Friday, March 5, 2010

Top Ten Tips for IAS Interview

Top Ten Tips for IAS Interview

Three "U"s, Three "P"s, Two "S", Two "C"s:
Pleasing Personality
Positive Approach
Straighi from the Heart
Consistency with Clarity

UNDERSTAND the scenario thoroughly as soon as you walk into the interview.Observe each one on the other side subtly and acknowledge them gracefully. You need not bend your back trying to please them,just be as close to your real self as possible.

USE your plus points effectively while trying not to give out your minus.By this ,I mean, if you are good at conversation,then go ahead and converse. But if you bungle things normally while talking, try to answer to the point.

UPDATE yourself thoroughly with Current Affairs and the country's political scenario. This may help you in starting a discussion about problems facing the country, especially something close to your heart.

PLEASING PERSONALITY- Everyone can always approach a person it he does not have a wall built around himself.Thus having a cheerful & approachable manner can instantly build a rapport with the other side and they can remember you amongst hundreds of aspirants.

PROVIDE a true picture of yourself instead of making tall claims of your achievements.Remember, you have already cleared the exam & that itself is proof enough. So do not bore them by boasting too much about how effective an officer you will be.Send across a signal of co-operation & willingness to learn.

POSITIVE APPROACH can go a long way in an oral interview.When you are positive,even the most cynical interviewer can begin to get positive vibes.I know, it is a bit difficult, but then in all your life, even in future this may help in solving many a problems.

SMILE- They say, " A Smile can take you Miles". That holds good here too.As soon as they see your smiling face, they know you have come willingly & earnestly for this post. It also infuses a bit of Patriotism to your Personality automatically.

STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART- This is a very important aspect of a UPSC interview. Mainly you shall be tested for your honesty, integrity & leadership qualities. So whatever you say, should be what you truly believe in & heartfelt.Analyse rationally, and put forth your point of view in as few words as possible. Do not give long lectures.It may work against you.

CONFIDENCE is what you should possess all throughout the interview. Whatever you answer, be confident, Do not criticise the current leaders and confidently say that you can do a better job than them, then it backfires. Otherwise maintain the air of confidence, so that they know you are capable of leading a sector with a managerial quality.

CONSISTENCY WITH CLARITY- You need to be consistent in whatever you say. If you keep changing your opinions all along, you shall be categorized as trying to pull the wool over their eyes. Hence be Clear & Consistent in your approach to a situation.Communication too should be very clear in words as well as diction.

Well, guys, what are you waiting for? See which areas you are strong & which areas you need to improve yourself. Just work towards it slowly & steadily, & I am sure we shall see some of you guys heading some important portfolios!! Al the Best to each one of you!!

Method of Making Notes for IAS

Method of Making Notes for IAS

There are different methods of making notes and one should decide which method suits you the best. There are two types of making notes, one is the LINEAR NOTES and the other PATTERN NOTES.

Linear Notes

Let us start with Linear notes first, it is a method in which you condense the material you have read using headings and sub headings and jotting down the most important points. This method works best when making notes from a book where the material is already properly organised. But one disadvantage of this method is that you end up copying a lot of material from the book which defeats the very purpose of condensing.

The right way to use this method is to use loose sheets of paper instead of an exercise book since it is easier to keep adding information. It is a good idea to leave space on each sheet of paper for additional information. Another way to make your notes more interesting is to use colors, block letters, making boxes and highlighting as and when necessary. All this will immediately draw our attention to the actual contents of our notes and make it more clear and comprehensible.

Pattern Notes

We now come to Pattern Notes. For this we have to begin the topic at the centre of the page. Each line radiating from it represents a branch of the main idea. Each point is written as briefly as possible using a key word or a phrase. It is a better method to adopt because it is more flexible than making Linear notes. One can add extra information to it at any point without any problem. Second advantage is that we can see the whole pattern at one go without actually turning the pages. Thirdly we can indicate the links between different topics more easily than we can do in a linear method. Another advantage of pattern notes is that it is exceptionally useful when making notes from memory for revision as you keep jotting down points as and when they occur to you. This makes it easier to revise for exams and writing out essays as only brief key words are used. Lastly, it is easier to remember as notes is made in a shape format.

IAS-Revised Tips for Beginners & UGs

IAS-Revised Tips for Beginners & UGs

Deciding the optionals is the most important stage in CSE preparation because once you have decided your optionals, it is going to decide your fate. Here the catching phrase is ' a scoring subject". The fact is that there is no fixed formula regarding a scoring subject. The percentage of candidates getting selected by opting a particular subject varies from year to year. It depends upon the nature of questions appearing in that year, the approach of the evaluators, etc. But it creates a wrong impression that some particular subjects are "more scoring". I would like to make it clear that it depends upon how many "serious candidates" opted that subject for that year. For instance, Geography was considered to be a "non-scoring subjects" till 15 years ago. But suddenly, the picture has changed. Many "brilliant students" got through CSE by opting this subject. Thus, it became popular. Consider the case of Management on the other hand. It is one of the least popular subjects in CSE. It does not mean that it is a "non – scoring subject". The real reason is that the number of students who opt the subject are less because one who has studied this subject would not opt to serve in government. They may get attractive jobs in private sector.
Then, how will one decide the optional subject best suited for him/her? Some candidates tend to look in to the performance of others in previous years and choose the optionals selected by them. This is to be avoided. The last year's rank holder selected that subject because it was his favourite. He fared well because the subject helped him score good marks. It may not be true for you. By selecting a totally un-known subject, you may be in trouble. Never leave a chance to repent.

Another tendency that I have noticed in the past few months is that the science students have a notion that science subjects are tough and that they are not scoring. On the other hand, they think that the humanities subjects are scoring ones. This is totally wrong. I would like to present a few lines for you to consider before making a decision:

Some candidates wrongly think that the arts subjects have an advantage in General Studies (GS). It is true to some extend. But the truth is that the science subjects also figure in GS. The arts students find it very difficult to conceptualise scientific terms and glossaries, while studying science for GS.

The humanities students have to read from a lot of sources to collect information from a particular topic. A chronic example is history. No reliable source is available in arts subjects. On the other hand, you can get through CSE by depending on your university level notes, if you supplement them with some additional readings.

You will get definite answers for a question in science. For example, (a+b)2 would always be a2+b2+2ab. Also, in Physics, if you are asked to explain Newton's Third Law of Motion, you have got a definite answer. But in history, if you are asked to express your views on the statement "The Mutiny of 1857 was the First War of Independence", you will have to present at least ten different viewpoints and at last, you will have to reach your own conclusion. The science students who have switched over to this subject will be baffled with the flood of different opinions on the same issue by different authors. On the other hand, a candidate who has studied history in his college days may not find it difficult to understand these streams.

A student who has opted a totally un-known subject has to struggle hard to cope up with that. If you study a subject where you have at least some basic knowledge, it will be very easy for you. i. Some candidates think that science subjects in CSE are tough. I would say all subjects are tough in CSE. They want the best in each subject. When a zoology student opts history and compete with a history student, think who is having the natural advantage.

In my independent enquiries, I have come to the know that some "famous" coaching centers in Delhi are responsible for this tendency. They give coaching only in arts subjects. Those science candidates who approach them for guidance are brain washed to take arts subjects. These students explain to others that science is tough.

It is a fact that a few candidates who have switched over to arts from science stream get through CSE every year. But most of them fail and repent. Don't gamble with your career and life.

If you are sure that you can do well in science subjects, stick on to that. If you find the going tough, the reason is that your preparation is not on the right track. So change the strategy, not the subject.

On the other hand, there may be a few students who are not comfortable with their own subjects. They may select a suitable subject from any of the streams; science, arts, professional subjects or commerce. x. While selecting the optionals, you may keep the following points in view:

Syllabus of the subject & List of suggested books: This is available in the free site You will get the scheme of examination, list of optionals, their syllabus, the combination of subjects not allowed, list of books for each subject, conditions of eligibility, general information, etc. The list of books I have not posted in forum because it is a painstaking exercise to post it again and again in different communities.

Previous years' question papers. This can be availed from

Consider your tastes, aptitudes and comfort level.

Consider the availability of study materials. (v) Even after reading this, if you think you can switch over from Science to humanities, my humble advice is to begin from G.S. for Main. Thus, you will be sure whether you can do this. Those who want to opt history may read the book "National Movement in India" by Cosmos Book Hive", New Delhi. After reading this, you may decide whether you can proceed with this subject. (Keep in mind that for optional more in-depth study is required.) If you find the subject not of your ilk, do not worry that you have wasted your precious time. Any way you have to study it for GS. So study hard. The efforts you have already put in will not go in vain. Similarly, Those who want to opt Geography may begin by reading the books on "Indian Geography" prescribed for GS (Main) in the site and find whether Geography is your cup of tea. Those who want to taste economics may begin with "Indian Economy" for GS (Main) and the ones who want to choose either Political Science or Public Administration may begin with "Indian Government and Constitution" for GS (Main). Again, I would caution that the taste of the subject you will get from the above books for GS will be only superfluous and you will have to devote more efforts to master the subject for optional. One of my friends has already thanked me for advising this tonic. He wanted to opt Geography, on the basis of the information he got from his friends. His friends were mis-led by some coaching classes that Geography will land you in IAS. I told him to begin from Indian Geography for GS (Mains). After a week, he scrapped me saying he found Geography as boring, and hence, he took physics.