Civil services, is one of the most exciting career options one can choose if he or she has a Zeist for serving the nation, serving their community. It’s a job with the highest order of pride and dignity, which makes it even more exciting. One gets into Indian Administrative Services (IAS), a part of civil services, after clearing two rounds of examinations namely the IAS prelims and the IAS mains followed by a personal interview. The recruitment process of civil services examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission has been changed over the past couple years. The IAS Prelims is now called the CSAT or the Civil Services Aptitude Test. It will be the same for the year 2012 also.

The Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) includes two objective type question papers of two hundred marks and two hours time duration for each paper. One is on General Studies and the other is General Aptitude Paper. This change in the pattern leads to lot of anxiety and fear among the aspirants. Mainly because most of them are afraid of subjects like Mathematics. But this fear is baseless as this new pattern focuses largely on ‘’aptitude’’ rather than one’s knowledge on Mathematics. One common misconception about the prelims is that it is a test of facts and figures. This absolutely is not true, especially with the changed pattern. It puts more emphasis on language skills and decision making capabilities. So one who wants to succeed needs to have the will power, a proper action plan and efficient time management skills. There are two papers in this section. Paper 1 and paper 2. Paper 1 is on General Studies, which focuses on areas like Indian National Movement, Indian Polity, Geography, Current affairs, General Knowledge etc. There is no proper syllabus for topics like current affairs, GK etc. This makes it even more difficult. The main constraint is the time one gets to answer questions. On an average one gets around 40 seconds for each question. Added to this, is the fact that the exam is conducted in the month of May. That is why candidates must prepare themselves from the starting at both mental and physical level. They should possess efficient time management skills and quick decision making capabilities.

Getting into civil services by clearing IAS Prelims and Mains, is not an easy task for sure. But it can be achieved if the aspirants prepare with a proper action plan, work their heart out towards achieving efficient time management skills and quick decision making capabilities and covering the IAS syllabus within stipulated time.

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