Vikas Prakash Singh, IRS (C&IT) ’19Answered May 10, 2019
Things that I would like to convey are:
- Choose optional subject wisely. It is difficult to select an optional Subject and it is even more difficult to change one after a few attempts. Interest in the optional subject shouldn’t be the only criteria is what I believe.
- Something which is pretty obvious, DO NOT ignore your optional subject while preparing. (saying it by experience)
- If you are yet to graduate, at least take-up newspaper reading. Download a few news apps (Indian Express, The Hindu, BBC etc.) and go through them for 15–20 minutes a day. Civil Services Exam is an exam of common sense and width of knowledge helps immensely. I have benefited a lot from this as is obvious from my Prelims as well as Essay/GS scores. Also, not everything in news will be a part of your GS syllabus, at the same time, there is no syllabus for Essay and Interview. 😉
- Work hard in silence, let success make the noise – Try as much as possible to keep preparation a secret. The continuous pestering by people around you significantly increases the exam pressure. In my case, as the son of a civil servant, there was immense pressure from relatives and acquaintances right from childhood. This is due to the fact that people automatically assume that for bureaucrat’s children, it is a natural choice. Therefore, I couldn’t keep it a secret and had to feel the heat.
- Don’t give up on your hobby or interest while you are preparing. You will obviously have to tone it down but quitting altogether will make life monotonous and boring, thereby affecting the preparation itself.
- DO NOT be arrogant once you start preparing. Many aspirants who are a few months into UPSC preparation tend to start believing that they are somehow superior to others because they are more knowledgeable. Having a good IQ and having knowledge are completely different things. (Also, don’t be arrogant if you have a gifted-level IQ 😛 )
- Be observant. Keep your eyes and ears open all the time. You have no idea where wisdom can come from and may help you in not just this exam but in life as well. A rickshaw-puller can tell you much more about poverty than many Economics graduates, mainly because he lives it every day.
- Remember, first and foremost you are doing this for YOURSELF. It is you who will get the most out of the power, prestige, facilities, perks, and satisfaction of contributing to this country, that comes with civil services. Then comes your family, friends, village, etc. Don’t pretend to yourself that you are doing anyone a favour by sitting in this exam.
- Finally, not clearing civil services exam doesn’t mean the end of the world. There are people a lot more successful in life than many civil servants. Also, not everyone is meant to excel at everything. I doubt Sachin Tendulkar could have cleared this exam if he was forced to do so, mainly because his love was cricket.
Please email us for updates and corrections :- firstname.lastname@example.org