Tips for Students to qualify IAS, right from college days.
Early birds get the worm as the saying goes, IAS exam require significant preparation and for every student that aspires to head this road, college is the best time and place to start your preparations. Especially when you are young with all the energy and sharpness of the student's mind.
And if you follow the stats as they go, recent college graduates have shown a significantly higher probability of clearing IAS exam. The CSE is conducted by the UPSC to recruit officers for the various central services in India like IAS, IPS, IFS, Indian Postal Services, Indian Audit, and Accounts Service, Indian Information Service, etc. Preparing for these exams requires focus, along with right guidance, absence of which one’s attempt to clear the exams would be fruitless, along with loss of precious attempts.
If you are someone aiming to crack the exam, as an aspirant you should follow a planned routine especially when you are nearing your graduation days.
Below are some tips that will help.
1. You are early, hold on to the advantage:
As per the notifications by the UPSC board, the criteria for someone attempting the UPSC CSE is 21 years. Additionally, final year students can attempt for IAS prelims. Some candidates are unaware of this due to which they fail to utilize the early opportunity, hence they arrive at the UPSC Civil Service Exam preparation field only very late, which reflects the fact that the average age of qualifying candidate for the UPSC CSE is 28 years.
All you need is a right guidance to start early can qualify the IAS exam despite the thrill of your college campus life. Collect all the data you can grab your hands on about the UPSC exam.
2. Prioritize your time! Manage your constraints.
Most of the aspirants dedicate a complete year, preparing for the civil service exams. Candidates who are preparing parallels tend to have time-bound constraints as they are still in college. Prioritization skill is of utmost importance at this level, and you need to be aware of what is very important and be through with the syllabus and well acquainted with question papers of the previous years.
3. Refer the best-recommended books for IAS preparation.
Buy the most recommended books for your CSE preparation, once you decided that IAS/IPS is your career goal. Below are the books you should start with:
- NCERT Books – Buy online from Amazon or download NCERT PDF.
- Polity – by Laxmikanth
- Economics – by Ramesh Singh
- History – By Bipan Chandra
You can find a master list of UPSC books at Amazon. Also, your peers and online help can prove very useful to cater to all relevant materials and resources to crack the exam.
4. MCQ HUB mock test series.
Enrolling a mock test series as early as possible is necessary, even though attempt the Prelims after a gap of 1-2 years. Online mock test series should not be missed or taken lightly for your preparations. Series like ' MCQ HUB online mock test series', is used and trusted by most of the CSE aspirants since its availability, and should not be missed, in one’s preparations.
Once you start, do not afraid of the marks you score, instead look the mock exams as an opportunity to learn. The test helps the candidate understand the pattern of the UPSC, along with focusing on the difficult concept. They alone can make you aware of a lot of direct and indirect questions.
5. Utilize your spare time
You live in the digital world today and mobile apps can be quite useful. If you get an hour, utilize the free time. Install ClearIAS mobile app available for both the Android and Apple platform, alternatively, one can also refer to Unacademy and make free use of all the resources available during your sedentary leisure time or travel. This keeps you on the toe with your preparations for UPSC.
6. Read newspapers and magazines
You need to adhere to your newspaper reading schedule irrespective of the time constraints, without compromise. Believe us! once you get into habituated, it’s not that boring! Our recommendations are The Hindu or Indian Express for the best articles, The Op-Ed articles and editorials can also help in preparation. Details regarding government schemes can be found at Yojana and Kurukshetra.
If you are a magazine person, EPW is good for getting current perspectives and updates.
7. Continue writing
Improvise you writing speed, especially for your Mains. Recent graduates and aspirants have a big advantage as can easily write compared to their working professional counterparts. Enroll in essay competitions, intellectual talk in your college.
Use Quora, Medium and other online platforms as well, additionally, you can publish articles and letters in the editorial section of a famous newspaper or start blogging. This will help you to practice well and even manage to create an online folio of yours.
8. Follow and discuss current issues with your peers.
Bring in current issues as a part of your usual conversations as long conversations and debates are all part of college life. Develop a friend circle who aspire the same as you, and discussion among which is productive on current issues. Practices like peer learning can be of great help build groups right from college.
9. Finish 1-2 subjects during semester break
The optional subjects can be completed during semester breaks during college so that you can focus on General Studies(GS) and ongoing state affairs after they graduate. And if time permits, aspirants can cover the optional subjects or NCERT sets from 6-12.
10. Read and refer to toppers interviews
Materials and question patterns from UPSC are changing and so does the IAS preparation strategies. A clear and constant review of the UPSC toppers interviews can go a long way, keeping you motivated as well.
All the best!