Some Questions & Answers about IAS exam preparation
1) Is IAS exam the mother of all exams ?
The Answer is both Right & Wrong ..
Right because this exam actually checks your patience levels, your temperament, your attitude when you fail and how you depression. Moreover no exam in India is actually as difficult as this one. But in the end, this is just another exam.
Wrong. This is just another exam. The mother of all exams is Life. You can afford to fail in IAS, but not in Life. So, take IAS preparation as a phase in Life, not as your Life.
2) You enter an era of isolation from the real world is it?
Yes, better start preparing for IAS soon – it makes you stone-hearted. You don’t want to share your secrets with your friends, You don’t want to tell your relatives that your are preparing for this exam. You don’t want to enjoy parties , movies and outing with your friends and family . Just because you believe that this exam is more important than anything else in your life.
This exam actually is everyday learning process and you actually learn a lesson everyday. It polishes you more as a human being.
3) Is this true that One has to study 20 hours every day for 365 days?
No human being on this planet can work for 20 hours continuously without a break. Infact this exam is a slow and steady learning process . Absorb each and everything like the earth absorbs those tiny rain drops.
On a serious note, good sleep is very necessary to prepare well for this exam. It keeps you in good health. Don’t study beyond 12 hours unless you suffer from Insomnia.
4) How important is maintaining an preparing a Time table ?
Time table is the most crucial piece of planning which you need to prepare well in advance . Time table must be prepared with utmost care. Keeping in view each and every detail of yours schedule . You must dedicate each and every aspect of your life full respect in the time table, dedicating each and everything full timings in your table .
5) My English is very poor so does that actually mean I am out of the race ?
No. You are still part of the race. Now that you have actually figured out your problem – that your English is poor. Work on it. All you need is basic English. Moreover, you can write this exam and give the interview in your mother-tongue.
1. For English one must watch the English news channel DD news only & try to repeat verbally what the news anchors say after them regularly .
2. Watch DD news, Loksabha & Rajya Sabha Channel
3. Talk in English with friends , family and try to work on it . Interaction in English actually helps your improve your communication skills .
4. Buy a basic Grammar book – read it, listen to English news on TV and radio, try to write something in English, everyday (don’t worry if it is very bad, keep trying) Necessity should push you to learn. Push yourself. Win the race.
5. News paper not only improves your current affairs , but also your English . Start reading now.
6) I am worried. I can’t go to Delhi because of some personal reasons. They say it is Mecca for IAS aspirants. Delhi chalo
Can’t go to Delhi? Wow. That’s great. You have actually saved yourself from becoming part of the rat race .
Delhi nai jaogay to IAS nai ban Sakte big Myth .
All those who took their coaching from Delhi are IAS officers (Jhooth hai ). IAS is just another exam you can prepare for same even sitting at Home.
IAS preparation is neither religion nor life to seek enlightenment in a far away concrete desert. Do your duty sincerely, if pleased, almighty UPSC will call you to its shrine, if pleased with your personality, it will give you a pass to Heaven – the IAS.
With Chandigarh definitely being the next hub for civil services aspirants, Chandigarh is no less as far as delivering the right quality and guidance is concerned . No brand can actually match us its a challenge to all major institutes in Delhi .
7) How important is taking coaching? Coaching ke bina nai hoga?
You can crack this exam without coaching 100% true, But what coaching manages to provide you is right direction and right path combined with regular testing. So if you think you can afford it, one should take coaching
8) Oh! So luck is needed for this exam.?
Success is one percent luck and ninety-nine percent your hard work. Don’t let that 99% thing slip from your hand. Toil sincerely, and you will be rewarded with that 1 percent luck.
“Jo Tha Nahin Hai, Jo Hai Na Ho Ga, Yehi Hai Ek Harf-e-Mehrmana
Qareeb Tar Hai Namood Jis Ki Ussi Ka Mushtaq Hai Zamana”
What was, has faded: what is, is fading: but of these words few can tell the worth;
Time still is gaping with expectation of what is nearest its hour of birth.
“Meri Soorahi Se Qatra Qatra Naye Hawadis Tapak Rahe Hain
Main Apni Tasbeeh-e-Roz-o-Shab Ka Shumar Karta Hon Dana Dana”
New tidings slowly come drop by drop from my pitcher gurgling of time’s new sights,
As I count over the beads strung out on my threaded rosary of days and nights.
“Hawaen Un Ki, Fazaen Un Ki, Sumundar Un Ke, Jahaz Un Ke”
“Girah Bhanwar Ki Khule To Kyunkar, Bhanwar Hai Taqeer Ka Bahana”
To them the trade‐wind belongs, the sky‐way, to them the ocean, to them the ship—
It shall not serve them to calm the whirlpool by which their fate holds them in its grip!
9) Lakhs of aspirants give this exam and only few get into the esteemed services IAS. I am scared. What are my chances ?
No doubt lakhs of aspirants apply for and write this exam but remember the real competition is between only 2000-3000 serious aspirants. Those who work hard study systematically & consistently, get into the service. If you do the same, you will be one among them. Fears is only for cowards & Losers . You must enter the race , run and work hard to win it.
“Rome was not built in a day ”
Make the process fun, enjoy reading, love what you do and do everything to please your heart. Not the society.
10) How many attempt are required to clear civil services and become an IAS officer ?
This is a question one comes across at the time when you start preparing for civil services and you ask your mentor . Firstly if you prepare for the IAS exam in a systematic and planned manner , you need only one but if you don’t follow the rules , may be entire lifetime is insufficient for the services .
And also do remember one thing , you have taken a journey but couldn’t reach the destination. It doesn’t mean that this is the end of your life or the end of the road – start a new phase in your Life from where you are now. What matters in the end is how well you lived your Life, not how many successes you achieved.
“Manzilen aur bhi hain baki , Thoda muskura aur rasta badal ke toh dekh”.
11) They say there is corruption in recruitment process appointing the IAS officers. Is it true?
This allegation is utterly false. The whole examination process is highly transparent . And moreover the RTI and the supreme court of India have made the things very neat and clean as far as the complete process and the scheme of the examination is concerned .
There may be lacunae in the way examination is held, or there may be loopholes in how an UPSC member is appointed, but there is never corruption involved in the recruitment of civil service officers. The steel produced is pure.
12) People laugh at me 😈 when I tell them that I am preparing for IAS?
When you say you are preparing for IAS or Say it with utmost confidence .Tell them just because you couldn’t clear or do anything in life , doesn’t mean I cannot .
Always carry a confidence and smile on your face while meeting people and discussing things in life . Life is a comedy of errors , one should smile at every pain and gain .
13) I am getting headache while making notes. There are so many books to refer and I want my notes to be the best. What to do?
There is a trick to making notes………. Streamline, Systematize & Symbolize .
Too many cooks spoil the broth, ensure a single set delivery.
When you scout too many sources to make that perfect notes, you end up both loosing invaluable time and discontented. Managing time during the preparation is the most important aspect of this examination.
Read one or two books for a topic. Re-read the same book even if some coaching institution or a publication house releases new notes/book in the market that has become famous.
14) They say IAS is the best job on Earth! Is it?
Ask Durga Shakti Nagpal or Arvind Kejriwal and many other like them ( Why they left ). Its just another job. Which definitely come with great power and responsibility .
Remember every job on earth is the most important and it is you who make it the best . Believe in yourself .
15) Some say this exam is like a vast ocean and questions are asked from outside the syllabus, Is it?
UPSC strictly sticks to the syllabus. Though sometimes it seems like questions are asked from outside of the syllabus, they are actually in some ways related to it. For example, if there is a question like this, ‘Opportunity on Mars‘, one should not get bedazzled why UPSC is asking questions from ET source and start answering like, ‘If Nuclear war takes place and the Earth is destroyed, the opportunities on Mars are immense for the Humankind……’
Opportunity is the name of a Robot that was sent to mars in 2003. Awareness on ‘Robotics‘ and ‘Space‘ is part of the UPSC syllabus (Paper-IV).
16). I keep buying all the magazines and coaching material.? Is it correct ?
Its a trap , buying too many books is not going to help , building a library is not at all correct. Buy one set of books for each subject and stick to it . Read it again and again .
17) Quit using a mobile phone.
Friends would chat online. addicted to my phone. Promise yourself that I would not touch my phone again. You might lose your friends. But, I hope they would realize soon that you couldn’t help it. Anyways, quitting a mobile phone is not that important, but immensely helpful if done. Its a big time waste.
18) I have a bad handwriting
Buy cursive writing book, “Write” on regular basis. Write on anything.
Write and write. UPSC says writing should be legible. Remember beautiful handwriting doesn’t guarantee you great score marks in mains .
19.) Your study environment should continuously motivate you.
Have a bright tubelight and a good clean surrounding.
20) December Chill
Mains paper in December would be cold and your fingers would become very stiff due to the immense cold, and writing would be affected drastically.
wake up at 5 am dip my hands in cold water, dry it off and write around 1000 words every morning. Do this for two months before the exams, and it helps.
Buy ten different kinds of ball pens. Write around 3 pages with every kind. Then shortlist the best one with which you could feel comfortable, good handwriting and that would satisfy you . Remember your tools do matter .
Everyone requires rough papers. Instead of buying books or using waste paper, use the original answer sheets , 1000 sheets printed would cost you Rs. 500. One of the basic and fundamental ritual of every civil services aspirant is to Stick a large India and a world map on the wall . Whenever you read about some place, try to find it on the map, help you get a better understanding, as it will be a holistic learning. Try to get a map with plastic lamination so that you can time and again mark it for learning process
23) Some very helpful websites and apps
• For news and current affairs thehindu.com , www.wikipedia.org ,
• For drafts bills and policies of government Indian Polity part visit : prsindia.org
• For defense and security related matters GS III paper : idsa.in
• For Government schemes & Yojnas latest visit : pib.nic.in
• For Government schemes latest scholarly articles yojna.gov.in
• For Art and Culture History Paper I General Studies mains and prelims ccrt.in
• For economic issues & related Indian economy topics : Arthpedia
• For bilateral & International relations visit website Diplomat
• Finance ministry government of India for finance related matters and important economic issues .
Download followings Apps from google store Android : The Hindu, Constitution of India .
24) Trust yourself that I can do it ?
You inner strength is the most important thing while preparing for civil services exam . It is the fire inside you which shall remain alive till you don’t reach your goal . Civil services is a continuous learning and polishing experience . No matter how bad the result is but you shall always emerge out as a winner .