Very often we get this question that Is it possible to crack RAS Exam by self-study or Can I crack RAS exam without coaching ?
Well, to start with obvious, the one word answer to your question will be YES.
Well, On basis of historic data, a good number of students have prepared on their own and cleared RAS examination (for that matter even UPSC exams also). People from Rural background, from marginal background etc. who for their own individual reasons could not afford coaching, have cleared examination.
That answers the easy and the first part of the question that yes, it is possible to crack RAS Exam without coaching.
Now, moving to more interesting, more complicated -second part. What should be done. or How can one crack RAS Exam without coaching ?
Before anything else , you should always make note of the one simple fact that “Whatever shall be the nature of papers etc etc at the end of the day not even 1% of people that are preparing with you, before shall be selected”. In RAS 2018, for 980 posts about 3,76,762 people appeared for RAS prelims.
Thus it cannot merely be about what books to read or what notes to follow.
If you want to crack RAS exam without coaching, first things you need to notice & eliminate are the crucial advantages that aspirants going for coaching have over you?
For Starters like:
As I was an engineer, the most difficult part was, I did not know even basic background like for example if I read a news related to CBI, all I knew was full form and none of the relevant stuff like, it came under which ministry or what act governs it or what nature of the body. Going through a coaching for current affairs would save you from trouble, the coaching guys would do all the research and give you a sheet ready to drink with milk. But then, the important part is, what to do if you are not doing coaching.
See, it matters less if you follow rajras/ or abc/ or xyz. What matter more is that at the end of the day you should also have a sheet ready that has all the stuff in it. So the best friend is NEWSPAPER and the best site is GOOGLE. Get the topic search on google and see 2–3 references, whether rajras or elsewhere and get your sheet ready. The more this sheet is updated, the more this sheet is unique, the more facts you can pour from this sheet to your mains answer book, the closer you will get to your goal.
Yes, you would have to spend extra time but that is what you have to do so be it.
The other major problem that you may face is structuring of syllabus and time management.
Coaching people divide the syllabus and schedule the classes and lets not get into quality aspects but you know that your entire syllabus will be covered. On the contrary when you prepare yourself, the task is more difficult that you can ever estimate. You follow abc site, but the site is under no obligation to complete 100% syllabus and frankly none can. Further, in actuality you follow multiple sites, each with its own frequency of post and own way of completing course.
Such ancillary functions, tend to eat up a lot of time and divert you from studies.
Hence, in my point of view the crucial part of self-preparation is not which site or which book to follow but
- Time management
- Pressure Balance ( Here Pressure = Syllabus/ Quality time Devoted). Hence, Pressure History= Pressure Geo = Pressure Polity= Pressure Ethics.
- Maintaining Urgency throughout the of course preparation. When you miss classes for 3 days, if nothing else, you know you have missed them and this creates urgency.
- Creating virtual peer pressure and sense of competition. When you go to classes you see heavily loaded chaps with books painted by Faber-Castell highlighter and no matter how cool you act, the pressure get you and pushes you study hard, indispensable for RAS & other competitive exams.
- Well, actually you would have to make you own list and as I said above, nullify each and every advantage that coaching institutes offer.
It might seem that, it is easier to have a coaching than to take all this trouble. Which is only rational as coaching do take good fees and there has to be a valid reason for that. However, not joining any coaching & going though all that trouble also has crucial advantage apart from saving money & time.
To understand that one has to first note that RAS is not just about prelims, it is 3 stage examination with competition getting stronger in each stage. Prelims is just a gate or stage that you have to cross, it is mains & interview based on which you will be ranked.
When you burden yourself with note making, you read more, develop faster information processing capacities and most importantly have the opportunity to create your 100% genuine, unique answer solution to any question that can get you the extra 2 marks that help you become RAS.
While, coaching materials do provide standard answers but that gets repeated too in mains answer copies as when people reading from same source, write similar answers. The person checking copy, also starts to get lethargic reading same answers and awards basic numbers. But when one comes across a different answer it certainly appeals to outrank others.
Self-study also provides you to look at the exams from wholistic point of view, checking old toppers answer copies, analysing old prelims papers, are some of the value addition things that you can do.
In the end, once needs to remember these few basic rules:
- You don’t get ranked for what you read but what you write.
- Prelims is just the start.
- There is no substitute of NEWSPAPER.
- NCERT’s are the basic, this is where you start.
- Cover Syllabus, Revise & Improve. Repeat.