How one should prepare for Civil Service Exam?

How one should prepare for Civil Service Exam?
Civil Services examination is a test of aptitude, knowledge and personality. Essence of preparation is smart work with open mind.
If anybody goes through, previous year questions of preliminary or main examination, one will come to know that innovative questions are asked at both the stages. Innovative questions mean that they are evolved questions, not straight forward questions.

UPSC asks its experts to frame questions by their own mind after taking UPSC syllabus into consideration. While framing questions, experts take into account both fundamentals and current issues. Thereafter, experts also provide model answer to those questions.
When a candidate starts his/her preparation, a natural question comes to the mind, whether she/he should prepare first for preliminary or main. If a candidate looks at syllabus of General Studies, he/she will find that majority of topics given in General Studies Main examination syllabus are also partof General Studies syllabus of preliminary examination.

Syllabus of General Studies for main examination is more exhaustive. Success of a candidate in preliminary examination, when CSAT is qualifying, depends upon performance in General Studies paper.
Preliminary examination is just a qualifying exam. Success of a candidate in Civil Service examination is dependent upon performance in the main examination. Also, in preparation of main examination, preparation of preliminary examination is implicit. Therefore, it is always advisable to a candidate to first prepare for the main General Studies.
For General Studies, a candidate should first focus on some fundamental books and take guidance of experts just to make fundamentals clear. For deep understanding, it is advisable to rely on one good book on that topic, rather than reading a number of books. It is better to read one good book ten times, than to read ten books one time.

Mental organization of these essential fundamentals is very crucial to crack Civil Services examination. Mental organization will help the candidate to apply concepts in applied fields more comfortably.
In Civil Services examination, more and more questions asked in General Studies are applied nature. Applied questions could only be answered with the help of insight. Insight develops only with the help of sound fundamentals. After sound fundamentals, candidate should also supplement is/her studies with a good newspaper, magazine and TV/Radio/internet news items.
Now, General Studies is the predominant part of the examination pattern. Role of optional subject is only supportive.
A candidate has to take a smart decision while choosing optional subject for the main examination. First important aspect of choosing an optional is candidate’s aptitude for the subject. Thereafter, candidate must look at syllabus, scoring pattern and its weightage in General Studies. Civil Services examination is a competitive exam. The gulf between success and failure is minor. Therefore, candidate must take a right decision for Optional subject.

Last stage of Civil Services examination is Interview. Interview is just a conversation with the objective to know candidate’s personality and inner traits. Members of the Interview board are very cordial. They will nowhere let you feel uncomfortable; it is not a test of knowledge, but a test of personality.
Lastly, in essence the main mantra for success in Civil Services examination is patience and smart work. If anybody possesses these abilities, success is bound to come.

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