• What are competitive exams? What are their requirements and how different they are from academic exams?

Competitive exam involves competition. It requires accumulation of knowledge, information, application of intelligence, reasoning ability which normally aspirants evolve during school days. It is test of skill, momentum which involves intensive self-motivation, strong mental strength and stamina coupled with intensive and consistent hardwork to come-out successfully.


Competitive exam defers from academic exams by its bench marks needed to clear the exam. The benchmark varies based on the performance of various competitors in the exam. Thus success of such exams depends on candidates level of adaptation to the requirements of the exam.


  • What is TNPSC? What is meant by Group 1, Group 2, or Group 4 services?

Tamilnadu Public services commission is the premier recruiting agency for all state civil services of Tamilnadu government.


Group-1 services which includes the posts of Deputy Collector, Deputy Superintendent etc., of police is equated with IAS/IPS.  Services like sub-registrar, Municipal commissioner, DCTO are officer rank services under group-2 services. Groups 4, VAO are of assistant level services.


  • When should I Start to prepare for such exams?

During Under Graduate final year, Aspirants can initiate the process of preparation by building foundation in terms reading, writing and understanding recollecting and coming to right conclusion.

It is strictly advisable that aspirants should never get admitted to any commercial coaching centres.


  • How should I prepare for these exams once I get to know the exam details like syllabus etc.,?

Initiation period:

The first two fours months are most confusing. Aspirants will face difficulty in understanding what to read, how to make notes, from what sources they have to study and other questions rising with their mind. Usually during this period the students get misdirected either by following senior players or by joining coaching centres. It is where the students lose their momentum. It is very difficult to realign and gain momentum back if the start is faulty.


The best way to start is by getting acquainted or socialized with exam and its process. Students should start by going through the past question papers and syllabus (subject-wise segregated original questions can be found at TNPSC group-1, group-2, group-4, VAO, TET, TRB, UPSC past question papers with answer key or at http://www.tnpsc.gov.in/ ), identifying the sources of such questions like which book or newspapers etc., focus areas in syllabus, their strength and weakness, time required to prepare for such exams. During this period aspirants will get to know how to make notes, how to read from books.

At the end of this stage (after introspection), students can decide whether self-study is enough or coaching centre is needed.

Preparation period:

Students should enter this stage once they have sharp clear cut idea about the study plan. There should not be any back and forth thoughts about their preparation at this stage. Since it is the longest period in the process of preparation, students must to maintain their consistency regarding the attitude, thirst for accumulation of relevant knowledge, tendency to acquire and develop relevant skills.


  • How much weight age each subject carry in general studies paper?

In TNPSC exams under general studies paper, the real testing is done in his/her Mathematical ability, general knowledge and proficiency in current affairs.  Humanities subjects like history, geography, economics, polity carries more weight age than science and technology.


  • What is meant by degree/SSLC-intermediate standard in the syllabus of such exams?

Degree standard: The nature and pattern of questions is of much higher standard which involves testing acute knowledge, ability of the aspirants who has completed a graduation.

SSLC-Intermediate standard: The nature of questions is of SSLC standard and most of questions are sourced from school text books.


  • What is the role of coaching centre in these exams? How far it helps you to achieve success?

Good Coaching centres guides, orients and transforms aspirants only in terms of requirements of the exam. Coaching centres modules will emphasize the skill and other conditioning which is demanded by the exam. They provide mentorship in motivating and incorporating momentum in aspirants.


True Coaching centres makes real-time assessment of aspirants and fine-tune the aspirants to the realistic requirements of the examination. It breaks prejudice, brings in clarity, removes confusion and provides advisory in guiding aspirants to meet the demands the exam.


Coaching centre not only evaluates the students but also provides opportunity for remedial correction and creates level-playing field for all aspirants enrolled with training program.


With all that said, it is very important to remember that coaching centre can never substitute aspirant’s initiation, process of preparation and his / her hard work. It is only a guide but not an end.


  • Is there any shortcut to succeed in such exams?

As there is no shortcut to success, so as there is no shortcut to success in competitive exams like TNPSC group-1, group-2, group-4, VAO. Consistent hard work coupled with smartness, right guidance and right attitude is what it needs to succeed in such exams.


  • Any tips regarding time management?

Students should prepare well-in-advance and not just after exam notification so that they have enough time to meet the demands of the exam.  Adequate time should be spent so that students rise from foundation to core.


  • What advantage does students who completed graduation in Tamil-medium have?

Tamilnadu Govt. services are currently dominated by rural aspirants rather than urban aspirants. Reservation provided to Person studied in Tamil-Medium gives equal advantage for PSTM aspirants like the rest.



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