CIVIL services exam is one of the toughest exams in India conducted by UPSC(Union Public Service Commission). This exam is conducted every year to recruit officers for various reputed government posts. There are three stages of UPSC examinations - Prelims, Mains and Interview then the final result. All of these stages are tough and challenging to qualify.
The very first stage - Prelims exams consist of 2 papers and both are objective types. You will have to apply planned and a dedicated approach to clear this stage to get qualify for the Mains exams.
Below are the syllabus for UPSC prelims examinations - 2 papers
1. General studies paper (General Awareness) - 1 (200 Marks, 100 Questions with negative marking and duration of exams 2 hours)
- Current events
- History of India and National movements
- Indian and world geography
- Indian polity and governance
- Economy and social developments
- Environmental ecology, climate change, and biodiversity
- General science
2. General studies/ CSAT paper - 2 (200 Marks, 80 Questions with negative marking and duration of exams 2 hours)
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Analytical ability and logical reasoning
- Decision making and problem-solving
- General mental ability
- Data interpretation
- Basic numeracy
This is very important to understand that the marks obtained in the GS-Paper 1 will only be considered in the ranking in UPSC prelims, however, marks obtained in GS-2 will not be calculated in the ranking. So, please do not get confused about this. In GS-2 paper, if you score at least 33% then you will be qualified for the next stage of examination that is the UPSC Mains Examination.
In order to qualify the UPSC prelims examinations, you will have to have a proper plan of study. Below are the tips that you can follow.
1. You should know when to start the preparation for the UPSC exam. You should start al least one year before the examination.
2. You should prepare a plan - follow the study plan sincerely. While preparing for the examination there will be a chance of distractions that may pull you away but you should be smart to handle this.
3. Not just facts and figures
UPSC exams check whether your concepts are clear or not. So there will be tricky questions that will only be solved when you have a brief knowledge and deep to concepts. This exam is also about checking your ability to analyze the topics properly. You will have less than a minute to answer a question aa there will be 200 questions and you will have 120 minutes to answer those.
4. Current affairs - this is the most important part of the UPSC examinations. If you see, every year a lot of questions are from current affairs directly or indirectly. You should relate the news to the related subjects. If any topics are hitting the headlines then you should be able to gather the relevant information pertaining to it and also be able to understand it properly by going back to the concept.
5. Preparation for CSAT - UPSC checks aptitude and logical reasoning. If you are from mathematics, science or engineering background then this would be easier for you. If you are from other backgrounds, you will need to work hard and practice more. You can solve the previous year's questions and do some mock tests. Focus more on understanding the concepts and practice more and more questions.
6. Practice mock test papers - UPSC prelims examination is all about solving maximum questions in very less time. This will require more practice. You can sit with a set of test papers and try to solve them within 120 minutes to check how are you scoring. This will help you analyze your weak areas and you can improve those areas.
7. Keep revising on regular intervals - This is very important to revise once what you studied in 1 week and before. Make a proper note of what you study this will help you cover the syllabus quickly with concepts.
8. Online test series - You can join an online test series that will increase your ability to solve the questions in less time.
Once you qualify UPSC prelims, you will have to prepare for UPSC mains examinations which are tougher as it contains subjective questions.
Syllabus for the UPSC Mains examination:
1. Paper A - Compulsory Indian language (for 300 marks, duration for exam - 3 hours)
2. Paper B - English (for 300 marks, duration for exam - 3 hours)
3. Paper 1 - Essay (for 250 marks, duration for exam - 3 hours)
4. Paper 2 - General Studies I – Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society (for 250 marks, duration for exam - 3 hours)
5. Paper 3 - General Studies II – Governance, Constitution, Welfare Initiatives, Social Justice & International Relations (for 250 marks, duration for exam - 3 hours)
6. Paper 4 - General Studies III – Technology, Economic Development, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management (for 250 marks, the duration for exam - 3 hours)
7. Paper 5 - General Studies IV – Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude (for 250 marks, the duration for exam - 3 hours)
8. Paper 6 - Optional Subject – Paper I (for 250 marks, the duration for exam - 3 hours)
9. Paper 7 - Optional Subject – Paper II (for 250 marks, the duration for exam - 3 hours)
Please refer below links to get more tips and suggestions from ISC experts on how to prepare for the UPSC CIVIL services examinations.
Wish you all the very best for your examination.