The Civil Service Examination (CSE) is one of the most competitive examinations in India. Every year, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the nationwide exam to fill up posts for 24 civil service branches of the country.
In 2018, more than 17 lakh candidates appeared for the UPSC prelims. In the end, just over a thousand aspirants made it as India’s civil servants. To crack the three rounds of examinations, a candidate must prepare rigorously for at least a year.
Students relocate to different cities to get the best training required for achieving this feat. But at present, one can choose a UPSC online course that can make the preparation more convenient and affordable.
What is a Foundational Course?
As the name suggests, a UPSC foundation course is specifically designed to build a solid foundation to excel in the examination. The total period of a foundation course varies from one institution to the other.
But it can be somewhere between 10 months to three years. The cost of the course will also vary accordingly, apart from depending on certain other factors such as success rate, expertise, quality, etc.
Who Can Opt for a Foundation Course?
A UPSC foundation course can be taken before, during, and after graduation. It is a matter of starting early to prepare for the test. You can consider taking the foundation course while still in school or after completing the higher secondary examination as well.
It is crucial to gauge whether you have the necessary time to take a foundation course while continuing school or college. A UPSC online course can help make things more convenient if time becomes an impeding factor.
Why Choose a Foundation Course?
The question that might come to your mind is whether to choose a foundation course or not. While it is essential to have a robust self-study habit, the relevancy of a foundation course in cracking the UPSC exam is undeniable.
Here are some advantages that come with a foundation course.
- It helps aspirants, especially young students, cultivate the right mindset needed to crack the exam and become successful civil servants.
- It gives an advantage to better prepare for the preliminary and the main exams and the interview rounds through experienced guidance. The study materials provided also add to this factor.
- It builds a strong foundation, which can help students grasp and answer tough questions in the examination, especially those requiring in-depth knowledge. UPSC foundation courses emphasize the NCERT syllabus, as most questions are extrapolated from its topics.
- It provides expert assessment and subsequent guidance based on individual performances.
How to Choose an Institution?
If you are planning to enroll in a UPSC foundation course, chances are you will feel bewildered. There are hundreds of institutions, small, big, and everything in between, that provide foundation courses. Hence, you must conduct in-depth research before proceeding with the enrolment to avoid wasting time and money.
You have to decide whether you prefer a physical institution or an online course. Irrespective of the location, check if the course materials are easily accessible or not. Online courses will have a repository of course materials in various forms such as videos, images, audio, etc. The more accessible it is, the better.
With so many institutions popping up, you must focus on the level of authenticity of any institution before getting enrolled. Apart from being fraudulent, many institutions will exaggerate their records to attract students. If possible, enquire about their success rate. You can also check with former students about their experiences.
Faculty and Syllabus
Many authentic online courses will have details about their faculty given on their website. Pay attention to their credentials. Also, ensure that the course comprehensively covers both the main and preliminary syllabi.
Whether you decide on a foundation course or not, maintaining a schedule for studying and proper time management skills will be crucial to crack UPSC exams.