"Five hours of effective study every day for a year will help in clearing the civil service examinations" said J. Justin Mohan First Secretary (Development Cooperation), High Commission of India, Sri Lanka, told a gathering of students on Sunday.

Alongside daily reading of newspapers and magazines, being conversant with answers for questions asked over the past 25 to 30 years will stand candidates in good stead to score at least 60 per cent in the preliminary examination, Mr. Justin said, delivering a talk on ‘How to become a civil servant’ at the Jamal Mohamed College. The College’s Civil Service Exams Study Centre organised the awareness programme association with Azhagiya Kadan IAS Academy.

Serious preparation warrants looking for minute details, taking short notes, and jotting down important points wherever required. Those aspiring to prepare for civil service examinations while pursuing post-graduation or doctorate could do so by striking the right balance in time management.

Since the questions could be answered in any order, it was advisable if candidates attempted those questions for which they know the answers very well. By answering questions with flow charts and diagrams, they would be able to create a good impression in the minds of evaluators. On the other hand, if answers in the beginning are vague, even the best answers for the following questions will not fetch the desired marks, he explained.

Spending year after year in preparation for civil service examinations could cause fatigue, he cautioned, and advised candidates to keep options open for IAS, IPS, IFS and other services. The preparation will also help them to clear banking exam and other competitive examinations. While the preparation must be made with a focussed mind, candidates must not have their minds fixated on a particular service in the civil services, Mr. Justin emphasised.