Among the few highly respected and sought for careers in India, Indian Foreign Service, a central civil service, holds a good position. It comes under group A of the central civil services of the executive branch of the Government of India. Like other civil services, you have to prepare for the CSE conducted by UPSC, through which the IFS cadre is filled.
How to prepare for the IFS examination?
- Before starting preparation for any exam, ask yourself if you are committed to sticking to this career and if you are motivated enough, this exam takes pressure to a whole new level. Next, you have to know how and where the exams are conducted, eligibility criteria, steps of the exam, and the syllabus regarding the exam (general studies, analytical study, optional subject, and interview). Then, finally, there are Prelims, Mains, and Personal Interview, and only on qualifying one can you take the next exam, and the result comes out as a cumulative score.
- Organize a suitable timetable- Analyse how much time you have for your exam and set up your study schedule accordingly. In these types of examinations, you can’t read 24hrs stretched before the night of the exam and pass. Slowly but steadily, you should organize the topics and subjects based on their priority and invest equal time in each topic.
- Make your base strong- Any high-altitude building stands the forces of nature due to its concrete base. So make your basics quite strong, instead of creating an increasing horizon of international level, keep a thorough knowledge about your country’s culture, developments, society, etc.
- Notes and Newspapers- You have to be well aware of current affairs in the country, and the best way for this is to engulf newspapers. Many English and Hindi newspapers provide that fundamental edge in your knowledge which provides you an upper hand. Also, newspapers help improve your writing skills (Also remember to read smartly and don’t give more than 2 hrs in this). Keep making notes so that you don’t forget particular vital dates and topics. Also, this will increase your writing speed and quality.
- Revision is the key- The amount of data and statistics you take inside your brain makes it quite volatile. A great and perfect way to tackle this is to revise timely and adequately every topic until you feel confident about your preparation.
- Personality and communication skills- Exams such as the Indian foreign service exam focus on how much knowledge or amount of data you can memorize and nurture your personality and communication skills. When you are at this level of dealing with international delegates and diplomats, you have to possess confidence in what you speak.
Few aspirants have this quality naturally, whereas few have to sharpen this over time and practice. Also, you have to build these skills to face and overcome the interview round in the exam. You have to convey your thoughts clearly to the examiners.
Last but not least, never lose your passion because it’s the passion that drives you through the difficult stages and helps you overcome such a challenging exam.