Any aspirant who is to start preparing for civil services must bear in mind two things- Firstly, Civil Services is an exam which anyone can crack with determination, discipline and application. Secondly, one must be prepared to put their entire energies into the preparation as nothing less can guarantee
As soon as you have decided to pursue civil services, you must first go through the notification of the exam as brought out by the UPSC. Learn about UPSC’s requirements for each stage so that you can prepare yourself accordingly. You can also call up people who have cracked the examination for their tips and strategies.
The first and most important step for preparation is to make yourself aware about the current realities around you. Newspaper reading, listening to AIR or Rajya Sabha TV can be the best avenues for the same.
Choose a really good newspaper to start reading. For people in the south the main option is The Hindu, but for those in the north there is an option between The Hindu and Indian Express both of which are good papers with decent analysis of current issues.
If you want to make notes from newspaper do make them but it should not be a cut and paste job. You must look into the objective facts behind the news and collect those. For e.g.:- Recently the French President visited India. A proper note about that visit would be about the various deals signed and how it has benefitted both countries.
The knowledge base for your preparation should be your NCERT textbooks. NCERT texts of all major topics like History, Geography, Political Science, Economics, Environment, Science from VI-XII standard should be covered. A strong NCERT base will help you in prelims, mains and interview
Apart from these listening to talk shows like Big Picture in Rajya Sabha TV, News Analysis in All India Radio etc. will help us in building up our opinions on various issues. The next important step towards preparation is choosing your optional subject which we would be covering in our next post.