Strategies to Crack Civil Services Exam

How to Crack Civil Services Exam in the First Attempt?

A lot of students ask if they can crack the civil services exam in the first attempt. Well, there are several instances, especially of candidates who came from poor background making into the services in the very first attempt. But, what is the secret to crack the IAS exam in the very first attempt? What special effort a candidate needs to put into to secure the top rank in the first attempt and get the service of his choice. Eduphore IAS offers a seven-point strategy- an IAS aspirant can imbibe to secure the top rank in the first attempt.

Strategy 1: Mains Oriented Preparation

The timeline of the CSE exam shows that notification of the exam comes in February, and Preliminary and Mains examinations are held in June and October/ November, respectively. An IAS aspirant should devise his preparation plan keeping in mind the above timeline and cover the entire syllabus before January 31. The next four months (February, March, April, and May) can be devoted exclusively to prelims preparation. The Mains-oriented preparation not only helps a student to cover the syllabus of prelims but also prepares him for the long battle well in advance.   

Strategy 2: Choosing the right optional

Choosing a wrong optional subject is a decision that many civil services candidates regret in the later years. There are three important aspects to be kept in mind while choosing an optional subject. First, you must have a passion for the subject. A subject of disinterest will prove burdensome after a few months of preparation.

Second, abundant study material and good coaching will accelerate your preparation manifold.

Third, the scoring potential of the subject must be taken into consideration. Although the literature subjects have the highest success rate, one should be well versed in the language before opting for it as an optional subject.

The top five popular subjects in civil services exams are Geography, History, Public Administration, Philosophy, and Sociology. But the top five subjects in terms of success rate are Medical Science, Commerce, and Accountancy, Animal Husbandry, Economics, and Psychology.

Strategy 3: Revisiting the syllabus and previous year question bank

The syllabus and previous year question banks are two holy books that you must always keep on your study table. The syllabus tells you how to begin with the end in mind and the previous year’s question bank guides you about the level of preparation you are required to make while preparing for CSE.

Strategy 4: Effective note making

Making notes for UPSC exam preparation is an art that very few aspirants know about. While making notes candidate should cover both the static and dynamic components of the syllabus. Let us take the example of monetary policy. The basics of monetary policy and its objectives are the static component of the General Study (GS)-Economy. But inflation targeting and recent initiatives taken by RBI under the monetary policy are the dynamic components of monetary policy. Similarly in Polity, Geography, Science & Technology, International Relations you will find many issues that have static as well as a dynamic character. Secondly use colours, pictures, and different artistic ways to make notes. It will stimulate your right brain and help you to memorize the subject in a better way.

Strategy 5: Effective reading of newspapers

Newspaper reading is indispensable in CSE preparation. Read any good national daily like ‘The Tribune’, but focus more on the analysis part. Remember what not to read is equally important to what to read. What to read in the newspaper is an art that you can learn while analyzing the previous year question bank.

Strategy 6: Effective Answer writing

UPSC mains examination is descriptive in nature and good answer writing can make or mar your prospect. You can learn this art by practice. Write at least two answers in a week- 10 in a month and get them checked by your teachers. Secondly, while framing answers you must remember the ‘3 Ps principle’- Problem, Policy, and Prescription. Put simply the problems posed by covid 19 are manifold. There is a government policy to overcome such problems. And there may be your prescription (suggestion) concerning both problem and policy. Finally do not ignore ‘Essay.’ Many students remain preoccupied with GS and optional preparation and take ‘essay writing’ very lightly. Remember an essay has a weightage of 250 marks and a good score in the essay can decide your fate in CSE. Write at least one essay in a month and get it checked by your teacher.

Strategy 7: Hard-work, consistency, and self-motivation

One gets what he works for not what he wishes for. Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard. In UPSC preparation hard work with consistency is the key to success. So, put your 100 per cent into the task and rest leave on to God. For self-motivation, read success stories of candidates who come from a modest background and beat all the odds to emerge victoriously. Reading motivational books and biographies of great leaders help you keep motivated as well.

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