Here is what experts say about the preparation of IAS examination. Read on...
At first glance, preliminary stage of IAS exam appears objective type, which only examines your factual knowledge. However, the preliminary stage is a test of your subject-related concepts and ability to analyse things based on facts and figures. It demands your deep knowledge as well as your ability to grasp and retain the information for a long time.
Planning is imperative when you decide to appear for the Prelims. Deciding to take the exam 4 or 5 months before the Prelims is not a very smart strategy as you have to cover a wide syllabus and go through numerous books and magazines, even though it is possible to prepare for Prelims in 4 months. But It is always advised, you should start preparing at least 10 months prior to the next year's Prelims and 12 months ideally, if possible. So if you are targeting IAS 2013 to be held in May 2013 then ideally start preparing from June 2012 itself.
Many of you, particularly those with a professional degree in science, tend to ignore the preparation of GS and concentrate mainly on their optional subjects. This attitude is more like a bad gamble because you are not aware about the level of preparation of other aspirants. Economy (for the science background aspirants), Science & Technology (for the social science background aspirants) and Statistical Analysis are the only three areas that can pose problems in scoring.
If you have prepared economy for your Prelims, doing it for the mains must not be difficult. Statistical analysis has to be practised with the help of previous years' solved questions given in all the guides as also the NCERT's Statistical Analysis. One year regular reading of a good national daily, India Yearbook (Publication Division) relevant NCERT books and a good magazine for the purpose are the basic necessities that you must go through. Scoring in GS is mathematical and any additional score gained through serious preparations should be welcome.