is Coaching a Must to Crack the IAS Exam?

Thousands of students participate in UPSC exams every year. This exam is conducted nationwide. And it is considered one of the toughest exams in the nation. And preparing for this exam is also not a piece of cake, but it isn’t too difficult.

One can easily crack the Civil services exam easily with firm determination, faith, and discipline but what about coachings aren’t they necessary?

Also Read:- 10 Best IAS Coaching in Delhi Fees, Review

The simple answer is NO. It’s not required at all. One can definitely crack UPSC exams without joining any coaching institute. But how? And why coachings are not required? Keep reading to find out.

Why are IAS coachings not required to Crack IAS Exam?

Why are IAS coachings not required to Crack IAS Exam?

As I said earlier joining any institute to crack UPSC exams is not necessary and there are several reasons for it. Some important points that explain why coaching is not required are as follows.

●     Most of the coaching institute funds are expensive. And not everyone can afford to pay their high-cost fees.

●     Coachings don’t teach you something that you yourself cannot understand and study. Ultimately it’s you who has to study.

●     You can study the syllabus by yourself in lesser time than coaching. It saves your time. The syllabus can be covered in almost half of the time you spend in the classroom.

●     You will become dependent on coachings. You will stop completing the syllabus on your own which can be done in a lesser amount of time.

●     Distractions will increase. Obviously, when you’ll start living in a city like Delhi, there will be infinite distractions to take your concentration away from the exams.

●     Sometimes your low performance in your coaching exam will demotivate you a lot.

●     Coachings will not give you a secret recipe to crack UPSC.

Read More:- 15 Best IAS Coaching In Mumbai- Fees, Reviews, Info

If coachings are not necessary, why do most students end up joining them?

If coachings are not necessary, why do most students end up joining them?

●     A very common reason for that is the marketing schemes of coachings. Most of the students fall into the trap of these marketing tactics. The huge hoardings and false advertisements end up misguiding most of the students.

●     Students feel they are missing out on something when they study on their own.

●     When somebody is not disciplined and needs to depend on something like coachings which can help him/her complete the syllabus.

●     If a candidate starts believing in myths like “It’s impossible to crack UPSC without coachings” then he/she joins coachings.

●     Some candidates face peer pressure and end up joining coachings.

See Also- Top 10 IAS Coaching Institute In Noida

What are some situations when you might need to join coaching?

What are some situations when you might need to join coaching?

●     If you started your preparations late and have hardly 2 or 3 months left for the exam then you can join any crash courses to help you complete the syllabus in lesser time.

●     If you are not confident enough about your preparations and don’t want to take any kind of risk. 

●     If you cannot form the right strategies and need someone to guide you.

●     If you have absolutely no clue of the syllabus and pattern of the exam.

●     If you don’t have access to any kind of materials and mentors available online.

Also See:- Top 11 IAS Coaching In Ahmedabad

When you don’t need coaching at all?

●     If you’re totally aware of the materials available online.

●     If you’re good at self study, and can complete the syllabus all by yourself.

●     If you belong to any top institute like IIT then you already have enough knowledge about the subjects and exam.

●     If you know the right strategies.

●     If you have already attempted the exam before then you know all the exam patterns and everything.

●     If you are focused and know how to use all the available resources wisely.

Read:- Top 15 IAS Coaching Institute In Bangalore

important tips that might help you in your self-study:

 important tips that might help you in your self-study:
  1. Understand the syllabus: It is important to go through the detailed syllabus of UPSC Civil Services IAS Exam 2016 to understand what will be asked in the exam. Having an understanding of the syllabus will ensure a focused preparation.
  2. Go through previous year papers: The previous year question papers can be of immense help in the preparation process. Not only are they helpful to understand the type of questions and important topics for the exam, they are also a great way to revise.
  3. Plan: The syllabus of general studies paper of the UPSC Civil Service IAS Prelims Exam 2016 is very vast. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the never-ending syllabus. Given the vastness, it is essential to plan on how to complete the syllabus before the exam. Weekly and monthly goals should be set.
  4. Revise: Completing the syllabus before the exam is not enough. It is important to revise multiple times before the exam. Enough time should be set aside for revision in the plan.
  5. Time Table: Make a time-table for yourself which is to be followed daily. Study hours should be broken into chunks of 2-4 hours with breaks in between. The number of study hours per day should increase as we move closer to the exam date.
  6. Self-discipline: The preparation for UPSC Civil Services IAS Exam has to be done over a few months and requires at least 6 hours of studies every day. Self-discipline is necessary to stick to the timetable.
  7. Start with the basics: Candidates who are self-studying have the tendency to jump directly to the advanced level books recommended by toppers in the interviews. This is a flawed strategy. Preparation should start with basic level books and go on to more advanced books.
  8. Coaching Notes: Coaching notes of various coaching institutes are available for candidates to buy. Candidates can also refer to these coaching notes to ensure they have not missed out important topics. However, it should be understood that coaching note can only serve as a guide and not substitute for books.
  9. Take mock tests: Candidates should try to take mock tests if possible. This can be done online or through purchasing mock test papers of coaching institutes. This will help them analyze their strengths and weakness and streamline their preparation strategy.
  10. Family and Peer Support: The UPSC Civil Services IAS Prelims exam can be stressful. It is important to stay motivated during the preparation process. Talk to your family and peers to support and encourage you during your journey.

 Things to keep in mind while preparing for IAS

Whether you self-prepare or join coaching for the IAS preparation, there are some points which should be kept in mind by every candidate:

Nose for News- Journalists is expected to have a nose for news in order to identify stories. Being a 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.

Network- 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.

Practice- 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.

Read More:- Top 20 IAS Coaching Institute in Delhi

Proper Breaks- In the midst of your preparation, don’t turn into a hermit! You must allow your mind and body to rejuvenate at regular intervals in order to keep going.

Indulge in your hobbies when you have some free time. Socialize with friends and family selectively. Moderation is the key here.

Have faith and stay motivated- It takes a lot of guts to go solo in your IAS preparation. But success will come to you if you follow a planned approach and be regular in your studies. Work hard and smart, and never lose focus.

Read:- Top 20 IAS Coaching Institute in Indore

How you can clear the IAS exam without coachings?

How you can clear the IAS exam without coachings?

●     Believe in yourself

A very few percentages of your preparations depend upon your coaching. In any way coachings will not give the exam, ultimately you have to give the exam. So it’s important that you understand this and have faith in your preparations.

●     Discipline is important

It is very important to build learning. You won’t be able to implement your plans if you are not disciplined.

●     Using the available resources

In today’s world of online education, you have infinite numbers of resources available right there in your hand. If you’re reading this article then I assume you’ve access to the Internet and a device.

  1. YouTube

Search for lecture videos available on YouTube. They can be really helpful to you if you have not joined any coaching institute. Videos which can help you build strategies are also available on YouTube.

  1. Telegram

There are many groups on telegram which provide materials and test papers for free. Join those groups and take the advantage of the materials which they provide. You can also join the telegram group of YouTube channels whose video lectures you follow. These materials can be actually helpful in your preparations.

     3. Other resources

Apart from YouTube and telegram, there are many other apps and websites which provide quality content. You can use them too to prepare for UPSC.

●     Focus on NCERT

Make sure you read NCERT books. This is essential. If you look at previous year’s papers most of the questions are directly asked from NCERT. You need to read NCERT books of class 6th to 10th and focus on all books of humanities of class 11th and 12th.

Geography of 11th and 12th, Economics of 11th and History of 10th and 9th are the most important ones. Don’t miss them.

Also, make sure you read NCERT of 6th to 8th also because they do ask simple questions in a confusing way many times.

●     Reading the newspaper

If you are preparing for UPSC then you need to make a newspaper reading a habit. You don’t need to read every single line of the newspaper, ignore unnecessary news. Focus mainly on local news, politics, crime, sports.

●     Coaching notes can be helpful

Yes, if you have not joined any good coaching institute. These notes are easily available in the market at a much cheaper price. You can get these notes without spending your money on expensive coaching fees. This will help you prepare and you will also not feel that you’re missing out on something.

But don’t totally depend on these notes. Reading standard books is important. Notes usually have concepts and broken knowledge, which do not remain in your memory for long.

So it’s important that you start with the standard books first and then shift to these notes. This will help you revise the topics better. And also it will help you remember the concepts for a much longer period.

Coaching notes are helpful, they also help you revise the topics easily before the exam.

Read:- Top 50 IAS Interview Questions With Answers

Some important points to keep in mind while studying notes for IAS EXAM :

Some important points to keep in mind while studying notes for IAS EXAM :IAS Academy

●     Most coaching institutes do not cover the entire syllabus in notes, so totally depending on these notes is not a good idea.

●     Coaching notes are helpful but they cannot replace standard books.

●     In the UPSC exam, there are no direct questions. Mostly in-depth questions are asked so do not think that anything will come directly from your notes. It’s very important that you have clarity of concepts.

●     Making your own notes

Even if you buy notes of the coachings, it’s important that you make your own notes. Even if you make short notes of the concepts from a standard book this will help you. You tend to remember more when you write things. You can also make short, revision notes from your coaching notes.

●     Test series at coachings

Most of the aspirants commit one mistake. They learn a lot, read so many books, revise perfectly but still tend to fail. Because they do not practice. Practice is very important.

Your question paper will not contain a single question that asks you “how many books you read?” Or “how many times you revised your topics?”. If you don’t solve papers and don’t test yourself you might get surprised when you give the exam.

 So coaching the institute’s test series can help. They train your brain for the exam. You can understand how the actual exam feels like.

Most of the toppers join test series of coachings to test their preparations. It provides you many benefits.

●     Teaches you time management.

●     You get to know your weak points.

●     You experience the seriousness of an exam.

●     Feedback on the answers will give you a clear perspective of where you need to improve.

●     Trains your body. Yes, if you practice enough, your body will not go restless in the main exam. Your endurance improves when you give many exams.

●     It prepares both your physical and mental health for the exam.

●     Talk to some experienced people

You can easily connect to anyone who has already passed the exam, through social media. Talking to them, knowing their strategies and experience can guide you the best.

So the conclusion is, you do not really need coaching if you confident enough. If you don’t want to spend money on something which is almost unnecessary (unless you’re determined enough). If you can be disciplined and work hard then coaching is not necessary at all.

After reading this article I hope you can take the decision of joining or not joining a coach. Ultimately it depends on you and your situation.

Good luck with the preparations. 

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By Sourav Pathak

A Guy Without a "Title". Good friends, Good Books, and a Sleepy Conscience: That Sums of My life.

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