5 Useful Tips to Clear UPSC IAS Prelims
The IAS or Indian Administrative Service Examination is by all means the most challenging test which is conducted in India. In context to the Civil Services Exam, the IAS is the most superior and difficult examination which is the focus of lakhs of candidates who appear for the tests on an annual basis. If you wish to become a member of the esteemed Indian Civil Services, then passing the UPSC IAS Exam is the one and only option. Some of the other services you could enter through the IAS Test include IRS, the Indian Police Service (IPS), IRTS and IRPS.
Number of Stages within Indian Administrative Service Exam
The Civil Service Exam is divided into 3 levels, and that is one of the reasons it is tagged as difficult. The initial step is the Preliminary stage, which is generally referred to as Prelims or CSAT. It is important to know that the IAS CSAT is conducted in the month of May every year. As per the latest modifications to the Preliminary Syllabus, the non-compulsory papers under the CSAT have now been eliminated and the Preliminary presently consists of several mandatory subjects weighing two hundred marks each common to all the appearing applicants.
Insight about IAS Prelims
The Union Public Services Examination conducts the Civil Services Preliminary examination which is believed to be the hardest stage in the entire process of an IAS selection. Also, out of 100 candidates who appear for the Prelims, there are heavy chances that 97 may not clear due to two main reasons:
No Sense of Correct Approach
It has been noted that, out of lakhs of candidates who apply for the examination every year, close to 10-17 thousands are only able to clear the prelim stage. It is no cake-walk which needs to be realized by the aspiring candidates. There needs to be a proper plan if you are a serious candidate. Try to frame the right strategies and study material in order to confidently clear the IAS Prelims.
How to Prepare for Civil Services Preliminary Examination?
It is always important to frame a potent strategy in order to clear IAS prelims and be ranked upon the top thousand candidates. One needs to realize that, clearing prelims might turn out to be a cakewalk if he/she gets proper orientation and guidance.
Revise every subject!
Till 2014, the aim to score high in GS Paper 2 (popularly known as CSAT) was considered as the easiest and fastest method to crack Civil Services Prelims. Also, lesser effort was required as compared to GS Paper 1 the aspirants used to acquire high in this paper and passed the prelims. However, with the changes in the UPSC pattern in 2015 the planned strategy won't count feasible in the near future.
It is advised by experts that, covering every subject of civil services preliminary exam is known to be the perfect approach for passing the prelims. Also, it’s not recommended to prioritize any particular book or area if you are assuming the questions will come from that source. Similarly, it is equally important not to skip easy questions from subjects like Economics, History, Geography and Polity. Moreover, working to revise NCERT books and previous years' question papers is also a good idea if you are time-crunched. You must also keep a good eye on areas like culture and environment. Candidates need to also focus on Current affairs preparation which should be done based on the latest schemes and bills issued by the government.
Clear IAS Prelims Mock Exams
Practice always acts as a weapon to move forward towards your goal. You need to test yourself time to time in order to gain expertise before the prelims. Mock tests are an integral part of regular preparations for all the candidates. Make a point to revise attempted tests for acquiring a good idea about your mistakes. One of the major advantages of mock tests is the rush of confidence which seeps inside after every attempt.
Invest on the Right Books
Picking up recommended books and correct study material is quite importance. The NCERT books are known to be the must-read according to experts as well as bright candidates. These books are helpful as they clear doubts at the fundamental level and guide candidates in acquiring higher marks at both the stages, that is, Prelims and Mains.
Follow Prelims cum Mains Approach
For GS Paper 1, the most perfect strategy would be to go through GS Mains and Prelims syllabus in a detailed manner which would help you gain concept clarity related to all the major topics. The kind of questions asked in Prelims and Mains are indeed different, however, there are many areas where the pattern is similar. An integrated prelims-cum-mains approach is becoming popular among civil services aspirants. Holding a good knowledge of overlapping and non-overlapping areas from the UPSC GS syllabus for Prelims and Mains does help you boost up the competitive mileage.
Go With a Relaxed Mind
Make sure that on the exam day you keep a good level of composure. A head would help you memorize all that you have prepared. It is a must to read questions carefully and be sure that you do not make careless mistakes. When you are relaxed, it would be quite easy to relate to the questions and answer accurately in the designated time. Also, count your abilities and stay confident that you can pass the civil services preliminary exam.
The above mentioned tips are useful for candidates who have a will to clear the exams. There are no shortcuts which are there to guide you through the UPSC IAS Prelims. You are your own master, so make sure to frame a systematic strategy which simplifies your way ahead. Talk to other aspirants as well as seniors who have already attempted the prelims. This would help you share a lot of useful information which would widen your vision about the IAS exams.