This is a learned fact that there is no shortcut to success. IAS Toppers are not born overnight. In-fact they are the result of continuous hard work and dedication. Trust me the feeling on the other side is just great and no word can explain the joy of being an IAS officer.
We at Simran Ablaze IAS Academy, Chandigarh provide civil services aspirants with the right guidance and coaching. Our course program is accurately designed to deliver the right content required for competition. Our coaching faculty consists of UPSC veterans and professors from central universities, who have in-depth knowledge about how to crack civil services exam.
Students can join our coaching classes during graduation itself. Growing competition creates enormous challenges for the civil services aspirants so better they start early. Preparing for exam polishes an individual’s personality, you understand politics and working of government from a very different perspective. So ultimately no candidate is a loser when you sincerely prepare for this exam.
Simran Ablaze Academy was established in 2009 by Simran Singh who is academic distinction holder, college topper and a Law Graduate from Punjab University Chandigarh. He is a well know author of more than eight successful title books for PCS, HAS, HCS & IAS exams. We have successfully produced more than 450 results in IAS and various state services exams including Himachal Pradesh Administrative services.
Objectives for IAS
The best thing about us is to provide dependable and precise guidance for candidates preparing for the Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, with a view to enable them to secure their goal in life. Igniting your mind to become part of the most well desired services in India is our only goal. All new segments of Ethics , integrity and Aptitude for Civil services IAS & PCS exams are being dealt with accordingly.
IAS Preparation Guide – How to Prepare for IAS Effectively
To get started with IAS preparation you should first have some idea about the service itself. This will ensure your IAS preparation efforts are channelized in the right direction. The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is a career nonpareil – one that cannot be compared to other jobs or services. True, it doesn’t offer the best salary; still, the salary of an IAS officer is nothing to laugh at.
But people aspire to IAS for reasons much more than just remuneration. For instance, the IAS is a means to perform noble deeds like serving the nation and humanity at large. Now how many jobs or careers provide this opportunity? Along the way, there are attractive privileges, perks and career goals that you can achieve. In fact, the IAS is the perfect harmony of social and personal good, an opportunity, that only few can careers can provide. Be inspired.
But to aspire for this golden service you need to prepare for IAS smartly, persistently, and patiently.
The 3 golden tips for IAS preparation. You may have heard a thousand and one times from friends, IAS exam veterans, mentors and assorted coaching institutes that you require smart hard work to crack the IAS. But what exactly is smart hard work?
IAS exam Preparation point no. 1 – Work Smart Not Just Hard
Most of us are used to working hard. Our education system is such that unless we cram tens of books each year, whether or not we understand what’s inside the book is immaterial, we cannot progress to the higher level. So most of us are accustomed to working hard which in the context of IAS preparation refers to studying 10 hours or more, every day. So much for hard work.
Now comes the smart part. Smartness could mean different things to different readers. It could mean reading selectively but reading well, reading many books selectively, mixing books and notes, making micro notes, proper time management, taking mock tests and so on.
Smart work is all this and more. In fact, smartness is the approach you adopt in a particular situation. To prepare for IAS smartly requires you to be flexible as opposed to rigid, to experiment as opposed to sticking with the familiar, to plan ahead as opposed to the short term only.
The right approach would be to start preparing for the IAS prelims at least 10 months in advance. 10 months’ time is just right to crack the prelims. Neither too much nor too less. With too much time in hand, just like other things in excess, we tend to waste it. In fact, we should always have a little less time in hand to feel some sense of urgency to get things done. Most people tend to work best under reasonable pressure. Neither too much nor too less.
The next step when starting your IAS preparation is to get familiar with the Prelims syllabus. Doing this you will know exactly what you need to cover within this time frame to crack the prelims. The good part about the new CSAT syllabus is that optional subjects have been done away with. So you can just concentrate on General Studies. And if you’re like me then studying GS is like listening to music; there’s no hard work involved. Just pure fun. Preparing for IAS need not necessarily mean monotony. The more you enjoy preparing GS the easier the Prelims goal will become. That’s smart.
Once you know the syllabus get started with the actual preparation. Obviously, everyone can’t prepare for 10 hours, particularly working people. But even working people can crack the IAS. The exact time is not important here. Some can achieve in 6 hours what others can in 10 hours. It depends on you. If you’re just starting out I’d suggest you start with 4-5 hours and scale up gradually.
IAS exam Preparation point no. 2 – Try Single-tasking it’s more efficient than Multi-tasking
Yes I know you need to prepare history, geography, current affairs, mental ability etc. Only thing is don’t prepare all at once. Chunk it down. Pick one subject, let’s say Polity and combine it with current affairs which you should cover for some time every day. Current affairs preparation consists of reading the newspaper, a good current events magazine and a yearbook.
Read the best newspaper only The Hindu, magazines like Civil Services Chronicle or Pratyogita Darpan and the Manorama Year Book. Schedule a particular time for newspaper reading, but in any case, don’t read the newspaper for more than an hour.
Next, you can continue with the yearbook or start off with Indian polity. Whichever topic you choose get the right books only. Don’t refer more books than are absolutely essential. You don’t want a PhD in General Studies, just need to clear it.
But before you start with the topic get the past 5 year’s solved question papers and combine it with the syllabus as the question papers and syllabus are your best guide for IAS preparation.
Once you have started with polity or any other topic see it through completion. Don’t try to multi-task. Mixing polity with history and geography will lead to loss of concentration and lower your output. Besides it will make your progress lower. On other other once you’ve covered a topic in full you will gain confidence as you’ve pocketed x number of marks beforehand.
IAS exam Preparation point no. 3 – Adopt the Just in Time Approach
The JiT (Just in Time) Approach says we should seek information only when required at that moment. In this hyper-connected world there is an overdose of information and if you seek to acquire all information and knowledge before starting a task, you can never get started as you will lose yourself in the information maze.
Applied to IAS preparation what this implies is don’t try to cover all the books referred by your friends on a given topic, say GK. Since GK is so vast and constantly expanding you can never hope to “master” it. Rather, refer a good book like Manorama Year Book and a magazine along with the daily newspaper to build up your knowledge base.
If, while referring the past Prelims papers, you come across a new topic you can quickly refer the reference books at hand or head over to the library or internet and find out more. This way you retain the information for a much longer time rather than by trying to read everything at one go.
Smart IAS exam Preparation point no. 4 – Test Yourself Constantly
Taking the above approach further let’s apply this to evaluating yourself. Instead of waiting till the last few days to take mock tests you should evaluate yourself right after completing a particular section in a topic. For instance refer the previous year’s question papers before starting Quit India Movement in Modern Indian History and after completing it. I’ve already written about the benefits of this approach so I need not repeat it here.
Adopting this approach you know exactly where you stand, which topics have been covered well and which require more consideration. But more importantly, it removes the uncertainty and anxiety to a certain level, if not completely. Before entering the examination hall you know what kind of questions to expect and this will boost your confidence and calm your nerves so you perform better than expected.
But going through the previous years papers is just the first step, I recommend you enroll for a good test series to know the latest trend of questions and also to prepare yourself for the forthcoming Prelims in a better way by attempting mock tests that cover the entire Prelims syllabus.
Prepare for IAS point no. 5 – Make Micro Notes
Notes help us to revise quickly before the Prelims; the last 15 days that can determine whether or not you will appear for the mains that year. These micro notes can be on current affairs, GK, as well as other GS and optional topics. In fact I’ve already shown how to make notes for IAS exam preparation. Learn from it and profit.
IAS exam Preparation point no. 6 – Shoot then Aim
Most IAS aspirants prefer to wait till the end moment to take mock tests or prepare for 2-3 years before making their first attempt waiting for the perfect preparation level. Unfortunately your preparation can never be perfect no matter how hard you try. The latest syllabus is such that questions will always be unpredictable. Gone are the days when you could rely on certain number of questions from a particular topic.
So instead of preparing for 2-3 years during which time the pattern (not the syllabus) could change so many times prepare for a year and jump into the fray. You can improvise along the way.This also holds true for taking practice tests. I suggested constantly evaluating yourself after going through every topic rather than waiting till the end hoping to finish the entire syllabus before going through the question papers.
One thing which is certain is that , we are never able to finish the syllabus completely. There’s always something left in the end, some topics that we wish we should have prepared differently. So shoot first then aim. Top thing about us is that we ensure timely completion of syllabus .
Smart work No donkey work for IAS exam
Preparation point no. 7 – Read Only What’s Absolutely Essential: stop collecting garbage. For IAS preparation you need focus and the right approach.
Tata McGraw hill General studies manual, Unique, while a third one suggests XYZ classes notes. And you will jump from book to book hoping to cover every source that’s considered important for that subject. Stop taking this information overload that you will never be able to process within the limited time at your disposal.
Stick only to the standard books and supplement the missing information from other book for notes. Instead of reading three books for polity stick to one for detailed explanation and one for the bare acts. Similarly, I suggest just basic NCERTs for Ancient and Medieval Indian History IAS . No need for epic titles.Whether it’s books for prelims, or public administration, sociology, political science or geography books stick to the above strategy.