Have The Right Attitude to Crack the Civil Services Exam –Tips Given by Siddharth Jain, IAS (AIR 13, CSE 2015)

Civil Services Exam

Shauqe deedar hai to nazar paida kar – Siddharth jain, IAS (AIR 13 in Civil services exam 2015)

Siddharth Jain had attained an all India rank of 13 in Civil Services Exam 2015. He has done B. tech from IIT Roorkee in Mechanical Engineering prior to qualifying Civil Services Exam. He started his preparation at the end of 3rd year of his B. Tech. degree.  At that time, he didn’t know anything beyond science and math; nothing about general knowledge, economics or Indian politics. He made his first attempt in 2014. He couldn’t clear the mains in his first attempt though and that turned out to be disheartening for him.

A valuable tip about scoring marks

While discussing his initial failure at Civil Services Exam, he advises students not to get disheartened by their failures and rather work upon their mistakes. In order to succeed in Civil Services Exam, you can afford to score average marks in most of the papers but make sure that you get above average marks in at least 2 or 3 papers.

Marks distribution in Civil Services Exam

In Civil Services Exam, the sub total marks in the written exam are 1750. In addition to that 275 marks are allotted to Interview or personality test, which makes it a grand total of 2025. The level of competition is very high and a difference of zero marks can lead to a difference of as many as 20 ranks.

How to choose an optional

Choose an optional wisely. Never think that the optional should be chosen so that it necessarily helps you in GS. It doesn’t matter at all if your optional helps you in the GS paper or not.

Develop an aptitude for administrative services

Before you start preparing for Civil Services Exam, you must know the duties and responsibilities of an administrative officer in India. You’re not expected to be an academic person; however UPSC expects you to be a well read person. They might also be interested to see an aptitude for governance in your personality.

Being an administrator, if you make a few wrong decisions, it might impact generations to come. His mantra for success is “Shauqe deedar hai to nazar paida kar”, which means that if you want to see great results, you should change your attitude first.

What type of questions are asked in Civil Services Exam

Earlier, questions asked in Civil Services Exam used to be something along the lines of – “What was the role of Gandhiji in India’s freedom struggle”? But nowadays, they frame questions like – “What would have happened if Gandhiji was not a part of freedom struggle?

Similarly, rather than asking why Delhi is so much polluted, they prefer to ask questions like – “Why Delhi is more polluted as compared to Kolkata and Mumbai, even though these cities have roughly the same population?”

Civil Services Exam papers test you on “how” you think and not on “what” you think. It doesn’t test you on what you read or know. It tests you on how creatively you can create “out of the box” solutions. Recently some open ended questions were asked in the Civil Services Exam to assess the state of mind of the aspirants. These questions were like – “An administrator has a lot of responsibilities. What would you have done in your personal life to make yourself suitable to shoulder those responsibilities?”

How many hours should be devoted to studies?

Siddharth explains that the total seats available specifically for IAS are around 180 and approx. 1000 seats in Civil Services. He says that he doesn’t intend to scare the aspirants but just wants to make them realize how difficult this exam is. Such insights always help the IAS aspirants in moving towards the right direction. Hard work is essential, but more than the quantity of hard work, it’s the quality of work that’s more important.

Should you really like to go for civil services as a career?

About the minimum number of hours one should study daily to prepare for Civil Services Exam, Siddharth says, “You must study for at least 8 hours.  There is no way out, but it also depends on how you study in those 8 hours. It can make all the difference. If you have been preparing for two or three years, it might take a toll on your mental and physical health. It takes a lot of strength to continue with the same momentum. If your motivation is coming from within and you have a strong inner desire, you’re bound to succeed. But, if your motivation comes from outside, which means you’re forced to do it, then very soon you may feel withdrawn, lost and frustrated.

First make sure that you are suitable for civil services as everybody doesn’t have the right bend of mind for such positions and sometimes they are simply not made for it. What is important for you and others is the fact that you worked with your entire caliber and dedication and gave your 100% while preparing for Civil Services Exam.  You rank is secondary.

Mental and physical fitness

About keeping fit mentally and physically, Siddharth adds that some form of a mental exercise or meditation is extremely important for the mental health of an aspirant.  Siddharth tells the audience that he used to do Vipassana to calm his mind and to train his mind to focus. You can also try Yoga. Yoga should not be linked to any religion, but if you practice yoga every day, you are less likely to be fatigued or stressed on the D-Day. Normally, people get stressed out on the D-Day (the day of exam), if they are not mentally prepared for it.

Physical preparation and physical training is also essential, because a sound mind lives in a sound body.

Prelim tests you on how you can recall your memory as there are objective type questions. Mains are all about how you relate with those memories. So, Civil Services Exam is a holistic package designed to test your wits, knowledge and wisdom.

How to read newspapers

When you come across a term in the newspaper, close your eyes and think about that. What all facts come to your mind when you think about that topic?

Always have a backup plan

According to Siddharth, “Always keep a backup plan ready. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Always have a plan B ready. Otherwise your anxiety levels will go up on your examination day. Having a plan B will always help you to perform better.”

How Chanakya helped him to succeed in Civil Services Exam

The biggest strength of Chanakya IAS Academy is the right guidance they offer to Civil Services Exam aspirants along with mock interviews and test series.  The mock interview conducted by Chanakya gives you the real feel of a UPSC interview. The evaluation of your performance (done by the experts) helps you to discover and work upon your weaknesses.  Similarly, the Test Series and its assessment help you to know how to write answers to score high marks in Civil Services Exam. You can also subscribe to YouTube channel of Chanakya to get valuable tips from IAS toppers and other experts on study strategy and the best practices to succeed in Civil Services Exam

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