How to Prepare for UPSC/IAS – Civil Service Exam while Doing Engineering

How to prepare for CSE during Engineering?

In the last few years, we have seen a greater surge in the number of engineering candidates aspiring for civil services and many of them are achieving glorious feat with many in the top ranks. 

Gaurav Agrawal AIR 1, 2013 or Kanishak Kataria, AIR 1 2018, were IITians and many more in top ten ranks has been from engineering background in recent years. 

Since CSAT was introduced in 2011, a greater number of engineering candidates have been aspiring for Civil Services. But now CSAT is not the main driving force for engineers to join the bandwagon, as this paper was made a qualifying one since 2015. 

Perhaps it has something to do with the call of an illustrious career in the civil services, or with better employment prospects in case the IAS dream comes true.

Whatever be the reason, engineering students make a huge chunk of the aspirants’ crowd. 

In this backdrop we would like to enlighten you through this article on the question ‘How to prepare for IAS during engineering?’ or ‘How to prepare for CSE during’.

Here are the tips of preparing for the exam during Engineering:

1. Early start provides great advantage:

It is always wise to decide one’s career while pursuing graduation. If you have decided to prepare for CSE while pursuing your BE/B tech, it will give you a great advantage over the candidate who decides after their graduation. 

As you already know about the basics of the exam and have already started building your foundation you will have an edge over those who starts their race after their graduation. This will give a better advantage to clear this exam in initial attempt and you could become a youngest officer and can climb highest echelons of office like Cabinet Secretary, Chief Secretary.

2. Know the basics about the CSE:​

The first and foremost thing is to know the basics of examlike its syllabus, exam pattern, Eligibility criteria, study materials, availability of guidance for the exam, how to study etc.

3. Thorough with Syllabus:

Foremost important is to go through the syllabus of both Prelims & Mains thoroughly.

Syllabus should be on tip of your tongue. You should religiously follow the syllabus, as good knowledge of syllabus saves your time and energy as it helps to be more focused on important stuff rather than unimportant or unwanted stuff. You should always have a copy of syllabus on your study table.

Syllabus for both prelims & mains exam can be found here – UPSC Syllabus 

4. Analyse Previous Year Question Paper:

Go through previous year’s questions paper, that would give you a fair idea about the kinds of questions, difficulty level of each question, weightage of different section in the question paper.

By analysing the previous year’s questions paper, you would understand the trend, which section has been given more importance over the other, so you can prioritise your focus on that part.

5. Analyse Pattern & Trend of Exam:

It is very important to know what subjects included, how much marks are allocated to each subject, duration of the exam etc. By knowing these details you will come to know the pattern of the examination. 

Find Complete Syllabus here –  

6. News Paper Reading:

 Learn How to read Hindu Newspaper here –

At GRACE IAS institute, we arranging FREE classes regularly for honing up the newspaper reading skills and every day sending the list of news article which are important to the students.

If you want to attend these FREE CLASSES, please call 7899678279 OR 9886800910 and register.

7. Catch hold of Good magazine:

Read magazine like Civil Services Times, Civil Services Chronicle etc. Reading interviews of Topper’s will help you sustain your motivation level.

8. Plan your day properly:

Since you would be busy with course study, daily classes, semester exam, project work, etc you cannot devote full-time preparation for CSE. So, you need to plan your day meticulously so that you could find at least 2-3 hrs on an average everyday for preparation of CSE. 

At least you should make sure that you read Newspaper everyday so that you are well versed with the current affairs, which play a very crucial role in the exam. Apart from that you can start with basic NCERT Books.

9. Build your foundation:

You can start with basics of exam, its syllabus, exam pattern, eligibility criteria, previous years paper. Having gone through all these things, you can start with basic studying of NCERT books (Social science and Science) of 6 to 12th class, reading Newspaper (preferably The Hindu), going through magzines like yojna and kurushetra – study selectively accordance with the syllabus. You can start some answer writing practices – can take up any previous year essay topics and write on it to gauge your writing skill. 

By the time you complete your BE/BTech, you have already built your foundation for the CSE, which would give you a lead over other competitors.

10. Decide upon your optional subject:

It’s better if you decide your optional subject early.

Go through the list of optional subjects and see if you can choose optional of your background like civil/mechanical/electronics etc, or you can also choose if you have interest in any science subject like physics/chemistry/mathematics or any subject of your interest. 

These subjects though not very useful in General Studies, a good hold over these subject would give you enough time for concentrating on General Studies. If you are not very comfortable with subject of your background you can choose from the other popular optional like Anthropology, Geography, Public Administration, Sociology, Psychology or any subject that ignites your interest. 

These subjects also help in your General Studies. You can also consider Literature optional subjects, if you have interest in literature. Remember you need to be very careful in choosing your optional as you have to develop deeper understanding in the subject and has to sustain your interest and motivation for long time till you clear the exam.

11. Studying during Vacation:

You can extend your studying hours during vacation, say 6 to 7 hours a day so that you can cover many things.

12. Attending Weekend Coaching Class:

As there are Weekend coaching classes are available to ease your preparation you can attend those as per your convenience. In this direction, GRACE IAS is a very good platform to serve your interest as we provide Weekend batch coaching classes. You can make use this to come out with flying colours. 

Find Courses offered by GRACE IAS here – Courses

13. Forming small group:

Forming small group of likeminded aspirants and studying together & exchanging views & having group discussions will be very useful in your preparation.

14. Mastering Atlas:

As many Questions in Geography are Atlas based you can start preparing Atlas leisurely. Buy Oxford or Orient Longman School Atlas which can be your companion always.

15. Keeping good hold over Current Affairs: 

This can be achieved through reading News Paper, Magzine etc.

Take Daily Current Affairs Quiz by GRACE IAS here – QUIZ

16. Practice writing Essay: 

By practicing to write essay you can develop your writing skill which is very essential to crack this exam. Here are also News Paper, Magazines like Yojana , Krukshetra, Civil Services Times will help you.

All the above suggestion would help you in getting basic ideas about the CSE, its syllabus, exam pattern, how to plan your day along with your study schedule, choosing about optional and so on. Remember an early starter has always an edge over his competitors. As rightly said “the finish line is the just beginning” and an early beginning will make you finish the race early.

So, if you want to enter into the coveted job, be an early beginner. Good Luck!

1 thought on “How to Prepare for UPSC/IAS – Civil Service Exam while Doing Engineering”

Leave a Reply