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Preparation Strategy — Civil Services

Notwithstanding the drastic changes introduced in the syllabus of Civil Services Examination, the fundamental rules and principles related to preparation still remains the same. At the first instance, I would like to emphasis the fact that discipline, consistency and perseverance hold as much significance as a good academic credentials and intellect. Secondly, one cannot develop decision making ability or critical perspective on various environmental issues unless a sound understanding of fundamental concepts and principles of various subjects is developed. As for example, one can not deal with a question on ‘Doctrine of public Trust’ or judicial activism without any fundamental understanding of how the three wings of the government functions under the supreme law of the land. The following suggestions can be of great help for the students :-

A) Developing a detailed understanding of the syllabus with the help of experienced teachers to identify core areas the in depth understanding of which makes the things easier. One should know what is expected of him or her in the examination.

B) It helps in prioritizing the subjects and topics to be covered and in drawing a plan for appropriate allocation of time on each component.

C) Depending on one’s command over the subject, you can begin with simple NCERT books to develop an ‘over arching’ understanding of the theme in a short span of time only to switch over to a more advanced content.

D) The only credible way is to move from fundamentals to the applied areas. I mean you should study in details the fundamentals of money and banking before reflecting on monetary policy of RBI.

E) One should not look for short cuts or the kind of shoddy fact oriented notes like the one used in university examination. It does not work in civil services. Therefore always read standard books and study materials. Your study material should be small in size but highly substantive in content.

F) Avoid reading everything and irrelevant things. It does not mean short cut ways of preparation. It means avoid duplication of effort and unnecessary heterogeneity. It is better to read a couple of books twice than reading seven books on the same subject once.

G) Try to develop your view and opinion on various issues related to our environment, national as well as global.

H) Positive thinking does not come from heaven, it comes from your hard work and the consequent feeling that you are doing what is expected of you.

I) There is no hard and fast rule of success. Very often, even a little better than average students make it to IAS and a complacent distinction holder fails to clear even prelims.j)Constantly work on your power of expression viz. writing and speaking etc. Relevance, clarity and precision are the three jewels of good writing.