The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is India’s chief regulating body which is responsible for conducting a number of competitive exams to recruit for various civil service vacancies for the government of India.
IAS (Indian Administrative Service) or the (CSE) Civil Services Exams are conducted in two phases and they are UPSC prelims and UPSC Mains. The Prelims exam consists of objective type questions, while the mains is of descriptive and essay type answering. If you have planned to appear for UPSC 2016 exams then here are key 8 things that you should know.
1. Know the UPSC Exam Dates
Exam Name Notification Date Last Date to Apply Exam Date
SCRA 3 Oct, 2015 30 Oct, 2015 10 Jan, 2016
CDS (I) 7 Nov, 2015 4 Dec, 2015 14 Feb, 2016
CISF AC(EXE) LDCE 12 Dec, 2015 8 Jan, 2016 13 Mar,2016
NDA & NA (I) 2 Jan, 2016 29 Jan, 2016 17 Apr, 2016
IES/ISS 16 Jan, 2016 12 Mar, 2016 13 May,2016
CGSE/GE 4 Mar, 2016 4 Mar, 2016 13 May, 2016
ESE 27 Feb, 2016 25 Mar, 2016 27 May,2016
CMS 5 Mar, 2016 1 Apr, 2016 12 Jun, 2016
CAPF (AC) 12 Mar, 2016 8 Apr, 2016 26 Jun, 2016
CSE Prelims(CSAT) 23 Apr, 2016 20 May, 2016 7 Aug, 2016
NDA & NA (II) 18 Jun, 2016 15 Jul, 2016 18 Sep, 2016
CDS (II) 16 Jul, 2016 12 Aug, 2016 23 Oct, 2016
IFS Main 12 Nov, 2016
CSE Main 3 Dec, 2016
SO 10 Sep, 2016 7 Oct, 2016 17 Dec, 201
*The exam dates are subject to change as per UPSC guidelines, so keep an eye on the dates as it may be changed in the new notification released by the UPSC.
2. Why IAS? / PI quotient
Before stepping into the preparation of one of the toughest exams in the nation, do take a step back and ask yourself why and take a personal interview evaluate your PI quotient. This would help you have a clearer mindset throughout your preparation. The personality test is where your candidature would be measured against your performance.
3. The subsets of IAS
The IPS, IRS, IFS fall under the aegis of the IAS exam and the cutoff to get recruited in the services mentioned above is decided after the conduction of the exam.
IPS* Indian Police Service
IRS* Indian Revenue Service
IFS* Indian Foreign Service
A proper understanding of what your target is, will streamline your preparation and keep you focused better.
4. How do you think you can contribute?
The final is the personality test, being an IAS officer places you with the nation’s finest. Ask yourself where is that you can prove your caliber, what changes can you bring. Your plan of contribution need not to be monumental but it should set you apart, as this will give you an edge over all the other applicants in the interview session.
5. Yes! IAS preparation is incredibly demanding
It is not an overrated fact that IAS the nation’s toughest competitive exam and it demands intensive preparation and practice. There is no generalized format or answer for the most commonly asked questions’ how many hours does an IAS aspirant need to put in every day. It will differ from person to person. So let us look at it from general perspective.
Time Required:
10-*12 months of aggressive preparation is a must. Four out of every ten Indians (21*-32 years) aspire to become an IAS officer. Only 5% of that massive number actually makes the cut. The reason is no rocket science; it is only because of the kind of preparation they resort to. A slow and delayed preparation is equivalent to no preparation. The 5% who make it go all guns blazing into their IAS prep are the one who put an effective and ideal number of hours in preparation every day.
One should also understand that it is not about quantitative preparation and what required is qualitative. It is about the completion of your short term target. In an ideal situation, you should target two subjects every day. If you really are an UPSC aspirant then you should start preparing for exams right from your school days as the syllabus contains mostly of 6th to 12th standard books and keep making notes and sit for 10-*12 hours before a year of the exam.
Don’t sit mugging for long hours take short breaks in between and always remember the right coaching; the right books; and the right motivation will make you crack the exam at ease.
6. Outline the syllabus and Design your preparation
Heard of the biological process “catabolism” where you break down the original components into their by*products, do the same with your IAS syllabus. Find out about what topic you would have an edge and the topics you would need help in. Do it for all the subjects. You have now marked your territory; the bulk of the syllabus wouldn’t scare you at all. Also, this is an excellent confidence building exercise.
7. Objectifying the syllabus
Most of the IAS aspirants feel that the bulk of IAS syllabus deters them. No doubt, the syllabus is huge, but remind yourself that it is something that you have already studied before. Let’s take a quick look at the definition for ‘Divide and Conquer’. It basically means that you divide the population in this case the subjects into manageable chunks and that makes it impossible for them to come together (dividing them) and fight against the sovereign authority (conquering them). Let’s subject IAS to it.
Theory Papers: History, Economy, Polity, Geography, Optional subject (Demands a lot of your time!) Aptitude Test: CSAT (Demands a fragment of your time, more of your intelligence!)
8. Enjoy your preparation
Undeniably, UPSC preparation is a lengthy process, but you won’t find it easy if you don’t enjoy your preparation. Preparing for UPSC doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice all your hobbies, make sure to keep abreast your hobbies as it will make your preparation more fun. Don’t give up music especially if you are a music lover and there are people who study while listening to music and if you are one among them then definitely you make your learning more interesting and enjoyable. If you are passionate about anything make sure to keep it abreast during your UPSC preparation as this will keep you lively.