IAS Examination is not that much tough or not equal to GATE. The level of the IAS Examination only depends completely upon the preparations of the candidate.If your preparations are good,then you won't face much problems in clearing this exam.
However,this exam do require lots of efforts. For a usual candidate,they are tough.The level of this exam becomes high only because the large number of aspirants apply. Although,if you are keen to succeed, and you work hard, then you will surely clear this exam. You have to follow some tips to succeed
1. Firstly,you need to decide which examination you want to appear for and then make sure your educational qualifications are valid upto it.
2. You need to improve upon your writing skills and get rid of your grammatical and spelling errors.
3. Go through previous test papers and try to take test papers
4. Adopt a planned way to study.Learn to use time well.
5. Maintain a positive attitude throughout.