There is an increasing number of engineers getting qualified for UPSC civil service examination conducted every year in India to get enrolled in jobs like IAS, IPS and IFS,etc.
And if you also want to be one of those engineers who want to become IAS.
There is no other option than trying to prepare for UPSC examination from as early as possible.
So in this article let’s take a look at how you can prepare for UPSC and IAS exams from your BTech first year so that you can also become one of those many engineers who crack UPSC exam every year at a very young age.
So let’s get started.
Table of Contents
How to prepare for IAS from Btech 1st year
1. Understand the exam pattern
One of the first important things you need to do is to understand the exam pattern of civil service exams. Generally you will only know there are three important stages of exam before you can become a civil servant which are, prelims, mains and interview section.
But apart from that you should also know that what are the subjects you need to read in order to pass each stage of the examination and what is the cutoff marks and much more in detail.
Because there is also a caste system and reservations allotted for each caste category you should also know what is your caste and how many chances do you have to crack the examination and other cut off marks you have for that caste category.
You should look at all the UPSC syllabus by looking at the exam pattern and ask yourself the important questions like,
- Am I willing to work hard for it and read the subjects?
- Am I willing to leave the comfort zone?
- What is my main motive and reason behind preparing for UPSC and civil service examination and trying to become IAS?
If you get satisfying answers then you should consider moving ahead to have the early advantage for preparing civil services examinations.
2. Newspapers are key
Now the next important thing to do is to start the habit of reading newspapers as early as possible.
You can read popular newspapers like the Hindu or The Indian express by spending at least one hour maximum every single day either morning or evening.
The reason why newspaper reading is important is because it will help you keep yourself updated with all the current affairs that are happening around you and worldwide.
Having the right knowledge about current affairs can help you in all the three aspects of civil services exam including the interview and along with prelims and mains.
You should develop the habit of reading newspapers as early as possible by starting to read newspapers every single day.
Now when you are reading newspapers read oped sections and editorials and socio economic issues in newspapers and avoid politics, entertainment, sections which are unnecessary for UPSC.
keep yourself updated with all the schemes that government release to improve the conditions of rural areas with the help of kurukshetra magazine and learn about the social economic issues of India from the Yojana magazine
For more reading you can refer my guides below,
With that said let’s move forward with third step of preparation.
3. Choose your Optional subject
Since you are also studying your BTech first year and preparing for UPSC exams.
It is no better time to choose your optional subject than now.
Optional subjects are important in order to get good marks in mains stage in paper 6 & 7 of the CSE exams.
There are two papers you need to attempt in the mains section and each paper is allotted 250 marks.
Since you are studying engineering you should probably choose your optional subject and start focusing on it from now itself,
Some optional subject you can choose which are also present in your engineering graduation are,
- Mechanical engineering
- Civil engineering
- Electrical engineering
These are a bunch of subjects you can also study in your engineering and choose as optional subjects in UPSC exams and the main benefit is that you can have a lot of time to study for optional subject during your engineering.
You can consider this optional subjects as scoring marks rather than qualifying for the examinations because the other papers of mains are related to general studies like sociology,
humanities, international relationships, polity, indian constitution, etc subjects which can be hard for YouTube prepare because you do not have the education of it after 10th.
You can also look at the previous year question of optionals papers of UPSC examinations in mains to get how the questions are getting asked in the examinations so you can prepare accordingly and get an idea.
Hence I recommend you to choose your optional subjects wisely and start getting good knowledge and foundation on those optional subject so that you can score better marks from those optional subjects which can work as balancing the other marks and help you qualify the mains exam.
You can select the optional subject depending upon your interest and your knowledge in the subject and since you are doing engineering you should also choose that
if any of the optional subjects I mentioned earlier are present in your engineering graduation and you should select an optional subject depending upon how soon you can complete the revision of the optional subject because
you should also dedicate time for other subjects and papers like general studies and essay, etc.
4. Get strong foundation with ncerts.
Now when it comes to preparation of UPSC examinations the first and foremost thing you need to do is to purchase NCERT books.
These books are considered to be the holy grail of UPSC exams.
There are a few important reasons why these books are must read for all the UPSC aspirants like,.
- The information provided in the books are authentic and reliable
- The books are written in easy and simple language to understand
- This book cover all the concepts in detail and makes it very easy to understand the concept and give you a good foundation for exams and boost the confidence of the aspirants
- Another important reason is many of the questions in UPSC examinations are asked straight from these books
You should start reading from standard 6th to standard 12th of all the NCERT books of all the subjects which have related to UPSC exams like history, geography, economics,etc because you have a lot of time and the early advantage.
You should both use highlighter to highlight important sentences while you read the ncerts and create notes along the way to note down all the important aspects and as a summary so that you can look at the notebook in future instead of reading the whole book again when you will actually write for UPSC.
You can definitely purchase these books on Amazon for cheap prices.
5. Practice writing essays
Another most important step you need to take is start writing essays and practicing it everyday or as much frequently as possible.
The reason is, in the main stage you’ll have to write essays only.
There are atleast 1250 marks where you’ll have to write essays in essay paper, general studies except if you choose mathematics or civil engineering as your optional subject in mains.
You should also work on your handwriting if you have bad handwriting because before reading the essay the examiner will first look at your handwriting and first impressions of handwriting is very much important to either score good or bad marks in the exam.
There are few tips I would like to share with you regarding answer writing,
- Whenever you are writing an answer to a particular issue try to address all the possible angles and give all the perspectives in the answers using your critical thinking.
- Do not use jargons and technical terms and make your essay very easy to read and understand, you can simply ask yourself a question, is this essay easy to read and understand for a 7th class school student, if yes, you are good to go.
- Before starting the essay you should first of all create a rough outline and all the important points you would like to include in that so you won’t forget about it later on.
- Work on increasing your vocabulary of English by learning new words everyday and keep your essay error free and without punctuation errors, this errors can make your essay lose credibility.
You can either write the answers for the previous year question papers in UPSC exams or write upon the issues that are discussed in newspapers like Hindu and other social economic issues and current affairs if you don’t know what to write about.
And you can only achieve all of these things with practice over a period as they say,
Practice makes man perfect.
6. Build a Work ethic
I know it will be quite exhausting and challenging task for you to prepare for UPSC because you also need to look after your engineering studies, write assignments and complete projects before the deadline but if you succeed from the struggle and hard work then the results would be worth full if you crack IAS.
My personal recommendation would be that you should consider studying and preparing for UPSC exams in normal days of your college by spending
at least 2 hours and get at least 75 percentage of marks in your engineering semester exams during the exam days by preparing for those examinations before one month.
You should first create a time table of how you can manage the time and how you can allot the time for UPSC along with engineering depending upon your daily lifestyle and routine.
You can use popular productivity hacks like pomodoro technique to increase productivity while preparing for UPSC along with your engineering studies in the limited time you have everyday.
You can also read or watch toppers interview of UPSC examinations on YouTube and look for some productivity tips which they can share and
record them in your journal and also try to get a look at their time table and schedule and some secrets for cracking UPSC and preparation which can help you along the way.
7. Focus on Personality development
The last important thing you should focus on is to work on your personality.
In UPSC civil services examinations not only your subject knowledge and current affairs but also your personality will also get tested.
Because of this reason it is no surprise that UPSC civil services examinations are considered to be the toughest examinations in the world because only 0.1% of people can clear the exams.
Your personality will be tested in the second round of prelims exams which is also called as civil service aptitude test or CSAT.
In this exam paper, you will be tested in different categories of personality like,
- Interpersonal skills including communication skills
- Logical reasoning and analytical ability
- Decision-making and problem-solving
- General mental ability
- Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level)
These are multi choice questions, apart from that your personality will also be tested in the interview round of the UPSC exams which is the last round before you can become a civil servant or IAS.
You can read my guide on the best books for personality development for IAS aspirants and in order to develop logical reasoning and critical thinking you should consider participating in debates on social issues with your friends.
You can click here to learn more about how you can improve your reasoning skills in detail.
Because you are studying for engineering as well I have not included other important preparation aspects like,
- Taking mock tests
- Revising previous year question papers of UPSC
- Preparing for prelims and mains for general studies and subjects like history,polity, etc
You can start preparing for those from BTech 3rd year onwards.
Now you can follow my guide and start preparing for UPSC examination from btech first year with all the tips I have mentioned earlier in the blog.
These are all the tips have for you to help you prepare for IAS exams from your BTech 1st year itself.
Do let me know if you are really preparing for the exams and also let me know if you have any other useful tips which I want you to include my blog post.
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