Indian Foreign Services Examination – Prelims Strategy, Booklist.

Indian Foreign Services Exam

Many of us are interested in Indian Foreign Services but we don’t know exactly which strategy to follow in order to crack Indian Foreign Services Exam. So, in this article we are going to discuss how to prepare for Indian Foreign Services. We will discuss an optimum strategy for ourselves with the help of a case study. Let’s get started.

Believe in yourself and keep your dreams burning inside you. Remember, to achieve something requires faith, dedication, hardwork and perseverance. Things become possible and achievable for those who believe that they can achieve it.

Why Indian Foreign Services (IFS)?

Before going for Indian Foreign Services, you should know why you want to become an Indian Foreign Services Officer (IFS Officer). The reason varies from person to person and I will not discuss that. But I will tell you which type of person should take part in it.

  1. We all know that as an Indian Foreign Services (IFS) Officer you have to travel to many countries as an envoy, secretary, etc. So those candidates which likes travelling should choose this service.
  2. Second and the most important thing is that as an IFS Officer you have to remain in other countries, so you have to live away from your family, friends, etc. So, all such guys who cannot live away from their close ones should avoid it.
  3. Unlike, IAS officer who have to work at ground level and try to solve the grievances of local people, you don’t have such work. Instead you have to work in enhancing the relationship with countries, organising the visit of our country’s leaders, helping the Indian Diaspora there. So if you like that then Indian Foreign Services is for you.

Now, I will not take your time and we will now discuss how to crack Indian Foreign Services.

Indian Foreign Services Examination Strategy

Since we all know that to become an Indian Foreign Services (IFS) Officer you have to clear Civil Services Exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). All those candidates who secure a rank of around 150 have a chance to become an Indian Foreign Services(IFS) Officer. We will discuss the strategy of K V Maheswara Reddy who secured AIR 126 in his first attempt. We will unfold his strategy step by step which will definitely going to help you in forging your own strategy.

About K V Maheswara Reddy

Mr. Reddy completed his B.E (CSE) from University College of Engineering, Osmania University in 2012. After this, he didn’t stopped and completed his M. Tech (CSE) from IIT Bombay in 2014. After working for several firms he finally decided to prepare for UPSC in September, 2017.

He had decided that he will do self study for General Studies and will take the help of Internet for that. He chose Anthropology as his optional subject. For his optional he took guidance from Dr. K S Godavarthy sir at Braintree institute in Hyderabad.kv maheshwara prelims marksheet

Mantras For UPSC

Nobody knows whether he will succeed in clearing UPSC Exam or not? But Mr. Reddy followed some Mantras during his entire preparation journey which surely helped him. These are

  • Limited Material and Maximum Revision
      1. Keep your resources/study material limited and revise that limited material again and again.
      2. What are his resources: Past year question paper, Standard Books including NCERT Books, The Hindu.
      3. Online Material: Insights, Mrunal, IAS Baba, Crack UPSC ( helped in forming strategies).
      4. He revised them a number of times before both Prelims and Mains.
  • Read Newspapers Daily
    1. Unlike others, he used to read the newspaper instead of reading it’s summary.
    2. He never used to miss newspaper reading. While reading, try to link the news with upsc syllabus.
    3. If required, you can make its notes.
  • Be consistent and do hard work
    1. Try to have a balanced daily routine and complete the syllabus on time and then revise.
    2. You can take some break in 15-20 days when you think it’s now required.
  • Focus on Quality rather than Quantity
    1. Don’t think about the hours you take to cover a topic, instead try to have a conceptual clarity of the topic.
    2. It’s become important sometimes when you have not revised that topic and that comes in exam, so if you have conceptual clarity then you will be able to answer it.
  • Integrate your preparation
    1. Cover all the topics comprehensively for all the stages of the exam.
    2. Try to study current affairs and static part simultaneously or integrate them.
    3. While reading any topic try to form the probable question and after that topic is completed try to check the past year papers and solve those questions.
  • Be Positive
    1. There are many so called “Well Wishers” around us so avoid them.
    2. Don’t think too much about cutoff, paper, results of mock test, etc. Do some meditation to avoid it.
    3. Use social media limitedly. Try to avoid it.

Guys, it’s time to understand Prelims strategy.

Indian Foreign Services Exam Prelims Strategy

First and the foremost thing you should understand is that Prelims is only a Qualifying exam, so don’t over emphasize prelims for Mains. At the same time, never take prelims too lightly. Have a balanced approach and focus on integrative study.

Current Affairs

  • Read the Hindu newspaper and make notes from it.
  • You can read the daily summary of news from insights
  • Read a monthly magazine for current affairs to give yourself a finishing touch in current affairs.

Static Part

  • Read basic NCERTs and other standard Books.
  • If you want to read NCERT Books in PDF form then click here.
  • Make short notes but it’s not compulsory you can also underline/highlight the important things in the book itself.
  • Make notes of important topics like national parks, festival, important places. All these things will benefit you during your preparation.

Indian Foreign Services Exam- Booklist

  • History: NCERT (6-12), Tamil Nadu Board Class 11 History Book, Spectrum’s Brief History of Modern India
  • Economics: Economic Survey, 11th NCERT, Vision IAS notes
  • Geography: NCERT Class 11-12, GC Leong
  • Science and Technology: NCERT (6-10), Internet
  • Environment & Ecology: Shankar IAS Notes
  • Polity:M Laxmikant & Vision IAS Material
  • Art & Culture: Nitin Singhania’s Art and Culture Book & NCERT Class 11 Fine Arts

Previous Years Question Papers

  1. Read them properly and solve them a number of times. It would be more helpful if you solve them subject wise as it will help you in understanding that which are your weak areas.
  2. While solving the paper, try to understand the meaning of each and every option and learn from it. For example: If there is a question on National Parks then read all it’s options and if you don’t know about anything make notes of it and revise it.

Prelims Test Series 

Do join a test series whether online or offline. Here, I am not promoting any coaching institute but my aim is to make you aware that test series helps you to know your mistakes, gives you an opportunity to learn more and helps in enhancing your elimination technique.

Tips For Prelims Mock Test Series

  • Solve it as if you are giving the real exam.
    • Follow the time and try to complete your exam on time. If you are unable then improve upon it.
    • Never Cheat while you’re giving the exam.
    • Solve the easy questions first and then go to the difficult ones. This saves your time and it ensures that you have done all the easy ones.
    • You can use elimination technique in the difficult questions.
    • Try to develop a habit of handling pressure in the exam Hall as in the actual exam pressure will be intense. This pressure chokes many dreams.
  • After the exam try to analyse all the questions and do research on questions which you were unable to solve.
  • Analyse your mistakes and make its notes.
  • Try to do some research on all the options of the questions. This will enhance your knowledge
  • All these things act as a relief booster and helps in increasing your productivity.

Note: The main aim of these mock test is to improve your accuracy. Don’t expect the same questions/marks in mocks to that of UPSC Prelims.

Follow these steps and try to revise more and more. Try to develop elimination guessing technique in you. It will be very helpful for you.

Indian Foreign Services Exam- Last 2 Months Strategy

This becomes a very crucial phase in your preparation journey. So,make a timetable and  revise all the current affairs, mock test, standard books. Solve daily quizzes, revision questions etc.

When the date of the exam get closer and closer so feel anxious is understandable. So, I would recommend you to stop studying for the last 2 days and enjoy the company of your friends and family. Try to refresh your mind.

Remember, you have to be confident on the day of the exam. To achieve this follow meditation and yoga. Try to motivate yourselves.

There are no secrets to success. Success is an outcome of hard work, dedication and a person’s ability to learn and change from failures.

Guys, thank you for reading this article, I will cover the Mains strategy for Indian Foreign Services in another article. You can click here to read Anu Kumari Strategy for Prelims and Mains.


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