IAS the Indian Administrative Service exam is the civil services examination and is considered as one of the toughest competitive examinations which are conducted by the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) for recruiting officers for all India administrative civil services.
IAS can also be cleared without joining coaching classes. To get started with IAS preparation, you should first have some idea about the service itself. If you are good at self-study, you can clear UPSC without any coaching.
A good coach or a good coaching institute should be able to provide guidance and knowledge. It is a necessary factor to be provided by classes.
If you are not getting relevant and latest strategies and guidance from a coaching institute, even after spending thousands and lakhs of rupees there, then there is no meaning of attending coaching classes.
Whether classroom or outside classroom, good guidance, and study materials can supplement candidates’ preparation for UPSC exam.
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Let’s look at why and who needs IAS 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
Benefits of Coaching
Coaching gives you guidance: A good or say experienced coaching institute will give you the imperative guidance required to clear the IAS examination.
These days, coaching institutes follow a niche in providing the relevant and required guidance to the aspirants about the exam, its latest ias pattern, marking system, strategies to solve the exam, etc.
Such guidance is of high importance and helps the candidates in scoring the highest score in their real-time attempt.
Coaching gives you knowledge: Though knowledge can be grabbed by self-study, coaching institutes let the candidate acquire the right and precise knowledge about the relevant concepts and topics related to the current IAS exam pattern.
Coaching center helps the aspirants to grab the effective strategies and knowledge of the tips and tricks that will let them acquire an edge over the growing competition in the field of UPSC exam preparation.
The reliable and trustworthy coaching institute: It offers the high-quality coaching tutorials to the aspirants preparing for the foundation course, Prelims or Mains or even interviews session.
Expert faculty, personalized attention on students, affordable fees structure and a 99% success rate are some of the unbeatable features that make a coaching stands ahead of other coaching institutes. Along with the necessary guidance and knowledge, the institute focuses on making the applicants confident and ready to bear the traumas of life through their motivational form of teaching.
Experienced mentors: The mentors at the good institute are highly experienced and well-versed with the changing exam pattern and course curriculum. Candidates preparing for IAS exam will find a combo of detailed knowledge about the concepts and relevant and latest strategies to apply in the exam when the mentors are experienced and experts in their field.
important tips that might help you in your self-study:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So by this, we come to the conclusion that not everyone needs coaching classes. But so of you may need. It just depends on efficiency, hard work.
Coaching merely helps you; it does not ensure you a rank. Your self-study, consistency and the hard work you put in sitting at your study table matters far more than what you do in coaching classes.
So if you are attending coaching classes, do take their notes, but you should not rely excessively on them and neglect standard books.
Always remember that roughly, not more than 25-30% of your preparation should depend on coaching classes. To say that without coaching you cannot crack UPSC is to tell a lie.
If you are absolutely clueless about the exam process or the books you need to study, coaching institutes will definitely help you get a broad idea. But you still have to read standard books, make required notes and put in the work to outshine your competition.
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.