Civil Services Preliminary Exam Tips and Tricks
An illustrious career in the Civil Services , if that’s your goal then its time to prepare as the first hurdle is coming up! The UPSC conducted Civil Services Preliminary exam, also known as Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), qualifies you to attempt the Civil Services Mains exam which when cleared successfully will land you a position in the esteemed Civil Services. It may get confusing about how to study, here are some tips!
The Civil Services Preliminary Examination consists of 2 Papers of 200 marks each. The Papers are objective type with multiple choice questions and are to be completed in 2 hours each.
Paper I: General Studies
Current events of national and international importance, History of India and Indian National Movement, Indian and World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic geography of India and the World, Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc. Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc. General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change, General Science.
Paper II: General Aptitude
English language comprehension, Interpersonal skills including communication skills, Logical reasoning and analytical ability, Decision making and problem solving, General mental abilityo Basic numerical ability of Class 10th level (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc.) Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc, English Language Comprehension skills, Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills
Its easy to get overconfident as ranks in the Preliminary Exams are not considered and only a pass is required however its important to put your full efforts in preparation.
The style of syllabus in both Papers is different and accordingly your preparation strategy should also be adjusted. Paper I stresses on memory and retention skills while Paper II tests your conceptual and problem solving skills.
Create a study schedule and adhere to it
Prepare a chart/diagram for Paper I that will help you understand the interlinking of the topics and make remembering them a lot easier
Write short notes point-wise for important topics to help you prepare
Use flash-cards to remember definitions
Current affairs are very important so its necessary to stay updated with Newspapers, magazines and the internet
Don’t focus only on the last year, you should be aware of important events over the past 5 years
Study the political science, economics and history portions from Class 10th and Class 12th books but don’t spend too much time going in detail
Use mnemonics to remember details
Revise for Paper I every day so you do not get out of touch with the study material
To prepare for Paper II its important to remember that all concepts are based from Class 10th
Revise mathematics and English Grammar from your Class 10th books
Time is very important to make sure to improve your speed when you answer questions
Widen your reading to help with English Comprehension
After reading a passage summarize it in points to improve with comprehension
Solve puzzles to help with logical thinking
Practice sample papers/ previous year papers and model questions to identify patterns and your weak areas
General Studies is a topic that is not easily exhausted; its important to keep updating your knowledge throughout