Tips to Crack the Civil Service Preliminary Examination

Pub: July 17, 2021

India’s most sought-after government jobs like the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and the Indian Police Service (IPS) is hard to secure, and you can imagine why. They occupy the top of the employment hierarchy. The recruitment to these positions is done by the Union Public Service Commission through the nationwide competitive Civil Service Examinations (UPSC CSE), which tops the list of the most difficult examinations to qualify in India.


The recruitment process is divided into three phases: The Preliminary Examination, the Main Examination, and the Interview. Each phase is challenging. To get through this, here are five tips that can help crack the IAS examination.


  • Tip #1

Know the Examination In-and-Out

Many attempt the examination without proper information about it. You can only prepare for the examination if you know what to prepare and how. Research is a major factor in cracking the prelims.


The preliminary examination contains of two objective-type papers (General Studies Paper-I and General Studies Paper-II). This is otherwise known as the Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT). Cracking this leg of the examination is key to progressing on to the next phase. Obviously, this would be the toughest leg of the recruitment process.


Now, what are the topics that you would need to focus on for each paper?


The General Studies Paper-I would test your knowledge over Indian history, economics, Indian politics, Indian as well as world geography, science and technology, environment, and current affairs. This will determine your grasp of the world and the problems it faces on a day-to-day basis.


The General Studies Paper-II would test your skills of comprehension, logical reasoning, analytical ability and so on. This paper would focus on your intelligence and logic.


The important part is to gain accurate knowledge about each of these topics along with the ones that fall under them.


  • Tip #2

Sources of Information

When you prepare for the examination, make sure the information you take in comes from a reliable source. For those of you who attend IAS or civil service coaching academies, you’ll be provided with materials. However, for those of you who don’t, it is important that you understand this. Facts many be presented differently according to the author. It’s better to choose standard books and material available in the market. If you’re going online for your sources, pick legitimate websites.


  • Tip #3


Make sure you revise a minimum of two times before the examination. The knowledge you procure during your studies is vast. The chances of forgetting points are rather high. To make sure the information is concrete, revise. Make sure you DON’T skip any of the topics you’ve covered during your revision.


  • Tip #4

Mock Tests

One of the key factors in cracking this examination is practice. Make sure to work out as many mock tests before the examination as you can. Many are available online and you can easily get hold of offline materials as well. As they say, ‘Practice makes perfect.’


  • Tip #5


Here comes the most vital part in cracking the prelims: CONFIDENCE. Your preparation and hard work will be fruitful when you attend the exam successfully. To do that, you should be confident in yourself and the work you’ve done. Remember, don’t panic. Hard work always pays off. Be confident and take the test. The rest will follow.


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