How to prepare for civil services while in college ?

‘Too early to start thinking about IAS’ – Somebody might mock at you. But remember friends, an early start is always good for any journey.

There would have been times when you started early for your holiday and you found more time to enjoy in the boat house. You had time to enjoy the rains and the water. Every bliss is welcome to an early starter.

Now,if you are in college and IAS is your calling , here are 5 steps you should take right now.

Step 1- Start following the NEWS !

Wait a bit, do not break your head with ‘The Hindu’ newspaper from day one. You will feel demotivated because of inability to either read or comprehend. Lets take the baby steps first. Follow The Times of India or The Indian express or any local newspaper.

Your focus should be on ‘ understanding an issue, whether in English or in your mother tongue.’ Right now focus on understanding .

Other suggestions I would give are Rajya Sabha TV(The Big Picture Debate), AIR(9pm news), Doordarshan news . Start from wherever you are comfortable.

Also remember, start with issues you are comfortable with. If you are an engineer and you are trying to understand GST, then you are demotivating yourself. Start with issues like gender equality or Section 377 (or any social issue), elections in your state or country, cricket governance etc. This will interest you to learn further. Keep building on your interests and slowly then expand your reading horizons to other areas like political ,economic , etc

Step 2 – Look at the previous year Question papers

Isnt is too early ? Definitely, not! You have to know what you got to face.

I am not saying try to check your knowledge, I am just asking you to read the question papers, understand the pattern and ask yourself how is it different from your college question papers.

Step 3- Read basic books

You may start your preparation with basic books like NCERTs. Read them for the first time, just trying to understand what is being said. Do no mark anything, do not underline.Just read them once fully.

For your convenience I can suggest you a few books to start with

  1. Indias struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra
  2. India since Independence by Bipan Chandra
  3. NCERTs of Geography from 6 to 12th
  4. NCERTs of Economy 11th and 12th standard
  5. NCERTs of Science 6th to 8th standard
  6. Medieval India(Old NCERT)
  7. Ancient India(Old NCERT)

Step 4 – Read toppers blogs/ Quora answers on IAS preparation

Get acquainted with IAS preparation. Read answers on quora or toppers blogs on different websites, for both inspiration and guidance.This is to get a fair idea about the preparation, before you actually begin.

Step 5- Get in touch with a mentor/institute.

You have a dream, you got to protect it. You may need a source of inspiration/guidance. Find out if there are any IAS officers whom you can approach or any teacher who can guide you through. Be in touch with them, to guide you further.

All the best,

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