The Civil Services is the most sought after profession in the country; almost everyone while growing up dreams of being a high ranking Civil Servant or other any other position in power. Being a civil servant, has immense responsibility and the citizens of the country have high expectations from the officer. But before we answer ‘how’ to crack the Civil Services examination, you must first know to ‘why’ you want to become a Civil Servant? This is because a clear idea of ‘why’ works as an important driving force and creates the thirst that is required for clearing the UPSC Civil Services examination.
After having attained the answer of ‘why’, you may get down to ‘how?’ In this regard, it should be remembered that the General Studies plays a very important role in the whole scheme of UPSC examination, whether it is the preliminary, mains, or the interview. While the General Studies is the most crucial element of the UPSC examination, it is not taught as a discipline anywhere. You may be an engineer or a doctor; still it is unlikely that you have been taught General Studies as a discipline.
UPSC gives absolutely equal chance to all candidates and you have an equal chance to write your career afresh. As you start this journey, do not spend too much of your time on deciphering the trends of Civil Services examination. All you need to do is indulge in a ‘transactional study.’ It means that during your study, you should not only be concerned about how much you study, but should be equally aware of how much you have learnt. You can ensure that by applying effective ‘retrieval methods.’
Preparation for Civil Services is a marathon which you can win only by continuously fuelling it with passion. As you travel along the route of Civil Services, there could be times when you might feel low and enervated. During these times, do not lose hope or feel disheartened, stay resilient and determent and you will come out stronger. Remember, this is one journey of your life when you need ‘yourself’ the most.
Remember, it is your bounce-back potential that will make you successful in your life. It doesn’t matter how high you go, what matters is how high you go when you are thrown down. The best way to feel motivated is through positive reinforcement – a behavioural process where you reward yourself after completion of a task in hand. For reaching your goal, you must plan liberally and implement brutally. This, along with the priority management is sure to make the difference.
To succeed in the Civil Services examination, your goal should be very clear. Once you have decided your goal then your behaviour should be in sync with that goal. You may have heard about the ‘pursuit of happiness’, but what is needed to become an IAS is the ‘happiness of pursuit.’ When you enjoy the journey you are more likely to reach your destination, and sooner.
(The author is founding director of Khan Study Group)