Indian Administrative Service is the most sought after career in India. It has great prestige, respect and fulfilment attached to it. The IAS exam requires an aspirant to be highly dedicated, hardworking and consistent in his/her preparation. A year or more is required to complete the syllabus and revise before one appears for the examination to give a successful attempt. The sooner one decides to appear for the exam, the better it is. One can start preparing for the exam soon after 12th boards. The candidate has to be 21 years of age to be eligible to appear for this exam. Therefore, the candidate can spread his preparation over 3-4 years and cover the syllabus along with his graduation, as UPSC doesn’t specify any stream of graduation as a criterion of eligibility. The question here remains how to prepare for the UPSC exams after 12th boards.
Here are tips to plan your IAS exam preparation while you pursue graduation.
Tip 1: Know more about the exam:
UPSC conducts the civil services examination for recruitment to All India Services and Central Services like Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Revenue Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Forest Service etc., Take some time and read about all the services, the demands, roles and responsibilities to understand which service suits you the best.
Tip 2: Go through the syllabus:
UPSC Syllabus is well defined and is indicative. Go through the syllabus for Preliminary examination Paper-1 and Paper-2, Mains examination. Decide on an optional subject (preferably, related to your stream of graduation). When you are well versed with the syllabus, it becomes easier to identify the topics that you need to pay attention to and those topics that are irrelevant to UPSC exam.
Tip 3: Start reading NCERTs
NCERT books for History, Geography, Political Science and Economy will help you build a strong base for the IAS exam. Many questions in the UPSC preliminary examination could appear from the NCERT books. Therefore it becomes necessary to cover all the NCERTs thoroughly. Since you have 3-4 years in hand, you could do one round of general reading of the NCERT books and make notes while reading them, for revision.
Tip 4: Inculcate the habit of reading newspaper.
The newspaper is the Bible for UPSC exams. Current affairs preparation is an integral part of UPSC preparation. Subscribe to a newspaper of your choice and read it thoroughly. Gradually you will know how to differentiate between the topics that are relevant to UPSC and the topics that are not. You can start making notes for revision from the newspaper 18 months before you appear for the examination.
Tip 5: Watch Rajya Sabha TV and other news channels.
UPSC tests the decision making ability and general awareness of the candidates. An aspirant must be able to take his stance on a topic, for which forming opinions becomes necessary. This attribute can be cultivated over time by watching debates and group discussions. Utilize your free time in watching such informative shows.
Tip 6: Practice writing.
UPSC mains examination will require you to answer 20 questions in 3 hours. Mains exam would be a test of knowledge, strength and ability to present your thoughts clearly, to the point in a short span of time. This can be possible only with practice. Pick up essay topics and write essays in a time bound manner. Also, try to answer old UPSC question papers. This practice will definitely help you in mains answer writing.
UPSC online preparation by referring to various websites that post daily news analysis, quizzes etc. will also prove to be helpful in the preparation. Along with following these tips, it is essential for you to remain consistent in your IAS preparation. The examination requires you to be hardworking and patient. Have belief in yourself and stick to your decision of appearing for the examination. Do not delay your preparations as it will only get harder to begin with passing time. The sooner, the better!
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