It is highly important to focus on how to clear the Prelims, CSE in the first attempt itself if you would like to go ahead with the Mains. The point to be noted is that unless and until you qualify the Prelims, UPSC would simply not allow you to proceed ahead with the next stage of the Civil Services Exam, viz., the Mains. And that explains, why most of the IAS coaching in Delhi make it a point to equip their students well so that they may clear the Prelims in the first attempt itself.
What makes it essential to strategize your preparation for the Prelims?
Many of the candidates simply ignore preparing well for the Prelims in favour of the next stage of the Civil Services Exam, i.e., the Mains. They are under an impression that it would not be too hard to qualify. Besides, even if you score well, the Prelims, being qualifying only, your marks are not going to be added to the final score.
And that’s where the root cause of the problem lies. The IAS aspirants focus more on studying well for the Mains. The score will count along with what they score in the Interview, both the scores added together, to shoot their rank higher when the Union Public Service Commission declares the Civil Services Exam result.
But, most of the candidates, while being keen upon the preparation for the Mains, Civil Services Exam, simply ignore preparing well for the Prelims. As a result, they cannot qualify the very first stage of the CSE. And UPSC does not allow them to appear for the second stage i.e., the Mains.
How to draw a well crafted strategy to prepare for the Prelims to clear it in the first attempt?
As the importance of the Prelims cannot be underestimated if you aim at realizing your dream of joining the Indian Administrative Services, it is in the best of the interests of the IAS aspirants to make the following considerations while preparing for the Prelims.
- A realistic approach always counts: It pays to be realistic. You might be quite intelligent. Besides, you might be highly ambitious. And, of course, you would definitely like to see yourself as an IAS officer.
But, be realistic. Pay proper attention to your preparation for the Prelims concerning all the details that are required to be attended to in order to qualify the Prelims.
Clearing the first stage for the CSE is mandatory if you want to realize your goal of being an IAS officer. UPSC requires a candidate to qualify the Prelims first of all. Only then can he proceed further and score well in the Mains.
Thus, it is best not to be over confident and be thoroughly realistic. There are many an IAS aspirants who fail to qualify the Prelims chiefly because of over confidence.
2. Manage the time well: it is best that you begin early with your preparation for the CSE. It would give you sufficient time to prepare well for the Prelims. What’s more, if you manage your time well, you will be able to prepare better.
Managing the time well provides you with a number of advantages including:
- Preparing the entire syllabus for the Prelims on time
- Solving the Test Series
- Attempting the Mock Tests
- Making Revisions
3. Solve the past few years’ papers: Solving the past years’ Papers goes a long way to give you a fair share of the idea concerning the Exam pattern and the type of the questions usually asked for the Prelims Exam. Besides, it would also allow you to get familiarized with the changes, if any, produced by the Union Public Service Commission for the Prelims.
4. Prepare as per the UPSC syllabus: It is highly important to proceed with the preparation for the Prelims exactly as per the syllabus prescribed by the Union Public Service Commission for the Prelims. There is hardly any scope for any kind of the diversions. If you divert from the UPSC syllabus, even in the least, you would only end up wasting your precious time. And time is highly important for all specifically for an IAS aspirant.
Besides, you should not forget that it would be in the best of your interests to complete your preparation for the Prelims well within time and make revisions as frequently as possible. Revisions go a long way. It helps you to retain all the important facts in your memory for longer than usual spans of time. And this is definitely going to help you a great deal when you actually face the Prelims, CSE.
5. Join an IAS Coaching Academy: Joining an IAS Coaching Academy in Delhi would help you more to prepare well for the Prelims than what you might have anticipated initially. At the coaching institution, you would be getting the required guidance from efficient, knowledgeable and well experienced faculty. Thus, it would be well if you gain from their experience to make your preparation for the Prelims successful.
To sum up, Prelims is the first stage for the Civil Services Exam. And what’s most important, it is the qualifying Exam. All the Civil Services aspirants need to qualify the same if they aim at proceeding further with the next stage of the CSE. Thus, it is best, as already said earlier, not to feel over confident and ignore the preparation for the Prelims.
Further, nobody can deny that a healthy mind always resides in a healthy body. So, prepare well, but do so with a calm and relaxed mind. Besides, following a daily routine with a time table to study well goes a long way to prepare for the Prelims. And it’s best to keep a provision for little breaks in your time table. If you take a break of 10-15 minutes once in a while when you are tired, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that you can study better!