Answer: To be eligible to take the Indian Civil Servives test you need to be a graduate in any stream with age around 21-30.
Once you have decided to appear for the UPSC exam, you should start preparations early. A look at past papers will get you an idea about the kind of questions that are asked. Over the years, The Competition Master has published solved papers which can be referred to.
This general knowledge paper is very important. This paper has a maximum of 150. You are expected to have keen interest in your surroundings and are supposed to have a good amount of interest in current affairs. Regular and detailed reading of a good national newspaper, a standard competition magazine and a basic book on general knowledge is the essential pre-requisite. For History, Economy, Polity, etc, it is advisable to read Class 11 and 12 books published by the NCERT. Some books on the freedom struggle are published by the National Book Trust. For general knowledge and objective-type questions, refer to General Knowledge Refresher by O.P. Khanna. To brush up your knowledge on current affairs read Competition Master regularly.
Success Plan for Mains
Preparations for the Civil Services Mains Exam should start along with those of Preliminary exam. This is because there is much common ground for study, and there is little time for the mains exam if you wait for the results of the Prelims. It is a long haul and preparations should be done with persistence, over nine months to an year.
Choice of subjects
Here you should choose according to the study material available. Choosing subjects like history, sociology, anthropology, geography, political science, psychology and public administration helps as there is a huge amount of study material available, which covers the entire syllabus. Even if your branch of study is different, it is advisable to keep in touch with one of these subjects which will help you when you start preparations. Start collecting books and readings once you have made your choice.
The next step is to make a time-bound study plan, which would include not only studying the subject but improvement of writing expression. This is done by writing down the answers to the questions asked in previous years' papers. Show these answers to someone you know, like a teacher in your college or university, parents or friends.
Brush up on the following topics for General Studies:
Current Affairs - National and International
Geography of India
Science and Technology
History of India and Freedom Movement
Study of thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindranath Tagore
Statistics and General Mathematics Ability
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Best wishes for a bright future,