How to Prepare for IAS Exam

Hello friends and welcome back to my blog. So, if you guys are looking forward to learning about how to prepare for IAS exam, then please keep reading my full blog post.

If you are also looking to become an IAS officer by clearing the IAS exams, then let me inform you in advance guys that merely hardworking and intelligence is not enough to pass one of the most awaited and hard exams.

You need to make a proper planning and strategy to get into some of the best talents in the country; who pass the IAS exams.

Table of Contents

How to Prepare for IAS Exam.. 1

1.0 Art of Cracking IAS Exams. 1

2.0 Do You Need a Teacher or Mentor for IAS Preparation. 1

3.0 How Much Time is Required for IAS Exam Preparation?. 2

4.0 Optional Subject Choice. 2

5.0 Large Pool of IAS Exam Syllabus. 2

6.0 Importance of School Textbooks. 3

7.0 Improve Your Communication Skills. 3

8.0 Try to Bring Out Some Sort of Originality. 3

9.0 The Reason Most Students Fail in IAS Exams. 4

  1. Conclusive Remarks. 5

1.0 Art of Cracking IAS Exams

The very first point for how to prepare for IAS exam is to know the art of cracking. Cracking IAS exams is not a cup of tea of every student and you must understand and utilize the best techniques that you’ve learned so far.

You don’t have to read and study something new, but according to the syllabus. You must have a great memory and catching power to pass IAS exams.
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 In fact, this strategy holds true for every entrance and competitive exam. The very first thing you have to understand is to study the syllabus clearly, while understanding the nature of the examination.

The next step that you can follow is to study the questions papers of the previous 3-4 years. And don’t go for any year papers because the syllabus keeps changing; so, studying the last 3-4 years papers would be enough.

Analyzing and studying the previous year’s questions papers will provide you an overview of the type of questions asked and the exact pattern of the exam.

2.0 Do You Need a Teacher or Mentor for IAS Preparation

I think it is not mandatory to get guidance of teacher for IAS preparations. You can study on your own pace for this exam. However, I would suggest you take few suggestions and guidance from the earlier toppers or students who have passed the exam with good marks.

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There are chances that you make some mistakes in your preparation or strategy; so, it would be beneficial to take suggestions from the earlier toppers in this case.

Remember that there’s a cut-throat competition in IAS exams and you don’t have much time to make mistakes and correct them.

You can also take some guidance from teachers in case you are not feeling confidant. I would suggest you take guidance from a teacher who has a great knowledge and understanding of the syllabus of civil services exams.

3.0 How Much Time is Required for IAS Exam Preparation?

There is no exact answer to this question because it depends upon your memory and catching power. Some students are able to memorize the vast syllabus of IAS exams within a short period of time. Meanwhile, some students take some time for learning.

However, in my opinion around 1 and a half to 2 years are enough to prepare properly for the exams.

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One common problem that most students face is a very less time for the preparation of main exams. Many students prepare properly for the preliminary exams, but get a very less time of few months for the preparation of main exams.

If the students pass the preliminary exam, then there’s a very less time of few months for the preparation of mains exams.

So, if you are really serious about making your career in civil services, then I would suggest you start your preparation for both main and pre-exams and give more time for the preparation of main exams, because merely qualifying for the pre-exams won’t get you anywhere.

4.0 Optional Subject Choice

Earlier, there were around 2 options for choosing your subjects, but now there is only a single choice, so choose your favorite subject as your option.

This will help you increase your potential to get good overall marks. So, choose your optional subject carefully.

5.0 Large Pool of IAS Exam Syllabus

Another most common aspect of how to prepare for IAS exam is the large syllabus. The most common thing about most of the civil services exams, either the IAS or any state level exams is that the syllabus is very vast, and you may feel overwhelmed by having such a vast syllabus in first instance.

The syllabus of main exams is specially very large, and you would start thinking about how you will prepare for such a large syllabus. Although if you made a prior strategy and good learning approach, then this vast syllabus will become small in front of your knowledge and expertise.

You must have a very clear idea about each subject of your syllabus and also have a good understanding of every sub-topic.
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 It is not necessary that you know each and every answer, but try to cover all the sub-topics as much as possible.

However, if all of your concepts are clear, then you’ll be able to answer each and every topic wisely. Apply the best logic and reasoning for the preparation. You can join any online crash course if you want.

6.0 Importance of School Textbooks

There are many subjects of the preliminary and main exams that you can prepare easily from the school textbooks, especially the NCERT textbooks.

So, if you have a brother and cousin learning in high school or higher secondary, then grab their book and start your preparation.

Some subjects that you can learn from the school textbooks are: Geography, Political-Science, History, Biology, Astronomy, Chemistry, etc.

You can take the textbooks from class VII to XII to prepare for your IAS exams.

7.0 Improve Your Communication Skills

You have to appear for compulsory English and Hindi papers in the IAS mains examination. These basic exams are only qualifying in nature and marks obtained in them would not be added to the main marks.

However, the importance of these papers does not decrease just because they are qualifying in nature and many students make a mistake of not preparing for them properly. So, you must avoid this mistake.

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I must suggest you bolster both your English written and communication skills because both of them will help you in future; to prepare for the interview.

You must prepare for the following English language skills: —

  1. Concentrate on improving your vocabulary (you can read some books like Word Power).
  2. Concentrate on learning basic grammar (you can read books like Wren and Martin).
  3. Improve your ability to comprehend, which means try to understand clearly what you are reading.
  4. Try to develop expressive powers in both reading and writing.
  5. Try to learn the skills of letter, articles, essays, e-mails, etc.

8.0 Try to Bring Out Some Sort of Originality

The IAS and other state level Civil Services exams need some sort of originality in your reading, writing, and comprehension. The traditional approach used by the so-called coaching institutes to shove the lessons down the throat of students won’t work in IAS exams.

You must have interest in learning new things and remaining updated with all current affairs; if you want to become successful in the Civil Services exams.
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 The syllabus of IAS exams is vast, and you cannot just cram the lessons. Your originality in learning can make give you the success because it can place you in a way higher exalted position; compared to that of your competitors.

Remember that all you have to do is to score higher than the average students and there are hardly many toppers that appear in the single exams of IAS.

9.0 The Reason Most Students Fail in IAS Exams

Earlier, there was no internet and therefore the students have less resources to gather study material and learn.

Now, after the advent of internet, there is a plenty of information available freely or with some amount on the internet.

Perhaps there are loads of YouTube videos that claim to teach you the best tips and tricks to pass the IAS exams.

However, sometimes this easy access to lots of resources become the most common reason of student failure.

If you are really serious about making your career in Civil Services, then I would suggest you not to watch the YouTube videos of any average joe; who claim to provide you the best tips and tricks.

There are many reliable, valid, and reputed test preparation websites that can teach you the best strategies, tips, and tricks with minimal fees.

So, I would suggest you buy a test series, crash course, etc. from some reputed websites.

Moreover, I have seen that many students keep preparing for the IAS exams, while giving prelims for around 4-5 years, but they still do not become successful.

Following might be some of the reasons of their failure: —

  1. IAS and most State level Civil Services exams needs a very higher level of intelligence, catching, and memory power that every student may not possess. If someone is lacking in basic level of these capabilities to pass the IAS exams, then there would be no reason to carry forward. Meanwhile, many students are not able to correctly analyze the level of difficulty of these exams and do not put their maximum efforts. A large gap between their perception of IAS exams and the reality arise that is not easy to bridge.
  2. Whenever someone is preparing for the IAS exams, then they must make their preparations brick by brick. It is same as putting a single brick to make a large building. Many students just prepare for the exams without considering this fact and they often fail. So, you must try to avoid this mistake.
  3. You may need a good and reputed institute to prepare for the IAS exams because there are many tips and tricks that only an experienced teacher can provide you. Check the qualifications of the teacher before joining any offline or online courses because sometimes any average joe starts a coaching institute without prior experience or knowledge.

10. Conclusive Remarks

Many students have a misconception in their mind that it is hard or impossible to crack the IAS exams. However, my experience says that most of the question papers of the earlier 4-5 years are moderately difficult. They are made like that so that only few brilliant students will be able to get the cut off marks.

So, if you are also preparing for the IAS exams, then first of all try to find out your weak subjects and prepare for them properly; before going for your strengths.

So, this was my suggestive article about how to prepare for IAS exam. You are welcome to discuss your views and opinions in the comment section.

Some parts of this article are taken from the article on Hivada Newspaper, whose Author is the Director of Wainganga IAS Academy

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  1. Nithya said:

    It is always good to read various articles as an IAS aspirant as many tips and techniques to crack the examination successfully shall be revealed through these blogs. One such blog that came across very interesting is yours dear Vinay. Every point mentioned has been penned very thoughtfully and in a very edifying manner.

    June 11, 2019
    • vinayg2018 said:

      Thanks for the comment. You can keep visiting for more such insightful posts if you want.

      June 13, 2019

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