If you are interested in becoming an IAS officer, you probably know what the IAS is all about and why becoming an IAS officer is a very good career option.
If you become an IAS officer, you become part of the Indian Administrative Service. You will be part of the Govt. You can work from “the inside” and change “the system”!!
If you have a dream for India, or if you, like me, believe that India will soon be a “super-power”. If you want to be part of the process of making India a great nation, IAS is for you! Being an IAS officer, there is a lot more power and control you have so that you can be part of Emerging India!
Besides that, IAS is a great career option! You get many “perks of the job” when you are an IAS officer. You will have “job security”, “discount on Govt. services”, “Govt. provided transportation” and many more things... Even though the monthly salary provided by the IAS career is not too high, the “perks” make up for the less salary!
To get into the IAS, you will have to give the “UPSC held Civil Services Examination”. It is a common exam for getting into the IAS, IPS etc. To succeed in the “Civil Services Examination” you first need to understand how the examination is conducted or the “examination format”! IAS is a tough exam and you need to do smart as well and hard work. To get you started stepwise -
————-——————————STEP 1 ————————————————— ————————————-Know The Exam—————————————-
The first step towards Civil Services is to familiarize yourself with the pattern of the examination.
The Civil Services Exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) each year. It is conducted in 3 stages:
- Stage 1: Preliminary Examination (Popularly known as CSAT)
There are two papers in Prelims exams – namely Paper I and Paper II.
Paper I tests you on General Studies and Paper II tests you on Aptitude. Qualifying Paper I lets you appear for the Mains examination. Paper II is only to analyze you i.e it is only of qualifying nature.The marks scored in Paper II are NOT added for the overall merit of the Civil Services Preliminary Examination.
Paper I (General Studies)
Duration: Two Hours
Number of Questions: 100
Paper II (Aptitude)
Duration: Two Hours
Number of Questions: 80
- Stage 2: Main Examination (Also known as Mains)
The Main Examination will consist of written examination. The written examination will consist of 9 papers of conventional essay type i.e descriptive in nature.
- Stage 3: Personal Interview
Candidates who obtain minimum qualifying marks in the Main Examination as may be fixed by the Commission at their discretion, shall be summoned by them for an interview for a Personality Test.
———————————————Step 2———————————————— ——————————-Know the Exam Syllabus—————————-
Paper I Syllabus (General Studies)
- Current Affairs: Events of national and international importance.
- History of India and Indian National Movement
- Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic geography of India and the World.
- Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
- Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
- General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change (no subject specialization required)
- General Science
Paper II Syllabus
- Interpersonal skills including communication skills
- Logical reasoning and analytical ability
- Decision making and problem solving
- General mental ability
- Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc.) (Class X level), Data Interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level)
- English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).
- Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level. (will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation
———————————-——-Step 3——————————————— —————————Preparation of General Studies————————-
IAS Exam General Studies comprises a vast ocean of subjects and this paper needs to be mastered in order to reach the Mains examination. Since the official syllabus does not give much detail of the topics to be studied under each subject it is expected to gain knowledge of them that should be slightly below the graduation level but definitely above the high school level.
There are 100 questions to be answered in two hours, each question carries two marks. It means there will be around 80 seconds to answer each question. So speed and accuracy is essential to tackle this examination. While the correct answer will fetch 2 marks, a wrong answer means a loss of 0.66 marks.
The 100 questions can be broadly divided into three categories:
- Multiple Choice Questions – single response correct
- Multiple Choice Questions – multiple response correct
- Multiple Choice Questions – Matching type
————————-Go Through Previous Year Papers————————-
Going through the last five year papers (at least 5 years) will familiarize you with the kind of questions asked in the examination. One thing you have to understand here is that UPSC will NEVER repeat a question. So don’t mug up questions. It’ll be of no use. What will be of use is the fact that the ‘type’ of question might get repeated.
Going through past year’s papers will will make you understand the scope of the questions being asked. So when you study different subjects, you will keep that in mind. IAS Exam is not just about hard work. It’s a combination of both hard work and smart work.
—————————————-—-Step 5——————————————— ————————Subject Wise Preparation Strategy—————————
A considerable share of the total questions asked in General Studies for IAS, comes from Indian History.
The syllabus for history can be divided in 3 parts – Ancient Indian History, Medieval Indian History and Modern Indian History.
Most of the History questions asked in IAS Preliminary Test usually come from Modern India & Art and Culture. It has been seen that Medieval Indian History & Ancient Indian History don’t constitute a major part in terms of the number of questions asked.
So if one has to prioritize the topics for Indian History, Modern India (especially the Struggle for Independence) & Art & Culture should be given preference vis-a-vis Medieval Indian History & Ancient Indian History. Having said that never leave out the low priority topics altogether. Remember, UPSC loves to give it’s aspirants surprises.
One common mistake that most IAS aspirants make while preparing history is that in search of relevant books & study materials, they end up with a multitude of resources. Having too many books & study resources for one particular subject can do more harm than good when it comes to quick revision later.
Geography is divided into two parts – Indian Geography and World Geography
It has been seen that Indian Geography is given more weightage in the Preliminary Examination. The following are the broad topics that you MUST cover before the exam.
There is a significant number of questions that are asked from polity and over the years they have been found to be direct and ranging from Easy to Moderate on the difficulty scale.
For polity, start with topics that are of keen interest to you. One does not necessarily have to begin in the same sequence as the Table of Contents. For instance, you may start with the chapter on Fundamental Rights & Duties much before you read the Process of the making of Indian Constitution. However, as you progress you would see that there are some chapters which are best read in the form of sets.
A lot of aspirants get scared on hearing the name of economics. But there is nothing to worry. Let me clarify right in the beginning that you do not need to have prior knowledge of economics to crack the questions based on it. You will understand concepts as you keep reading. In fact economics might become your favourite section from the syllabus.Good thing about Indian Economy is that it is one section of Civil Services Exam where you can avoid a lot of cramming.
Science & Technology
There are mostly analytical questions that show up in this section. For scoring well in Science and Technology section, you would first need to analyse the kind of questions that UPSC asks. Mostly, all of the questions from Science and Technology section are analytical/conceptual in nature. A lot of them hold relevance because of the events going on around us. So, current affairs across the world goes in-sync with your conceptual knowledge. All you need here is the right approach.
While you prepare yourself for the preliminary exam, never lose track of current events. UPSC asks questions from various sections relating them to current affairs. For current affairs instead of reading lots of newspaper and article and follow the news all the time find a smart solution like this short news app Awesummly or Inshorts who provides news from multiple sources in one app and that too in short. This app will save your time and effort. Now you can go on and focus on topics which according to your plan you should invest time in. Its pretty simple once you get a hang of it.