How to Prepare for IAS Exam?

Appearing in the IAS examination is easy. But, qualifying it is a matter of hard work and dedicated preparation. If you crack through it successfully, it ensures a foothold in your career. You achieve what you just dream about-a reputed designation, authority, job security, allowances and a lot more.

You can make it only upon emphasizing on reversing your weakness and maximizing strength. So, here are some tried and tested IAS preparation tips from toppers and mentors that can take you ahead of the curve:

Strategy for Prelims:

Ideally, you should start preparing for UPSC examination with NCERT books. They are full of substantial facts that feed just fundamental understanding. But, it’s insufficient to stay in the competition. A few reference books for UPSC preparation by reputed writers can suffice your learning appetite, which requires you to see through a logical lens. Thereby, you can sail across the challenges that often disturb clear understanding of tricky questions.

IAS Preparation tips for Beginners:

  • Develop the habit of logical questioning, as it inserts clarity in comprehensibility.
  • For holistic understanding, stick to horizontal and vertical reading.
  • Couple a deep analysis of previous year’s questions with the trending UPSC topics.
  • Seek assistance of the experienced players, such as the best UPSC coaching institute in Delhi, teachers, and successful candidates. Team up with the peers group that is cooperative, focused and wise.
  • Cover each topic while making notes in such a way that a cursory glance will be enough to revise, rather than being a bookworm.
  • Choose your IAS study material for self-preparation and standard books. Be selective and stick around a few ones instead of a pile of books.
  • Practice multiple choice questions. Assess your performance as if you’re appearing in the IAS examination. Evaluate whether or not you can score at least 60 percent. Even if your score meets the requirement, carry on practicing.
  • Sequentially leap from general questions to teaser questions while solving. Then, go through the elimination process. Drill into your head that eliminating options can be risky.
  • Manage time properly. Keep at least 5 minutes in backlog. Avoid sticking to the question that you do not know how to attempt. Switch to those questions that you can

Understand the Type of Questions:  

Once you’re able to segment every question under these types, you can understand accurately and hence, answers accordingly:

  1. Easy Questions (easily understand)
  2. Difficult Questions (Take time to understand as being required a logical lens)
  3. Teaser Questions (seems easy to understand but, indeed, difficult to be solved)

How can you prepare of the “Main of IAS Examination”?

  1. Understand the Mains:
  • Marks: Did you know how many marks do this this examination carry?

It accounts for 1750 marks out of total 2025 marks.

  • Subjects: As far as the subject-wise papers are concerned, you must attempt seven papers in all. English and one more Indian language paper together with an essay exam, four each in general studies and an optional one complete this examination.

  • Questions: It’s worth mentioning that the bookish questions no more appear dominating the question paper. Rather, the questions emphasizing brainstorming and analysis are greatly asked.
  1. Explicitly understand questions: As aforementioned, the accurate answering is expected in this exam. It’s closely related to understanding the questions. Here are some cues to precise what should you answer with when the question asks to:
  • Comment: Put forth pros and cons about the topic and wrap up with great conclusion
  • Evaluate: Write after analysis and suggest accordingly
  • Illustrate: Focus on elaborating with contemporary relevant examples
  • Explain/Describe: Explain features
  • Critically Assess/ Examine: Elaborate, evaluate and comment
  1. Master the art of accurate answering: Just answering is no big deal. But if you want to stand out in scores, develop perfection in the art of exact and precise answering. Do focus on time. Practice to beat the clock while attempting all writing questions.

How to develop writing style?

Split an answer into these four parts:

  • Introduction: Attend eyeballs through catchy sayings or quotes or proverbs. Relate it with the subject.
  • Background: “How the subject grounded up”-do mention. It sounds effective and builds connectivity.
  • Body: Jot down points or sub-titles along with the corresponding points. Then, construct the body in a paragraph, sticking around those points.
  • Gist: The essence or conclusion wraps up a topic effectively. Therefore, be suggestive and offer solutions while ending on a positive note.
  1. Essaying:

It’s a descriptive case, which necessitates creativity, imagination, innovation and analytical approach to present your opinions. Drill into your head that your answers reflect your mindset. Thereby, the examiner assumes your personality on that basis.

One more thing that should be focused upon-essaying is an excellent art of jotting down imagination and facts together. It does not require logics and knowledge, but your innovative thoughts.  Therefore, spin an essay around these cues:

  • Prepare some bulleted points about the title on the last sheet of your paper.
  • Set a stage by introducing a catchy and contextual proverbs or poem or saying.
  • Interconnect each paragraph with one another coherently and logically.
  • The topic should reveal all aspects, from history, present and future to multi-dimensional impact (on society, economics, civilization, universe, culture, religion, psychology, biology and politics).
  • Integrate pros and cons.
  • Wrap up while focusing on implications, solutions and recommendations with futuristic vision.
  • Write impeccably. Practice grammar. Avoid complicated words and complex sentences.
  • Segregate the topic under titles and subtitles
  • Provide substantial facts and examples to support your essay title.
  1. To-Do Cues for Attempting Questions:
  • Carefully and completely read the question with a cool head. Brainstorm how to answer.
  • Greatly attempt what you have prepared at first.
  • The answers should reflect a balance, rather than being echoed a discriminant or extremist.
  • Answer precisely and to-the-point while covering all verticals of the topic.
  • Pictorial representation is appreciated, if it goes with the flow of the topic.
  • Enhance the impact of your writing by fusing current affairs with your arguments.
  • While attempting history/ geography papers, draw maps if required.
  • There should have interlinking in between all paragraphs of the essay.
  • Highlight the subtitles.
  • Emphasize your points graphically.
  • For attempting subjective questions, prepare points and then, describe.
  1. Not-To-Do List:
  • Do not skip relevancy while addressing the question
  • Do not miss the context and the balance in your answer.
  • Do not leave any aspect regarding the topic.
  • Do not try to answer in paragraphs. Put them in points, if possible.
  • Do not use guides as a study material.
  • Do not add irrelevant facts and gossips or non-sensible things.
  1. Time Management: Time values a lot. The quick turnaround time in attempting questions pays you off. You can utilize that time in expressing impressively.
  • Answer spontaneously. It should mirror originality. Make your subconscious adapt to the time constraint.
  • Speed up to maximizing the count of answers, as every question carries marks. Avoid being stuck to effectively write an answer for a long time.
  • Manage first two hours in attempting what you know extremely well. Spare the latter one hour on answering what you know the least about. Choose the sequence of less known questions according to your comfort.
  • Readability or legibility should be there when you answer. Otherwise, your marks will be deducted due to illegible handwriting.
  1. Interview: Scoring highest marks doesn’t ensure that you will qualify the interview round. It accounts for 275 marks in all. This score either ranks or expels you from the marathon of being an IAS officer. So, don’t rely on luck. Prep up for the interview round while catching these cues:
  • Stay current on. The interviewer thinks about the current affairs, but not about the boring deep facts. So, be ready with the buzzing news and related facts.
  • The Detailed Application Form (DAF) carries what your preferences about the service and cadre. Fill it under the supervision of your mentor after qualifying the prelims.
  • Premeditate the ‘why’ over a subject chosen for the mains. The examiner can check your proficiency and command over the subjects.
  • Your birth place can be the matter of interest for the interviewer. So, gain knowledge about the place, culture, history, eminent personalities, geography and other vital things.
  • Your knowledge about your home town or state can be checked. Ascertain facts regarding its history, geography, art, culture, leaders, policies, programmes, problems, unemployment, women and poverty.
  • Do not try to misguide your interviewers. Superfluous answers can lead to rejection. Be straight forward and speak up what you know honestly. It’s ok if you don’t have any knowledge about anything that he asks. Clearly accept it.
  • Your answers should not reflect you a castiest, communalist, discriminant or religionist. It’s better to sound a nationalist.
  • Prepare for mock interviews to correct the shortcomings.
  • Put on the dress wherein you feel comfortable. Don’t look so loud and gaudy.
  • If you were previously employed, be ready with the satisfactory answer for giving up the job.
  • Possess a smile, good sense of humour and show presence of mind.

End Note:

The aforementioned tips for the IAS examination are enough to ensure qualifying it. The need is to seriously concern about the examination. Be focused and consistent with the study and practicing. A mentor or senior will be helpful in torching the way to successfully get through it.

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