Lifestyle required to become an IAS officer
In fact, every year the gap between the few fortunate who are selected for IAS and the others who don’t make the cut, is shrinking and not many are able to figure out the reason. One of the key reasons that make IAS exam so tough is apart from being a test of knowledge it is also a test of lifestyle, personality and character traits of the aspirant. While, knowledge can be accumulated from books and resources but lifestyle qualities like self-discipline, motivation, punctuality and others cannot. They are part of one’s lifestyle and is incubated over years. These make a vital different for candidates when it comes to the final selection. If you also want to stand apart from the crowd when it comes to IAS exam, here’s how your lifestyle can help you.
Being a Bookworm
You might have heard your tutors; coaches and even peers tell you that learning and thinking is the key to cracking IAS exam. Well, they were not kidding! The only way to tackle the ever-expanding syllabus of IAS CSAT Exam and even the extensive curriculum of subject specific papers, you will have to develop a reading habit. This reading habit cannot be forced upon you and needs to come naturally. Therefore, being a bookworm will surely work in your favour if you are preparing for IAS examination. In addition to the knowledge you accumulate with the help of books, you can also improve your language skills and learn incorporate new writing styles in your arsenal.
In addition to being a bookworm, you should also try to try to take up reading different genre and types of books. If you are only comfortable reading fiction or novels and not academic books, it would not serve you very well. Therefore, try to diversify your reading habit by including different types of books in your reading schedule.
Watching Knowledgeable TV Channels
This is another very important lifestyle trait that will go a long way in helping you in your journey towards being an IAS office. Several research studies have proven that we as humans retain more information in graphical form rather than simple text. This works well for IAS aspirants who are hooked on to watching TV. Today, one can find several knowledgeable TV channels including the veterans like Discovery and National Geographic which can help you enhance your knowledge on different topics. Furthermore, with increasing focus on India, these channels have started producing India-centric shows and video content that can help you learn a lot about our country.
Use Internet to your advantage
We are in the internet age today and it is quite natural for IAS aspirants to rely upon the internet to assist their preparation efforts for the mother of all exams. Apart from the dedicated websites for IAS aspirants, you can also look at other alternative sources like YouTube, Google News, Wikipedia and others to support your preparation needs.
In fact, many successful candidates have ranked Jagranjosh and YouTube among the best resources available to IAS aspirants to understand complex concepts and topics that are not part of their core academics. For instance, a student from humanities background can easily pick up on the basics of thermodynamics through tutorial videos. Similarly, Google News can go a long way in ensuring that you have all the latest updates about events and happenings of national as well as global importance.
There is an old adage which says ‘there is no better way to learn then travel’ and this completely holds true when it comes to IAS exam. If you are a travel buff and like visiting new and interesting places, it can teach you a lot about history, culture and even geography of the place. Travelling puts a lot of things into perspective! For the majority of IAS aspirants living the north, learning about Mughal history can be a cakewalk, all you need to do is head out to the popular forts and other places that are featured in the syllabus. Visiting Red Fort will teach you more about the history associated with it rather than reading 100 pages about it.
Similarly, if you want to learn about the topography of Aravali Mountains, it would be immensely helpful if you have visited them in person. One of the best learning experiences for me has been visiting the 7 sisters of the north-east where I learned about the drastically different culture and traditions of the region. It changed my perspective and provided me new insights and innovative perspective to build my answers when it came to topics from North-eastern states.
A wise man once said, creative people do not see things for they are, they see for what they can be! If you are an IAS aspirant, this quote should be one of your success mantras in life. As an IAS officer, you would be expected to assess a lot of different situations, make difficult judgement calls that might need some creative thinking and out of the box solutions. In short, reading between the lines and offering simple yet creative solutions for complex problems would be your prime responsibility.
The exam also tests this ability of yours throughout the IAS examination and therefore creative thinking would help you become a successful IAS officer. In fact, creative thinking can also help you devise innovative preparation strategy to crack the IAS exam.
Just like creativity, critical thinking is also very important IAS aspirants. IAS officers are generalists in the bureaucratic setup of the country, while many criticize this point but it does work in your favour if you are an aspirant. The maximum portion of IAS exam syllabus is covered from our day-to-day life; you just need critical thinking to put it into perspective. In fact, the majority of knowledge that is available to us today is the result of critical thinking, people questioning normal actions and activities; take Newton for instance.
Similarly, if you can analyze and critically examine concepts and relate them to your daily life, it would help you to understand the concepts in detail and answer the questions in IAS Exam. So, like Sherlock Homes would tell you, stop looking and start observing from today!
Punctuality & Time Management
We have been told to be ‘on time’ since our school days. While many of us have accepted it and made it part of our lifestyle, there are many who still are unable to manage their time. If you are among the latter half, you better be careful as it can seriously hamper your chances of cracking the IAS examination. For IAS aspirants, time is the most scarce resource. Therefore, being punctual and managing your time would be critical for them. Similarly, it would also prepare aspirants for the life of discipline that will follow once they crack the IAS examination.
Commitment & Self-Motivation
IAS exam is rightly called as the toughest recruitment test in the entire world. With more lakhs of IAS aspirants vying for a few hundred seats, it is surely a tough nut to crack. The situation further deteriorates when it comes to times when you are down due to personal or health problems. At times, you will have to hunt for strength and inspiration to pick the heavy reference book or go through that day’s newspaper. If you are a self-motivated person who is deeply committed to the cause of clearing the IAS examination, it would be much easier for you. Thus, inculcating commitment and self-motivation would play an immense role in clearing the IAS Examination.
These are just a few life-traits that can help you along in your journey towards success in the IAS examination. If you think we have missed out any other important character or personality traits or qualities that can help aspirants crack IAS exam, do let us know through your comments.