Tips to prepare for Civil Services Exam with Job

Serving the Nation as an Administrative Officer is a charm that compels thousands of working professionals to ditch their lucrative jobs with a flourishing future & high salary package. This enthusiasm can be seen every year when thousands of working aspirants appear for the Civil Services Exam and crack it with flying colours.

“I did my preparation along with my job for the financial stability.  I would also like to mention here, that I re-attempted because UPSC gives us chances and I wanted to make best out of it, as I was always very clear about my passion to become an IPS.” – Shailendra Singh Indoliya, IPS (AIR 38, CSE 2016)

If this can motivate you even a bit to prepare for Civil Services Exam with job, then read on this article as it is going to empower all you working professionals with simple tips on balancing your Civil Services Exam preparation along with the job.

Remember, you don’t need to necessarily devote 8 hours a day to prepare well for Civil Services Exam, just a smart strategy is required

  1. Why do you want to become an IAS? Ask this question to yourself, as it will help you stay motivated throughout the preparation.

It’s time to make yourself a promise today – ‘My time, efforts and will, shall all be dedicated to my aspirations, henceforth’.

  1. Know your syllabus well and re-read it until you know it by heart. Reasons obvious to being focused in the right direction of preparation and expectations of the UPSC board.
  2. Design yourself a Preparation Strategy – a tailored study plan customised to suit your work hours, family routine & other priorities which are extremely important and can be done best, only by you. But, remember, the priorities which are extremely important and which can be handled only by you – spare time for those things only; as you will have to remove many other things from your regular schedule to devote a good amount of time to your preparation.
  3. Begin with NCERTs from 6th to 12th standard to form a stronger base for each subject
  4. Effective Time Management is the hack you must derive to balance the exam preparation with the job, efficiently. Here, a well-planned timetable plays its crucial role in complementing your preparation phase and dedication that you will put.
  • Be an early riser as nothing parallels the morning energy to begin your day. Try restricting your sleep to 6-7 hours (no lesser either) and wake up as early as 4 am – 5 am.
  • A quick Yoga & Meditation session will boost your confidence and keep you fresh throughout the day.
  • Fix at least a 3-hour study session for the Static portion and prepare short & crisp notes as you study.
  • Give Current Affairs a thorough look. Try spending at least an hour or two with ‘The Hindu’ and other relevant current affairs sources. It is extremely crucial, for, CSE 2018 Prelims saw most questions based on current affairs, even for the static portion. Current affairs part can be done while travelling also, like Newspaper reading, listen to All India Radio News, Daily News update reading and other important things which can be read during travel. Now, when we have the power of technology, it can be well utilized for current regular current affairs updates.
  • Some free time in office can be efficiently used while watching topper videos, reading E-books, or some quick revision of the things that you studied.
  • Master the art of saying NO. You must limit to your priorities for a year at least during this preparation phase
  • Welcome healthy discussions over topics that complement your preparation. Try to listen to others opinions on current issues or News and look out for some solutions or the initiatives that can be taken to solve these issues. Change your perspective and start thinking with a problem-solving approach!
  • Dedicate yourself to planned strategies. Don’t hop on all the ideas world passes on to you.

6. Stick by limited & relevant study sources to read them over instead of reading new books every time. Don’t forget to give equal weightage to the optional subject preparation. Keep your preparation very concise, and for this, you must be well aware of the syllabus. Getting a right and concise study material from a reputed academy is advisable.

7. Break the monotony of regular schedule and keep for yourself 30 minutes of creative sessions to do things you love or just dance away the exam pressure. It boosts memorising skills too.

8. Awaken your curious bones & become an avid reader. Never, in life, stop learning.

9. Polish your General Knowledge (Current Affairs), regularly.

10. Make ‘The Hindu’ your best friend – don’t skip Editorials!

  • Prepare quick notes of important names, dates, events and other details that must be remembered
  • Economic Survey is out by February each year. Read it well.
  • Revise your way out of the dilemma
  • Friday Night – Revise light subjects like World Geography or International Relations which can be covered with Atlas & Current Affairs, respectively.
  • Saturday – Revise all that you have studied during the week. Take a look at your Notes and re-read all the important current affairs & follow-up background stories.
  • Sunday – Spend an entire day studying extensive subjects like Polity, Economics, etc.

#GuruMantra – Strengthen your strong subjects and polish the weak ones. Stronger ones get you marks and the rest compliments your preparation.

  1. Assess yourself meticulously with previous year papers and Mock Tests.

#Tip – Solve at least 30-40 Mock Tests in your preparation phase, to get a hands-on expertise with the exam pattern and syllabus.

  1. Let your Family and friends be your strength & motivation. Although, nothing parallels the inner motivation to serve your Nation!
  2. Do not listen to the advice of everyone; rather listen to the one who is indeed a field expert and whom you can actually rely upon. Or simply just listen to your heart and listen to the videos of toppers, which are more than enough along with a right study material from a reputed IAS Academy.