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In my previous article Civil Services – My Cup of Tea – Part I, I had discussed the factors to be considered for decision making, myths and realities of civil services. We can compare the Last article with the lamp which shows the way. Now how to walk on the way? What should be the strategy, methodology, approach, way and techniques?

Now you have analyse each and every factor and decided that you will go for civil services.

Or Are you still afraid? Then read Legendry Swami Vivekananda Words

“Always take risk in life. If you win you will lead, if you lose you will guide”

So what are you waiting for, take the step and come forward. Success is waiting for you.

Yes I have taken the step. ONCE AGAIN I AM IN LION RACE. I will remain Lion irrespective of the results.

The big question is how to proceed further. Hope all of you are aware about the Civil Service Syllabus.

Structure of Syllabus:

It’s a three stage programme comprised of:

• Preliminary Test (Part – I – General Studies and Part – II – Aptitude Test) – 200 Marks each. This test is objective test and conducted in a single day with a gap of three hours between both tests.

• Mains Test – (4 General Studies Paper, 1 Essay, 2 papers of one Optional Subject and English Comprehension and precise writing along with one qualifying language subject) – Total 1750 Marks. This test is subjective in nature and conducted for number of days)

• Interview or say personality test - 275 Marks.

After qualifying Mains Examination, UPSC calls successful candidates for Interviews. Interviews are conducted at Dholpur House, New Delhi

(Source – Kindly check it for details)

Preliminary test is known as screening test and is of qualifying nature. Its marks are not counted anywhere. Candidates are selected on the basis of accumulated score of mains test and interview. Every year near about 5 lacs students fill the examination form for Preliminary Test. Out of that only 70% students appear in the exam i.e.3.50 lacs and near about 30% students backout in very first battle.

UPSC selects students on the basis of cut off determined by it. In preliminary examination generally students are selected of 13-15 times of total vacancies. In year 2012 approx. 13,000 students cracked the Preliminary test.

UPSC selects approximately candidates 3 times of total number of jobs for the interview. Interview is basically focused on student’s personality and general awareness. Various questions about current affairs, hometown, background, social issues are asked. Knowledge is already checked at mains level and now it is time to check the personality.

Civil services exams calendar:






October / November


February / March

Final Result – The Doomsday

April / May

The above discussion is about the syllabus, selection and cut off. What should be the study methodology?

How to proceed?

The question is how to proceed. Well it’s a blessing if you have a good people around  who can guide you. Guide plays a vital role in success of a person especially in Civil Services.

But if you don’t have a guide than what is the solution. Than let me tell you very frankly everybody cannot have a godfather, only few people on the earth have godfather. In that case become your own guide or godfather. Learn from the mistakes, surroundings, people etc. Use your past experience.  Mould yourself according to the nature.

The next question is of Self Study V/S Coaching Classes. What to do?

Analyse these points to get your answer.

1. Availability of Time.

2. Level of your general knowledge. Assess yourself. Give yourself marks out of 10.

3. Financial and Family Background.

4. Your Age

5. Mental Preparedness.

6. Guidance – seniors, Parents, Friends, Relatives etc.

Above factors determine whether you have to go for self-study or coaching classes. Yes if you are less than 25 years and have plenty of time with a good blend of general knowledge and good maturity level than you must go for self-study. Please consider your family and financial background before taking decision. Be ensured that you have a person to guide you so that you know what to do and how to do.

No doubt coaching classes provide anybody a good base. Course of Civil Services is too vast and somehow favourable to Science Students (Two Subjects for Science based – General Science and Science and Technology. While former one is basic science of up to X class level latter is related to latest innovations and discoveries. Prelims 2013 had almost 25-30 questions from that field.). There is only economics for commerce students and yes we can say polity too because we people have a good hand in law and constitution. That’s the reason coaching institutes play a vital role.

Factors to be considered while deciding to join coaching institute:

1. Course Coverage

2. Past Results

3. Faculty

4. Completion of Course – Plan in that way that it should be complete six months prior to examination

5. Timings of Class – Please check timings of extra classes as well

6. Fees, Reputation and distance from your place.

Coaching Institutes are launching pads. Ultimately you have to fly. They only guide you and tell you what to study and how to study. But who has to study. Yes its you. So take this thing out of your mind that coaching means success.

While Coaching +rigorous self-study means success.

Read “The Hindu” newspaper you will get lot of advertisement of coaching institutes. Check the above details.  Leading coaching institutes are Vajiram and Ravi, ALS, Rau’s IAS Study Circle, Sriram IAS, Khan Study Group, Insight IAS academy, Chankaya IAS Academy, Chronicle IAS Academy etc.

In year 2013 UPSC has made changes in mains curriculum. To remove the dependency of optional subjects and a same playing field for all, now there are four general studies paper and two papers from one optional subject. Undoubtedly it’s a welcome move. Now more weightage of General Studies papers. Earlier there were two optional subjects which decided the fate of the candidates. Candidates use to score majority of marks in these subjects and to some extent it defeated the purpose of UPSC

Mains exam tests your knowledge and Interview tests your personality. Ranks are based on aggregate marks of Mains and Interview / Personality test. Mains play a vital role because it contains 1750 marks while interview is of only 275 marks. So the epicentre of entire civil service exams is mains. Mains is king maker.

From very first day of preparation be ensured that your preparation should be mains examination oriented.

For sure shot success in civil services, you should follow these advices.

• Focus on thought process and articulation skills. Your presentation skills should be of good level. You can be asked question where you have to answer by taking into consideration word limits. You should be master of skills of completing your stand in given period of time. You have to expand and contract your answers as per requirement.

• Be practical in nature. Don’t cram anything only understand. It will benefit you. Try to give your own views as well but it should be in conformity of questions as well. This is one of the reason why the toppers are not able crack the civil services exam instead back benchers and average students top the charts.

 Your level of general awareness and how you present and express yourself matters. Improve it. Start working on it.

• You should be jack of all trades along with master of your subject as well.

• Set daily targets, weekly targets and monthly targets. Determine milestones to achieve destiny. Analyse your performance and modify your plans accordingly.

• Do yoga, meditation, listen music etc. for removing stress and keep your mind cool.

• Read from quality text books like NCERT books and good books of every subject suggested by your teachers like History of Modern India by Bipan Chandra.

• Develop your reading and writing skills. Try to write a page daily.  Change your habits and be mature in approach.

• Do more practice and practice. Appear in mock tests. Do mistakes and learn from them. Ensure that this will not be repeated in future. Focus on your efficiency and accuracy.

There is a very good and inspiring message from Bournvita Advertisement-

“ Mummy kehti hain jitni galti karni hain practice main karlo, warna tu kahan jaane wala hain, abhi toh poori raat baaki hain bidu”

Civil Services and Chartered Accountants

There is an Indian Engineering Services (IES) for Engineers, Indian Medical Services (IMS) for Doctors. Unfortunately there is no Indian Chartered Accountants Services (ICAS) for CAs whatsoever reason may be.

Also a large number of Engineers are entering in the Civil Services and many of them also cracking the exam. Now the problem arises when they are place in technical departments like Revenue i.e. Income Tax, Service Tax etc.

They get a good training but they lack practical experience and resultantly who are sufferers.

Yes, those who deal with these departments i.e CAs and Lawyers.

I don’t know what our Council Members and Government of India are doing. Why they are still sleeping?  A lot of untapped potential remain untapped because of fractured government policies and a weak council.

Its high time to introduce schemes for direct entry of Chartered Accountants to Civil Services. CAs in Civil Services is need of the hour. Hope they people will awake soon.

However the answer to the question is why CA should go for Civil Services?

 If CAs are not in Civil services, than who will be in the Civil Services. The wisdom you gain, knowledge you acquire is the right time to utilise towards the betterment of the society. And that can be possible through entering into the world of civil services. Recognise your potential; you have the capability to change the world.

• It’s not untrue to say that Indian CA is the Brand Ambassador of Indian Taxation. If there is CA is in Revenue Services, undoubtedly he will work well and by taking interest in that work as well. Also he will be able to do more Value addition in the society. Undoubtedly Revenue is perfect place for CAs. Their logical and tactical thinking will bring unexpected results. Don’t know when our government will awake.

 Three years article ship makes their approach more practical and logical. Main advantage with CA Fraternity is that they have the vast experience of working along with their studies. In their training period they ge experience of dealing with various government officials like Income Tax, Customs and Excise etc. In short they know about their way of working, problems of government department and importantly how to get their work done from them.

 CAs have open mind. Their approach towards problems is fully and totally different from others. Their way of working is awesome. The beauty of their work is that while solving problem they consider every aspect by taking into consideration the further and prior effects.

 World knows that CA is unique blend of hardwork, smartwork, sincerity, passion etc.

 As per our motto “We are partner in Nation Building”. We can setup new milestones by qualifying Civil Services.

To Sum up I would like to say Yes, CIVIL SERVICES IS OUR CUP OF TEA


Gaurav Arya

Chartered Accountant

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Views expressed in the above article are personal in nature. These are based on my experience, knowledge and understanding. Reader’s views may be different and suggestions are welcome.

I have made every possible effort to give my level best and disseminate knowledge. I have not discussed the suggested books and magazines to read. Please drop me a mail or message for that. If you still have confusion or doubts please contact with me. I will do my best possible efforts to guide you and if possible, meet you or talk on phone.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a guide I am here to help you.

You can join me on facebook and send me your queries on gmail. I will do best possible help.


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Gaurav Arya
Category Career   Report

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