10 Tips To Prepare For IAS

The first hurdle to cross in a civil services exam is the Prelims which is divided into two sections Paper 1 General studies and Paper 2 Aptitude test. Both the papers are of 200 marks each.

NOTE: the prelims consist of negative markings so please answer only those questions which you are sure about and also keep your speed and accuracy in mind so prepare accordingly.

History, geography, current events, economics, and social development and general topics on biodiversity comprise the 1st paper. The preparation for this paper starts with:

  1. NCERT high school textbooks.
  2. The daily newspapers, an important point to note here is that one need not read all the papers published in the country daily, the focus should be to subscribe to one national daily each of Hindi (or your mother tongue) and English and one local newspaper.
  3. While reading newspapers one should make notes and keep them safely in a diary for quick reference later on.
  4. Apart from this, some good general studies book like the Manorama year book and also an atlas to keep glancing at while reading about geography.

Topics like comprehension, interpersonal and communication skills, logical reasoning, decision making ability, general mental ability and basic numeracy or data interpretation comprise Paper 2 because it is your aptitude which is to be tested.

Guidelines for attempting the old papers:                                                      

While solving the paper you should first finish solving the easy questions and then spend time with difficult ones. The idea is to revise the topics and not cover new portions. Solve as many test papers as possible this will help you both in revising and in developing your speed and also alertness.

If you start preparing from about 10 months before the exams then your preparation should be enough to take you through the prelims. But you must follow a set pattern and work single-mindedly. Remember practising by answering old question papers is very important because apart from the usual benefits of practise and revision  It helps you understand the kind of questions asked because since IAS is about testing your intelligence the questions are at times in such a way that only the intelligent can answer it I found an incident while reading a story in which the question asked was about “Opportunity on Mars” but it did not mean about any opportunities on Mars it was a question about the Robot named OPPORTUNITY which was sent to Mars in 2003,  this is one example and would like to share it with you.

Thus putting everything in serial order we can say the ten points for IAS preparation are

  1. Start at least 10 months before the date of exam
    2. Read NCERT high school text books
    3. Read thoroughly at least 3 news papers daily one National English Daily, one Hindi or vernacular and one local.

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