You’ve always been interested in becoming a public servant. You have a strong knowledge of global affairs and relations, and you’re proud to serve your home country of India.
You’ve long dreamed of becoming a member of the IAS. However, you know that, in order to make it happen, you’ll first need to pass your exam.
Though any examination is challenging, it’s no secret that preparing for IAS exam is especially tough. Still, the chance to act on behalf of the government, collect revenue, and potentially even work abroad makes it all worth it.
Remaining productive and even working with your peers is essential. Want to learn how to prepare for IAS exam?
If so, then keep on reading this post to learn what it takes to succeed.
How to Prepare for IAS Exam: The Basics
Let’s talk about the first things that you need to think about when you’re learning how to prepare for IAS exam.
Start by ensuring that you meet the eligibility requirements to become an IAS officer and to take the exam. Read more about the University degree requirements, language restrictions, and even what it takes to sit for the exam.
Take advantage of applying for IAS Preliminary Exams when you’re in your final year of University, as well. Remember that you must be 21 years old to sit for the exam.
Once you’re certain that you’re eligible to take the exam, consider the preparation materials you’ll need.
Keep in mind that you’ll need a strong knowledge of the history of Indian politics. You’ll also need to understand how local and national law works within the country.
While you’ll certainly learn more about local regulations and the government structure in your later work with different ministries, you still need foundational knowledge.
To that end, you might consider not only investing in the right IAS books (those developed by NCERT are always a popular option) but also getting an exam coach.
This person will help you to identify the gaps in your knowledge. They can also help you to understand the format of the test, and ensure that you use your time strategically.
Take Mock Exams
If you want to learn how to start preparing for civil services exams, there are few better ways than by taking mock examinations.
When you do this, we advise you to keep as close to the time constraints and conditions of the exams as possible.
Don’t see these tests as anything other than diagnostic tools. You’ll be able to figure out where your knowledge is strong and identify areas that need additional development.
The good news is that you can take these mock exams at any point during your training and education programs. Remember that it takes 1-2 years of schooling before you’re even allowed to sit for your UPSC Preliminary Exam.
Often, people ask about the time required to prepare for IAS. The truth is that the sooner you can start preparing and taking mock exams, the better off you’ll be.
No matter what you’ve heard, you can’t both successfully prepare for the exams and continue to remain in school in a few weeks. For best results, aim to do a few hours of work towards your exam every week for up to a year before you sit for it.
Don’t Neglect Current Events
Especially if you spend much of your time in an academic environment, you might not realize how important it is to keep pace with current affairs in India as you prepare for your exam.
Yes, topics like history and the geography of India are important. But you’ll also be asked questions on the exam about things relating to public policy and current affairs.
Remember to take time every week to read the newspapers, blogs, and even watch the news. Think of it as a kind of study break, that’s really not much of a break at all.
We also suggest meeting with your peers to discuss current affairs in India. Much of this job is about conflict resolution.
Remember that you’ll need to show an ability to understand and work with different perspectives. The sooner you can start doing this, the better off you’ll be.
There are so many reasons why people want to become a part of the IAS. However, studies show that anywhere from 200,000-400,000 people take the IAS exam every year.
The reality is that the competition is fierce.
If you truly want to become an IAS officer, you’ll need to make sacrifices.
You’ll also need to work on ways to manage your time and avoid burnout when it comes to studying.
Sit down with an advisor or your fellow students and come up with a reasonable study schedule. Working with others helps to keep you accountable. Plus, a peer group allows you to get help with subject areas you struggle with.
There will certainly be times you want to quit.
However, remember what you’re working towards – a potential career as a Chief Secretary or Cabinet Secretary.
How to Start Preparing for Civil Services: Wrapping Up
We hope that this post has helped you to better understand how to prepare for IAS exam and the kinds of sacrifices it will take to make your dreams a reality.
Are you looking for more study tips?
Need assistance with memorization techniques? Want to improve your focus? Looking to improve your communication skills, or even develop your own study materials?
We can help you with all that and more.
Keep checking back with our blog to get access to more academic and professional advice.
The things you learn will help you to make the most of your time preparing for the IAS exam.