Prepare for Civil Service Exam while doing Graduation



CSE while studying for Graduation


If you happen to be one of those lucky people who have, from the very beginning, known that IAS is your life goal, this methodology will work best for you. In this series of three articles, discussing the various schemes of preparation including for those in job and for those who are dropping out to prepare. Here we have comprehensively discussed the pros and cons of the graduation-strategy. However, the timetable and booklist happens to be suggestive and can be changed according to one’s needs.


The best part!!


The best part of this preparation strategy is TIME. Even if Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) does not want you to be an expert, the Civil Service examination values both- maturity in writing and depth in one’s knowledge, this will work out in your favour as while the other aspirants will be skipping upon a a lot of resources owing to the lack of time, my dear, you will not only be able to cover the syllabus but will also be able to be thorough with your understanding. Furthermore, if you face any immediate problem, your college teachers or seniors can be of quick help. While you may decide to enjoy a year or two of your college life, if you start preparing while in third or fourth year, even then it will give a speedy headstart to your preparation.


Also See : UPSC Exams


Time table

While you might have time in abundance, it is its management that will make sure that the preparation done during this period turns out to be fruitful. What this exam demands is SMART WORK and not sitting at your desk day and night. A three-four hour slot for CSE specific study will suffice. You need to have a set time table according to which you get ahead with the provisioning of time.

The best way forward is to follow the former IAS Roman Saini’s 45 days strategy where you can start from the very scratch and gradually get to the advanced level readings.



A humble suggestion would be to start with the very basic of readings, probably with:

Class 6th-10th  NCERT Books: All subjects- SCIENCE, SOCIAL SCIENCES, even MATHS because CSAT checks numerical aptitude equivalent to Xth level . If you are a science student then you may skip the class 10th, 11th and 12th Science because your basics must have already been cleared.

But it is a MUST that you read the Social Science stream books of Class 11th and 12th of Political Science, History, Sociology and Economics; and if you are not a student with Science background, you must definitely go through the Class 9th and 10th NCERT and a few chapters of class 12th NCERT Biology.

Advanced Readings: Once done with the basics, go ahead with the advance readings of all the subjects. Also, keep checking the Previous Year’s Question Papers in order to keep track of your preparation.


Optional subject:

Here comes the easy part for those with lots of time in their hands, if you are a Humanities student, it gets very easy for you to choose the subject- the one that you are majoring in or specialising in your undergraduate degree. This will have manifold benefits for you: It will help you with your college studies as you will be more interested, more concerned and more into the subject as this will be your ‘The Optional Subject’ as well. You will also be assisted in clearing the very base of the subject for you won’t have to hurry up like students who will prepare in 1 year along with their GS paper preparation. More so because college semester examinations will work like test series, they will check your writing abilities, conceptual clarity and will evaluate you accordingly, enabling you to address the mistakes that you made. Also they will help you in improving writing style.

If you are not a Humanities student then you may utilise this time to see whether the object that you’re majoring in or specialising in your undergraduate degree is interesting enough, or if you are comfortable enough with it to take it as your optional subject.

If not, then you will have ample of time to look through different subjects in which you think you will be comfortable enough. You may also get ahead with elementary readings of the basics of the subject. You will also have the chance to change the subject if you think that the chosen subject is not good enough. Our suggestion will be to choose your major subject even if you think it is a little tough. Just for the sake that your teachers and seniors will be able to guide you through.

You first need to go through the syllabus very well, after which you will realise some parts that go along side your current syllabus, you may read books that are prescribed by your college or if facing any problem then you can consult your teachers, I’m sure they’ll be helpful enough.


General Awareness

This is the most problematic area of the preparation, this will need updating your static portion with the dynamic part constantly through the preparation. More so because duration of your preparation is longer than the rest, you will have to cover a larger area of general awareness by Hindu, Yojana or any other online material.

Understand that though the important part will have to be covered but keep the fact in mind that UPSC asks questions from the immediate year before the year that you will be appearing in.  Prepare GS with a view so that you have the background of the things that are in news and that the knowledge does not seem superficial.



Understanding the pattern of this exam is very important and the only way to do that is to go through the syllabus thoroughly. The only thing that you need to learn in this exam is the syllabus, this is so as to prevent you from going through things that are not required and miss the things that are.This exam requires selective reading of the things which are ‘exam important’. Providing of this understanding of what is important and what is not is the only thing that the coaching institutions do.

With the hype around this examination and understanding its level of difficulty, the first question that comes to every aspirant’s mind is whether to join a coaching or not! If coaching is easily available in your area then you may join it but if you live where you do not have a renowned coaching institute then too no issues! There are numerous online sources where alot of qualified people are providing guidance to the aspirants, be it study material or clearing of doubts. For instance, the best so far is Unacademy, set up by Roman Saini, who got rank 18 in UPSC CSE 2013 in his first attempt. It has proved to be a very valuable platform for those who cannot avail the facility of a good coaching.


A word of caution: Being neglectful of your graduation studies and its results should not be done. Maintaining balance between the studies and routine of your college, and that of UPSC CSE preparation is very crucial. This time of struggle will check your metal as well as your managerial capacities that are very much required in a bureaucrat. Be patient and keep pushing yourself.


Happy Preparation, guys!


Author: Anushka Mishra