If you have chosen to read this, then I presume that you wish to begin your UPSC preparation at an early stage. I believe that the process of preparation for this exam can be life changing for many. By starting early, you give yourself extra years to relish the education, the learning, the experience and the maturity, which this process will impart.
Now, coming for logistics of the exam. The preparation process has 4 steps:
- General Studies, the static part
- Current Affairs
- Optional Subject
- Writing Skills
Now, let’s handle them one by one.
- General Studies is practically all that is challenging in this exam. It covers almost everything under the sky and requires some understanding and appreciation of concepts as well. It is very different from GK, and cannot be done by reading a number of Who’s Who kind of books. My suggestion is that you should start with this part immediately as it is the part in which you need to invest maximum time and effort and will get the maximum yield as well.
- Current Affairs might not be relevant for you right now, as generally, the news and events of one year prior to the exam are asked. But still, it will be advisable, that you start spending at least half an hour everyday with The Hindu. Just read it for fun as of now, with no agenda.
- Optional subject, I would not recommend you to even think about it right now. You are very young right now, and your interests and level of ease with various subjects will change as you progress in college. Apart form that, there is an outside chance that by the time you appear, the optional subject might be done away with. So, don’t put any efforts in this right now. Don’t even think about it for a couple of years.
- Writing Skills, is the MOST CRITICAL and most underrated aspect of Civil Services. In Mains, you are supposed to write subjective answers. Apart from that you need to write an essay as well. This requires the skill to be able to express yourself clearly and logically. This skill, contrary to popular belief, cannot be learnt in a month or two. You need to start practicing writing from right now, so that it starts coming naturally to you, as in the examination, you do not get any time to think.
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Author: Akshay Palande
Akshay Palande is a passionate teacher helping hundreds of students in their UPSC preparation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and double masters in Public Administration and Economics, he has experience of teaching UPSC aspirants for 5 years. His subject of expertise are Geography, Polity, Economics and Environment and Ecology.