IAS Exam Preparation and Strategy Guide

IAS Prelims 2023

IAS Exam attracts lakhs of aspirants every year because Indian Administrative Service or Indian Police Service is considered very prestigious in Indian society. This service gives a opportunity to the Indian youth to start their career in the ‘Corridors of Power’. This Civil Services in India gives the everything: status, best facilities, free house, driver, servants etc. But this IAS exam preparation is not an easy task.

IAS Exam preparation usually takes 2 years of time. Since the syllabus of ias exam is very vast therefore it takes time to cover the entire course and reading of all books. The syllabus of ias exam, especially general studies, is so vast that most of the candidates gets confused in between of their preparation. They start ias exam preparation with very much enthusiasm but very soon their energy and enthusiasm starts declining. Major reason for this is the direction-less preparation which does not result in desired success. Therefore one should follow the clear plan and strategy to prepare for this exam.

Firstly, you should see the previous question papers of IAS Exam both prelims and mains and analyse the pattern of questions asked. If you are comfortable with the pattern and your conscience tells you that “you can prepare and crack it easily” then you should start with it.

IAS Exam Preparation: Mastering the General Studies is the Key

Following is the IAS Mains exam chart. It is ultimately the IAS MAINS exam the score of which results into your final selection into the civil services.

ias exam pattern

1. Firstly select your Optional Subject for IAS Mains Exam from the list of subjects given by the UPSC in the notification. Some of these subjects are:
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science
Civil Engineering
Commerce and Accountancy
Electrical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Medical Science
Political Science and International Relations
Public Administration
Literature of anyone the following language: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, English.

2. Secondly, get the books and best notes for this subject. Try to limit the minimum number of books. Start the optional subject preparation along with general studies preparation.

3. Now, focus on the general studies mains and prelims syllabus. Here prepare the strategy to cover the this GS syllabus diligently. The whole general studies syllabus is divided into four papers. GS Paper I covers the area like: Indian History and Culture, Geography, Indian Society and women issues, developmental issues, urbanisation, globalisation, regionalism etc.

GS Paper II for IAS mains exam covers areas related to Indian Political System, political history, constitution of India, administrative issues, laws & legislations, governing bodies and issues related to governance etc. It also covers international relations of India.

GS Paper III covers the topics related to Indian economy, latest science and technology, disasters and their efficient management, issues related to biodiversity and environment. It also covers law and order related issues in India.

GS Paper IV include questions to test the candidates’ attitude and approach to issues relating to integrity, probity in public life and his problem solving approach to various issues and conflicts faced by him in dealing with society. This papers has topics related to Ethics and Values. Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world you also need to study. You also need to write the answers on given case studies in this paper.

IAS Preliminary Exam is more competitive than mains. In Mains you can score good marks easily by writing a standard answer of the asked questions in the paper. But in prelims you have to score more and more in order to beat others. This can only be done by reading specialist notes and books for IAS Prelims as provided by BestCurrentAffairs.com. Since everybody reads the well known books for this exam, therefore score of all serious candidates remains at one level. For every one correct question, you tend to beat 10,000 others in prelims. Therefore, you have to prepare something extra, in order to score more.

Once you qualify IAS Prelims exam, the mains exam requires 50% reading and 50% answer writing. Proper structuring of answers is very much required in ias mains exam. And this comes with practice. No genie will come to help you. You have to practice it yourself and get it evaluated by some good faculties. Once you will start writing the answers, quality of your answers will start improving.

Third and last is the Interview-cum-Personality Test stage. Be natural here. Don’t attend too much coaching here. Attending mock interviews gives you confidence. Revise all what you prepared for this exam and try to think and speak answers to yourself. Remain original in thinking and in your answers at interview.

Daily 7-8 hours study is required. In ias examination days this duration is increased. Revisions are very much required. In the first reading to general studies book, you tend to remember only 10-20% of what you have read. Therefore, you should give readings to books fast. Underline all the important lines/facts and read these selected parts in second and third instant reading.

Do not waste your energies on thinking what others are doing, and what others are joining. Make your own plan to cover and master the entire ias exam syllabus and stick to it.  Even do not get distracted by the IAS Toppers interviews on youtube. Do not under-estimate your ias preparation. Just focus on your studies. Self-motivation is very much required during the IAS Exam preparation. Early morning study will be more beneficial than late-night study.

Choose any silent place/area to study where there is no distraction. In cities, you can choose any library for study. Remote locations are the best to prepare. Leave the habit to keeping your mobile close while studying for ias exam. It is always recommended to reduce the use of mobiles to its minimum while preparing for IAS Exam. Mobile is the biggest time-waster during these days.

Extensive notes-making for ias exam is not recommended. It is very time-wasting exercise. Notes should be prepared on the books’ chapter itself. Write all important lines on the place available on margins of books. You can also paste some slips if there is no sufficient place. Please do not use separate registers for notes as you will end-up in writing books on every subject but you will remember nothing. (Notes written on books get imbibed in mind easily).

Do not waste too much time on printed newspaper and internet. Read all the important stories from Newspaper fast. Underline them, cut them and place them in some bag or folder for revisions again. Internet also consumes large amount of time in unrelated things. Try to keep focussed on IAS Exam preparation and do not disastrcted by anything that consumes your time. Remember every hour during ias examination year is important.

For Prelims: Read Books (Fast) – Revise Them (Faster) – Re-Revise Them (Even-Faster)

For Mains: Read and Revise (50%) – Write Answers (50%)

IAS Interview: Be original in your answers. Attend Mock Interviews