How to prepare for the CSE?
The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is considered to be the mother of all written examinations. It is a curriculum heavy examination especially at the Main exam stage. A candidate, therefore, has to begin preparation for the Main Exam and then for the Prelim. This is so because, if one starts his preparation for the Main exam after the having written the Prelim exam, he will have just four months (June to October) to prepare the Optional subject, Essay and General Studies, which is almost impossible to achieve. The optional subject is of post-graduation level and usually it will be totally a new subject. Based on the rich experience that Anushka IAS has gained by guiding Civil Services aspirants since 2009, we suggest the following course of preparation for the CSE.
Let us take X as the year in which a candidate wants to sit for the CSE and X-1 as the year previous to the one in which a candidate wants to take the CSE. One can divide his preparation into two parts or two sessions Viz., June and July sessions.
Students who begin their preparation in June (X-1)
Start your preparation in June of the previous year if you wish to appear for the Prelim exam the next year. Begin your preparation of the optional subject, from the second week of June to October (4 months) of the year X-1 and General Studies for both Prelim and Main exam from June of X-1 to March of the year X and take the Prelim exam in May or June of the year X). Prepare for the CSAT in either October (X-1) or in January (X).
After taking the Prelim exam, from June to October of the year X, you can revise your optional subject and GS and prepare the Essay paper before taking the Main exam in October.
The period from January to April and June to October of the year X, can be used to take a test series for the optional subject for the Main exam.
Kindly follow the steps shown below: (X-1 is Previous year) (X is Exam year)
Students who begin their preparation in July (X-1)
Start your preparation in July of the previous year in which you wish to face the Prelim and prepare the General Studies from the last week of July (X-1) to April (X) and the optional subject from the mid October (X-1) to March (X). Prepare for the CSAT in either in October (X-1) or in January (X).
Note: The above suggestions apply to vast majority of candidates who are preparing full time for the CSE, without taking up an employment. For other candidates, the preparation may have to be re-scheduled accordingly. They may consult the Institute for further help.