Step by Step Guidance for Preparing UPSC CSE by Dharmender Sir

First of all, I would like to congratulate you for showing moral courage to prepare for the civil service examination. IAS/IPS & other services are some of the most coveted positions in the country and dream careers for lakhs of youth across the nation. I will not give any hyperbolic assurances to falsely pacify your apprehensions. It is important to taste reality to its roughest extent and the sooner you do it better it is for attaining the objective. Though the exam is not tough but it requires strategy, planning, perseverance, commitment and honest self-analysis.

It will be relevant to recall here Kautilya’s teachings which he gave to Chandragupt Maurya – “When the goal is high, you need to practice sitting on the nails of discipline, consistency and patience”. Preparation for the civil services exam tests a person’s endurance – both physical and mental. A candidate will be required to balance things on multiple fronts.

Firstly, one will have to work on knowledge front. Knowledge is infinite and thus strategy begins with reading the syllabus in the notification carefully and circumscribe this ‘infinite’ into limits set by UPSC.

Second step is to decide regarding what material to read to ensure that all the topics given in the syllabus are covered comprehensively. Candidate will have to ensure that the material is decided in such a manner that both static and the dynamic (current affairs) parts are interlinked to get a holistic idea about the relevant issues. Material must be kept limited and focus should be to give it multiple revisions so that the topics are assimilated well which will help in improvising answers in examination as per requirement of the question asked. Assimilation of topics helps in preventing fumbling under pressure of exam.

Third aspect which a candidate must focus on is answer writing. Most candidates are reluctant to write answers. One needs to overcome this inertia and lethargy. Knowing things is not just enough. The only interface between you and the examiner would be the written words in your answer-sheet. Most candidates focus on acquiring information or knowledge but ignore answer writing practice. Acquiring knowledge is only half of the game. Rest half is how you put that knowledge onto the paper and produce good answers.

Answer writing depends on three components – Language, Knowledge and Presentation Skills. If any of the component is weak then a candidate cannot write a good answer. I have observedin one decade of my teaching experience that many candidates have sound ability to understand things and assimilate knowledge but they don’t have a hold on language which becomes a major obstacle in performing good in exams. Their language is not expressive and their vocabulary is deficient way below the threshold required to produce mature answers.

Finally, you must realize that you are the stone and you alone your own sculptor. Without taking responsibility, one can never achieve the target. Stop searching for someone to put the blame upon and boldly accept that it is your responsibility to create a conducive environment for your own success. Physical health is closely connected with psychological health and vice versa. Both need to be balanced. Connect your every activity with the final goal. Develop a resilient personality imbued with values and ethics. Have faith in your own self and give your best like a karmayogi with a stable intellect without letting the worry of fruit weigh down your mental capacities.

Take the plunge into the ocean and expand the horizons of your mind, find your pearl and make failures the stepping stones towards success rather than letting fear of failure limit the blooming of your highest capacities. Your fear will diminish when you look directly at the things that frighten you. If others can do then why can’t you!

With these words, I wish you all the best for onward journey of strength, success and service to society.

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