Archive | Guidance RSS for this section

Making the First Step Towards IAS

“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another” –Helen Keller

The Aim of Civil Services

Civil services is not merely a job or profession, but it’s a platform to make contribution towards making a healthy and prosperous society. Every aspirant should understand the goal of civil services. This ultimate goal of civil service is: to serve the society and the people. So, we should develop a service-oriented attitude, even before entering the Services.

Civil Services

What does Civil in Civil Services Mean

Pre-requisite of Civil Services Examination

Read More…

IAS Mains 2014 GS-4 Paper Analysis and Review

The Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude Paper of 2014 was a bit different from the 2013 as it contained questions requiring more brain-storming.

Again, the UPSC has failed the pseudo-coaching gurus by not going into the technical-legal aspects. The questions were general in nature, and asked were based on general awareness and aptitude of the aspirant.

In terms of the questions, UPSC did not ask many statement-based questions this time. Rather, questions sought to derive the views of the candidate.

Though the number of questions, as per the UPSC paper was lesser, we have, here, considered each sub-part as a question. Thus, the total number of question in this analysis are much more than the original question paper.

Here is the analysis of the Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude paper of 2014. For the sake of better understanding, Aspirant Forum has divided the questions in the following categories:

Section Questions Total Marks
Theoretical 2 20
Application Based 4 40
Statement Based 2 20
Thinker Based 1 10
Personal Experience and Suggestions 4 40
Case Studies (Section B) 6 120
Total 19 250

Read More…

Books you should read to Prepare for Civil Services Exam

Books for IAS Exam

The selection of books and study materials comprises one of the important pre-requisites for civil services preparation. Since the syllabus of UPSC is very vast and requires a very strategic preparation, selection of authentic books forms the very first step  in this direction.

“Books are the treasury of all enlightment, selecting good books will hunt that enlighted treasury”

Following is the analysis of some books that should be read by IAS aspirants. You can buy these books with the links provided or by any other site as well.

Note: The list might not be exhaustive, but is recommended for all the aspirants.


Read More…

Reading the NCERTs and NIOS books for IAS Preparation

the blunder of not reading the NCERT Among the most widespread beliefs about the Civil Services Preparations, is the great importance of the NCERT and NIOS books. The recent papers have further reinforced the belief. If we look in to the pattern of the civil services examination and the nature of questions asked in the exam, we will find that the civil services examination requires clarity of concepts and analytical ability of candidate to use these concepts in various fields of life. Read More…

How to write the Ethics Paper (GS-4) for IAS Mains

Many of us wonder, why did UPSC introduce a subject of this kind?

The whole framework of the Ethics paper has been based on values and ethical principles, that guide the actions and behaviour of an administrator. Given the frequent complaints in the public administration, no wonder there is a growing emphasis on ethics in public servants.

Decision making in Ethics Paper

The experience of the previous years paper has proved a few facts:

Read More…

9 Must Read Points for Those writing Mains

UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination  is just a week ahead. Our aspirant brothers must be all drowned into the studies now. However, the experience from the last year IAS Mains examination has taught an unforgivable lesson, that every aspirant should adhere to, before writing the Mains paper.

Thus, here are the 9 most important points that every IAS aspirant should keep in mind while writing the Mains paper.

1. Time Management is the Key to Success

Time Management

No matter how much you know, and how advanced your mastery of the subjects, you won’t be able to excel in the IAS Mains exam, unless you learn to manage the 3 hours of the exam time.

Read More…

Mythbuster: Coaching for Civil Services (IAS) Exam

Fake Coaching institute

Given the fact that civil services is one of the most preferred profession among the students, the Civil Services coaching market is a booming business. Visit Mukherjee Nagar, Rajender Nagar and similar places, and you’ll see the rush that UPSC exam has created among the junta.

Nevertheless, before going into the discussion about the coaching centers, here’s a short story about an Aspirant named- Dipesh (the real name has been kept secret to save the person from embarrassment).

Read More…


In the previous post on GS Paper 1, we observed the trend of the paper for Indian culture and art forms; Indian History (Ancient to modern) and Indian Society.

Now, let us move towards the other sections of the GS Paper 1.

World History


World History

World History is a very interesting part of the GS Paper 1. According to our analysis, it can prove to be one of the most scoring sections in the paper.

Read More…

GS Paper I for IAS Mains: Things You should Keep in Mind

Decoding the GS Paper-I

You might feel that GS Paper-I is the easiest of the four GS papers for IAS Mains. True, that it is possible to score well in this paper, but the content and syllabus is a little tricky and confusing.

Mains GS 1 Components

The GS Paper-I actually comprise of a number of subjects, that have been put into a single container:

1. Indian Culture and Art Forms 2. Indian History (Ancient to Modern)
3. Indian Society and Issues (related to Sociology) 4. World History
5. Geography (World) 6. Geography (Theory)


It’s not easy to get hold of each of these subjects. However, left with no choice, you have to go through every bit of the paper, deeply and sincerely.

We would recommend you to devote your time well for the subjects that you are more comfortable with, and save yourself from excessive stress by trying to impose the concepts that just pass over your head.

A few friends of Aspirant Forum have mentioned their inability to study the concepts related to culture (like temple art forms, paintings, dance forms etc.).

You should understand that it is better to devote your time fruitfully for the subjects that can deliver more, rather than trying to struggle hard with the subjects that are unfaithful to you. Any serious aspirant carries a basic knowledge of all the aspects of the syllabus, thus, be confident that you will be at least a couple of points for areas that you are scared of.


What to Do?

Let’s discuss each part of the GS Paper-I and see what should be the strategy:

Read More…

How to Read a Newspaper for IAS Exam

“I see the path that leads towards my destination, but I wonder what is the right way to walk on it”

This is a classic challenge that every aspirant faces. Every one of us know about the importance of reading the newspapers, but it is difficult to keep track of the different current affairs and events. With no option left, you keep searching the different avenues of updating the current affairs.

how to read a newspaper


Read More…