Tips To Crack IAS

Tips to Crack IAS – By UPSC 2017 Topper – Anudeep Durishetty

While working in a software company, I always wanted to serve the society and so I started focussing on Civils. I was clear in my mind that I wanted to become an IAS officer. Though I could get into IRS in the second attempt, my aim was to be an IAS officer.

During my first attempt in 2012, I was successful in Prelims but failed in Mains. This made me to introspect on the reasons for my failure. I understood that the main reason was that I was not strong enough in writing skills. While writing the examination, we have to take into consideration the word limit and time management. One has to write based on these two aspects.

I wrote knowing that I was not capable of writing the answers fast. During preparation for the second attempt I gave importance to writing and this helped me a lot. I got confused while answering a few questions and this was the reason I got 790 rank and was offered Indian Revenue Service (IRS). This was a morale booster for me.

In 2013, I joined IRS, but my mind had always been set on IAS. Even as I was under probationary training at IRS, I continued to focus on IAS. Though I intensified my preparation, I failed on two occasions (2014 and 2015). A change in the examination pattern affected me. We had to answer 20 questions in three hours, I wasn’t able to cope with time and resulted in failure. Since I was in IRS training, I wasn’t able to concentrate on writing so this was the reason for my failed attempts.

After failing for two consecutive times, I was under mental pressure. So I did not attempt in 2016, but my mind was set on IAS. This attempt was like do or die. Since I had a thorough knowledge of the subject, I decided to practice only on improving writing skills and to write as per the allotted time. After writing the examination I was expecting a rank that would enable me to get into IAS, but getting the all India first rank stumped me completely.

The syllabus and material for civil services examination is the same all over. What is important is the way we prepare with the same books and the way we develop our understanding of the subject. Above all, one should have the capacity to analyse the kind of questions which would be posed in the given subject. It is not a difficult thing—all you have to do is follow the question papers of last four years and analyse the questions. Make effective use of newspapers and internet.

“All through the preparation, you have to give importance to writing. Even during Prelims preparation, it helps to go for descriptive approach. This helps in writing answers for all the questions and within the given time. This is the only difference between successful and failed candidates. Don’t think that the candidate is hyper active and hence he was successful. Also destroy the perception that clearing civils will take years. If one adopts a scientific approach in preparation there is every possibility that he can clear the civils examination in the first attempt itself. Smitha Sabharwal is one such lady.

Many civils aspirants are of the belief that the medium in which they write the exam has to be either English or Hindi. If they write in regional language they would not be considered. This is nothing but misconception. Your answer is important and not the medium.

The problem with writing in regional languages is the difficulty in sourcing material. Most of the material is available in English only. So translating it and then preparing for examination is a difficult process. If someone plans to write in regional language alone, they need to start preparing almost a year ahead of the examinations. They have to get all the material translated and start preparing. Even if you fail in the first attempt there is no need to bother. They need to continue their preparation and they will succeed.

Yet another misconception about civils examinations is that the people who have achieved success mostly have completed B.Tech, MBA or some other professional courses. The examination patterns will help them. This is complete false. With the present education system giving prominence to general studies even a BA graduate can pass the examination. Definitely those who have studied B. Tech or professional course will have advantage because their curriculum is more scientific in their approach.

The final stage is the interview and UPSC will provide an interpreter for the candidates who plan to attend the interview in regional languages. The problem is the interpreter should be able to express our thoughts appropriately. My suggestion is to have a basic expertise in English and try to avoid interpreter. Only then will the Board members and candidate have eye contact and correct transfer of information happens.

Durishetty Anudeep’s journey to IAS topper

  • 2012 First attempt – Unsuccessful at Mains
  • 2013 Second Attempt – Selected for IRS
  • 2014, 2015 Third and Fourth Attempts – Unsuccessful at Mains
  • 2017 Fifth Attempt – All India Top Rank


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