Civil Service Examination Preparation Strategy: Short-term Planning

This is big examination that requires long-term planning. But, there are few candidates unaware of requirements, commence preparation just before notification is out.  At the same time, there are some talented, capable candidates who start a little late due to some valid reasons still, put in hard work and dedicate fully towards preparation. For all these candidates, an effective short-term strategy can help them handle this difficult task effectively.

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For examination like this saying it with conviction is quite difficult that any short-term strategy or preparation-plan will work or not. You have such a big task in hand and to effectively cover it all in a few months’ time is near impossible.

However, some dedicated, talented and passionate candidates make it happen. I will not hesitate to say that their accumulated knowledge, awareness, intelligence and focused hard work can help them in accomplishing this task in such a short span of time.

Hope some of the suggestions in this Short-term planning would help these candidates to plan out a strategy of their own.

Short Term Planning

It is quite common that many candidates plan to appear in Civil Service Examination immediately after completing Graduation/higher studies.

It has been observed that these fresh candidates sometimes perform far better and succeed in Civil Services Examination in comparison to those who take this exam after a gap because of job or spending long time in preparation when don’t get the desired results. It is simply because fresh candidates are in touch with subjects, continue preparation passionately and enthusiastically build up on their newly acquired knowledge.

Besides, there are some talented, capable and mostly working candidates who start a little late due to some valid reasons still, put in hard work and dedicate themselves fully towards preparation.

If you are among the category of aspirants who start preparation just around notification date, you have a big task in front of you. But, it is nothing which should create panic.

Preparation plan differs from person to person and what all time you have at your disposal, you need to adjust your strategies accordingly.

  • Understand the complete exam-plan and related requirements at each stage of the examination, syllabus and look at previous years’ question papers.
  • 'Time Management' is the key. Make the best use of time available.
  • As there is limited time in hand, commence preparation by adopting ‘integrated approach’ as aiming only Preliminary Examination will not bear any fruits.
  • Preparing for Preliminary Examination Paper I would be easier as Main Examination oriented study-plan would cover it effectively. Paper II (Aptitude Test) is relatively easier and requires more practice rather than reading text-books or study-material. Learning some linguistic, mathematical and reasoning skills is must so, care for that. Anyway for candidates possessing engineering, medical or professional degrees handling paper II is not difficult.
  • After Preliminary Examination, it is quite challenging a task you have in your hand as you have to manage four papers of General Studies with an optional subject along with Essay and compulsory papers (English & Indian Language).
  • Without wasting time, choose your optional subject for Main Examination. It is advice to keep your own subject as optional subject.
  • The best option available to you is to reach out to someone who has succeeded or has been preparing for quite some time to get proper guidance. Self-study requires proper guidelines and you should be clear about your goal and objectives. You should listen to all but, ultimately need to adopt a method which suits your style.
  • Try to cover whole the syllabus but if you are not able to do so, prepare important topics thoroughly and try to read out complete books, study material at least once. It is better to cover wide and extensive as UPSC expects generalist approach and knowing a little about more and more topics is far better a strategy rather than preparing selective topics deeply.
  • Making point-wise notes would be really helpful as you may not get time to revise it later in detail. While revising particular topic, you can always pick these points outlined by you and can expend on these and even can discuss it in your group to understand it better.
  • If you join any coaching institute, it could be beneficial as they prepare you as per syllabus and examination requirements. They continuously work, pay attention to the subject needs, make you understand subject better and even spot the trends from past years’ question papers.
  • Now-a-days for Prelims as well as for Main Examination, you have test-series with that you can evaluate you preparedness and can have a realistic estimation about performance. Some institutes are really working hard and their ‘clever guesswork’ will surprise you how effective these test-series are.
  • Try to have conceptual clarity and understanding of the topics. The more you revise; you form better idea about the same which will help you in recalling the right information.
  • Be it Preliminary Examination or Main, practice is a must as it is all about managing time well.
Last Update Sunday 29th March 2015     

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