I am just an average student. Can I crack the IAS exam

I am just an average student. Can I crack the IAS exam?

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Yes. You can crack the IAS exam. Past academic performance hardly matters in civil services examination. Except that it may affect your confidence level.

In fact there are numerous examples of people who had done academically poorly but qualifying the exam each year and also many candidate with excellent academic record and profile but not able to qualify it. So it’s totally depend on your preparation. Just ensure they you are utilising your time affectively. You can follow what toppers do. Not exactly 100% but below points may help you deciding your strategy.

Some Characteristics of Toppers in CSE

  • They first go through the CSE Syllabus and previous years CSE question papers to understand the pattern and demand of the examination.
  • They read newspaper religiously every single day without fail. Usually make their own short notes.
  • They know what to read and what not to read. Minimum resources and maximum revision is the mantra for success in CSE.
  • They never ignore basic resources such as Newspaper, NCERT books, Laxmikanth, Budget and Economic Survey, PIB, PRS etc.
  • They solve test papers before actual exam. Be it Prelims or Mains.
  • They do answer writing practice for GS Mains and Essay.
  • Usually they attempt all questions in GS Mains (even with average answers).
  • They don’t do PhD on one topic. Serious aspirant try to touch all topic but don’t spend excessively on single topic.
  • They choose their optional based on their interest and not based on popularity. They avoid herd mentality.
  • They don’t depend too much on coaching institutes. In reality, we have at least 1000 IAS coaching institutes but only 180 people can become IAS. So role of coaching institutes is minimal.
  • They compete with themselves and not with others. This is their source of motivation.
  • They do better time management. They make a study schedule and stick to it. Study schedule ensure that they are in the right direction of preparation.
  • Successful candidates log off from social media, avoid going to parties too often. In reality, they avoid all distractions.
  • They focus on their work i.e. preparation rather than results, cut off marks, number of seats, optional removal and so on.
  • They keep working on their weak areas and thus keep improving.

You may also go through study schedule followed by me during exam preparation and make your own customised schedule. Just making a grand schedule won’t work. Try to follow it strictly everyday. And also focus on long term targets.

Answered on October 9, 2019.
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