Its the most prestigious and Toughest examination under Government services so far that requires a lot of
1. Strict preparation of at least 1 year
2. Hard-work, determination and persistent effort.
Its good that you have taken up this massive undertaking of cracking Civil Services Examination. You must be aware of the basic structure of Civil services Examination that It consists of two papers namely Preliminary Examination and Mail examination and Those who qualify preliminary examination will only be allowed to sit for the main examination.
One more important point to be noticed here is that the Pattern of Examination is slightly changed from 2011 and the CSAT (Civil Services Aptitude Test) is going to Replace the Preliminary Examination. So, The earlier Preliminary examination which used to consist of two papers, one on General Studies for 150 Marks and other on optional subject for 300 Marks as chosen by exam taker, Now will be a common paper for every body consisting of Two papers of each 200 marks and two hours duration covering general awareness, Aptitude (Logical and Analytical Reasoning, Arithmetic), Communication and English skills and Mathematics.
However, there will be No change in the Main Examination and The personal interview for 2011 Examination.
Coming to the preparation
1. For CSAT, The erstwhile preliminary examination, What is required is Hold on English and Mathematics of Class-X standard. So Practicing as many as papers on Analytical and Logical reasoning, Mathematics (which is usually done by aspirants of bank examinations and management entrance examinations), Maintaining a Record of Current affairs and political scenario including developments and changes, Studying thoroughly the NCERT Textbooks of Sciences and Social sciences for classes VII-X will mostly me more than enough to crack this paper.
2. The main Examination requires Extensive study of general studies (involving History, Politics, Current Affairs etc) and your Optional subjects as chosen by you (mostly would be your degree majors), and Brushing up your Writing and Argumentative skills for Essay writing. Preparation for main examination requires extensive study and dedicated preparation.
Proper planning and timely execution of the plans so prepared is the secret of success in Civil Services Examination. In addition, Complete dedication to the work on hand and frequent testing of the progress achieved at every point of time will surely help you to succeed in the examination even with the preparation of little duration.
Civil Services Examination is like an Olympic Marathon. Among the competitors who qualify in the qualifying rounds (Prelims), the best line up for the various phases up to the Interview. the candidate has not less than ten papers to test his abilities for handling the demands of huge competition. On an average, successful candidates take 2.6 attempts to qualify, which clearly implies that the repeat candidates clearly have an advantage over the first timers. Since a candidate has four attempts, a candidate who ends up with the 200th rank can not compare himself with a candidate who achieves 20th rank in similar number of attempts. The distinction is the end product of more than a chance event since it offers many redundancies to improve the rank position.
Further If luck has indeed acted against a candidate in a particular attempt and the candidate had not chosen to improve it using a subsequent attempt, it is a proof of his lower determination and absence of the 'Sweat" factor in his psyche.
Ideally you can start your preparation towards November/December of the year to do very well in the examination conducted next year. 8-10 months of preparation including examination time should be sufficient to do well in the exam.
Revision is must and crucial!! schedule your preparation in such a manner that you get a chance to revise every material as many times as possible or at-least twice before the examination.
On a personal stand, have analytical approach towards everything and various issues in your Life and around. Develop a positive outlook and a smiling countenance when facing tough problems. Life or competition for the Civil services is not for the chicken-hearted. Those hearts which break easy or tire-fast,Remember: Winners Never Quit and Quitters never win!
So start early, get hold on your attributes and skills. The early starter has a clear advantage in developing skills required for this highly competitive examination. Nurture personal determination and grit. A balanced all round persona and academic preparation of adequate depth in one's subject is all the winning mantra of Civil Services Examination.
In a Nutshell, Please keep these following six points in mind for your success in Civil Services Examination.
1. Mind making : Strong Determination
2. Selection of Optionals and Coaching: Start as early as you can
3. Focused approach: Nothing else is more important
4. Consistency: Consistency in Effort and hardwork that pays
5. Repeated Revision: As many times as you can
6. Do not explore too much: There is no end for the material you could possibly collect. So please be selective and choose good material.
All the best