Get Set Go IAS

Prepare for IAS the RIGHT Way!

By Lazylord © IAS Kracker 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Get Set Go IAS

While there are many IAS exam related sites and blogs out there this ebook provides you tips to get an edge in your civil services preparation over your competition. This e-book is not about the civil services syllabus or examination plan but goes much beyond this. For the syllabus and details of the IAS examination you can refer the UPSC website itself. So I have covered these only in passing. Which begs the question, what can you get from this e-book? You will  Begin your preparation without any false starts and thus save valuable time and effort  Know exactly which books to refer for IAS  Select the right optionals within a short time  Save time and money by reading the right books and notes  Decide whether you require coaching and if you do then which one  Learn how to read newspapers for current affairs and GK  Gain inspiration from success stories of previous IAS toppers

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Get Set Go IAS

How to read this e-Book? While the chapters are arranged logically and in sequence, articles that are relevant from this e-Book’s point of view but which have been published on IAS Kracker or some other site are not included here to avoid repetition. Instead I have included them as links or under the tag of ‘Additional Reading’ at the bottom of each page. I suggest you go through these articles included under Additional Reading and even the other links as they are there to provide you additional insight into your IAS preparation. No doubt you will benefit tremendously if you read this way. Also at the end of this e-Book some bonus links are provided to free study material, You Tube videos of past IAS toppers, interviews and the like. Be sure to check them out!

Note: This eBook contains affiliate links to sites where you can purchase IAS books online.

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Get Set Go IAS

Contents How to read this e-Book?........................................................................ 2 What is the IAS? ...................................................................................... 5 The Civil Services Exam ........................................................................... 7 No Need to Fear CSAT ............................................................................. 9 Common Myths about the IAS Exam .................................................... 10 Is there an Ideal Time to Start with IAS Preparation? ........................... 14 Do You Need Coaching? ........................................................................ 17 Books to Refer for Prelims/CSAT ........................................................... 19 Books for CSAT Paper 2 .................................................................. 20 GS Syllabus and Question Papers: Your Best Guide for Prelims Preparation ........................................................................................... 22 Getting started with Prelims Preparation: Routinize your day .............. 26 How to Read the Newspaper ................................................................ 32 Can I Prepare for Prelims in Just 4 Months? ......................................... 37 Prelims Quick Revision Tips ................................................................... 39 GK ...................................................................................................... 39 Geography ......................................................................................... 39 History ............................................................................................... 39 Science .............................................................................................. 39 Economy ............................................................................................ 39 How to score easy marks in IAS Prelims ................................................ 40 What score is enough to clear the Prelims? .......................................... 41 How to Select the Right Optionals for IAS ............................................. 42
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If They Could You Can Too – IAS Success Stories................................... 50 Bonus Stuff! .......................................................................................... 53

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laws. But to understand the importance of the IAS we need to first take a look at the roles of an IAS officer or what an IAS officer does. and rules was introduced it would be impossible to govern a country of this size and IAS or the Indian Administrative Service is arguably one of the most prestigious services in India and is part of the Indian Civil Service (ICS). Thus the ICS was born in the late seventeenth century although the nomenclature came about only in the eighteenth century. independent India's first Home Minister and father of the ICS as it stands today. The term 'steel frame' was first coined by Sardar Vallabbhai Patel.Get Set Go IAS What is the IAS? iaskracker. The British realized that unless some sort of uniformity in administration. Far from it. which is often called the 'Steel Frame' of the country. Page 5 . But the IAS is not entirely a post-independence creation. It is the forerunner to the Indian Civil Service (ICS) that was created by the British to govern this vast and diverse country.

have to liase with different stake The roles that any IAS officer has to play are both multi-dimensional and challenging.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. Consider this: As an IAS you are responsible for the smooth functioning of an entire district. as the Secretary of a department in the Union government you will oversee that department in all the states from coordination and policy framework point of view. As you progress in the civil services ladder you will take on more specialized roles that are much wider in scope. Finally did you know that the head of the bureaucracy in India is also one of the senior most and distinguished IAS officer? Yes. But the functions mentioned above are not the only one that you will execute as an IAS officer. have to deal with drought and other adverse agricultural situations. even experience it. the Cabinet Secretary is the highest post that you as an IAS can aspire for and for the fortunate few. Rather these responsibilities will be entrusted to you at the early stage of your career. you have to ensure harmonious public order. you have to respond to any crisis situation that may arise unexpectedly. Isn't this interesting? Additional Reading: Learn all about the IAS Page 6 . For instance. How many people get to enact so many roles at the same time? Only those who choose to and have the mettle to realize their goal of cracking the civil services test. and arrange for VIP visits and many more functions.

com Now that you are clear about the duties of an IAS officer let's start knowing how you can become one. Indian Railways Traffic Service (IRTS). unofficially) you have to fill and send the CSP form to UPSC within the stipulated date. The results of the Mains exam are declared in March and the personality test or interviews begin in the same month itself and last for 35-40 days. Indian Revenue Service (IRS). and many more. The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is part of the Civil Services which also comprises of other high profile services like the Indian Police Service (IPS). headquartered at Shahjahan Road. Mains. To appear for the Civil Services Preliminary (CSP) exam (nowadays called the CSAT. Indian Foreign Service (IFS). The notification for the CSP exam usually comes in the second fortnight of December and the examination is conducted about five months later in May. The civil services examination is conducted by the UPSC once every year and the entire exam cycle is approximately of one year duration. Within this one year a civil services aspirant has to qualify three stages of the examination to emerge successful: Preliminary. On qualifying the preliminary examination you need to appear for the Mains examination held usually in the last week of October in the same year and the duration of this exam is about 20-25 days.Get Set Go IAS The Civil Services Exam iaskracker. The final result which is based on your score in the Mains and the Interview Page 7 . The entrance test to these esteemed services is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). New Delhi. Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS). and Interview.

Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. Additional Reading: What is the IAS Exam? Page 8 .com test (the Preliminary test is only of qualifying nature and the marks scored are not taken into consideration in the later stages) is declared one or two weeks before the next Preliminary exam in May.

If you follow the steps detailed in this e-Book to master the Prelims. Confusion about the safe score to qualify CSAT 4. But many IAS aspirants fear CSAT like death incarnate! Why is it so? Some of the reasons are: 1. CSAT will be fun to crack and not a nightmare as at present. I will show how paper 2 can be turned into a strength to score heavily instead of a being a bane. IAS aspirants have usually paid less attention to General Studies paper of pre and relied heavily on optional paper to see them through 2. Additional Reading: The New CSAT Syllabus How will the new Prelims/CSAT syllabus impact you? Page 9 .Get Set Go IAS No Need to Fear CSAT iaskracker. GS paper 2 has completely new topics like decision making. Heavy focus on mental ability in CSAT paper 2 But are these fears well founded? No. and comprehension As you know optionals are out from 2011 Prelims/CSAT and GS has been extended to paper 2 as well. logical reasoning.

And he isn’t the only one. Page 10 . Guess what he is today? A 2004 batch IPS officer. Karthik Adapa (2008 IAS topper). rest all things will fall into place.Get Set Go IAS Common Myths about the IAS Exam iaskracker. tackled. there are many success stories of those who managed to crack the civil services in spite of starting after crossing 28 Yrs. there are many out there who have been quite average students in their school and college life yet they have scaled the IAS peak. To clear the IAS you need to start preparing right from high school Good they didn’t tell you to start preparing from kinder garden! While the saying is true that “well begun is half done”. You can too. Even if you can start preparing right after your graduation or post-graduation that is early enough. and demolished before proceeding further as these myths can become mental blocks for beginners and may even cause a loss in self-confidence. What matters is the will and commitment. And even if you can’t for some reasons. there is little truth in the saying that only early beginners can clear the IAS exam. Just try. Did you know Mona Pruthi (2006 IAS topper).com There are some myths associated with the Civil Services exam that need to be exposed. XYZ obtained the golden score of 40 percent in his graduation and managed to appear for the civil services only because UPSC requires a simple graduate in any discipline. and Shubhra Saxena (2009 topper) were all 30 yrs of age when they finally managed to crack the IAS? Only those who have been toppers throughout become IAS Pooh. And how early is another question.

2006 topper took English Literature as one of her optionals so why can’t you? One should only select “scoring” subjects for Mains Frankly speaking what’s scoring and what’s not is quite relative to the person selecting an optional. Hindi. have become quite popular and have been fetching good marks recently. and your grasp of the optional. this is a cycle that is ongoing and all subjects are covered over a period of Really? In reality all subjects are treated on an even keel by UPSC. Literature Subjects like Pali. Obviously the above indicators should occur frequently for you to leave the optional for some other. Although it’s true that some subjects find more favour in Mains for some years before being replaced by some other optional. Mona Pruthi. A simple test to know whether the subject is right for you or not is to ask yourself these questions: a) Do you often fall asleep while reading xyz subject’s books? b) Does it seem like too much hard work to study that subject? c) Do you consciously or unconsciously try to avoid studying that optional and instead do some other reading or work? d) In spite of reading the same thing multiple times are you still unable to comprehend it? If this is the pattern you observe then that optional may not be right for you even if it is generally considered “scoring”.Get Set Go IAS UPSC is biased against Literature or xyz subjects iaskracker. People manage to score well with obscure subjects like Veterinary Science or Urdu Literature. In fact. Page 11 . Kannada. Once or twice or even occasionally is quite normal. What matters is your level of interest in a particular subject. Tamil. some background in the subject.

You will need to strive on your own for that. So don’t worry about attempts rather learn from your previous ones to do still better. Civil services exam is like old wine. Better means better preparation. Mona Pruthi. coaching is only a tool to keep you on course but you yourself will have to sail through the waters. Even if you somehow manage to study “18 hours” for two or three days your output will fall to three to four hours on subsequent days. So instead of such inconsistent ouput you should Page 12 . Karthik No it’s not a compulsion and many people I personally know have never taken any coaching and still managed to clear the civil services. If I don’t clear in the first two attempts it will be too late Did you know most people clear the civil services exam in their third or fourth attempt? Most of the IAS toppers give their final attempt when they manage to come out trumps. better answer writing. What matters is not the quantity but the quality of your preparation. The number of times you attempt it the better you get. You need to study 18 hours every day to clear the IAS Are you a machine? Can anyone realistically study that much every day with full concentration and still be able to comprehend what he or she has studied? I don’t think so. Remember. Yes. better perspective and not just more hard work. Just because you enroll in the most popular coaching institute for a particular subject does not mean you have become an IAS. Shubhra Saxena the list goes on. coaching can ease your hard work somewhat by providing study materials and simplifying concepts but in the end it’s what you make of the coaching you received that matters.Get Set Go IAS Coaching is a must for any subject iaskracker.

Page 13 . Once your mind and body can take no more.Get Set Go IAS go for uniform study every day. I for one studied 10-12 hours daily and managed to clear the Prelims in 10 months’ time. stop. Refresh yourself and continue the battle the next day. Even you can.

Page 14 . This way you will have only one subject to study from scratch for the IAS.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. the earlier you start the smoother your path will become when you give your first civil services attempt. But even if you graduated and/or did masters in some totally unrelated subject to the optionals you’ve selected or plan to take up in the IAS exam then fret not as you are in good company. When should you start your preparation? After high school. post-graduation or after gaining some work experience? Although there isn’t a single start time for all. In fact if you start preparing early you will be more confident to attempt the IAS exam after a year of serious preparation. junior college. Just start reading some general knowledge magazines like Frontline or Civil Services Chronicle or Pratiyogita Darpan and a good newspaper like The Hindu or Indian Express. If you plan to pursue your masters before attempting the IAS exam then be sure you select a subject that you can opt for in the civil services. If you are sure that you want to become a civil servant before beginning your graduation then you can opt for a subject that excites you and which you plan to take up for the IAS Is there an Ideal Time to Start with IAS Preparation? This is a common question and a good start for our IAS journey. If you can select both optionals right at the graduation stage it will be an added bonus but selecting even one optional will do. Not yet. Obviously you don't have to select your optionals after high school. Otherwise you might unnecessarily procrastinate for some years before finally taking the plunge. graduation.

Page 15 .Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. Even I selected Sociology and Public Administration (Pub Ad) while graduating in Electronics and Many IAS toppers did the same but still managed to master two completely new subjects in a short period. This is the beauty of the IAS exam.

Page 16 . If for example you’re planning to attempt the 2012 Prelims. This will enable you to cover the CSAT/Pre syllabus comprehensively as well as allow sufficient time to cover one mains optional before December end. But let's focus on the IAS freshers exclusively for the time being. which magazines and books to read. Keep the following reference books and newspapers in hand while preparing for the IAS prelims:    Civil Services Syllabus covering the Pre and Mains syllabus entirely Subscribe to a good English newspaper like The Hindu or a good regional language newspaper The past 10 years Prelims section-wise question paper set from Arihant's or New Vishal These three materials should become your best companions for the complete duration of your civils preparation. That Assuming that you are completely new to IAS preparation. The generally accepted civil services preparation calendar runs from June to May. freshers and veterans start their preparation from the first week of June.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. I suggest you start preparation from January 2011 itself instead of waiting till June of 2011. for how many hours? These and others are the common questions asked by IAS freshers who are taken back by the complexity of this multi-layered but fascinating exam. how do you start out.

It depends. Let’s take it one by one. Knowledge of the subject: If GS is completely new to you then you need some guidance to get started. Now if you don’t have the required material for it like the Crack CSAT book by Disha or Cracking CSAT by Arihant then you won’t know how to tackle the paper 2 related questions.Get Set Go IAS Do You Need Coaching? iaskracker. Depends on your knowledge of the subject. Logical Reasoning. But General Studies is quite vast and obviously you will know at least something. If you have only little time left before the Prelims. at least some knowledge of the current events. Let me say this again. study material. Or it could so happen that even books or notes on mental ability are insufficient as you have a non-science background. confidence. and time available. In that case some assistance to tackle the math-based questions may be This is the most common question asked by IAS aspirants and quite important one too. say 3 or 4 months. But something or the bare minimum is not enough to get going so you may opt for coaching if you feel you need to get on pace quickly. Availability of study materials: Sometimes it so happens that we don’t possess the required books and notes for Prelims preparation. Time: As they say time is the deciding factor in almost all aspects of IAS preparation or any examination for that matter. and you haven’t Page 17 . For instance mental ability has been expanded in Paper 2 and many new topics like Quantitative Aptitude. and Data Interpretation have been added.

keep postponing their first attempt year after year just because they lack confidence in their ability.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. It’s not that scary. preparation or both. in spite of possessing good knowledge of covered enough portion of the syllabus then you may need to enroll for a crash course to cover the scoring parts in quick time. Finally. Additional Reading: Which Coaching Class to Join? Page 18 . let’s talk about confidence. If you’re in the latter bracket you could consider coaching to boost your preparation but if you’re in the former then stop procrastinating and attempt the Prelims. while others genuinely feel less confident about the Prelims owing to lack of preparation. This is a crucial factor in the IAS exam. So many people.

M Bakshi Indian History:    NCERT Books. Class VIII to X India's Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra Spectrum's Brief History of Modern India (useful if you are short of time) Geography: Page 19 . nothing less.  Past 10 year’s Solved Papers and the IAS syllabus are a must.Get Set Go IAS Books to Refer for Prelims/CSAT Obviously you will need books to read for Prelims. not just for current affairs but a very good source for general knowledge as well The Hindu newspaper and/or The Indian Express A good magazine like Civil Services Chronicle or Pratiyogita Darpan or Wizard in that order of preference Indian Polity:   Our Constitution by Subhash Kashyap Bare constitution (containing just the Articles and Amendments) by P. Current Affairs:    Manorama Year Book. Refer to the chapter on preparing for Prelims using these two guide books to understand their relevance. This is the most definitive list of CSAT/Prelims books you need to refer. Nothing more.

you don’t need to refer all of them and different people will like different books so I have listed more than one book. nonetheless. Books for CSAT Paper 2 Fortunately IAS Prelims paper 2 requires far less books compared to Paper NCERT Books. Class IX and X General Studies Manual:  A good manual for paper 1 of CSAT/Prelims. Page 20 . Not as popular as Unique Publication’s book for CSAT but equally effective. I recommend the highly popular GS Manual by Tata McGraw Hill (TMH). (Also very useful for Mains) Spectrum's Indian Economy or Vajiram Notes for fundamentals General Science:  NCERT text books. Remember. Class XI and XII Oxford Student Atlas for Map based questions Certificate Course in Physical Geography by Goh Cheng Leong Indian Economy:   Economic Survey that comes just before the annual budget. Another good choice is the CSAT Manual by Pearson covering both the papers. Here I list all the popular books for CSAT Paper 2. Crack CSAT 2011 Crack CSAT by Disha is quite a useful book for IAS paper 2 as I have mentioned in this post.Get Set Go IAS    iaskracker.

interpersonal skills. comprehension are also covered Although there are minor grammatical errors in some sections I feel. overall.  Apart from these books keep your eyes open to news happenings around you as UPSC asks not just the latest current affairs events but even those two to three years CSAT Paper 2 by Unique By far the most popular book for CSAT. Cracking CSAT by Arihant Publications This is another good book for Paper 2 by Arihant Publications. Something about Unique Publications. Cracking CSAT by Arihant will add value to your CSAT preparation. And CSAT Paper 2 is no exception to this. Although it has been released quite late in the market I feel it is no less useful than the books listed above. Recommended Reading: Detailed Review of All Books for CSAT Page 21 . Although it’s not as popular as TMH but its books are trusted by many IAS aspirants for the comprehensive and correct approach to any subject.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. Unique Publication has come out with a comprehensive book for Paper 2 covering all the topics in the 2nd paper. The plus points of this guide for CSAT paper 2 are: It claims to be the only book to cover the CSAT Paper 2 completely  There are many sample questions for understanding and many practice questions  Difficult concepts are explained quite well to a beginner with nonScience background  Decision making.

keep the past five year’s General studies question papers and GS syllabus with you whenever you are preparing for the Prelims. Now you will encounter answers to the questions you just went through and pronto. Once you start your Prelims preparation. there’s more. then read or more correctly. But wait. study that topic. Page 22 . After selecting a topic to study from the GS Syllabus. go through the past five year’s questions from that topic before you read the topic.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. One of the first steps in your CSAT preparation is to develop a daily routine. you know that this part is important and requires extra GS Syllabus and Question Papers: Your Best Guide for Prelims Preparation Image source: Wikipedia Prelims preparation requires smart hard work as you must be aware by now. Once you do this.

If you found some questions that weren’t covered in your first reading go through the material again or even refer additional sources so that all questions are covered. Just see which questions you had some idea about but weren’t sure about the answer and which ones were completely new to you and had not encountered while reading the articles on Fundamental Rights.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. Let me give you an example. If you could answer all the questions Whenever you finish a section. If the material doesn’t cover it. no need to fret. Page 23 . again refer to the past year’s questions to see how many can you answer correctly. After you’ve gone through the relevant articles. refer additional books or notes so that you’re comfortable in answering all the past five year’s questions on Fundamental Rights. first go through the past five year’s questions on Fundamental Rights from a good section-wise handbook like Disha or Arihant (they have the most authentic answers). you should test yourself against the previous five year’s papers on Indian Polity and see how you performed.M Bakshi’s book for all the Articles as I mentioned in my post on IAS Books) for GS Paper 1. But if you couldn’t. you’ve covered Fundamental Rights part quite thoroughly. Suppose you’re studying the Fundamental Rights part of Indian Polity (BTW get Subhash Kashyap’s Our Constitution and P. Now go back to your source and read again covering the points that you may have skipped earlier. then go through the Fundamental Rights part.

Also not testing yourself mid-way is included within this. It not only Page 24 . You’re covering Modern India from Bipin Chandra’s India’s Struggle for Independence and adopt a ‘read all strategy’. because you have been solving the previous year’s section-wise questions all year through you won’t feel uncertain about your preparation level. can lessen your workload considerably in the long run and enables you to track your Prelims preparation very effectively. Test Yourself: Suppose you don’t have time left to enroll for Prelims or CSAT test series. the matter for which you never encountered while reading the History material. right Anil? Save Precious Time: Let’s consider a scenario. So you save some money for other important stuff related to the civil services. What is this strategy? Well. the GS Syllabus and Question Papers. Suppose you take 20 days to cover the book and then after some months you decide to solve some questions related to Modern History but you realize that many of the questions are completely new. Suppose you were preparing Physical Geography from the Oxford Student Atlas (Again the best one for reasons mentioned in Books for CSAT). You panic.Get Set Go IAS Benefits of this Approach iaskracker. simply reading a book from the first page to last without bothering to find out the more important topics or chapters from the lesser Continuous Tracking: These two reference books. you can track how well you have covered the map-based questions just after you started going through the Atlas instead of leaving it till the end of February or March which might be just too late for course correction. Instead you will feel confident about attempting the IAS Prelims even without the help of any test series.

On the other hand. Page 25 .com spoils your strategy but dents your confidence as well.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. adopting the above approach admittedly requires more effort but is far more useful for your Prelims preparation in the long run.

Step 1: Determine the average time you study daily To do this simple observe the time you studied in a week and divide that by 7. As you must be aware the Prelims is a 10-12 months affair and long-term affairs need some amount of loyalty as Getting started with Prelims Preparation: Routinize your day Yes I hate routine as much as you do but sometimes a little routine and regimen can do wonders to your Prelims preparation. Step 2: Determine the number of subjects to study daily Page 26 .Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. You should have an exact or approximate figure like 10 hours or 10-12 hours every day. Right? Well then let’s learn how we can schedule our day for maximal benefit in some simple steps. If you devote 5 or 6 days a week to IAS prep then divide by 5 or 6 as the case may be.

and help you to keep track of your progress more effectively. and Mental Ability etc. I used to devote about 70-85% time to the optional and rest to some section of GS. reading newspapers or watching news programmes is not included within this. Remember. Page 27 . finish it completely or at least a major portion of it and then switch to different ones.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. How to do this? While there is no one best method of doing this a simple way is to devote more time to that subject or section that you find a) more difficult b) carries more weightage in terms of number of questions asked c) has many topics to cover. Step 3: Divide time between the different subjects Till last year when you had study one optional subject. This is essential as finishing a subject in full will give you confidence in your preparation. Rather you should take up two or three subjects at most on a daily I know there are only two papers in the Pre but within each of them there are so many to cover like History. Some people try this but I don’t think it’s a wise idea to go for ‘study all’ approach. But now that both papers are GS based you might pick up one subject each from Paper 1 and 2 or go with both subjects from the same paper or one from P1 or P2 and two from P2 or P1 respectively. will enable you to tackle all the questions in a particular section completely. After you’ve done this. is pretty vast d) quite new as you’ve just started with it. Geography. Now I am sure you can’t study all of them in one day even if you devote only a small amount of time to each. that is. Obviously I read newspapers on a daily basis and didn’t count it within this time split. divide the total time that you determined in Step 1 between the subjects you will be studying daily.

Stick to it. maybe Data Interpretation. In any long term work program scheduling is important but even more important is sticking to the commitment you made to yourself. And for this you committed to devote certain amount of hours every day and then you committed to study one. you’ll have to wait till Jan or Feb to test yourself and if for some reasons you deviated off course then course correction might be too late. If you committed to clearing the IAS. For instance. If you cover only a small part of every subject. if you have been devoting 3 hours to study Modern Indian History every day and have covered a major part of it you might reduce the time devoted to it by 30 mins or 1 hour and allocate this to some other subject that you study alongside Modern The exact time to devote to each of the topics will vary from person to person. Also you can be little flexible in this. This way you can test yourself against past papers to know which are your strong and weak areas and rectify the weak ones.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. Step 4: Stick to your routine Now that you have a daily schedule ready. As I mentioned in Step 3 above some flexibility is essential and the odd day off is OK but don’t make it a habit otherwise you will see yourself lying to yourself and the commitments you made. or three subjects on a daily basis till you covered it in entirety. Benefits of developing a routine  Track your progress easily: Instead of doing everything in bits and pieces and struggling to up the loose ends learn to cover the major distance before taking up a new path. stick to it. Avoid this by finishing off a Page 28 . stick to it like Bees stick to Honey. two.

When you devote a consistent time and effort to a particular subject then you not only gain mastery in it but also develop immunity to boredom resulting from studying a topic for long hours.   Page 29 . And the right way to crack Prelims easily is to cover most or some subjects entirely than covering something of everything. Cover the scoring sections early: The Prelims is such that some sections like Indian Polity are easy to score  subject as quickly as possible and effective scheduling is a good way to do this. Build up stamina to devote long hours of study: If you thought only running and other physical activities required stamina. then other things are of no use. But by devoting long hours to a single subject during your Prelims preparation itself. Mental work is also included within the ambit of stamina. When you consistently devote X number of hours to a topic over a period of time. you’re indirectly preparing for the Mains as well. This will require prior practice as you could easily lose focus and indulge in time wasting tactics if you are bored of a particular topic or subject. think again. And the benefit of this approach will be quite visible during the Mains.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. you secure Y number of marks from it beforehand and this is invaluable. In fact if you’re mentally not up to the task of devoting 8-12 hours daily to your preparation. Prepare yourself for Mains more effectively: In the mains as you have to cover each optional thoroughly you’ll need to devote long hours and even days on end to just one subject.

com I am also aware that some people like to divide time in terms of days and not hours. For instance. Even this approach is fine as long as you’re sticking to your schedule to reap the benefits discussed above.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. you might study History for two days and Geography for one day. Page 30 .

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a mundane task that has to be done just because everyone is doing it. the most recommended newspaper for English medium aspirants. editorial Many IAS aspirants stumble in this enjoyable activity of reading the newspaper. Page 32 .Get Set Go IAS How to Read the Newspaper iaskracker. For reference purpose I will consider The Hindu. international events page. The Hindu or any newspaper for that matter can help you achieve four things:     Update your current affairs knowledge Build up your GK Prepare for map-based questions Prepare for Prelims and Mains simultaneously For current affairs Keep track of all major national and international events by reading the front page. The best way to read the newspaper is to enjoy it just like you would enjoy reading a novel or magazine. You can skip the local news section as this is irrelevant from the IAS exam viewpoint. If you read the newspaper with this outlook let me tell you will forget more than you grasp and waste valuable time to an activity that shouldn’t take more than one hour every day. and sports page. Reading a newspaper for civil services preparation should never be a chore. national pages.

following the Tsunami in Japan there was damage to the Fukushima nuclear reactor. For GK you should maintain a separate notebook or diary. learn to be in step. A trend noticed in the past few years is that questions on events that occurred in the last 15-18 months are also being asked. our national past time. Previously it was enough to focus on the last 6 months happenings but not any longer. earthquake magnitude but even the reactor and its location for Map-based questions. Now you should also know the major happenings of past 18 months to score well in the current affairs questions. So make a note of not just the Tsunami. It’s important to remember that in sports questions UPSC asks not just won but won against whom as well. For GK Take a look at this article from Hindu. Keep this in mind.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. major achievements of Indians in various sports and not just To keep track of the current events maintain a daily notebook divided either month wise and/or section-wise. Page 33 . Regularly list the important events in one or two sentences in this book. For example it’s not uncommon to find questions about the finalists or runner’s up in major Tennis events. UPSC is one step ahead of coaching institutes. Similarly when it comes to the sports sections try to follow all the major national and international events. It’s important not just from current events viewpoint but from GK perspective as well. For instance.

The red line indicates that Chernobyl nuclear disaster was the worst followed by Fukushima. The blue line indicates the current interest in Wikileaks whereas IndoUS nuclear deal is important both from current affairs as well as GK perspective.Get Set Go IAS This article is about the nuclear scare in Japan following a massive earthquake and resultant tsunami. It’s important not just from current affairs view point but GK as well. Page 34 .

Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. Whenever you prepare geography from Oxford atlas make sure you prepare with this perspective in Now take a look at this sports report. The highlighted parts are important from current affairs as well as GK perspective. Now you know to build up your knowledge base newspapers are as important as Year Book’s and Encyclopedia’s. For instance some question on Libya’s location or Japan’s island where Fukushima is located could be asked. Tackle map-based questions Did you know that not all map-based questions are randomly asked? Some are related to places in news. Prepare for mains as well Page 35 .

Page 36 . This is where editorials come Just because you’re preparing for Prelims doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for mains at the same time. especially those of The Hindu seem quite overwhelming to grasp at first.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. Let me tell the simplest way to understand an editorial is to just read it without bothering about familiarity with the article theme. This is understandable as editorial articles are about events that have become popular now or in the past. In fact doing precisely this will prove quite beneficial during mains. So if you don’t know about such events or the debate surrounding them you will find editorials quite difficult to understand. Once you’ve developed the knack of reading editorials you’ll start to follow and understand that is written in them. Editorials.

You have impressive general awareness. passage + mental ability questions can fetch another 100-130 marks. Suppose you are well prepared to score at least 130 marks in Paper 1 then even 50-60 marks in Paper 2 can see you through. If you’ve already prepared for mental ability. and Page 37 .com Can I Prepare for Prelims in Just 4 Months? Let’s see just 4 months remaining for Prelims…Yes you can! But as with all good things in life there are some conditions attached. Let’s see what these are: You’ve covered a major part of either Paper 1 or 2 As from 2011 Prelims both papers carry equal marks and we know that to clear the IAS Prelims. average score of both papers are considered you will need to score well in at least one of the two papers. polity. knowledge of current events. logical reasoning. good English language and mental ability skills This much can also see you past the Prelims qualifying mark as general knowledge + current affairs questions can fetch between 50-60 marks and English language. Obviously if you get just 50 in Prelims paper 1 and 60 in Paper 2 from these sections then you still require another 4050 marks from other sections. English language skills for MBA then paper 2 should be your strength. maps. You’ve appeared for MBA entrance tests and are comfortable with paper 2 syllabus One look at the new syllabus for Prelims and you’ll realize the similarity between Paper 2 syllabus and syllabus for Common Entrance Tests (CET) for MBA courses. decision analysis. I will suggest that with just four months remaining you should focus on current affairs.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker.

Get going! Page 38 .Get Set Go IAS general awareness in paper 1 as these take less time and can be prepared in 4 months’ time. You can then focus on the new areas in paper 2. Also you are relatively more confident than someone giving his or her first attempt. You’ve cleared the IAS Prelims before This is again an important factor to know if you can prepare for the IAS Prelims in just 4 months’ time. If you think you fit into any one or more than one criteria listed above. then surely preparing for the Prelims in just 4 or 3 months’ time will not be an issue for you. Why I say this is that having cleared the Prelims earlier you know exactly how to prepare for Paper 1 in the shortest period.

New Vishal’s Current Affairs is recommended. Focus on places that were in news recently. electricity generation. Geography: Concentrate on the maps. All important infrastructure projects in North East and India’s help in Bhutan. Speakers. imports. GDP. The Hindu’s annual supplement that comes in January every year is useful for current affairs recap. different movements etc. All Congress sessions and Presidents. Brush up earthquake and volcano facts too. Science: Application based. RTCs. Also brush up inflation basics. Page 39 . agri growth of the last few years. Nepal and Myanmar. principal crops. GK: Manorama Year Book’s GK section at the end. India. Also brush up the award winners. difference between DC and AC motor? Economy: Look up the tables in Economic Survey. chief trading partners. PMs. happenings around. especially. neighbouring countries. telecom density. Presidents. History: Focus on modern India. Current Affairs: The last 18 months current affairs. exports. etc. More focus on common sense than mugging up conventional stuff.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. Do you know what’s a 5-star rating AC. Agriculture production. how is swine flu Prelims Quick Revision Tips Here’s a quick revision checklist for Prelims that will be very useful to you. It’s short and to the point. Do a quick scan of India Year Book’s latest events section at the end. particularly. Have a keen eye and observe the appliances.

       Maps (10-15 questions) Polity (10-15 questions) Current events (15-20 questions) GK (15-30 questions) English comprehension (8-12 questions) Passage (5-10 questions) Statistical analysis (5-10 questions) Simply by focusing on these sections you can secure around 80-90 marks. This is even more important considering the fact that the optional paper is no longer around to fetch you easy marks.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. Page 40 . I recommend the crisp and to the point Constitution of India by How to score easy marks in IAS Prelims To secure some easy marks in the CSAT exam you need to first identify the scoring areas.M Bakshi. Cracking the prelims is so much easier then! For polity refer a good book with the bare articles and amendments.

Page 41 .com What score is enough to clear the Prelims? Now that the optional paper is done away with. Aspirants with scores of 200+ will clear the Prelims quite comfortably. But this common knowledge among IAS veterans and coaching institutes nevertheless. Of course you need to obtain this minimum score after subtracting the negative marks obtained. the cut-off will fall drastically. let me state it’s the average marks even though UPSC has never acknowledged this publicly. that is 40% marks. Thus instead of getting 160 in Paper1 and just 20 in the second you would be much better off securing 100120 marks in Paper 1 or 2 and remaining 70-90 from the other paper. A minimum score of 150-160. If you wanted to know whether individual marks of both papers are considered or the average. Still you shouldn’t only rely on one paper to clear the prelims rather try to get majority of the marks from either Paper1 or 2 and use the other paper to supplement the first. out of 400 should see you through.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker.

selection of optionals is out of the purview of this eBook but since many IAS aspirants prepare for the Mains along with the Prelims. But what does the Right Optional for IAS mean? I am sure it means differently to different people but what does it mean to you:      A scoring optional? The most popular optional? Easy to understand or which you find interesting? Subject with easy availability of study materials like books and notes? Optional for which one ‘best’ coaching is available? Page 42 .com Strictly speaking. I thought I should include something valuable to help you to select the right optionals for Mains.Get Set Go IAS How to Select the Right Optionals for IAS iaskracker.

Get Set Go IAS  iaskracker. In fact the average marks scored by Mains candidates in Pub Ad in 2008 Mains was 266 which is quite high considering that it is the most preferred optional among IAS aspirants. A Scoring Optional Most IAS beginners choose an optional simply because it is considered ‘scoring’. Some of the optionals that are considered scoring are Public Administration and Geography. taking Literature subjects as one. Page 43 . These four IAS optionals alone account for about 50 percent share of the Mains pie and the rest 22 optionals. A Popular Optional Optionals that come within this definition are Geography.  Subject with some previous base in graduation or postgraduation? The optional with the best results in the IAS exam? I hope I have covered all the points that majority of the IAS aspirants consider before selecting the right optionals for Mains. So let’s take them up one by one. and Psychology. you might consider only one of the above points as the basis for selecting your Mains optional or consider multiple criteria. While Geography has returned marks with 400+ in IAS Mains. Public Ad. many candidates have been scoring 340+ and 350+ in Public Administration in the past few years. But should score be the sole criteria for selecting the Mains optional or are there other related basis for selecting your mains optional? This gets us to the second point. Obviously. Sociology. for the rest.

Psychology has pulled. With this we come to another related question. and map-based questions. principles. I feel. You require limited coaching for Pub Ad as most of the syllabus involves self-study. are all popular optionals scoring or to put it another way are the not-sopopular optionals for IAS not scoring as well? Page 44 . But why are these optionals so popular while the rest aren’t so popular? Here are some reasons:       Subjects like Pub Ad and Geog have definite syllabus and Pub Ad has quite limited syllabus especially for P2 so you can cover it within 5 months or so. even scoring. simply because it is a combination of all the above attributes and also due to the fact that it is probably the only optional where only one name prevails for coaching: Mukul Pathak of Vajiram. Sociology is easy to understand and very interesting as the topics covered concern the very society we are a part This gives you some idea about the ‘popular optionals for IAS’. The History optional for IAS is quite popular simply because there are so many History post graduates and even graduates with history as a subject. Also we all studied History as part of our school curriculum and most of us found it interesting and some. Geography is a semi-scientific subjects and a favourite among Engineers and Doctors for its laws.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. No wonder so many IAS aspirants opt for it.

Mutyala Raju. Page 45 . The fact that they have scored well in both the optionals (that’s why they topped) and not just the popular ones proves that all subjects are equally scoring. So I feel selecting an optional simply on the basis of the coaching available is like saying ” I can never clear the Civil Services exam without coaching”. So choosing an optional based only on the scoring criteria is incorrect. Popularity has actually got nothing to do with the scoring potential of an optional. So how about the coaching criteria? Before deciding to select an optional on the basis of the coaching available first determine whether you require coaching in the first place? You must’ve realized this can only be determined after you’ve selected an optional. second being Pub Ad. Mona Let me put it bluntly. and Sociology. the 2007 topper took Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. read on. If you want proof. Karthik Adapa aced the 2008 IAS exam with Zoology and Psychology. the 2006 IAS topper chose English Litt. all opted for one non-popular optional. as one of the optionals. What’s common to all these IAS toppers? Except one. And once you become completely dependent on coaching then good luck to you as I have already written in my Mains 2010 GS analysis how unpredictable the IAS exam is becoming not just for you but the most well-known coaching classes as well. not before it.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. Shah Faesal topped the 2010 IAS exam with Urdu Litt. And let me also mention that if you read their interviews they chose the optionals based on their interest and background and not because they were scoring or popular.

He was already in the IPS that time and I asked him about the reason for choosing Psychology and he said he simply loved Psychology. it does help if there is good coaching available for the IAS optionals you’ve already selected. Veterinary Science. Nothing about the score or popularity. that’s why.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. and Mathematics have scored heavily in the Mains simply because they were so much in love with their optionals. People who have opted for the most obscure subjects like Literature. Some thumb rules for selecting the right optional for IAS Page 46 .com Of course. make sure you pursue it seriously and focus more on the syllabus common to your degree as well as the IAS Mains. So if you’re pursuing graduation or masters in any of the Arts subjects and plan to take it up in the IAS mains. This is where graduation in humanities really helps as the most popular IAS optionals listed above are included within the “Arts” subjects. Choosing an optional with some previous background Many people who’ve graduated or done Masters in some subject opt for it in the CSE. This is really helpful as you’re already familiar with the subject and will need to study just one subject from scratch. I had the good fortune of having a chat with the 2008 IAS topper Karthik Adapa when we had enrolled for mock interview at Vajiram. This point again proves that previous base and interest are more important factors in selecting the right optional for IAS than merely popularity or scoring potential.

com Excite you Make you know more about it Should not put you to sleep Make you think out of the box Have books available easily Don’t think about the score at this stage. If you still find it going over your head ask yourself why did you choose Pub Ad? Is it simply because of its popularity? I love xyz optional but i cannot answer the questions correctly The fact that you find the optional interesting is half the battle won. what should I do? Page 47 . Once you have mastered the syllabus and have adequate writing practice the marks will follow. I don’t have any previous base in any of the optionals or I don’t want to choose my graduation subjects.Get Set Go IAS The subject should      iaskracker. especially Paper 1 Remember. just focus on selecting an optional with the above qualities and remember this will differ for different aspirants. As far answer writing is concerned you might consider joining some good test series to hone your writing skills. Once you have enough writing practice marks will not be an issue. Some common queries I have chosen Public Administration but I find it quite boring. Pub Ad usually seems boring to most people but many fall in love with it once they have read and re-read the important books.

     Pol Sc. Don’t worry about the complimentary aspect. Actually every optional in some way or the other contributes towards the GS or Essay preparation. good. Suggest some optionals that will be useful from GS Mains point of view Again this is for reference purpose only. Ditto for Statistics optional Geography covers GS geography. Go for that one.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. I am sure there will be one more subject that will appeal to you. If you feel you can cope up with the subject then go for it otherwise try another one. The optionals need not be complimentary for you to crack this exam. environment and other related sections Page 48 . Some of the subject combinations that you cannot take up are:      Pub Ad and Pol Sc Geography and Geology Pub Ad and Management Two Literature subjects Sociology and Anthropology If you’ve already selected one of the two optionals for IAS. Which optional should I opt along with xyz? Unfortunately UPSC disallows us from selecting similar subjects. climate Simply go through the above thumb rules again and try reading something from the basic books of the optional you plan to take up. covers polity and India and the world part Pub Ad covers polity and governance part History covers the history part Mathematics covers Statistics.

I hope this section helped selecting the right optionals for IAS a much easier task. Page 49 . fun to learn is right for you. Both are just an indicator. any optional that you find interesting. Nowhere am I suggesting you take up the same otherwise what I said above would be idiotic.        Sociology and Psychology History and geography Socio and Pub Ad Socio/History/Psycho/Geog and Pali Litt. Every optional is equally scoring provided you have mastered the syllabus and the answer writing aspect. Don’t worry about popularity or scoring Law also covers polity Economics covers the Economy part of GS mains Socio covers questions on social issues as well as one Essay option Some popular combinations of IAS optionals This is just for your knowledge. stimulating.Get Set Go IAS    iaskracker. Pub Ad and Psycho Pub Ad and Geography Pub Ad and History To summarize.

that you didn’t have enough time. Rajasthan dream of becoming an IAS? But he did precisely this and fought for 15 long years to make his dream come true. think again. Since he was completely hearing If you thought your conditions were adverse.5 lacs and gained enough hearing to appear for the oral interview and scored the highest in the hearingimpaired category.Get Set Go IAS If They Could You Can Too – IAS Success Stories iaskracker. so what? People like Maniram Sharma are used to disillusionments in life. he faced many nature gifted and man-made hurdles. Since appearing for the civil services examination in 1995 and again in 2005. not to be outdone by adversity Maniram underwent a cochlear implant costing Rs 7. there were additional responsibilities. 2006. Get inspired! Hearing impaired. and 2009. he was told couldn’t be allotted the IAS but only the Posts and Telegraph Service. After all how could a deaf candidate whose parents were farm labourers in a remote village in Alwar. However. or lack of resources that are an impediment in your IAS success. Page 50 . His persistence finally bore fruit when he was allotted the IAS in 2009 after a 15-year battle for justice. I present here different success stories of people just like you and me who despite all odds managed to fulfill their cherished dream of becoming an IAS.

And determined. coming from a small village in Tamil Nadu where no one had studied past 10th standard. To realize his cherished dream he worked odd jobs as a waiter and billing clerk in Chennai just to stay focused on his goal of making it to the list of successful candidates. From rolling bidis to the IAS. He also didn’t let his previous disappointments in the Prelims stage itself affect his Till 2000. Page 51 . Dhananjay Wanjari helped the only breadwinner of his family. his mother. After all. what a journey! Coming from the under-developed Wanjari community in Gondia district of Maharashtra. So determined that he stood first in his class and went on to become a lecturer in a Mumbai college. In spite of failing to make it past the interview stage in his previous 6 attempts.Get Set Go IAS From waiter to IAS – Never say never again iaskracker. But the IAS bug did bite Jayaganesh slowly and surely. To his success then. roll bidis to supplement the meager family income. K Jayaganesh didn’t know what the civil services were. Jayaganesh was determined to give his best in his final 7th attempt. This despite the fact that he couldn’t afford any coaching nor even receive the right guidance from any mentor. becoming an Engineer was in itself a big achievement. But his ambitions didn’t stop there. And in the summer of 2008 the IAS light did shine upon him when he secured the 156th rank to make it to the IAS in the backward community category. But he was ambitious.

fight more battles. this is no mean achievement given the fact that they have to generally strive harder.72 per cent). they’re here to stay! There was a time when women civil servants were rare to find. In 2009 all the top three ranks in the civil services exam were secured by women. This proves language is not an obstacle in the IAS exam. however. 2009). According to The Hindu out of the total 4572 IAS officers all over India (as on January He pursued his IAS dream and managed to achieve it at the young age of 22 years to become the youngest IAS aspirant to clear the civil services exam in .Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. Of course this number is still on the lower side. Women power. 604 are women (Just 13. Not any longer. Page 52 . What’s more. Kiran was the topper among Hindi medium candidates. and need to prove their worth more than their male counterparts. Shubhra Saxena was the IAS topper followed by Sharandeep Kaur Brar from Punjab and Kiran Kaushal came third.

2010 Topper IPS Exam Eligibility IAS Exams Interview Questions and Tips Fun Quizzes for IAS Exam Remember to follow IAS Kracker on Twitter and Facebook for regular tips on IAS preparation. See you at the top! If you found this eBook useful. save the best for the last.Get Set Go IAS iaskracker. videos of interviews of past Bonus Stuff! That you’ve read this far implies you’re really passionate about cracking the IAS. All NCERT Books from Class I to XII Free Study Material Another Site for Free IAS Materials Video: Success in First Attempt Video: Inspirational Speech by Shah Faezal. Here you’ll find links to free notes. and other material that will add value to your Prelims preparation. And as they say.  Page 53 . Just for this you deserve some bonus. share the word and remember to leave your feedback on the blog.

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Get Set Go IAS Salary of an IAS Officer      Books for IAS IPS Exam Eligibility New IAS Syllabus from 2011 Prelims or CSAT Civil Services IAS 2011 Exam IAS Exams Interview Questions and Tips Page 55 .com/hub/How-to-Prepare-for-IAS-Exam http://hubpages.

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