UPSC Civil Services Main 2019: Such a coveted and competitive examination like Civil Services demands a smart strategy along with hard work and perseverance in order to get an edge over the large number of competitors.
Those who have successful cleared Civil Services Prelims 2019, must be gearing up for mains now. However, the prelims exam was quite unpredictable and had surprised many students this year, as the weightage of the questions had shifted a lot from analytical to current-affairs based questions.
And, therefore, predicting what can be asked in Mains is indeed a difficult task.
But, after a trend based analysis by AK Mishra (Founder and Managing Director of Chanakya IAS academy) and a discussion with experts and successful candidates, the academy has shared some important tips to master the answer writing skills and excel in upcoming Civil Services Mains exam.
1. Get Familiar with the syllabus:
Read the syllabus of each subject thoroughly to study only what is relevant. Though we are assuming that you did integrated preparation while preparing for Prelims, and have a fair basic knowledge of GS subjects.
2. Read NCERTs and then go for standard books:
Always form a stronger base with NCERTS firstly, as most of the GS syllabus is covered from the NCERTS of 6th to 12th standard. While optional subject syllabus is covered through the standard books of 12th standard till graduate level. Once you form a stronger base, then shift your focus to standard books, and make sure you study only relevant standard books, and not everything under the sun.
3. Stay tuned with all sources of current affairs:
The first and foremost source of studying current affairs and covering the dynamic part of the syllabus is Reading Newspaper. The Hindu and the Indian Express are the most recommended ones. Then, sources like Rajya Sabha TV, Lok Sabha TV, AIR News, editorials, current affairs compilation, budget, economic survey are some of the important sources to stay well abreast with current affairs, which is extremely important part of the preparation process, as more than half of the syllabus in Civil Services Mains is all about current affairs.
4. Give important emphasis on each subject:
Every subject in Civil Services Mains exam is equally important and hence the aspirants must make sure that they set right time table and divide equal time and emphasis of each subject, along with the optional one.
5. Practice answer writing:
Answer writing is one of the most important parts of the preparation process, and aspirants are always advised to start the answer writing practice every day after forming a base knowledge of subject. UPSC has a set time frame for each exam, and it is important for aspirants to practice writing well framed answers covering all the dimensions within the stipulated time.
6. Keep revising on regular intervals:
Aspirants must make sure to dedicate atleast a day in a week for only revision of what has been studied the entire week. Revision is important to retain the vast syllabus of Civil Services Mains and make proper notes which can be quickly revised even at the last moment.
7. Make short and precise notes:
As stated in the previous point, it is always advised to make short, precise and handy notes of the important topics for a quick mug up weekly and at the last moment. Make separate notes for every subject, including the current affairs. And the notes should be designed in such a manner which can remind you of the entire topic studied during the revision. So highlight the important points for the notes.
8. Solve previous year question papers:
Once you get a good hang over the syllabus and get sound knowledge of the subject through NCERTs and standard books, and next important step is to solve previous 5 years question papers. It will not only help you in answer writing practice, but will also give you a fair idea of the examination pattern and analysing the trend of questions.
9. Enroll in mains test series:
One of the most important step after forming a base knowledge of Mains subjects is enrolling for Mains Test Series and assessing your preparation level. Chanakya IAS Academy offers Mains Test Series designed by experts under the guidance of Mr. AK Mishra exactly following the UPSC Civil Services Mains exam pattern. Mains Test Series not only helps aspirants do a practice of answer writing and understand the exam pattern, but also gives a fair idea of the probable question and most importantly gives you an opportunity to get assessment by the field experts.
10. Keep yourself indulge in important discussion and change your perspective from a common man to an administration:
UPSC not only look for candidates with strong knowledge of the theoretical subjects given in mains, but a candidate who has a problem solving approach and an administrator like perspective along with right decision making ability. All these can only be incorporated in the personality by indulging oneself in the important discussions about the problems being faced in the society, or on the topics of National and International importance; and then looking out for the solutions. This must also be reflected in your answers in Civil Services Mains Exam.