How to Prepare for Civil Services along with Post Graduation course?

Want to pursue Post Graduation studies while preparing for Civil Services or other competitive examination? We are discussing what are the disadvantages of studying while preparing for Civil Services exam and how to prepare for Civil Services exam effectively while continuing Post Graduation Studies.

If civil services is your dream career, it is likely that you are looking for resources and materials for cracking the Civil Services exam from as early as graduation level. Along with that you must be looking for articles regarding your possibilities of getting into the most prestigious job by examining yourself in the parameters of background, stream, bio-data, graduation subjects, UPSC civil service exam optional subjects etc. You want to know if it is possible to crack this tough exam while preparing for MA, MBA or M.Sc simultaneously for various reasons. Here we shall discuss the pros and cons of preparing for civil services during your Post Graduation studies. We will also provide useful tips to best optimize your Post Graduation Study time for Civil service exam.

Why you should not opt for Civil Service preparation while studying PG?

Civil Services exam is a tough exam and it demands undivided attention from an aspirant. It is good if you are doing a job that is not so stressful or demand your whole hearted attention, but studying PG while preparing means that you are not giving your hundred percent to both. Many top ranked students in 2014 UPSC final result had given up their coveted PG seats to pursue their dream career in UPSC because their courses would be rigorous. Although subjects in Humanities are less rigorous they demand you lot of activities which may hamper serious study for UPSC exam. Keep these points in mind :

  1. Success in the Civil services depends a little on luck also though hard work is a foregone conclusion. So a back up career is often required in case you are not successful in Civil services.

  2. A good percentage in Post Graduation can ensure a better career option other than Civil services.

  3. Civil services needs intensive study of many subjects at one go. Fore example your preparation of General Studies for UPSC Civil Services Prelims can be a daunting task and you may miss some studies of your Post Graduations subject.

  4. Once you clear Prelims you will need to study Optional subject which may also hamper your Post Graduation Studies unless you do not choose the same subject you are studying in the Post Graduation level. It is observed that Science stream students generally opt for so called easy subjects like Education, Sociology, History Literature etc. So, be clear about your optional and the time it will demand.

  5. If you are not serious about your preparation, you may lose your number of attempts. Because you are allowed only limited number of attempts for civil services.

  6. Not being able to succeed in Prelims demoralize many aspirants at this level.

Why and how to prepare for Civil Services while pursuing Post Graduation

Civil Service is your dream career and you may please to choose to start preparing at any point provided your age permits it. Students age young as 21 years are cracking this prestigious exam and that too with top rank! So with determination, required amount of hard work and a bit of luck you can sail through this exam. As I have discussed the reasons that may have negative impact on your choice of preparing Civil services while studying Post Graduation there are many plus points too. By utilizing these you can embrace success in Civil Services.

Here is how:
  1. Preparing while studying will help you if if you take the same optional for UPSC mains.

  2. You can form a study circle among your class mates or hostel mates which is often not possible while staying back at home after completion of studies.

  3. Talk to your teachers about your goal. You can prepare answers for your mains exams and consult your Teachers for guidance regarding answer writing.

  4. You can utilize the University Library facility like number of news (broadsheet)papers, magazines necessary for the preparation.

  5. It gives you extra time for preparation for the Civil Services. You can share your mistakes in exam with fellow aspirants.


As I have told already it is absolutely your choice whether to prepare or not to prepare for Civil Services during Post Graduation Studies, it should be absolutely your own personal style of preparation how to do the preparation for the Civil Services. Some say it is good to do a job while preparing for Civil Services while some other say that it is good to focus on study only. But the fact is that preparation for Civil Studies is a lengthy process and you don't get any short cut to success. Very few have cleared the exam in first attempt and you cannot promise that you will do the same even though you are prepared to work hard. So preparation for UPSC Prelims, preparation for Mains and Interview, then again starting all over again for failure in any stage are all part of the game. So I would recommend starting preparation for Prelims at the Post Graduation level. Start aside two hours daily for General Studies preparation initially and gradually intensify your preparation. Sitting for prelims is not counted as an attempt. So you can be on safe side by simply opting for preparation for Prelims.

Article by Runa N Borah
Runa is a Content writer and blogger. She has started as an Expert in Relationship and Career counselling for various websites. She has been an Editor at ISC for several years and now concentrates on Article writing for ISC and her numerous blogs.

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Author: Partha K.01 Oct 2015 Member Level: Gold   Points : 5

An excellent article! However, I would like to supplement the following:-

(a) During Post-Graduation, a serious Civil Service aspirant must study newspapers, periodicals like Yojana thoroughly to update himself. This is very essential for General Studies papers (both Prelim. and Mains).

(b) An aspirant must chose his Masters subject as Optional paper for Prelim. and one of the Optional papers for Mains.

(c) He/She must plan well in advance about the other Optional Paper for Mains during this period. Preferably, one of the subsidiary subjects in Graduation should be taken as other Optional.

(d) A very serious aspirant should also prepare during his Post-Graduation years for the Civil Service Interview, preferably by attending mock Interview sessions.

Author: Umesh30 May 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

This is a good article advising the civil service aspirants. Actually civil service exam is something which you cherish since you were in school and frankly speaking it requires a preparation right from that time. Building of good general knowledge and other specific subject related knowledge takes a long time. It is not simply the cramming which helps in such high competition exams.

It is always a good idea to join some educational course like post graduation after completing graduation because it gives you a change from monotony while preparing for exam as well as during post graduation you get lot of new information which may be useful in your pursuit.

As the competition is of very high degree there is no harm in keeping an alternate route of career in hand.

Author: Swati Sharma21 Aug 2020 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

Nice article by the author.
When one want to crack a civil service exam he/she should be more stable on its decision actually many people I have seen who have decided to start preparing for Civil Exam after graduation but if did not select in one attempt they start to loose their hope and change their way if one want to crack civil service exam there are some tips for
this -

1. Be clear for your aim and do not distract by anyone.
2. It would be better if you are preparing for civil exam then do not start other courses.
3. If you really want to pursue other course or you have to start any job with your study then make a time table of you study hour for civil services exam and be more conscious for those study hours you should be more productive.
4 There are many different civil exams are conducted by the government so before start preparation you should decide for which exam you actually preparing because just start the study without any guidance will take long time.
5 Most important thing keep patience , this exam take a long process.
6. If possible then join a test series with your preparation and this series must included all three parameter of exam process , Prelims , Mains and Interview.
7. Make notes as much as you can that will help you in civil exam at the same time for your PG if it is related with same subject.

Do whatever you want but do it with full of your dedication you will definitely get success.

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