Getting through Civil Services Examination is the most cherished and coveted dream of many aspirants. A candidate gets into the Indian Administrative Services gets exposure in diverse roles such as commissioner chief secretary collector cabinet secretary and head of public sector units among many others.

Unparallel power and prestige associated with job along with the opportunity to bring about positive changes in the lives of millions draw one’s attention. It is therefore no surprise that close to 4.5 lakh students appear for the Union Public Service Commission examination each year. However only a few hundred candidates manage to crack the exam. So it becomes imperative to understand what are those qualities that set those few apart from the rest?

A strong sense of self-discipline is essentially required and key to success in achieving any goal. This preparation may involve months of intensive study and cannot be achieved without having a set routine. Good management and optimal utilisation of the time are the essential components. There are many parts of general studies that are important in clearing this exam. However a deep understanding of sociology is important if yoursquo;re looking to clear IAS. Self-discipline does not imply studying the prescribed course books every day. Aspirants should have burning desire to know what’s happening in the world around them and keep themselves abreast with the news on magazines television and newspapers. Needless to say a keen interest in reading is also a great quality that one needs to possess.

Through all the three stages of examination UPSC primarily checks a candidate’s leadership quality. Coherent and organic approach to preparation will get through the preliminary stage I and main stage II but the interview will observe one’s personality. IAS officers should be endowed with an ability to articulate their point of view to their superiors and peers conclusively besides having a high emotional intelligence. They are goal-oriented and able to influence others to devote themselves to the same purpose. This is what makes the dynamic and effective leaders in their unique field of work. To exhibit traits of a fine leader aspirants should have good interpersonal as well as communication skills.nbsp;

Even before starting their preparation candidates start scoping their chances of getting through the examination which proves to be a deterring factor for most of the aspirants. Hence it’s pertinent to stamp out this mental block before preparation. An aspiring candidate should have strong resolve to become an officer and influence the lives of the countrymen. It would also be futile to engage yourself in preparation due to peer pressure or parent’s insistence.

The writer is director Chanakya IAS academy.