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Magazine For IAS/UPSC Civil Services Exam Preparation : Civil Services Synopsis

A very common query of civil services examination aspirants is which magazine should be read for comprehensive preparation. The answer to ...

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Dear readers of the blog, UPSC has come out with the interview schedule for Civil Services Examination 2012. On the basis of the result of Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2674 candidates have been declared qualified for the Personality Test. The personality test of the first lot of 420 candidates will be conducted from 4th March to 8th March 2013.

From my own experience of appearing in two UPSC interviews, I can safely say that once the results are out, it becomes a race against time for the candidates who make it through to the Personality Test. There is so much to do and hardly any time to do all of it systematically viz., brushing up on the details mentioned in your Mains Detailed Application Form, attending mock interviews, working on your body language and conversation skills etc., not to mention revising important aspects of your optionals and graduation subjects. A long list indeed of things to do and which many candidates find overwhelming. With my experience I would like to suggest the following pointers, which I found very helpful while preparing for UPSC interviews:
  1.       A thorough listing of all the information filled by you in your Mains Application Form starting from your name (meaning of your name), hometown (history of the place, any claim to fame etc), school, college, university, state, hobbies, graduation and/or post graduation subjects (queries testing your conceptual understanding of basics), optional subjects etc. In short, be prepared on anything and everything that you have yourself mentioned in the application form.
  2.       If this is going to be your first UPSC interview, then you must schedule 3 to 5 mock interviews with leading coaching institutes. But one must be careful to space these mocks over the time-period of 8-10 days that one has before one’s interview. Mock interviews are basically designed to find out your flaws so that you can work on them, but they can also backfire if one gets depressed and demotivated after giving mocks. So, plan your mocks properly and don’t waste too much time in running from one institute to another.
  3.       Current Affairs is one area that is never out of focus in UPSC interviews and invariably few questions get asked in the interview, which generally flow from the information mentioned in your mains application form. Keep reading the newspaper (The Hindu ) and following the news (DD News preferably) for keeping abreast of the current developments and issues , both national and international, which have been occupying the general mind-space over the last few months or so. For this, generally all leading coaching institutes come out with their notes which can be referred.  
  4.       Finally, what makes the ultimate difference in getting a good score in UPSC interview is doing the little things right, being polite yet firm, not trying to bluff the Board members and instead acknowledging your ignorance if you don’t know the answer of a question. Not knowing is not a crime in interview situation but bluffing or beating about the bush will definitely be regarded as a negative.

      Keep your motivation level high and approach the interview in the right earnest. All the very best to all the candidates who have qualified for the personality test and if you need any personal counseling for interviewor have any specific queries please feel free to contact me by writing to me at my email id (upsc.prelims@gmail.com). For queries of general nature one can post it in the comments section.