UPSC conducts the Civil Service Exam every year. Civil Service(P) examination is factual in nature. An aspirant must prepare a strategy for the examination. For candidates who dream to become an IAS but don’t know how to start their exam preparation from home, this article will help such candidates. In this article, we’ll talk about how one can prepare for the examination from home without any coaching, etc.
Union Public Service Commission(UPSC) conducts the Civil Service Exam for recruitment of IAS, IFS, IPS, and other ‘A’ Grade officers. The candidate who clears the UPSC examination, appoint in the most reputed post of the country, all govt facilities will be provided. Every year approximately 10 lakh students apply and about 5 to 6 lakh appear for the examination.
How one can prepare him/herself for Civil Services Exam from Home, What should be the strategy and study material for the exam.
The Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination is more factual in nature, while on the other hand, the main examination requires deep analysis and comprehensive evaluation of questions, as answers written by a candidate in the examination represents the overall personality of a candidate.
In recent years, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has made comprehensive changes in the pattern of the mains. In light of these changes, a robust strategy is required to score high in mains.
Every year, a large number of candidates disqualify in the mains due to poor preparation or lack of the right strategy. As there are 20-25 questions in each of four papers of GS, a student has to answer within a time limit, and therefore, answer writing practice is important along with coverage of the syllabus of each subject of CSE Mains.
For candidates, who are going to appear in Mains 2020, the focus should be entirely on revision, solving previous year’s question papers, and answer writing practice at this moment.
Students, who are planning to appear in CSE Mains 2019, will get ample amount of time to reconcile and recollect information relevant to the UPSC, to utilize the existing skills, and acquire relevant knowledge, an in-depth understanding of each subject along with clarity of thoughts and expressions.
Strategy to crack CSE Mains
Stay updated with current issues (read the news in the last one year with a focus on current major issues). One can buy Hindu news compilation which is released every third month
- Strong your foundation, no need to go to any coaching. Just go through important NCERT books.
- Practice answer writing with the coherency of ideas that are connected with dynamic issues
- Choose your optional subject as per your interest and material available.
- Prepare well for your optional subject. Go through the previous years’ question papers and cross-check the issues which are still in the news
- Essay writing practice (write one essay weekly). Essay topics are generally related to poverty, unemployment, crony capitalism, health, and such other issues
- Try to attempt previous year Prelims and Mains Question Papers.
- Identify your mistakes in the previous year’s attempt and rectify them in the next
- Try to cover your mains optional subject while preparing for GS
Lastly, if you are targeting UPSC 2021, revision is the key to success in mains examination.
Paper wise GS Mains books and sources for civil services preparation
Indian heritage and culture, history and geography of the world and society
- India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra
- Facets of Indian Culture – Spectrum
- Modern Indian History – Spectrum
- India since Independence by Bipin Chandra
- Certificate Physical and Human Geography by GC Leong
- Class 11 and 12 NCERT books
- The federal structure of union and state, separation of power between centre and state
- Comparison between Indian constitutions with other various constitutions of other countries
- Non-Government Organisation (NGO) and Self Help Group (SHG) basic functions. The question mostly asked from current affairs
- Note: In GS paper 2, questions are from current affairs, majorly covering issues that were in the news in the past year
- M. Laxmikant latest Edition.
- Vision IAS Magazine for Current Affairs.
- For government policies, read India yearbook, Yojana of last one year, and Kurukshetra. Also, focus on the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) report on government schemes.
- Agricultural issues related to minimum support price, subsidies, irrigation facilities
- Macroeconomic issues that are in the news which included issues like infrastructure like ports, railway and waterways
- Issues relating to RBI monetary policy, RBI’s role in the economy, 25 years of LPG subsidy, civil aviation policy
- Read Budget and Economic survey (Twin Balance sheet problem and bad bank loan) to cover the above topics
- For science and tech, read The Hindu (Offer Price 899/year),
- For the environment, read the climate part of Economic Survey and India yearbook on the environment
- For disaster management, read Tata Mcgraw Hill
- For internal security, you can go with Vision IAS Magazine.
- Case studies: Go through the previous year questions and analyse the mindset of question framers and see what kind of topics are generally asked for the case studies part. Try to solve as much case studies as possible
- Ethics: Questions are mostly asked from corporate governance, civil service, ethical issues, private and public affairs of the civil servants
Sources for Ethics: The lexicon for ethics, second ARC recommendation
Once you are done with the basics of polity, geography, history, and economy with the help of NCERT books and above recommendations, try to spend most of your time analysing the previous years’ question papers and start solving them. It will help you assess yourself and then improvise on the areas lacking.
Before a month of the examination, try to remain calm and do not fret about any topics you have not covered. For better memorisation of facts, you must go through UNESCO websites, Ramsar sites, national parks and government websites and keep enrolling yourself in mock test papers which are helpful for gaining a sense of the exam.