Dr. Ambedkar Competetive Examination Centre (ACEC)
IAS Toppers Talk...
An Appropriate Approach to Preparation of Civil Services
Tukaram Mundhe, IAS
Welcome to the world of competitive examination ! You will see all the drama from failure to success, moment of and annuity, disappointment, ecstasy and much more. If you have to be one amongst successful candidate, be ready to face all these challenges. After all successful candidates are common human beings like all of us, but with a difference. The difference being the adoption of right strategy and correct approach for the preparation of civil services.
What is the right strategy and correct approach for the preparation of civil services ? Is It different from the general approach followed by majority of the aspirants ? Is it really difficult to adopt such approach ? All these and many more questions will naturally crop up in your mind.
It is an ideal situation to begin the preparation of civil services at graduation level. But most of the time, it is not the case. Therefore, the best alternative is to begin the preparation of civil services immediately after the completion of graduation.
The preparation of civil services must begin one year in advance i.e.. If one contemplates to write civil service examination in 2007, preparation must begin in June 2006 , “ Well begin in half done”, strategy must be followed. One must not follow the general approach of first ready general books, preparation for preliminary examination, then for mains followed by interview. This is not an appropriate approach to follow, because this approach is disintegrated whereas the preparation of civil services must be done in integrated manner. The objective of the preparation is to quality for IAS / IFS/ IPS and nothing else one must prepare by keeping this objective as goal. Therefore, aim should not be of qualifying preliminary or mains or getting selected, but to achieve rank which will make you IAS / IFS/ IPS and nothing else.
You must begin with the study of syllabi for both preliminary and main examination, which rarely happens, Generally the reading of syllabi takes places, and not the study of it. This is the first major mistake committed by aspirants.
The study of syllabi is an integral part of the preparation of civil service, which may be neglected at the cost of dire consequences of not getting selected.
The next step is crucial, which will determine your success or failure to a greater degree. Immediately after studying syllabi, aspirants start collecting the list books to be referred and start reading those books. Aspirants read number of books and are happy for doing so after reading books on many occasions, aspirant feels that he is prepared for writing the examination, which is actually an illusion.
After studying syllabi, the next logical step is to study (not read) question papers. One may take time of about twenty days for studying question papers. This is very essential because one gets idea about the nature and types of questions asked on different topics. One can also realize, how the question are framed on different topics how to go about preparation of civil services. This is actually the beginning of the preparation of civil services, which is either neglected or skipped by the majority of aspirants.
After studying the question papers, one must go for basic reading. The basic reading means the reading of essential books like NCERT, subject wise books. Majority of the aspirants will think only this as the preparation, which is wrong impression. The is just another step towards preparation.
After reading the basic books, aspirant must study the question papers topic and subtopic wise, listing of question on topic and subtopic wise, Furthermore, one must frame the possible questions which can be asked topic / subtopic wise. this will make you understand the scope of the topic. This helps in preparation of answers for those questions, not leaving any area of the topic / subtopic.
Once this analysis is done, next step is to write the answers of those questions writing of complete answer is the key to success. Therefore, while preparing for examination, writing of answers is most important and most crucial task writing answer of each and every question, topic / subtopic wise, is itself preparation of notes.
What do I mean by complete answers ? It means writing a well structured answer which well encompass all the components, which are asked for in the questions. The general tendency is to write complete information and consider it as a complete answer, which is wrong in itself. It is a partial or incomplete answer. Writing of complete information is just one part of the answer among many parts. Naturally one gets the marks which are allocated to information part. Therefore writing of complete answers is crucial for obtaining complete marks.
For writing complete answers one must know what are the parts of answers parts of answers range from minimum of three to maximum of seven, The simple straight forward question will have three parts and most critical question will have seven parts of the answer. If one writes all the parts, one obtains very good marks. Therefore, strategy must be to write best answer for best marks. Best answer means the complete answer.
Once answers are written, on every topic and subtopic, revising those is essential after the preliminary examination.
Hence preparation must begin in June with the main examination. Till December, One optional ( preferably second optional ) and General Studies must be complete from mains point of view.
The preparation of preliminary examination must begin in second half of December. This preparation must also be on the same lines of main studying of question papers must be followed by basic reading. This must follow by analysis of question papers on topic wise.
The nature, type and number of question asked on every topic must be analyzed. Your preparation must progress along these lines. So solving of past question papers is essential aspect of preparation of the preliminary examination.
Once preliminary examination is over. The preparation of main examination, must being in right earnest. the preparation must being with the optional. One must not neglect General studies. General Studies and both the optional must be ready by the time of declaration of preliminary result. After results, revision must be done vigorously .
The strategy in the examination is to keep cool, avoiding both anxiety or distress write minimum number of answers required. these answers must be best, which will fetch best marks. After the main examination, preparation for interview must begin within one month. By the time results of main examination are declared, one must be ready to face interview.
If preparation is rigorous and on scientific lines, as enplaned, nothing in this world will prevent you from achieve your goal of becoming IAS / IFS/ IPS.
All the best.