Several students take the Civil Services Exam every year, with only seven hundred fifty to nine hundred contenders making the final merit list (based on the vacancy).
The Union Public Service Commission is a constitutional body established under Article 315 of the Indian Constitution to conduct examinations for Union Government appointments.
The UPSC conducts the Civil Services Examination (CSE) and other exams, which are among the most prestigious in the country.
UPSC recruits All India Services, Group A Civil Services, and Group B Civil Services through the Civil Services Examination.
The number of positions available is determined by the number of vacancies in these services. (In 2020, there were 796 vacancies; in 2019, there were 896; in 2018, there were 782; and in 2017, there were 980.)
Prelims, Mains, and Interview, are the three stages of the CSE exam.
Those who pass the Prelims are eligible for the Mains, and those who pass the Mains are also eligible for the interview, which is the final stage of the exam.
According to Mr. Sumanth Makam, who provides excellent UPSC coaching in Bangalore, the final Merit list is compiled based on the candidates’ performance in the Mains and Interview.
Services Under UPSC CSE
The Civil Services exam recruits officers under:
- All India Services
- Group A Civil Services
- Group B Civil Services
All India Services includes –
- Indian Police Service (IPS)
- Indian Administrative Service (IAS)
- Indian Forest Service (IFoS)
Group A Civil Services includes –
- Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS)
- Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS)
- Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
- Indian Corporate Law Service (ICLS)
- Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
- Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES)
- Indian Information Service (IIS)
- Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
- Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS)
- Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
- Indian Postal Service (IPoS)
- Indian Revenue Service (IRS)
- Railway Protection Force (RPF)
- Indian Communication Finance Services (ICFS)
- Indian Defence Accounts Service (IDAS)
- Indian Trade Service (ITS)
Group B Civil Services includes –
- Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Service
- Delhi, Andaman, and Nicobar Islands Police Service (DANIPS) Pondicherry Civil Service
- Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS)
- Pondicherry Police Service
When is the Best Time to Begin UPSC Preparation?
According to Mr. Sumanth Makam from the National IAS Academy, a leading specialized coaching center from Bangalore, several students take the Civil Services Exam every year, with only seven hundred fifty to nine hundred contenders making the final merit list (based on the vacancy).
According to the selection rate, the candidates must be the best to qualify.
As a result, candidates should begin studying for the exam as soon as possible.
The UPSC CSE syllabus should take 18 months to complete in total, including the subjective Mains preparation.
Candidates must write answers to some of the most challenging questions in the Mains Paper, including commentary on the most pressing and complex issues.
UPSC Preparation necessitates in-depth knowledge, writing, and a wide range of skills.
Even if one is not directly preparing for the UPSC and is instead in school or university, developing these skills (including communication and speaking skills) will go a long way towards assisting students in their UPSC preparation.
Remember that UPSC CSE preparation is as much about knowledge as it is about applying that knowledge creatively and innovatively.
During their graduation, a candidate should begin preparing the basics and develop the habit of reading newspapers and being aware of various issues.
They should also participate in diverse co-curricular activities to extend multiple aspects of their personality.
Does one’s educational background have an impact on UPSC selection?
The graduation background of the student may help prepare for UPSC CSE. Most students, on the other hand, have some advantages.
Some of the syllabus sections may be relatively easy to master for students with an arts background, while students with a science or other background may find some areas familiar.
According to Mr. Sumanth Makam, who has experience of six years in teaching, the syllabus requires students to have a broad understanding of a variety of disciplines:
- Science and tech
- International relations
- Public administration
- Disaster management
As a result, students from all backgrounds will come across some entirely new sections.
How much time do you need to prepare for the UPSC?
The UPSC Syllabus is extensive, and the paper pattern tests the following at various stages of the exam:
- The aptitude
- Writing skills
Above all, it assesses candidates’ suitability for positions in government. As a result, it includes a test of their comprehension of:
- Multiple disciplines
- Challenges faced by the country and the world.
To begin the preparation, any candidate must have a solid background. This can be accomplished by learning the fundamentals from the NCERT textbooks for grades 6 through 12.
This will take about three months to complete. The subject-specific advanced text reading, which takes 9 to 10 months to master, should be chosen.
This should be followed by extensive practice of objective-type questions and answer writing for the Prelims and Mains.
Aspirants will need between 12 and 18 months of dedicated study time to master the entire syllabus and pass the exam, depending on their habits and abilities.
Is the UPSC Exam Right for You?
Passing the UPSC CSE exam is only the beginning of a career in the public sector. The road ahead will require you to be more capable of dealing with various complex societal and national issues.
No civil servant would perform admirably and give their all if they were not motivated and propelled by a mission to effect social change or improve public policy and administration.
It would also be incorrect to assume that all aspirants begin with the same motivation. However, many people’s backgrounds are set by their awareness of various issues during the preparation process.
Many aspirants discover their motivation and purpose for joining the civil service during their preparation.
A general interest in public issues and governance, on the other hand, maybe a sign that you should join or begin your UPSC preparation.
Remember that the purpose may come to you as you begin walking down the path. It isn’t always the case the other way around.
Preparation Techniques That Work
Because UPSC assesses you on various factors and requires you to master a variety of skills, your preparation strategy should be tailored to your specific needs.
According to Mr. Sumanth Makam, who provides fantastic coaching from Bangalore, if you are a good writer, you may require less time to master answer writing and more time to prepare for the Preliminary Exam.
It’s why some candidates struggle with Prelims, while others struggle with Mains or the Interview.
Before beginning the preparation, they must first go over the NCERTs or any other board’s school books to lay the groundwork and brush up on the fundamentals to start the trial.
Second, they must go over the syllabus several times and practice answering questions and taking tests regularly to ensure that they understand the concepts and answer the question on time in the exam hall.
Third, you must be an avid reader who keeps up with current events and issues in the United States and around the world.
Because the UPSC is looking for public administrators, you must have an opinion on various social, national, and international issues.
On the other hand, combining all of these is critical, and this is where you’ll need personalized guidance and mentorship to finish your preparation and be exam-ready.
The ability to pass the exam is just as important as the knowledge gained during practice.
Aside from that, your daily habits and routines must be factored into your strategy.
Your UPSC strategy should consider your entire life, and you should set aside and plan for adequate sleep and rejuvenation time.
Make sure you’re ready for the long haul. UPSC will test every ounce of your patience and dedication. Make the necessary preparations.
The key is to take pleasure in the process.
The dedication and toil required for UPSC preparation may appear to be exhausting. However, if driven by a sense of purpose and commitment, it can be enjoyable and beneficial to personal development.
In comparison to those who lack it, aspirants driven by such zeal enjoy the process, are more consistent, and crack the exam easily. The trick is to identify the critical areas of the curriculum that interest you and devote daily time to them.
As a result, choosing an optional subject for mains based on one’s interests is advised. It will refresh you while also allowing you to enjoy the process.
It’s also a good idea to have a hobby and indulge in it once in a while while you’re preparing.
It will also help you in the Mains because the interviewing board likes to inquire about aspirants’ hobbies and how they pursue them.
What can you do to gain the upper hand?
According to Mr. Sumanth Makam, who provides among the best coaching from Bangalore, when lakhs of aspirants are preparing, it’s natural to wonder how to get a leg up on the competition in the exam or gain an advantage in the interview.
It would be beneficial if you were more proactive in learning more about the issues in the news and the topics covered in the syllabus.
The trick is to do what no one else is doing.
When you encounter a new problem or event, inquire about what, how, when, where, and what will happen next.
Using technology will allow you to dig deeper into the issues and better understand what is going on. You will have an advantage over others because of your general interest in the problems and experiences.
What if you weren’t able to make it?
Let us finally address the elephant in the room. Thousands of people study for the exam, so not everyone will pass. What if you’re one of those people?
Many aspirants are troubled by this question and are hesitant to address it. Then there are comments like, “If you don’t have a plan B, you don’t have a plan at all.”
It’s important to remember that even if you don’t make the final cut, it’s not the end of the world. Be aware that you will not be the same after the preparation. In some ways, UPSC preparation is a reward in and of itself.
After completing the course, you will know a lot more than someone who has never prepared for UPSC. The following is what you will see:
- World history
- Ethical principles
- Various philosophers
You will also be an expert in your elective subject. In some ways, you will be a better citizen, better equipped to address societal issues, and more likely to find work in a different or related field.
Aspirants can look for work in other fields once they’ve completed their attempts or even while studying.
Numerous examples exist of aspirants who quit their jobs to prepare, qualified while working, or went on to have a successful career after failing to qualify.
Maintaining a positive outlook on life and defining your purpose will always help you live a happy life.
It’s important to remember that it’s never too late to begin. It could be in any field you want to pursue.