we can’t proceed to a higher level.

“Smart” will be in different context for different people, regarding studies. For some, it would mean reading selectively but well, reading many books selectively, mixing books and notes, making micro notes or taking mock tests, while it might just mean time management to others. Smartness refers to the approach one adopts in a particular situation. For IAS one must be flexible and willing to experiment rather than being rigid and sticking to one particular approach, and also plan ahead as opposed to short term.

Usually, one tends to waste time when a lot of it is available. Humans tend to do their best under a moderate amount of pressure, neither too less nor too much. For the preparation of IAS prelims, it is recommended to start 10 months prior to the date of prelims. One also needs to be familiar with the syllabus of the prelims. These days, for CSAT exam, optional subjects have been removed leaving only General Studies for preparation, which the more one enjoys preparing, the easier it becomes.

Obviously, not everyone is able to dedicate a lot of time to studies, but depending on preparation even lesser hours can be enough if one prepares smartly. Even working people can crack the prelims if they dedicate enough time and prepare. One should start slowly with 4-5 hours a day max, and gradually scale up as he/she gets used to it.

The portion is vast and consists of various subjects like history, geography, current affairs, political science etc. Therefore one need not focus on all subjects at the same time, but rather study similar ones together to get a better grasp. Like studying political science along with current affairs will help in better preparation of both. For current affairs, one can refer to good newspapers like the Hindu or magazines like Civil Services Chronicle, Pratyogita Darpan, and Manorama Yearbook. One need not dedicate more than an hour to current affairs preparation.

After preparation of current affairs, it’s wise to dedicate time to the polity. Mostly, general preparation is required rather than absolute essentials, as going into too many details isn’t necessary. It’s also advised to get last 5 years solved papers and combine them with IA preparation as they’ll serve as a really good guide for the examination.

Also, combining different subjects to study is not a good idea. Unless one is fully prepared and completely sure of one subject, he shouldn’t advance to the next one as this will only break the concentration and result in loss of output. As one is fully prepared in a subject, it provides confidence of bagging good marks in at least that subject. Also, in today’s hyper-connected world, information is quite vast, as such, it is not possible to know and memorize all of it. One should take a just in time approach and study only the info required.

In IAS preparation, it isn’s necessary to study all the books referred, instead one should only seek the information when needed and only how much is needed. This will help in memorizing the information more efficiently.

One should also regularly test himself about his IAS preparation and knowledge, by taking mock tests. Mock tests shouldn’t be taken at the end, near the prelims or examination time, but rather regularly after completing each subject. One should try solving questions from previous years papers, enrol for a good test series that cover entire syllabus of forthcoming prelims. This ensures a better confidence and helps avoid nervousness in the examination as one knows where he stands with his IAS preparation. One should also make micro notes from whatever he/she studies, as this not only helps remember well, it also comes useful in last days near the examinations when there is less time left for revision.

One shouldn’t wait for a long time before taking the test, as the pattern changes so many times during that period that no matter the IAS preparation, it becomes really hard to crack the examination. One should regularly evaluate his/her preparation, and no matter how well or bad the preparation may be, he/she should attempt the examination every year, rather than waiting 2-3 years, while improvising on the way. IAS Preparation can never be perfect, there will always be topics that one would wish to have prepared better, and might find hard to understand.

One should also stick to a certain set of books and study only what’s essential. Running after different books, recommended by different people, will make it harder to get information and rather make it difficult to process this information overload. One should stick to a single book for studying and extract information from other books only to supplement the notes. In this way, much more information can be extracted by going deeply through one source, than burdening the mind with information overload.

A well planned and well-formulated strategy along with proper time management is the key to cracking the exam. The strategy should be prepared according to the person’s needs as it helps in following it properly. One should make himself/herself familiar with the syllabus and what it covers, as it reduces the mental burden of IAS preparation.

A thorough insight of the previous year’s question papers also helps a great deal in UPSC IAS preparation. Through studying the question papers, one gets to know the kind of questions that have been asked, their difficulty level and also the type of questions that are asked repeatedly or the ones that can be answered quickly. This not only boosts the confidence but also acts as a guide to IAS preparation and distribution of different topics.

Rather than going through multiple books to cover a single topic, one should opt for a single book that explains the topics well enough to clarify basic concepts and save time as well. One should also make notes of the topics studied, as these help in remembering the topics well and also on last-minute revision before the exams. While general studies cover nearly everything, there is really not a need to be worried about it, the main portion can be classified into 4 subjects:

History: Usually, stress is given to modern history, the freedom movement, and ancient India. Brief studies of the medieval history would help in this.

Geography: Most of the importance is to be given to physical geography and maps related questions. One can get well-acquainted with maps with the help of a good Atlas.

General Science: Covering a major part of the portion, this one should be well versed with, using a standard guidebook.

Current affairs: a Daily reading of newspapers is enough to prepare this subject.

General awareness: Standard Guidebooks or yearbooks are good enough for preparation.

Also, one shouldn’t try to solve any complex or confusing problems before the exam, to prevent stress. Instead, one should comfort himself and get a good sleep.

Preparation of civil services is one of the hardest tasks, spread over the entire year. Those writing the prelims get to know their results after a month of the examination.

The ones that qualify through the prelims get 3 months to prepare for the mains examination, after the results of which, the qualifying students get a month to prepare for the final interview.

The final merit list is announced after a month of the interview.

A well-planned strategy is necessary for qualifying through the civil services examination.

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  1. Vijay says:

    IAS coaching has become a necessity for most IAS aspirants as competition is very high. Quality of teaching and material is very important for any civil service examinations. You are providing good information for such students who preparing for the competitive exam. Thanks for sharing the valuable information. IAS Academy in Chennai
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