First and foremost, I congratulate you for deciding on becoming a Civil Servant. It takes a lot of courage and passion for choosing this field. It is one of the most respected fields in India, and you will shoulder a lot of responsibilities, and you work to make the dreams of millions come true and make their lives better. It is always good to prepare for Civil Services from a young age. Starting early ensures that you have enough attempts, and you are freshly out of your college with a mind that is still in the learning curve.
Many students have doubts regarding the preparation of Civil Services, and I would like to clear the usually asked doubts that students ask.
- Ranks and Super Intelligence do not matter- There is a myth that only the toppers can get ranks in Civil Services. This is untrue, and anyone with perseverance and average intelligence can crack the exam. The exam has been designed in such a way that questions are not of master/expert level, but of the standard type, with importance given to analysing the question. There are no complex mathematical computations nor any questions that require high IQ.
- Work Hard, Work Smart- Gone are the days when you could take up the textbooks days before the college exam and pass it. This is the Civil Services Exam, and UPSC does not want anyone to clear the exam just with shortcuts. The knowledge that you get is going to be useful as a Civil Servant. So, you have to do the hard work if you want to clear this exam. Here, hard work does not mean mugging up facts. UPSC does not want anyone taking a coveted post who could mug up knowledge. They want people who can use knowledge to tackle a problem. Hence, along with hard work, you have to put in some smart work in your preparation, which is analysing previous years’ papers, carefully reading the syllabus etc. Visit our website Officers’ Pulse for understanding what the syllabus is and how the previous question papers are analysed by clicking this link.
- Start Slow and Steady- Do not rush your preparation. Take your own time to study everything and move to the next topic when you are clear with the basics. Please start with the NCERTs and cover them meticulously. If the basics are not covered, then you will have a shaky foundation, and you may not be able to answer the questions which are based out of these basics. Do not study every book that is out there in the market. The right way is to study the standard book and master it rather than going through multiple texts and remember nothing.
- Discipline in Life- If you are preparing for Civil Services, then there must be a certain discipline that you should follow in your life. The precious time that you lose in preparation is primarily due to social media and unwanted social gatherings. Limit the time that you spend on these things, and you can find that you have more time for preparation.
- Civil Services and Luck – Again, it’s a myth. Luck has nothing to do with your success in your preparation. Focus and perseverance are what give you success. If you have these two qualities along with a solid basis of what you are studying, you are good to go for the exam, and the success is just a mile away.
- Unlimited power does not come with the Job- Movies often misrepresent the reality of India. An IAS/IPS job does not give you unlimited power. You are and will always be a “Civil Servant”, and you are always under the Constitution. When you become an IAS/IPS/IRS officer, it’s not power that comes to you, but rather its responsibility. You have to shoulder the weight of achieving what is right for millions of people, and this is not an easy task.
- Proper Timetable and Sleep- You have to have an appropriate time table once you start preparing for the exam. It allows you to understand what you have missed and where you are lacking. This fills the minute holes in your preparation and makes your knowledge more concrete. And yes, getting sleep is very important. Your time table might take you to your preparation from 10 to 12 hours, but at the same time, you have to take care of your health too. Getting good sleep and moderate exercises keep your body healthy. For retaining gigantic volumes of information and for studying long hours, both your mind and body have to be healthy. Remember, this is a test cricket match and not aT-20. Play it according to the plan you made.
“With great power, there must also come great responsibility”- you might have heard this from the Spiderman movie, although it has been in existence from the French revolution! The statement speaks the truth when it comes to being a Civil Servant. You are given the power to change the course of millions of lives, and there are few posts like that in India to help one change the country for good. I wish everyone taking this journey to become successful Civil Servants and do the best for our country!