In recent times the Civil Services Examination has been transformed and the way aspirants look at it has also changed dramatically.
So, what used to be approx. from 1 year to 3 years’ time period for sound preparation; now, a large section of candidates keep minimum one to one and half years time-frame for preparation.
What has changed?
With lots of awareness around and advice from successful candidates, it is not difficult to make your game-plan and guidance from trusted coaching institute with a hands-on learning approach, it has become easier to manage the preparation-plan.
While you are exploring about appropriate time period required for effective preparation, the first thing and an important thing to remember is that to succeed and even to survive this long selection process, in addition to talent, you need strong resolve and commitment.
It varies from person to person and depends upon a few factors your educational background, environment and your capabilities which determine how much time you need to prepare well for this examination.
It is 'You' who has to perform
The understanding of the concept of examination, your attitude, focused hard work, commitment and the pace at which you are able to learn and absorb information coming your way, all these aspect contribute a lot in chalking out your plan for preparation.
At any point of time if you feel stuck, don’t hesitate to reach out to people you trust, your teachers, your friends, your seniors to get valuable feedback and the timely advice would help you in understanding what is stopping you.
An estimation of sufficient time-span required:
It has been observed that those who are quick to adept to examination requirements and have calibre require 6-12 months’ time to prepare.
Opting for the subject that has been read in graduation and even in higher studies as optional subject can help it manage rapidly.
Many engineering/medical background candidates sometimes makes cross-domain shift and opt for a new subject leaving their own. Some fresh aspirants as part of strategy opt for optional subject that is new to them can keep 6 months additional time.
For an effective preparation one should safely keep approx. 12 to 18 months’ time period to get acquaint with the General Studies syllabus as well as optional subject.
Aspirants who don’t know much about the examination requirements, Hindi and vernacular languages candidates who face study-material paucityin their language thus depend upon English material to be translated for making self-notes and those from rural background take a little longer time to prepare and face it confidently.
So, for a common candidate, approx. 1 year to 3 years’ time period is required for sound preparation.
My advice would be to take your first attempt when you are done with complete syllabus (Prelims+Mains) and feel mentally ready to take examination. You aim to clear it in your first attempt rather than appearing in examination just for having a feel of it and wasting one valuable attempt.
Start and continue
For fresher, the best strategy to start thinking about future career life is to plan from 10+2 level.
Tina Dabi (AIR 1; CSE 2015) has set the example and showing focus towards the goal at an early stage helped her realize the dreams.
What to do ?
You should begin with basic books and move slowly along the path.
One more thing necessary for Civil Services Examination preparation is cultivating habit of reading newspapers daily.
Under this long term plan you can choose your subject during Graduation and can have a competitive edge over others.
Maintain consistency; but, don’t strain too much so that the preparation doesn’t look burden.
The pattern of examination, a glance at past year’s Preliminary and Mains Examination papers guide you about the examination requirements and can help you assess, where you stand and how much you have to cover.
Take stock of the resources you have at regular intervals and accordingly prioritize your requirements.
Don’t be afraid; start and gradually you will realize that the charm of ‘Civil Services’ will keep you engrossed in this long preparation period.