The greatest myth the UPSC ever pulled was convincing you that it was after your IAS Prep Strategy! Every now and then, the student feels that UPSC is following his/her daily schedule and re-arranging its paper to beat him in the game.
Things couldn’t be less dramatic, right? But to be fair, when you set out to prepare for an examination that is as extensive as Civil Services, your mind is bound to play some tricks.
It is here that we attempt to dispel a few of those myths regarding the Civil Services Exam conducted by Union Public Service Commission.
#1. UPSC is looking for the crème de la crème but I never got past the last bench!
It is, obviously. Administering the country is no mean task! But not quite the way in which the normal junta has been raised to perceive them. If all that UPSC ever wanted were toppers and rankers from the best colleges, it would have made 90%+ a qualifying criteria, right?
UPSC is looking for well rounded personalities who are sincere, meticulous and can think clear in the face of adversity. This is not to say that a good academic background wouldn’t give you a headstart. It will, most definitely. But for all the others, the trick lies in emulating the tortoise in that proverbial race and keep up!
A good place for college students to start is reading up this beginner’s guide to IAS Prep.
#2. The English Vinglish challenge
Don’t fret a lot on your language capabilities. UPSC is not looking for Mr. Darcy and if you can form small meaningful sentences to put your point across, you are in safe hands.
But in case you identify yourself with Mr. Bachhan here, then you might have to start reading up some light english novels and then build up the capacity to read and write better. Take small steps!
#3. The IAS Exam is an engineer’s delight
To be honest, it used to be. There was a time when the Prelims had a CSAT Paper 2 (Aptitude Paper) which was an easy cakewalk for most of the engineers or math afficanadoes!
But come 2015, it’s just a qualifying paper and you only need to get around 33% to see yourself through. So the field is almost level playing again and you can start your preparation for Prelims in advance by going through the syllabus for IAS Prelims.
#4. How I wish I had 25 hours a day to prepare for IAS
You are in college and it is understandable that you have to juggle between a lot of activities (not all curricular but pace yourself slow. You have studied well through your school syllabus – UPSC expects a good command in general studies and expects you to be a Jack of all trades and Masters of a Few!
The exam is just a gateway to an opportunity which lets you service the nation in one way – possibly the best way and it would be make sense to wish for a 25 hour work day there!
Want to take inspiration? Check out this senior IAS Officer who spent one night at graveyard just to make sure that the investigation is not tampered with.
#5. There is a sea of Current Affairs and I have been mostly a Page 3 person!
You need to be well versed with current affairs – True.
You need to mug up every day’s newspaper – False.
Try to understand issues and not news. Try to know what goes beyond the making of news. If you are reading up on Yemen Crisis, try to know more about the events which led up to it – the Arab Spring, the Shia-Sunni conflict etc etc.
Still confused about how to approach newspapers for IAS Prep? You might want to have a look at this 3 step guide.
Guest Post by Rohit Pandey