Tips to prepare for Provincial Civil Services along with IAS exam preparation 1

India’s most coveted Civil Services Examination has never been an easy nut to crack. But the dedicated minds of our progressing Nation leave no stone unturned to crack even this competitive most examination, often in one go! Now, will you believe if we tell you that there are students who prefer syncing State PCS & IAS exam preparation and even succeed with all their might!

Candidates aspiring for Civil Services often test their luck at the state services too, due to the less difficulty level in state services exam as compared to Civil Services Exams. Whatever be the reason, this article has been written under experts’ guidance to help aspirants who wish to make their PCS and IAS exam preparation in sync.

If you are looking for experts’ guidance to begin your IAS exam preparation, Here’s what we have to refer you 

Since, both the exams see a vast syllabus, candidates face curtailment with time & preparation plan for each. Let’s give this preparation, a strategized direction for dedicated spadework & magnificent performance in both, the State PCS & IAS Exam preparation
  1. Read your Syllabus: Having known that both the exams have a vast syllabus, it is strongly advised that you must first read your syllabus and understand them both in detail. This will not just help you comprehend your curriculum, but also in making an understanding of all the aspects that a question could be framed around.
  1. Find the Commonality: There is a lot of similarity in the syllabus for both the exams and it will be pleasantly surprising for you to find how the syllabus for each of these exams can complement the synchronized preparation, making the learning process easier for you!
  1. Assess your groundwork with Previous Year Papers: It will sound old-school advice to you but the importance of solving previous year papers goes unparalleled, no matter how easy or tough an examination is. Previous year papers will give you much insight into the style & pattern of the exam along with an understanding of how questions are framed from the syllabus. In this case, while preparing for State PCS & Civil Services Exam together, previous year papers will always play a crucial role in understanding the difference between how questions are asked in State & Civil Services Exam.

For instance, in CSE you might find generic questions related to any topic of local, National or International Relations like National Policies, etc., whereas, in State Services Examination, you will find more questions regarding the State Specific topics like State Policies, funding for the state, regional language, etc.

  1. Contemplate the difference & work on the same: After having judged what is similar about the subjects and covering it all, shift your focus on the topics that are entirely different or the depth into the subject plays the variance. The major difference will be in the Current Affairs based generic knowledge for both the exams. Where Civil Services will require your attention to cover Major National & International news and advancements, while, on the other hand, State PCS will expect you to study more in-depth topics for state-specific news and advancements. 

#Tip – Give preparation priority to the exam that is falling first on the scheduled calendar.  

  1. Command over regional language for State PCS: A few states require knowledge of regional languages in all the stages of the exam, which is not the case with Civil Services Exam. Hence, spare good time to build a strong hand on the language that could particularly be asked in your State PCS Exam.

* In case you are wondering what language could be asked or does that even happen so in your preferred State PCS Exam, grab your syllabus right away and re-read it properly. Everything that will be asked, and how, is mentioned in the syllabus issued for the State PCS Exam.

  1. Make Notes, it is crucial: Since the very childhood, we are taught to make notes on every important topic & its aspects. Reasons are obvious as well. The same strategy works wonders for the State & Civil Services Exams. Make notes for everything important, and make sure your notes include your understanding in your own words and not a mere photocopy of the textbook information.

Important Points to remember:

  • Make separate notes for State PCS & CSE curriculum, to avoid any confusion during your PCS and IAS exam preparation. However, you may make a single notebook for the common topics with same depth and velocity.
  • Current Affairs are crucial for both the exams, in different depth though, and hence, you must make notes for both, separately, so that your notes may suffice your purpose during the revision phase and you do not get confused with any common terms or incidents. Written notes will give you much clarity about the topics and their relevance to the exam. Again, you can make common notes for common topics, totally your choice!
  • Pay close attention to regional news updates from newspaper dailies and other local sources for State PCS Exam and make notes for them as well.

#Guru Mantra – The more you write, the better you understand & even better your recall!

  1. Practice CSAT, religiously: This additional point is extremely crucial, so please read it well! CSAT part of Civil Services Exam has been made qualifying and for STATE PCS like CGPSC, the aptitude test is incorporated for the Merit, which means CSAT is crucial for both the Exams. Hence, Practice CSAT regularly, to learn the art of eliminating wrong options and boost your speed of solving the paper, accurately. Also, only you understand your level of expertise with the subjects, better than anyone, hence, utilise it well while preparing for the exam.

While synchronising your preparation for State PCS & Civil Services Exam, it is advised for you to formulate the strategy in accord with your existing responsibilities and design yourself a strategized study schedule to compliment preparation for both the exams, effectively. Set yourself practical targets and be strict with abiding by your study plan. You might have tough phases while studying for such a vast syllabus’ but always remember, ‘Where there is a will, there is always a way’.


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