Road-map to success in Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2019

As the Preliminary Examination is scheduled for June 2, 2019, it is time for action. All of you aspiring for Civil Services Examination 2019 would be focusing on your study-material and would leave no stone unturned to make your preparation effective.

Remember, success in Prelims only will get you chance for the next step – Main Examination.


 By:      On Sunday 17th February 2019     

With sincere efforts for the Preliminary Examinations, try to convert your dreams into reality. In short, you just do not have time to build castles in the air.

In last few months, while many candidates have prepared systematically; some non-serious candidates just waste precious time in anticipation of notification to commence preparation.

If you are eyeing Civil Services Examination 2019, still it is not over; you can handle the situation with proper understanding, right strategies and focused hard work.

For two compulsory papers each candidates formulate own plans with a single aim to crack Preliminary Examination. It is very difficult situation as the competition is very stiff at this stage and approx 13,000 to 15,000 candidates would be getting ticket for next stage of the examination – Main Examination.

The Preliminary Examination proves to be bottleneck for such candidates as they take Prelims lightly and concentrate more on Main Examination related needs.

It is ironical that some candidates consider Preliminary Examination easy and spend more time preparing for Main Examination and when it comes to Preliminary Examination, they fail to crack it and then make excuses.

On the other hand, many candidates just look at Preliminary Examination requirements and ignore Main Examination preparation. Such candidates find it difficult to handle Prelims question papers as creative and innovative approach of UPSC requires conceptual clarity.

Even if, they somehow manage to crack Prelims, they find it practically impossible to prepare Main Examination syllabus is almost three months time.

How-so-ever talented you are or well prepared for Main Examination you will gain nothing; if you fumble at this stage. At Prelims level, to make place for you, you have to outsmart others.

Preliminary Examination is not tough; it is the tough competition that makes it tough
First, changes at Prelims level attracted new talented candidates with higher/professional degrees and now, with changes for Main Examination in place, the competition has intensified.

That is why Preliminary Examination requires serious preparation that helps you cross the first hurdle and gets you eligibility for appearing in Main Examination.

So, before you face Preliminary Examination, assess the level of your preparation and try to learn examination techniques.

To clearly understand the requirements, have a look at the complete syllabus and previous years’ papers to understand the examiners’ expectations.

Why it is difficult to clear easy looking Preliminary Examination?
Preliminary Examination is a classic example of ‘How simple things become difficult’ and to clear the first hurdle, you need information as well as ‘objective test taking skills’.

If you are committed for an excellent show, keep an eye on current trends, understand the emerging requirements and learn essential skills that are helpful in handling aptitude based tests.

With an aim to succeed, you have to prepare a strategy to face two compulsory papers in Preliminary Examination.

The competition is really tough at this stage and success-rate at this stage is very low. But, with success in Prelims only, you will move ahead.

To face it confidently, you need to have faith in your abilities and raise the level of preparation that match the exam-standards.

Preliminary Examination Paper I

The Paper I (General Studies) looks to be simple; but, it is really the work of excellence.

UPSC has cleared their intentions about the General Studies; the preference has been given to general intelligence and awareness so that real talent of a candidate can be evaluated.

It is ‘do or die’ situation for you. After Preliminary Examination, candidates will get only approx. 100 odd days to prepare for Main Examination. It would be beneficial if you could identify the common constituents in Preliminary and Main Examination syllabus and prepare by adopting Integrated Approach.

This will help in understanding topics better and you will be able to face Prelims confidently and would be able to tackle twisted question with ease.

For this, you knowledge, clarity about the basics and related contemporary developments and updated information will be of great help.

Preliminary Examination Paper II

Though it has been made qualifying, still, you can’t take it lightly.

To assess the aptitude and logical ability among the candidates, UPSC has kept the toughness level low for the questions asked in Paper II.

Most of the constituents in this paper are conventional and predictable in nature. It requires comparatively lesser effort in comparison to Paper 1; but, you need to learn some mathematical/reasoning/linguistic skills to face it effectively and regular practice is the key to success.

General intelligence, logical thinking and common sense are going to be effective tools and your practice will help you solve questions with speed and accuracy.

How to face it ?
It is going to be interesting as well as tougher.

Formulate such strategies that include division of syllabus in small time bound targets that helps you in better time management.

Keep an eye on all the constituents listed in General Studies syllabus. You can give priority to important constituents from which more questions are being asked in the examination.

It is time to understand the intricacies of the syllabus, type of questions asked in examination and accordingly adapting your strategies to cover the maximum.

Best part is that you can learn all these skills, build competence the way you develop confidence. Focused attempt and continuous effort is all that you need for success.

No empty promises. Please ensure that it is examination focused preparation with an open mind for constant improvement that helps you crack Prelims.

Last Update Sunday 17th February 2019

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