We know that the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the top most tough nut exam to crack amongst the other ranks of the Union Public Service Commission. There are lakhs of aspirants who aim to clear this exam that makes it even more attractive for more people to join in.
Is coaching necessary?
While clearing UPSC IAS exam is definitely rewarding, should you follow the herd to enrol yourselves in coaching classes? Is it possible to clear the exam without being a part of the institutes that boast to be the forerunner in churning out IAS toppers? The answer to this rhetorical question is definitely a yes!
Let's look at why and who needs coaching..
- Those who are not aware of the UPSC IAS syllabus and exam pattern
- Someone who has no idea of what the exam is about
- Those who cannot follow a disciplined method of studying
- Coaching is necessary to get yourself into the habit of studying systematically
- It is vital when one has no idea how to engage in preparation
- Coaching with getting expert insights and guidance
What Is Coaching?
Coaching can be defined as a practise method that enables you to succeed in a given task. This, can be achieved by a structured and disciplined approach and it is best to handle that structure and discipline yourself. If you are up for giving your 100% dedication, coaching classes are not a mandate for you.
How To Train Self For UPSC IAS Exam?
It is true that coaching classes have trainers who were either UPSC cadres once or at least UPSC aspirants. But self studying does not mean not taking help from anyone, it only keeps you from falling prey to impostors who do not satisfy your thirst for knowledge due to commercialisation. So, reach out to seniors and experts. Get their insights on the dos and donts for the exam and set a build a study plan.
Like mentioned already, coaching is just systematic practice. You now know what you have to do. Get the previous years question papers and solve them. In case the exact paper is not available also, you will have question banks available in the market. Do not leave any stone unturned. Get your hands into any subject that you are not well versed in so far especially in history and geography.
Nose For News
Journalists are expected to have a nose for news in order to identify stories. Being an UPSC aspirant does not require such skills to discover stories, however you must possess an inquisitiveness to know the current affairs thoroughly. Why? Because becoming an IAS officer means being a part of the government that would be governing a district. Only if you are an expert in current affairs will you be a good governor.
This is one area that most exams have. What is this aptitude all about? Aptitude questions are a set of problems either arithmetically or logically approached to get your brains raking to produce a solution. It tests your ability to think and make decisions. Bonus - aptitude questions are usually tricky such that understanding the question right only takes effort. So focus on solving such problems whenever you can. It is not just a practise for the exam but also an excellent brain exercise that can make you a better thinker.
Stay in touch with other UPSC aspirants to learn their methods of preparation and be on track with the new developments either made officially with regards to exams or with learning methods. Do not keep on looking at someone else and measure your limits but be open to never stop learning anything from anybody.
Having said all this, it is not really a bad thing to go to coaching classes if you know its credibility 100%. Only don't get deceived with false promises. Do your research and then decide which option is the best for you - self study or coaching classes. Whichever path you decide, do not regret it because you are giving your full efforts anyway.