Often called the mother of all exams, the UPSC civil services examination has been conducted every year since 1922, to recruit some of the most brilliant and hard-working individuals as civil servants to serve as the backbone of Indian administration. Many candidates who have cleared the exam in the past are of the view that the optimal time to begin your preparation for the exam is when you are a college student. This is the time when an individual’s youth is by their side which brings along with it the sharpness and inquisitiveness of a young mind, therefore providing the students with the best chance of clearing the exam.
However, one needs to make sure that they get appropriate guidance, learn about the syllabus and requirements of the exam and follow the correct approach and strategies to maximize their chance of selection. Otherwise, their hard work might go futile and they may lose their precious attempts and time. As for getting the right guidance, gone are the days when going to Delhi for coaching provided aspirants a competitive edge. With the rise in adoption of technological teaching tools such as eLearning portals, ERP for school, smart classes and likewise, students can get access to premium study material and guidance from seasoned educators, while sitting in the comfort of their homes. Educational institutions today have readily shifted towards some of the best school management software for improving their productivity. Here are a few tips for students who are looking to prepare for the IAS exam while in college. These tips may also be useful for working professionals or fresh graduates looking to ace the IAS exam. So, without further ado, let’s dive in…
Stick to The Most Recommended Books-
Once you make up your mind to take the UPSC CSE exam, you should make sure that you finish the most recommended books before moving on to other sources if required. Ideally, you should stick to the fundamental books of each subject and revise them at least a few times over. Some of the notable and time-tested books are M. Lakshmikant for Indian Polity, Spectrum for Modern History, NCERTs, G.C. Leong for physical geography and likewise. You can easily find these books online or even at your local bookstores. It is advisable to buy the latest version of the books to ensure that you don’t miss out on any important, exam-relevant detail or event.
Prioritize Your Time-
Time is of the utmost essence when you are trying to manage college along with the preparation of one of the most sought-after exams in the world, if not the most. As a serious aspirant, you need to understand your time constraints and manage your time accordingly in order to maximize your efficiency. Thoroughly read the UPSC syllabus and have a look at the previous year questions asked in the exam which will give you a fair idea about the exam and direct your efforts in the right direction. Once you have a fair idea about the exam, always prioritize the extremely important tasks.
Finish a Couple of Subjects During Semester Break-
Many successful candidates have followed the strategy in the past to finish a few subjects during semester breaks. For the most part, finishing the static subjects such as your optional subject during the semester break might be a great idea. This way, you will have the freedom to focus on General Studies (GS) and current affairs after completing your graduation. You can also try to finish the entire set of NCERTs from class 6-12 if time permits. This will surely build a very strong foundation from where you can progress at a rapid pace in your preparation.
Learn From Toppers’ Experiences-
Even though the exam pattern has remained more or less the same, the IAS exam is a very dynamic exam in itself. New strategies of successful candidates continue to emerge with each passing year. You should definitely check out toppers’ stories and interviews to learn about their strategies and ideas. This will also act as a source of motivation for you which is much-needed to succeed in this long and arduous journey. Having said that, you don’t need to blindly follow the topper’s advice even when it doesn’t align with your beliefs and preparation strategy.
We strongly hope that the tips shared in this article will certainly help you in taking your best shot at the UPSC CSE exam. Wish you the best of luck!