How to prepare for Civil Services Exam without coaching
Taking coaching or opting for self study for the civil services exam is a matter of individual choice. Coming to whether you need guidance or not, there have been multiple examples of Civil Services aspirants clearing the exam without any coaching.
A few Civil Services candidates have even cleared the exam in the very first attempt and that too without taking any coaching. It was possible due to their determination, confidence and belief in one’s ability and steadiness.
Preparing on one’s own has many advantages such as learn at once own sweet pace and revise constantly. And if you don’t clear it, then you can always take coaching for the next attempt. Coaching is very expensive and doesn’t give a comprehensive understanding of the subject. Since time is limited, majority coaching institutes tend to cover only those portions of the exam that is most likely to be asked. This was okay earlier but now the exam has changed and given the dynamic nature of the exam, it is important not to leave out any portions as you never know what might be asked in the paper.
If you are studying on your own without any coaching, try these tips for effective study:
1. Make a time table to monitor progress.
2. Juggle the subjects regularly as studying the same thing leads to boredom.
3. Make regular notes and read newspapers such as The Hindu.
4. You may also buy some magazines.
5. Solve previous years question papers regularly. This will also give an idea about the kind of questions asked and notes can be made according to them.
You can also save time in commuting from going between home and coaching every day. It is possible to dedicate time for studying various subjects as per your interest and comfort level when studying on your own. This is not possible in case of a coaching institute as you will need to study whatever they are teaching for that month/week.
Coaching does have its benefits as you can associate with like-minded people and it also brings about a sense of competition. You are likely to imbibe tips from their learning styles. However, no coaching institute will cover all chapters and work on improving basics. Rather, they focus on covering main topics and finish the syllabus as quickly as possible. This maybe alright for the preliminary structure of exam where shortcuts are needed but such quick handed approach is not of any use in the main examination and interview where the focus is on examining comprehensive and in depth understanding of a candidate.
The focused environment will keep up your inspiration levels. Inputs from workforce will help get a handle on more learning inside restricted span of time. Taking frequent exams and tests is also helpful but for somebody who does not want to take coaching, a number of tests are available for free online on many websites. You can also participate in online test series for a nominal fee.
If you do decide to join coaching center for preparation of civil services exam, do it after going through their notes and not on the basis of statistics or past successes and failure rate.