When there is so much of confusion around about the proposed changes at Main Examination level and removal of optional subjects, some candidates are finding it difficult to commence preparation for CSE 2013.
Uncertainty about the Main Examination still persists but, there is no uncertainty about the Preliminary Examination 2013 which has been modified recently. The notification for CSE 2013 is to come on February 2, 2013 and you will have approx three and half months time for preparation as Prelims is scheduled on May 19, 2013.
Understand the challenges this exam throws and the recent trends which can influence your preparation in a big way. With good preparation, you may clear Prelims and can get ticket to next level Main Examination which would not be easy to handle with in short period after prelims result.
The task in hand is not at all easy for those who plan to appear in CSE 2013. As has been observed, most of the fresher do not understand the nature of Civil Service Examination which is very different from the academics. Moreover, in context of preparation, they divert their all energies towards Preliminary Examination only without understanding the complete exam-plan and related requirements at each stage of the examination.
Over and above, there is the dilemma - to prepare for optional subjects or not?
Agreed, you are looking at it stage-wise and have strategies to cover syllabus for each stage as per requirements but, looking at the standard of examination and tough competition; it is prudent to be prepared well in advance just to have a competitive edge over others.
What to do?
As it is contemplated, preparation for General Studies adopting integrated approach is the safest bet in such a fluid times. Look out for the common constituents in Preliminary and Main Examination and prepare with Mains focus. Besides, regular newspapers’ reading is going to be of great help.
The clarity about proposed changes at Main Examination level and removal of optional subjects would emerge only UPSC speaks or when notification for CSE 2013 is out in February; till then, you should keep preparing for optional subjects as in case UPSC decides to keep the same pattern for CSE 2013, you will not feel left behind.
Yes, if you wish to be ultra-safe, you can consider keeping those optional subjects which contribute in other areas of examination like General Studies, Essay and even interview.
Don’t forget, this examination has got certain standard and its gruelling exam-plan many a time surprises many who excel in academics; so, don’t take it lightly and make the best use of time available for preparation.