The Three-Step Ladder to Becoming an IAS Officer in India

The most popular reason for individuals to opt for civil services in India is the prestige that comes with it. Few young people come with the hope of helping the citizens of the nation or addressing the problems that prevail in the country. Ultimately, the real motive and drive for becoming an IAS officer are defeated.

When asked, all the top UPSC civil services coaching in the nation say the same thing: an aspirant should not sit for the IAS exam with the thought ‘how will it help me?’ Becoming a civil officer is unlike having a cushy private job. The perceptions the life of IAS demands from a person are:

  1. Societal reformation.
  2. What can the candidate deliver to the nation and its people?

The job of an IAS officer is poles apart from corporates. Its limits are not confined to the scope of a company. Civil service is all about working towards bringing a positive change in the community as a whole and consequently the entire country.

All India Civil Service Coaching Centre Chennai Explains 3 Winning Stages

Now that the motive behind sitting for the UPSC-conducted examination is apparent, it is time to move on to the three-step ladder of clearing it.

  • The Prelims.

The first stage of becoming a civil servant is passing the preliminary exam. This test checks two aspects of a candidate:

  1. Basic knowledge
  2. General Aptitude

It proves that the right IAS candidate would be one who works on personality and the brain right from the start. And it is the juncture where most aspirants make a fatal mistake. They believe that learning everything under the sky adds to their knowledge, what they overlook is the fundamentals.

To pass this step of the ladder most coaching academies advise:

  1. Reading the NCERT books from cover to cover thoroughly.
  2. Solving questions that were asked in previous years.
  3. Reading newspapers daily to have the affairs of the world on your fingertips.
  • The Mains.

While flying through the first stage is a commendable job, the second is not easy. The main exam of the IAS competition is meant to test a deeper level of knowledge of the remaining candidates on diverse subjects. At this stage, the books and reading material are essential but equally important is the understanding of the society at large. It is why a civil service aspirant should not limit to academic studies. They should interact with peers and experts to get a higher and more comprehensive outlook of the nation.

Remember that a part of the mains exam is an essay; by working on what and how modifications can be brought to society your capacity to think and pen an essay increase. To clear this step of the IAS ladder here is what an IAS candidate should do:

  1. Don’t mug up current affairs. Have discussions about them to ensure they remain in your mind.
  2. Be careful while choosing the optional paper; it should either be of personal interest or a subject of previous education.
  3. Practice mock tests and previous years questions papers. This will help attain the required speed for answering all questions in the specified time succinctly and comprehensively. Practice here means writing down the answer for each question with a timer set.
  4. Do not ignore the essay writing; it is as crucial as studying for the general studies and optional paper.
  • The Interview.

The final step to be an IAS officer is the interview. It is also the stage that most aspirants look forward to, eagerly. This part of the UPSC examination is purely a personality test that is held before a panel of members. Most often there are five to six judges with a leading chairperson to conduct the interview which happens at the Dholpur House located in CP, New Delhi.

The panel of judges is made of members who each have expert knowledge on the subject of their choice and hold a specialised degree in it. Some examples of the people who make the panel are:

  1. Retired judges
  2. Former IAS officers
  3. Known lawyers

To pass the phase of the ladder, an aspirant generally has to show:

  1. Meticulous judgement powers.
  2. Accurate decision-making skills.
  3. To tackle even the toughest situation while considering the circumstances and consequences.

Clearing the Three Steps: The How

There is no set method for preparing for IAS exam. Each candidate has to find their own strategy. That said, to pass the three steps of the civil service ladder one must develop:

  1. The zeal to do good.
  2. The passion to be better.
  3. The ability to perform under pressure.

Every IAS aspirant has to bear in mind that the test doesn’t merely demand knowledge of the curriculum. Cracking the UPSC-conducted exam takes more than basic learning. Most successful civil officers are those who prove to have a strong commitment to the country, a love for its people and dedication to making it better.

Source by Uma Nathan

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