Top 7 Effective Practices To Ensure Successful IAS Preparation
IAS or Indian Administrative Service is the Civil Services Examination and one of the toughest competitive exams in India. It is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission for the recruitment of officers for the All India Administrative Civil Service. The role of IAS officers is a very esteemed and demands a great deal of devotion and responsibility as an IAS Officer is given bureaucratic command of an entire district as a District Collector. IAS Officers also represent the Government of India at an International level in several negotiations therefore, it is very important for an IAS officer to be mentally and physically fit and healthy to handle work pressure without giving in. The following are few of the effective practices to ensure successful IAS preparation.
Appropriate Time Management
It was well said by Michael Altshuler, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” Time is the chief aspect which needs to be looked upon for the successful preparation of the IAS. How a person manages one’s schedule is totally in his/her own hands. The right approach would be to start preparing for the IAS Prelims at least ten months in advance. It is the perfect time as it is neither too much nor too less as with too much time in hand one tends to waste it and if it’s less, then one goes through extra pressure and panicking. Advance planning about the schedule of two months before the exam date is necessary as it is the most crucial time where your efforts will come out with their true colours, of what you have done since the past years when you started preparing for IAS. Dividing the schedule for Paper One and Paper Two accordingly will lead to a better and sorted plan, as it will avoid the last moment panicking and you can devote more time and attention to the more scoring part of the exam i.e. Paper One; keeping adequate time in hand for taking the mock tests.
Work Smart than Hard
Working smart and working hard are two highly different things; where working smart is effective and efficient while working hard is more time and energy consuming. Matshona Dhliwawayo once said, “The early bird gets the first worm, but the wisest bird gets the fastest one.” Working smart creates magical luck as one cannot progress to a higher level if one just crams books without understanding them. However, 90% of the students of India are accustomed to working hard due to our Education System which is more theoretical than being Practical. In the preparation of the IAS studying hard for ten hours or more every day is neither time saving nor efficient. Working smart is flexible in nature and everyone takes it in a different manner, as what some can achieve in six hours others can’t even in ten hours of hard work.
Single over Multi-tasking
When one is preparing for IAS one has to prepare for many subjects including Mental Ability, History, Current Affairs, Geography and more; with so much of burden on one’s shoulders it is natural for one to think to prepare these all at once but certainly, that is not the appropriate way for the preparation. Rather one should prepare and focus on one subject\topic one at a time in order to improve the efficiency and to avoid stress. One can plan a weekly schedule of different (or two) subjects per day and study thoroughly. Preparing in this manner will surely save time and not mess things up; even David Segrove once said, “Do three things well, not ten things badly.”
Test Yourself Constantly
This habit holds a very important place while preparing for the IAS (or any other) exam as one gets to know the exact position where one stands. Taking the mock tests, going through previous year’s papers and other test series make your base stronger by making you aware about the latest trend of questions, your weaker points and the topics which need more attention. This habit boosts the confidence and removes the stress and anxiety levels; therefore testing oneself should be given an important place and considerable time in one’s schedule.
Sources and Study Material
Sources and the study material play a vital role in the preparations as they are the backbone of the entire build-up. Studying for what’s essential from the referred books which include the entire syllabus help in building the basics. Reading newspapers (preferably The Hindu) and having deep knowledge of the current affairs is an important part of this examination. Making notes and micro notes have always proved to be very helpful during the time of revision before the Prelims. Taking mock tests and other test series help you to know where you actually stand. Learning from the notes while you study any topic for the first time is surely time-saving. No guide for IAS preparation can be complete unless you know the important sources for finding information online. So, buck up and start preparing the list of the books you need, for the successful preparation of the IAS examination.
Dedication and Consistency
Being dedicated and consistent is all it takes to be successful in any province. P. J. Abdul Kalam said, “Be more dedicated to making solid achievements than in running after swift but synthetic happiness”. It’s not necessary and not even required for the aspirants to study 15 hours a day, consistently as it may lead to fatigue and he/she may skip the preparation for the next 2-3 days or would study very less, therefore it is better to maintain a consistency of 8-10 hours a day of your schedule and dividing the time accordingly. It’s not necessary to be super intelligent to be consistent; you just need to be devoted, like if you have kept one hour of reading the newspaper in your schedule, so stick to the plan and stay devoted to the schedule and routine. Following your schedule sincerely and not changing your plans often will certainly help you to prepare well with the focus needed.
This is one of the most difficult steps of all while preparing for the exam, as one can over anything easily only if one is not distracted. Unfortunately, the preparation can never be perfect no matter how hard one tries as the latest syllabus is such that questions will always be unpredictable; therefore, it’s better to be safe than sorry and avoid distractions. However; this issue is very common amongst the students but it can be resolved easily, all it requires is focus and determination. One should avoid or minimize the usage of phones and internet access because this is the root cause of time wastage and be distracted, as it always seems less of how much you use it. Getting eight hours of sleep, proper diet, short-breaks in between, deep-breathing, meditation and studying in fresh air may also help you to focus on your schedule.
So there were a few persuasive practices which can lead you to great heights and make you successful in the field of IAS. Apart from this, you can also check the website like What After College which has ample resources to help you with IAS preparations. Being an IAS Officer is certainly very respectable and responsible in its own. However, devotion and passion is the key for any of the provinces you want to achieve even if it’s not IAS; determination and optimism always come out with flying colours.