Are You Considering A Career In The Civil Services?

Are You Considering A Career In The Civil Services?

If the answer is yes!  Then you have started down the path to becoming a member of one of the most respected communities in the country.

The Indian Civil Services, sometimes, referred to as the ‘steel frame’ in the fabric of governance is one of the most challenging and fulfilling careers in India.  Its members are responsible for overseeing and administering all government activity and policies.

The four main (and popular) branches under the Union Public Services Commission umbrella are the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and the Indian Revenue Service (IRS).

Once you gain admission to any of these professions, the choice of options and opportunities to choose from are simply amazing. The range can vary from Personal Secretary to Central Government Ministers; deputations to International Organisations like the United Nations, World Bank, the Commonwealth, SAARC,    WTO etc.  Alternatively you could head up Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and autonomous organisations.

The prestige and the authority are enormous.  Like all good things in this life, it must be earned.  So it is with the Civil Services.  It is one of the most competitive exams in the world with a success rate of only about 1.5%!

To make it through you must be talented, really determined, single-minded and absolutely dedicated.  Clarity of thought, logical reasoning and a rational approach to issues and problems are essential requirements to carry out regular tasks or deal with the totally unexpected developments.

You must also be ready to shoulder immense responsibility.  Integrity is greatest virtue that every Civil Service Officer must possess.  There is no way to measure or value your positive and progressive contribution to our people.

The rewards are huge, satisfaction guaranteed and respect assured.

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Strategic Tips To Crack The UPSC Prelims

Strategic Tips To Crack The UPSC Prelims

There are no shortcuts.  You will be competing against more than 8 lakh other applicants.  The UPSC Exams require a candidate to put in 9 to 10 hours of learning and effort – daily.  There is no alternative.

The Exams are designed to test your analytical skills not your memory.  The exam is also intended to assess the all round general awareness/knowledge of the candidate.  With all that in mind Game Changer has a few simple suggestions that are really handy in your preparations. 

  • Make yourself familiar with details of the UPSC exam pattern.
  • Analysis and research of past papers will not offer clues to possible questions.
  • Remember candidates need a minimum of 33% marks in the CSAT to qualify for the Mains exam.
  • You should start your preparations at least a year prior to appearing for the exam.
  • Be very clear about your exam objectives.
  • You must develop the habit of reading newspapers and magazines in order to keep abreast of current events.
  • At first reading, the syllabus will look vast and impossible to absorb.  Do not be afraid. 
  • You do not need to be an expert on every subject or topic.
  • What is essential is being well-read, able to evaluate issues (both sides), logical reasoning, all the while keeping a balanced viewpoint.
  • You should build clarity and an unbiased perspective.
  • Cultivate a strong practice of taking notes.
    • This serves three purposes.  First – it helps you remember things better.
    • Second – It will improve your ability to write and clearly express yourself while under time pressure in the exam hall.
    • Third, it will be invaluable in your career as a Civil Services Officer. 

In this digital era of immense amounts of knowledge available online, it is incredibly easy getting information and data.  However, there are some aspects to cracking the UPSC exam that can only come from first-hand experience.

It is in this space that Game Changer can play a vital role in helping aspirants to work out a successful strategy.  One that works well for you.

We have several decorated senior Civil Service Officers (serving and retired) in our faculty.  They are an incredible resource to have.  You can draw upon their knowledge and first-hand experience to help you clear the exam.

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Game Changer: UPSC 2020 – IAS Preparation

UPSC 2020 – IAS Preparation

The first step for aspirants should be to go through the exam pattern and the UPSC Syllabus.

The syllabus for the IAS Exam is quite detailed and yet because of the wide range of knowledge being tested, aspirants should go through the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers to gauge the level of questions being asked in the exam.

Aspirants should think of UPSC Preparation as a marathon and not a sprint. For efficient and effective preparation, candidates should divide the reading material (UPSC Books) and revision time according to the date sheet given by the commission.

For reference, the important UPSC exam dates for the year 2020 are given in the table below:

Date of UPSC Notification February 12, 2020
Last Date for receipt of application March 03, 2020
UPSC Admit Card 3 Weeks before Prelims Exam Date
UPSC Prelims Exam Date
  • Sunday, May 31, 2020 [Postponed]
  • Revised Date – To be announced
UPSC Prelims Result (tentative) 1st week of July 2020
UPSC Mains Admit Card (tentative) 1st week of September 2020
UPSC Mains Exam Date September 18, 2020, onwards (5 days)
UPSC Mains Result (tentative) November 2020
IAS Interview (tentative) December 2020 – January 2021

Every year, the Union Public Service Commission releases the official notification for the Civil Services Exam.

The UPSC Notification lists the following information:

  1. Posts and Vacancies – The number of vacancies varies each year. For UPSC 2019, the official notification stated 896 vacancies
  2. UPSC Eligibility – Age limit, Educational Qualification and Physical Fitness
  3. UPSC Online Application – How to Apply and Application Fee
  4. Exam Pattern and Syllabus for Prelims and Mains

For General Category aspirants, the UPSC Age Limit is 21-32 years and maximum 6 attempts are allowed. An attempt is counted only when a candidate appears for at least one paper in the UPSC Prelims.

Aspirants who are in their last year of graduation can also take the exam but they will have to submit the proof of passing before they can appear for the Mains stage of the UPSC 2020 exam.

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Game Changer: UPSC Prelims Date Delayed – Again

UPSC Prelims Date Delayed – Again

  • Originally the UPSC Prelims were scheduled for 31st May 2020.
  • On 4th May 2020, the Commission announced a postponement in holding the Prelim Exam for 2020.
  • On 20th May 2020, the Commission announced that a fresh date will be declared on 5th June 2020 after reviewing the COVID-19 situation.
  • The UPSC Interviews for the 2019 exam has also been postponed till further notice.

All these postponements means deep uncertainty still surrounds the conducting of the UPSC Prelims. Candidates are worried and stressed, which can lead them to losing focus and discipline in their preparation.

There is a fear too that aspirants will not have sufficient time to get ready and practice for the IAS Mains. These were scheduled to begin on 18th September 2020. The dates have not been moved nor has there been a fresh announcement by the UPSC on the postponement of the Mains exam.

There is growing concern that the cascading effects of delays and postponements will leave them at a great disadvantage. This is very understandable.

However, hopefuls should not panic. Going by past trends, the UPSC has always provided sufficient time for students to prepare for the exams. For instance in 2013, when the UPSC was evaluating the exam pattern, students were still given adequate preparation time.

A word of advice here. Students should maintain their focus, be prepared for any eventuality and most importantly manage their time well.

UPSC Prelims 2020 Postponement Notice

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Game Changer: UPSC (Prelims) Pattern and Syllabus

UPSC (Prelims) Pattern and Syllabus

The Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) Examination is the first test for candidates who desire a career in meaningful government service.

The first phase or Preliminary (better known as the Prelims) Examination has two papers.  They are called General Ability Test (GAT) and the Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT). They are designed to test the analytical skills of the candidates.

The questions in these papers are objective type and carry 200 marks each, totalling 400 marks.  Each paper is two hours in length.  Both papers are compulsory and candidates must attempt both to qualify for the Mains.


There are “No” predictable patterns to the Prelims question papers.  Question papers of previous years do not provide indications of what questions may come.  However, what you do get is the nature of the questions that will appear.

The two Tests are conducted on the same day.  Paper I is held in the morning session and Paper II in the afternoon/evening session.

Paper I

History: Of India and the Indian Freedom Struggle

  • Ancient History of India
  • Medieval History of India
  • Modern History Of India – 1857 to 1947
  • Indian National Movement

Geography: Of India and the Concept of Physical Geography

  • Physical Geography
  • Human Geography
  • Economic Geography
  • World Geography

Polity: Indian Polity and Governance Issues

  • Union Executives
  • State Executives
  • Federalism in India
  • Judicial System
  • Panchayati Raj

Economy: Indian Economy & Social Development

  • Basic Principles of Indian Economy
  • Social Schemes of the Government
  • Social Development Through Economic Empowerment
  • Sustainable Development
  • Demographics

Environment & Ecology: Principles of Environment & Ecology

  • General Principles
  • Climate Change And Climate Summits & Conferences

General Science: Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Technology

  • General Principles
  • Latest Science and Technological Development

Current Events: All Events Of National & International Importance

  • Current Affairs
  • Current Affairs With all Dimensions 

Paper II

  1. Reading Comprehension
  2. Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
  3. Logical reasoning and analytical ability
  4. Decision making and problem-solving ability
  5. General mental ability
  6. Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency etc. – Class X level)
  7. English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).

8. Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X level (last item in the Syllabus of Paper-II) will be tested through passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation thereof in the question paper.

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