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Is coaching necessary for IAS preparation?

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  • Published
    16th May, 2022

Every year, we hear the news of meritorious students residing in some part of India clearing the UPSC CSE exam without attending any coaching. And we ask ourselves the question, whether coaching is necessary for IAS preparation? 

The answer to this burning question is that every person is unique having varying capabilities and the need for coaching also differs from individual to individual. Although, UPSC assess the analytical knowledge of students in general subjects but the questions are so well-rounded that they need a holistic understanding of the topic. Aspirants need to assess their situation and then decide on the utility of joining coaching centers for their preparation. Here is the list of certain things that students can check before deciding on joining coaching institutes.

Right study material: There are a plethora of UPSC study materials in the market with new addition almost every day. Students get overwhelmed by this and fail to properly structure their preparation. Precious time is lost while they decide on the most effective study material. Here, coaching institutes with years of trial and error can help in shortlisting the effective books that give the best input to output ratio.

Motivation and competitive spirit: When candidates study alone they cannot gauge the competition and compare themselves with others whereas meritorious candidates from all over India enroll in IAS coaching. Being among a group that has the same goals and aspirations helps in arousing competitive spirit and motivates to do better. This is imperative to stay on track of this long journey.

Planning and Organising: Preparing for the IAS exam requires planning for days, weeks, and months. Many students lack skills for strategic planning and discipline to stick to the goals. In such circumstances, opting for coaching is the smart move. It will help in completing the syllabus in time leaving enough time for revision.

Continual Guidance: Most of the students have zero knowledge of the UPSC CSE exam and have no mentors to guide them through this long and competitive journey. By joining coaching, aspirants can have access to mentors who have years of experience with this exam. It will help in avoiding common mistakes and save precious attempts.

Regular Practice: IAS coaching institutes not only help in comprehensively covering the syllabus but also provide regular practice questions to sharpen skills and enhance efficiency. More practice, less worry, and higher the chances of selection.

Time: UPSC syllabus (Prelims + Mains) requires almost a year to finish. If you are starting your preparation late and hardly have a few months left for the D-day then you can think of joining a crash course that will help you systematically complete the syllabus and lesser time.

Understanding of subjects: Students who have a background in humanities subjects and optional overlapping with graduation subject can think of giving full-time coaching a skip. However, students should assess their proficiency in all subjects and if they feel lacking in some subjects, they can opt for modular courses offered by coaching centers.

Therefore, the decision to join a course should be based on clear self-assessment of one’s own capabilities of handling multiple things at a time and the structured strategy to execute the plan effectively.


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