An increasing number of engineers passing the UPSC civil services test has been noted as a trend in the exam results. This includes students from the country’s premier engineering schools, such as the IITs. While there is a significant difference between an engineering course and the General Studies courses required for the UPSC, both must be learned as part of the UPSC syllabus.
Factors to Consider before You Start
Due to the increasing number of sources available freely on the internet, you can easily prepare for the IAS without coaching.
# Once you have decided that you want to pursue civil service as a career, start your preparations. As a beginner, start by understanding the syllabus thoroughly.
#Once you have understood the syllabus, go through the previous years questions of both prelims and mains. This will give you a complete overview of what is expected in this examination.
#Since there are plenty of sources available these days, it is advisable to study from selective books. As a beginner starts with NCERT’s before moving on to the standard books.
#Choosing the right option and planning the right strategy is crucial to score more in the mark sheet.
Managing B.Tech and UPSC
Are you preparing for the IAS with a BTech?Since preparing for the IAS with a BTech is tough, prepare a schedule. Since juggling the vast syllabus of your engineering studies as well as the competitive exam could be nerve-wracking, it is best to plan well and stick to it dedicatedly.
Chart out specific times when you need to focus on your semester exams. Gone are the days when every aspirant had the mindset that only coaching could propel your success. With the easy availability of reading materials on the internet, preparing for IAS without coaching is easy!
Also, remember to read the newspaper daily. During your spare time, discuss current affairs with your friends. Starting your UPSC preparation so early is a good strategy. In the past, we have come across toppers who have cleared the UPSC exam whilst preparing for the same during their college days. Therefore, it is very much possible to start preparing for the IAS with a BTech.
Structure of the UPSC Prelims Paper
In order to apply for the UPSC Examination, the candidate has to be
#Graduate from a recognised University
#Undergraduates in the last semester can also apply
How to prepare for the UPSC exam without coaching? This is a common dilemma most new aspirants face. Previously when sources were not available freely, Old Rajinder Nagar was considered the haven for UPSC aspirants. It was a common trend that only those who could avail of the coaching had the higher success of qualifying for this examination. However, in recent times, with the availability of several sources of knowledge, an aspirant can clear UPSC without coaching.
The Preliminary examination is the first hurdle to clear. It consists of two papers namely GS and CSAT. 1/3rd marks are deducted for every wrong answer.
Structure of the UPSC Mains Paper
The UPSC Examination is one of the prestigious examinations that is conducted every year. It is held in three stages namely the Preliminary, Mains and Interview. Every stage is tough in its own right. The passing percentage in this examination is less owing to its vast syllabus and a wide variety of questions. Hence most aspirants begin preparing a year ahead.
Preparing for the IAS without coaching was unthought-of previously. In recent times, we have come across many success stories where the officers have prepared from the comfort of their homes. Since most of the materials are available on the internet, one need not venture outside the house.
The Mains examination is divided into 7 papers and two qualifying papers. In the Mains examination, Optional, Ethics and Essay paper hold great weightage when it comes to getting the desired scores. In order to ace the Mains examination, one must practice writing diligently. Getting it checked by peers is an effective strategy.
Topper’s Strategy: Acing UPSC without Coaching
Shivani Gupta was a Chartered Accountant by profession before she cleared the UPSC examination with a rank of 121 in the first attempt. Since she was working in a company, she only had approximately 9 months to prepare rigorously. For aspirants who doubt how to prepare for UPSC without coaching, Shivani Gupta’s success story is a great example to follow.
She reiterated that most aspirants are deluded that the UPSC examination requires several attempts to qualify. It is true that UPSC preparation is time-consuming and demands consistency but with the proper strategy, it could be cleared in the first attempt as well.
Why are Mocks so Important?
Mocks are important while preparing for the UPSC exam and it aids one to work on one’s strengths and weaknesses. Another important aspect that most aspirants miss is the strategy to revise efficiency and at regular intervals.
For those preparing for IAS with a B.Tech, it is advisable that they devise a proper study timetable and stick to it. They could utilise the four years of engineering to work on their writing skills. In fact, starting early could give them an edge over other aspirants.
Benefits of Self-Study
For aspirants who are thinking of clearing UPSC without coaching, read till the end.
There is no rule that attending coaching classes will propel you towards success in this examination! There is no need to waste your precious hours thinking if you should join some renowned coaching institution. There are significant benefits of self-study.
#First of all, you analyse your strengths and weaknesses and devise a perfect strategy for yourself.
#Secondly, going for self-study will train you to be self-disciplined in the long run. Clearing the UPSC examination requires single-minded focus and self-study could help you work on this aspect.
#If you are a working professional, self-study could be of great benefit for you. You could devise your own strategy and work accordingly.
#Finally, with the availability of several mock tests and study material online, you no longer need to hunt for resources. You can save your precious time and prepare from the comfort of your house.
How to Score More in GS Papers?
Since the scores in your GS Papers could be a deciding factor for your name to be on the list of qualified candidates or not, it is advisable that you take these factors with seriousness.
#When you start, read your syllabus thoroughly. You should aim to be able to write at least 250 words from every topic mentioned in the syllabus be it for GS or Optional papers.
#Go through the previous year question papers to understand the depth of questions asked in UPSC.
#Use the internet extensively to read current affairs. For subjects like Science and Technology, this could come in handy.
Some more Tips
#Jot down short notes on the digital platform Evernote so that you can access your notes from anywhere.
#One of the fundamental mistakes most aspirants make is- lack of revision.
#Prior lack of practice means you will feel mental as well as physically exhausted on the final day. Hence it would be ideal to practice answer writing daily.
#Perfectionism is not always ideal in every situation in our life. If you sit back to revise perfectly and then appear for the mock tests you would be wasting your time! Hence it is best to start giving mock tests with the same seriousness and regularity as you would on the final day.
Benefits of Coaching Classes
Since every aspirant is different, self-study could work for some but not for others! For those aspirants who are not disciplined enough, joining a coaching institution could be of great help. Since one could avail of lectures and study materials in a coaching institute, an aspirant does not have to utilise energy in searching for the same.
The guidance of experts in the field could assist them in working hard, stay motivated and clear doubts regarding studies. Despite the efficiency of the coaching institutes, not everyone can afford the services since the classes come at a hefty price! Hence, for students who are dedicated enough to work hard, self-studying could also benefit in a similar manner.
In this article, we have dismissed the myth that coaching is necessary in order to clear the UPSC Exam. We hope that we have been able to clear your doubts regarding how to prepare for the UPSC exam without coaching. In an article published on October 20, 2020, it was highlighted that engineers constituted 60% of the total officers selected. Despite UPSC’s attempts at maintaining diversity, the percentage of engineer civil servants was humongous.
Over the years UPSC has been trying to normalise scores across subjects and intake officers from diverse academic and social backgrounds. If you are a new aspirant, UPSC Pathshala provides guidance to assist you in making your goals come true. We have a wide variety of resources and mentorship to avail of.