Appearing for Civil Services? Here’s how it works!
The Civil Services exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) each year. UPSC through this exam selects candidates for different services in the government such as Indian Administrative Service, Indian Revenue Service, Indian Foreign Service and more. There are three rounds starting with the preliminary round which is objective, the main round which is subjective and finally the interview which is conducted by a panel. It is one of the most competitive exams in India. Approximately three lakh aspirants appeared for the exam in 2018 for under 1000 vacancies. Here are the different aspects that you can prepare for:
- Preliminary round: This is the first round covering two papers. The first paper tests a candidate’s knowledge on current events, politics, national movement and history of India, environment ecology, social and economic development, general science, and world geography. The second paper consists of numerical ability, comprehension and problem solving. Prepare from last years’ question papers, build a clear understanding of concepts and perhaps join a Prelims test series to keep yourself on track.
- Mains: You shouldn’t wait for the prelims results to start preparing for Mains. The mains examination covers nine papers, out of which seven will be counted for merit and the other two (language papers) just have to be qualified. To improve your knowledge, read newspapers and editorials, keep track of current affairs, and NCERT books. To clear Mains you need to know how to write crisp answers and essays and approach the question from various dimensions. A strong understanding of history and current events will help you provide relevant examples and rationale in your essays.
- Interview preparation: This round is a conversation that covers the personality and overall profile of the candidate. You can start by preparing what you’ve written in your Detailed Application Form. The idea is to know yourself and how to present your thoughts clearly. You can take mock interviews with experts or prior applicants. Be calm and confident while delivering your responses. Don’t get stressed if you don’t know all the answers. Focus instead on sharing what you do know and backing it up with examples.
In the Prelims, you need to secure a certain percentage to qualify for the Mains. The Mains are marked out of 1750 marks and those who qualify the Mains are called for an interview which is scored out of 275 marks. In the end a ranking is done and students are offered different services based on their rank. They are then sent for training, after which they are allocated different locations. It’s a rigorous process, so prepare well!