How to prepare for APSC Civil Service Examination?

Assam Public Service Commission is the state commission of Assam, which conducts examination to recruit civil servants. Like UPSC, in case of Civil Service Examination APSC also follows the same examination pattern in three phases, namely, Prelims, Mains, and Interview.

APSC is the toughest exam in the state as a state-level examination. Still, thousands of candidates appear in the exam every year and can fulfill the vacancy with their eligibility.

There is no permanent way to prepare for any exam because everyone is born with his expertise, and everyone deals with their way. But when it comes to APSC examination experts, aspirants and successful candidates still speak about some rules and strategies they followed. 

How to prepare:

In this article, we will discuss that universally accepted strategy that will help you to prepare for the APSC examination.

Know about the exam pattern:

The first thing you need to know is the ‘Exam Pattern’. Before involving in the course details or syllabus, you need to clear yourself about the exam pattern. There is no need to do hard work; you need to do smart work, which all the successful candidates did. After coming to know about the exam pattern, you need to plan a strategy and a unique approach for all three exam stages.

It is true that the ability of a person undoubtedly varies from person to person. But it is recommended by the experts that a candidate must start preparing for the exam at least 9-10 months before the Prelims.

Go through the syllabus:

After coming to know about the exam pattern, you go through the syllabus. Experts say the syllabus is the Bible for civil service aspirants.

Collect old question paper and try to meet a successful candidate if you can:

Collect the question papers from previous examinations. Please go through it and try to understand the question pattern. What they ask and how you can answer. Also, you can check the answer keys.

If possible, try to meet some successful APSC aspirants and ask questions to know about their experiences. It will help you to prepare accordingly. 

Choose your Optional Paper:

In the next step, while you start preparing, choose an optional paper depending on your area of interest. You must love the subject because you have to read it repeatedly without losing interest, which will help you in the mains preparation.

Make a proper time table:

For your preparation, after coming to know about your syllabus and exam pattern, you may prepare a time table for your study. The preparation time is crucial, so you need to use all the time wisely. You may not have time for other work. After finishing your study, you should revise your study. Without revision, you will not be able to give a good attempt.

Read current affairs and books:

A Civil Service aspirant must be updated with current affairs. For that, you can follow The Hindu, Times of India, The Indian Express, The Assam Tribune. If you haven’t joined any coaching center, you can follow some coaching center’s free GK/Current Affairs analysis. If you have joined a coaching center, you will be provided. 

You start your basics with NCERT books based on History, Geography, Economics, Political Science, Indian Society, Science and Technology, Chemistry. 

Prepare for Prelims:

The Prelims is the qualifying exam for the mains. It is also the most competitive part of the whole exam. There will be 100 questions of 2 marks each and negative marking 0.50 for each wrong answer in the first paper. There will be questions from History, Geography, Economics, Political Science, Indian Society, Science and Technology, Current Affairs, etc. 

To prepare for this paper, you can go through these books :

  • NCERT books – History, Geography, Economics, Polity – from Class 6th to 12th
  • NCERT books – Indian Society
  • NCERT books of Class XI – An Introduction to Indian Art & Living Craft Traditions of India (Chapters 9 & 10)
  • NCERT books of Class VI to X for Science & Technology
  • NCERT books of Class XI Chemistry: Unit 14 & Class XII Chemistry: Unit 16
  • NCERT books of Class XI Biology: Units 4 & 5 and Class XII Biology: Units 8, 9, 10 & last four Chapters (13 to 16)
  • Assam History – SL Baruah, Priyam Goswami
  • Assam Year Book
  • Additional standard Books for GS Paper
  • Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
  • India’s Struggle For Independence by Bipan Chandra or A brief history of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir
  • Indian Polity by M Laxmikant
  • GK book by Arihant Publication for the basics.
  • Oxford student atlas.

Also, try to go through as much as of MCQ. Write down short notes. Keep in touch with your mentor and your aspiring friends.

The second paper is consists of Aptitude questions of Basic Mathematics, Intelligence, Reasoning, English Language tests, etc. 

APSC Mains Preparation:

Qualifying in the Prelims opens up the path for you to sit in the Mains exam. In the Mains exam, all the papers are Essay type. There will be General Knowledge, Optional Paper, English Language Test, and Local Language Test. There will be Ten papers in the Mains, and each paper will want to know about you. It will test your knowledge, thinking capacity, geographical knowledge, use of historical knowledge to solve the present situation, how updated you are, your moral and ethics, situation handling, knowledge of interest, how logical you are, the optimistic personality of you, etc, which is needed for the career of an administrative officer. So practicing essay writing is a good technique to prepare for mains.

You have to go through the syllabus, again and again, to answer any questions following the guideline of APSC. Short note you have prepared while preparing for Prelims will help you to revise your syllabus.

Preparation for Interview:

This is the last phase of the APSC examination. The position you have secured in the Mains will give you the chance to sit in the interview. It will test your whole personality covering your whole life history. It is not a knowledge test, because you have proved yourself in the written examination but the test of your personality. It will cover a lot of topics related to you. The interviewer will try to know your mental status in a tough situation. In any circumstances created by the panelists, you have to be calm and composed. You can’t give them a simple sign that you are not normal in the situation. Please don’t lie, or don’t try to make them fool. Keep the eye contact and the smile on your face while it’s a time. Give some mock tests to make yourself comfortable. Be confident and clear while answering. Some points you must know before the interview are:

  • Everything about yourself from birth to the date of the interview in a logical way.
  • Why are you preparing for APSC?
  • General awareness and opinion on burning issues logically.
  • Bottomless study about public administration.
  • A problematic situation analysis.

Do some smart work:

A few weeks ago of the Prelims, you can increase the time of the study. Now you can prepare optionally. Mostly, you can focus on current affairs and its related topics. Clear your doubt and revise in this period. The short notes you have taken will help you like a reckoned. If you can learn at least 2K-2.5K objective type questions, you can chance the most question in the exam hall.

Some important things as an APSC aspirant you must follow are:

  • Regular study is a must for all the aspirants.
  • Keep focusing on the relevant topic.
  • Proper use of time and following the time table is a good manner.
  • Practice a much as you can.
  • Don’t lose hope because the preparation time for the exam is much longer. So you have to keep motivating yourself.

According to Assam Civil Service’s new syllabus, the Prelims exam will include 30-35% of the questions based on Assam. Also, in the Mains, there will be a compulsory paper of 250 marks on Assam. The amendment of the syllabus included five General Studies paper in the Mains, where there was only one General Studies paper.

These are some of the smart strategies you can follow for your APSC preparation. Even you can you these tips for another competitive exam preparation too. Hope these tips will help you to prepare for your dream examination and work for your state. If you have decided, you must go for it and rest after your dream comes true. We wish you all the best for your preparation.

Still, if you have any particular questions, you can write to us or comment in the comment section. 


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