The Civil Services Exam is one of the toughest exams in the world and preparing for the same will thus require a very fool-proof plan. From rigorous reading, cramming of the facts, extensive sharpening of the writing skills, developing the ability to face the interview panel and last but not the least, inculcating confidence in one self – there is a lot to the Preparation of Civil Services Exam. The following post will be an outline of the various exams conducted for the Civil Services as well as various tips for the preparation of these exams. Followed by some really helpful books and the Expert Opinion for the Civil Service Preparation, we shall be winding up the things.

Exams conducted for the Civil Service Recruitment

All India Level

  • IFS
  • IAS

Central Civil Services – Group A and Group B

  • IPS
  • IRS (IT, Custom and Central Excise)
  • Indian P&T Accounts and Finance Services
  • Indian Civil Accounts Service
  • Indian Railway Traffic Service
  • Indian Corporate Law Service
  • Indian Postal Services
  • Indian Railway Accounts and Personnel Service
  • Indian Defence Estates Service


The above mentioned list comprises the most popular services that come under the Civil Services Exam.

IAS Preparation – A word on exam structure and Rounds

  • Most of the exams in the Civil Services compirse of two stages of the written exam which is a real rigorous one and an interview which is organized only for those candidates that have passed the written exam.
  • Finally, the interview qualified candidates will be called for the training for the post they have applied for.
  • The final allotments will be subject to the performance of the candidates in each stage of the exam as well as the selection process.

Common Sections in the Exam

  • General Knowledge and Current Affairs
  • A section on the subjects chosen as the compulsory ones by the candidates
  • A section on the subjects chosen as the optional ones
  • English language
  • Indian Government
  • Civil Law and Jurisdiction etc


Please note that the syllabus of the exam is very vast and all the sections of all the exams vary as per the norms and regulations of the UPSC. Hence, the candidates should keep a close track on the latest releases done by the Commission regarding the exam pattern and syllabus before they start with the Civil Services Exam Preparation.

Civil Services Preparation – Tips you can use

Hurdle #1:

The questions in the exams will be of ALL the possible kinds. They will be based on facts, dates, timelines, laws, basic concepts and their applications and current affairs. The difficulty level of the exam will vary across the various exams.

Tackling Tip:

  • You can’t cover the complete syllabus of all the subjects. Learn to deal with the basic human limitations. Instead of cramming all the facts of all the books on all the topics; CHOOSE WISELY.
  • There are some subjects in which the cramming can be avoided e.g. there will be much more cramming in history than Languages. So, you can choose the subjects wisely too.
  • Make a fact journal of YOUR OWN. Write it in your own hand. Read it daily update it daily, revise it daily. Always Remember: “Civil Service Preparation is not an ONE day Affair”.

Hurdle #2:

The Syllabus is HUGE.

Tackling Tip:

  • If you compile the books for the Syllabus of only PRE Exam, you will feel that it is turning into a little mountain which will always weigh on your mind.
  • Keep yourself organized.
  • Design a schedule in which the slots are defined for 2 to 3 subjects daily and keep on changing these slots on a weekly or fortnightly basis. This will keep you out of monotony.
  • Shortlist the topics which are the MOST CRUCIAL ones for the Civil Service Preparation and prepare them to your fullest.

Hurdle #3:

Choosing subjects for Compulsory and Optional Sections – How to do that?

Tackling Tip:

Consult the experts from the Coaching Classes, the people who have passed the exam, make a round of online forums in which the other candidates have commented and you will be able to form some ideas of the subjects which have the highest level of competition.

Arrange the subjects (you wish to choose for the Pre and Mains exam) as per the difficulty level while you begin the Civil Service Preparation. Now choose the ones in which your excel and that come with a moderate difficulty level.

Hurdle #4:

Where to find the Motivation and Consistent Preparation Attitude?

Tackling Tips:

  • There are some things which are to be faced and completed on your own.
  • You will have to stay motivated and focused with an undying attitude towards success in order to qualify the exam. There is NO ONLY ONE way to do this. Learn to believe in yourself and find the answer to the question “Why do I want to do this?” A daily moral boost is necessary to keep you going.
  • Stay in a competitive environment.
  • Don’t get surrounded by NEGATIVITY.

Hurdle #5:

How to LEARN and REMEMBER such a mammoth syllabus?

Tackling Tips:

  • There is every possibility that you might cram all the things till the day of exam, score well in the mock tests and fail to answer even the best known answer in the actual exam.
  • This is quite normal even when the Civil Service Preparation is concerned.
  • To deal with all this, you should understand that it is very important to insert the information in your brain and output the same on the paper should be done in a highly refined and logical manner.
  • Line the walls of your room in some wall paper of white colour and start making timelines of all the events and charting out the facts on them. Make a different timeline of all the subjects and learn to co-relate them. Learning in the chronological manner will always make you more confident of the events. This way you will always be able to learn in a relational manner.

Civil Exam Preparation – Experts Talk

Don’t focus on getting all the things done. In fact, go for the quality stuff. Prepare the subjects in which you excel and prepare them in the best possible way.

UPSC is one of those exams which require hard work as well as smart work. You need to be well versed with facts as well as learn to apply the concepts. You should excel in Public Administration and should know the Biology as well. So, choose a mentor or guide wisely that can guide you throughout the process.

Civil Exam Preparation – Books you can refer to

History Of Modern India – Bipan Chandra Buy online
The Wonder That Was India – A.L. Bhasham Buy online
Science and Technology in India – TMH Buy online
Oxford School Atlas – Oxford Buy online
India Year Book Buy online
Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations – M. Laxmikanth Buy online
Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh Buy online
Environment for Civil Services Prelims and Mains – Khullar Buy online

If you have any query on IAS Preparation, please ask in comments below.

LPUNEST 2019 Apply Now!!


Comments are closed.