How to prepare for the CSE?
The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is considered to be the mother of all written examinations. It is a curriculum heavy examination especially at the Main exam stage. A candidate, therefore, has to begin preparation for the Main Exam and then for the Prelim. This is so because, if one starts his preparation for the Main exam after the having written the Prelim exam, he will have just four months (June to October) to prepare the Optional subject, Essay and General Studies, which is almost impossible to achieve. The optional subject is of post graduation level and usually it will be totally a new subject. Based on the rich experience that shanmugam ias academy COIMBATORE . has gained by guiding Civil Services aspirants since 2006, we suggest the following course of preparation for the CSE. Let us take X as the year in which a candidate wants to sit for the CSE and X-1 as the year previous to the one in which a candidate wants to take the CSE. One can divide his preparation into two parts or two sessions Viz., June and July sessions.
Students who begin their preparation in June (X-1)
Start your preparation in June of the previous year if you wish to appear for the Prelim exam the next year. Begin your preparation of the optional subject, from the second week of June to October( 4 months) of the year X-1 and General Studies for both Prelim and Main exam from June of X-1 to March of the year X and take the Prelim exam in May or June of the year X. ). Prepare for the CSAT in either October (X-1) or in January (X).
After taking the Prelim exam, from June to October of the year X, you can revise your optional subject and GS and prepare the Essay paper before taking the Main exam in October.
The period from January to April and June to October of the year X, can be used to take a test series for the optional subject for the Main exam.
Kindly follow the steps shown below: (X-1 is Previous year) ( X is Exam year)
Step 1: (Start at least one year before you intend to take the Prelim exam). From the second week of June (Previous year) to October ( Previous year),viz. 4 months, prepare the optional subject and CSAT.
Step 2: From the first week of June (Previous year) to April (Exam year), prepare GS, both for the Prelim and Main exam. If time permits, you may revise your optional subject.
Step 3: From Febuary (Exam year) to May (Exam year), revise G.S and CSAT for the Prelim exam.
Step 4: From the last week of June to October, revise the optional subject, GS and prepare for Essay for the Main exam. The compulsory English and Indian language papers generally do not need any formal preparation. Join a test series for GS and optional subject.
Students who begin their preparation in July (X-1)
Start your preparation in July of the previous year in which you wish to face the Prelim and prepare the General Studies from the last week of July (X-1) to April (X) and the optional subject from the mid October (X-1) to March (X). Prepare for the CSAT in either in October (X-1) or in January (X).
Step 1: (Start at least eight months before you intend to take the Prelim exam).
From the last week of July (Previous year) to April (Exam year), prepare General Studies both for the Prelim and Main exam. From mid October (Previous year) to March (Exam year), you can prepare the optional subject. Those students who are capable of managing their time and schedule, may join CSAT also in October ( Previous year).
Step 2: For the other students who cannot take all the three courses together, should join CSAT in January (Exam year).
Step 3: From February (Exam Year) to April (Exam Year), revise GS and CSAT for the Prelim exam.
Give the Prelim in May or June (Exam year)
Step 4: From the lmonth of June to October, revise the optional subject, GS and prepare for Essay for the Main exam. The compulsory English and Indian language papers generally do not need any formal preparation. Join a test series for GS and optional subject.
Note: The above suggestions apply to vast majority of candidates who are preparing full time for the CSE, without taking up an employment. For other candidates, the preparation may have to be re-scheduled accordingly. They may consult the Institute for further help.
TO CLESR IAS EXAM IN YOUR FIRST ATTEMPT FOLLOW OUR INNOVATIVE PLAN
What is mission ias 2018 ?
UPSC civil services preliminary exam 2017 was proof that both aspirants and institutions should stay ahead and be ready to face challenging (and evolving) nature of UPSC civil services exam. You or we cannot take things for granted. Only option before you or us is to upgrade our skills – you through intensive preparation, and us through meticulous planning. The only option for us to stay relevant is to help you upgrade your skills by adapting constantly to needs of this exam. May not be perfectly, but since our inception, we have tried our best to bring out initiatives that meet demand of UPSC civil services exam
Learning from 2017 prelims, we want to give the best test series for 2018. When we say best test series, it doesn’t mean giving you probable 5000+ questions that might get repeated in prelims 2018. What we mean is getting you ready to face any kind of question with confidence. This is what was our intention in prelims test series 2017. Luckily our test series proved to be most relevant to 2017 prelims.
For 2018, we have even better plan to help you prepare well. Following points will help you understand some of the features of this plan and how it’s going to make a huge difference in your preparation:
- You will read all relevant NCERT books thoroughly. NCERTs are bedrock of UPSC preparation. There is no better way to read and revise them than by giving regular tests which are solely based on NCERT books (we started this, and now it’s a trend) But this time, you will read them Topic-Wise i.e. every week, we will devote each test to cover Two Topics. For example, Mock Test 1 will be based on Ancient History and Polity only. Each test will be a progress over previous test in terms of covering all aspects of a topic. You will find this feature excellent once you start preparing. You will see meaningful and natural progress in coverage of each topic (like Ancient to Medieval to Modern to World history to Art and Culture in case of History and Physical to Human to Indian geography in case of Geography part)
- Every test will test your current affairs knowledge thoroughly. Along with preparing for NCERT and Optional, you must daily read newspaper and current affairs carefully. Because every test will have current affairs based questions, you are compelled to update yourself with current affairs. As we are covering PIB and The Hinduregularly in every day current affairs, we suggest you to cover Shanmugam ias academy monthly magazine current affairs regularly (you may choose any other source of your liking too)
- For 2018, we are giving you weekly tests. Every Sunday will be a day that’s reserved for revision and taking tests. Big reason why many fail is lack of consistency in preparation. Weekly tests will make sure that every week will be useful and tight in your efforts to get rank in 2018. If you give up, you will lose. If you keep up with the timetable, you will definitely win.
- Weekly tests that are scheduled on Sundays help working aspirants too.
- After UPSC prelims 2017, many regretted not giving our tests from the beginning. They regretted not revising syllabus and tests often. Last minute revision will take you nowhere. Therefore after 3 regular tests, there will be a revision test. This test will have 50% questions from topics covered in tests prior to it and 50% questions from new topics that are prescribed to be read during preceding weeks. We have found out from our experience that giving gap exclusively for revision is not advisable. Many topics will left uncovered and the gap will affect flow in your preparation. What you need to do is reserve all Sundays for giving Test and Revision purpose ONLY. (To understand this point, you can take a look at the timetable and read this point again)
- Unlike last year, this year you will get adequate time for both reading and revision of topics. You will get two days to finish a topic or source. Moreover, we have made sure that prescribed syllabus is not bulky (For ex. you will get 2 days to finish Class VI NCERT History book and 3 chapters from Tamil Nadu Class XI History book, which is easily manageable if you give 5 hours daily for these). This will ensure time for revision too. And gives you enough room for Optional preparation.
- Fully integrated with Mains preparation: There will be weekly small Mains Test posted on Test Series website on Saturdays. A set of 5 questions -framed from static part – will be posted for your practice. Below, we will tell you how you can integrate Prelims 2018 timetable with Mains preparation (including Optional subject).
- More number of Tests: Considering the nature of recent prelims, it is evident that your preparation can not be shallow. You should understand topics both broadly and deeply. Through more tests, we can ensure this. Each test will let you know which are all the important areas that needs to be covered.
How to Make Most of Our Prelims Test Series?
If you have decided to give Prelims in 2018, you should start preparation immediately. Giving tests from Day 1 will boost your confidence. We have noticed that those who give tests from Day 1 improve scores drastically. For ex, if you are getting scores of 30-40 in first test, you will score 110+ in last set of tests provided you give tests regularly.
- Treat each Test as both Learning and Testing exercise. By giving a test, you test your concepts as well as learn new concepts or facts. Most of the students give these tests solely to Test their preparation. This creates problem. If you score low, you lose your confidence. Instead, treat each test as a learning opportunity too. After giving a test, same day, you MUST read all solutions carefully. That’s why, a Sunday should be kept solely for revision. When you follow our timetable, you will have to revise everything on Sunday. This revision cycle will help you immensely in remembering even minute details which is very much needed to choose correct option for a tricky question in exam.
- While revising solutions of our tests, don’t restrict yourself to what’s given in there. You have to explore links and learning part. This is another mistake many aspirants commit. In the end they expect everything to come out of these questions and solutions in real exam. If this is the case, you can just buy all tests in the end, mug up and give exam. Why struggle? Revising meaningfully and in-depth helps you in Mains too. Always read both from prelims and mains point of view.
- Give each test with good preparation. If you just give the test for the sake of giving it, you will not learn much. If you come prepared and give a test, you will learn better. Test reinforces your concepts. It lets you know how further you can study better. While studying you might miss some important facts or concepts, or you might ignore assuming those facts are unimportant, but when you see a question on these facts/concepts, you will realise what you were missing. If you give a test without preparing its syllabus, you will never come to know what you are missing.
Integrated Approach to Prepare for Prelims + Mains:
Now our Secure initiative is widely appreciated for empowering aspirants by letting them think independently and practice answer writing from comfort of their homes. Secure initiative, when combined with Prelims Test Series and Static Mains Questions, becomes a potent combination to help you prepare for Mains early during preparation stage. The confidence you gain when you write an answer is immense. If you make it a habit to write 3-4 answers daily, you will get better and better at facing any kind of Mains related questions in general studies papers.
- You should divide your daily time between Secure, Prelims Test Series Preparation, Optional Preparation and Current Affairs reading. If you are someone who spends, 10 Hours daily on studies,spend 2 Hours for Secure (to Write 1-2 answers after reading articles); 5 Hours on Prelims Test preparation; 2 Hours for Optional and 1 hour for current affairs. We believe that if you want to crack in one attempt, you must daily give 10 hours of your time for preparation (here, we are talking about securing a good rank). Of course, it’s difficult for aspirants who are working – they hardly get 6 hours. In that case, give preference to Optional and Test series preparation. Later, when you complete optional, you can focus on Secure.
- When you start writing Secure answers for the first time, it will take more than an hour to write an answer. Don’t worry. You must never give up. If you write answers consistently for more than 15 days, you will see gradual improvement in speed. After sometime, you will reach a stage where you can write all 8 answers in less than 2.30 hours (we have seen so many offline students do this). So, don’t give up thinking writing secure answers is eating up your time. Persist with it. It’s more rewarding than you would ever imagine.
- Once you gain confidence to answer 4 questions in 2 hours, keep 4 separate notebooks for GS-1, GS-2, GS-3 and GS-4. Answer at least one question from each GS section in Daily Secure Questions. These answers should act both as Notes and Answers for ready reference. Hence, add important facts, examples, data, illustrations to these answers. Also leave enough space to update these answers later.
- Every day, you must devote 2 hours for Optional. No matter what’s your level of optional preparation, spend two hours on your subject. Within these 2 hours, make sure you spend at least half an hour to write either a note or an answer (for a previous year question, may be)
- It is better to read current affairs in the night (but go as per your convenience) . Before you go to sleep, make sure you read that day’s current affairs and solve daily quiz.
- On Saturdays, we will post 5 static questions. Answer them in a separate notebook.
- On Sunday, revise whole week’s reading till afternoon and give the test in evening. Same night, revise solutions as explained earlier in this post.
Where is the Break?
Instead of taking one day break in a week, try to take small breaks every day. This is competition. If you take long rest, someone will outrun you.
Some of you might think it’s all hectic. But based on our offline experience and first hand
A total of 50 Tests (30 Mock Tests based on Prescribed Syllabus + 14 Revision cum Mock Tests + 6 Full Length UPSC like simulation Tests).
Revision cum Mock tests include 50 percent revision questions + 50% questions that are based on prescribed syllabus.
- everything will be in English medium.
- There will be weekly tests instead of once in ten days’ tests as earlier
- Weekly Mini Static Tests + Their synopsis will be provided in downloads section.
- Website is redesigned to give new feel and is made more user-friendly
- Category wise analysis: You can filter questions according to categories. This will
be easy for revision
- Category wise ranks: you will be reminded of your performance in each category in your dashboard. This performance assessment will be based on accuracy (number of correct attempts out of questions attempted)
- You will know who is the highest scorer in your dashboard. This will keep reminding you to score top marks in each test. You will be awarded Medals based on your performance.
- Updates will be sent to your email ID. Any announcement or new updates will be notified through mails.
- Once you login, you don’t have to login again. Unless you LogOut, you will stay logged in. No need to enter password and username again and again. PLEASE SAVE YOUR PASSWORD
- We have introduced Social Login too. You can login using your Facebook or Gmail accounts.
- Download Section will be regularly updated with all compilations in your dashboard itself (Previous year papers, Secure compilations, Current affairs, Quiz, Editorials etc)