How to prepare for IAS Mains?


August 10, 2017

Many times this question comes in the mind of Civil services aspirants after clearing the preliminary exam How to clear the Main exam Preparations for the Civil Services Mains Exam should start along with those of Preliminary exam. This is because there is much common ground for study, and there is little time for the mains exam if one waits for the results of the Preliminaries. It is a long haul and preparations should be done with persistence, over nine months to a year.

Choice of subjects

one of the first questions that has to be answered is the choice of subjects. Here the choice should not only be with regard to your interests but also with regard to the study material available. It has been found that even science and engineering students take up subjects like history, sociology, anthropology, geography, political science, psychology and public administration because there is a huge amount of study material available, which covers the entire syllabus. Even if your branch of study is different, it is advisable to keep in touch with one of these subjects which will help you when you start preparations. Start collecting books and readings once you have made your choice, select the subject in which you feel yourself comfortable take time while selecting the subject this is an important factors

The next step is to make a time-bound study plan, which would include not only studying the subject but improvement of writing expression. This is done by writing down the answers to the questions asked in previous years’ papers. Show these answers to someone you know, like a teacher in your college or university, parents or friends. You can take guidance from Rahul Sir’s RSIAS Academy .The academy helps you with the schedule making and provide you the exact required study material the study should be done according to the syllabus and also in the same chronological order as given in the syllabus.

The following topics need coverage for General Studies:

i) Current AffiarsNational and International
ii) Indian Polity
iii) Indian Economy
iv) Geography of India
v) Science and Technology
vi) History of India and Freedom Movement
vii) Study of thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore
viii) Statistics and General Mathematics Ability

To study current affairs, it is essential to read one national newspaper and The Competition Master. When you are studying the round up of national and international affairs, efforts should not be merely taking up the information but also to understand the issues involved. Go into the background of events. For example, the recent Lok Sabha elections threw up many issues. Get to know these issues and be clear about them so that you can answer questions on them.

Optional subjects

While studying for the optional subjects, keep in mind that there is no scope for selective studies in the Civil Services Examination. The whole syllabus must be completely and thoroughly covered. Invariably, some candidates organise their studies in a manner that they study one subject thoroughly, with reduced emphasis on their second subject. It is imperative that equal stress be given to both the subjects you have chosen.

It is also important to remember that the level of questions asked is of the Masters level examination. The questions have an added spin in order to bring out the grasp of the candidate with regard to the basic concepts of the subject. Hence, if you choose subjects in which you do not have a basic grounding, it would be advisable to start from simple books. After getting the grasp of the basic concepts, start with higher level study material. Here again, reflections on basic concepts and their application in real life is important. For best preparation and a success plan, it is suggested that the candidate make a habit of beginning his study by writing answers to three questions each day, one each from General Studies and two from optional subjects. Questions should be chosen from previous years’ papers and the answer writing should be preceded by study on the subject.

Most candidates do not have problems with regard to English and Hindi examinations and are able to qualify in them easily. However, it is important to have a good working knowledge of the two languages. In order to improve this skill, pick up a General Studies book and translate it into the language in which you are weak. For instance, if you are weak in Hindi, try translating important essays on current affairs into Hindi which will not only improve fluency but also the general knowledge. Another way is to write letters to friends in the language that one is weak in.

Studying for General Studies

Giving a detailed description of the optional subjects is not feasible here but we give here some suggested readings for the General Studies paper. Students should remember that this list is not exhaustive and they should choose the books themselves based on recommendations of previous successful students, teachers and guides, etc. RAIAS is the best IAS Class in Nagpur here you get the best study material for the UPSC preparations, IAS Preparation.