UPSC Preparation Tips
UPSC Civil Services Exam, popularly known as UPSC exam or IAS exam is one of the prime targets for every graduate in our country. Every year millions of new aspirants join the never-ending crowd of IAS dreamers. But every year, UPSC kills the dreams and hopes of many candidates. It’s not UPSC’s fault though, it’s a thing that is very well expected by most of the students. Because the number of posts is almost 1/10th to the number of candidates. That’s why before you choose to start studying for UPSC CSE, make sure you follow these tips to ensure your dreams don’t get shattered by this arduous exam.
1. Do proper research
Before you start a journey into the unknown, it is crucial to analyze the path that helps you reach your goal. Without proper research, you’ll find yourself lost, and eventually, lack of motivation will take over. A lot of students make this mistake when they start their preparation. As time passes, they begin to feel demotivated, and then procrastination overcomes their desire to reach their goal. Therefore, it is crucial to understand what is required to crack the exam. Before jumping in the gorge of books, properly research the syllabus and exam pattern to understand how you have to plan your studies. Once you are sure that you can cover the syllabus and perform as per the standards that UPSC demands, you can start your preparation.
2. Be honest with yourself
After the research, it is time to create a strategy. But before that, you should do a self-evaluation. As said before, UPSC Civil Services Exam has a success rate of under 0.2%. So, it is essential to understand your potential before jumping on the bandwagon. Instead of becoming a part of the crowd, make a choice based on your own potential. If you are sure you can study with a level of dedication and spirit for an extended period, only then start your preparation. It is good to be confident, but being overconfident will only slash the chances of success for you. When you aim high, you have to be sure that you are ready for the climb too. This doesn’t mean you should criticize yourself unnecessarily and get disheartened. Just be honest and understand the true potential of your abilities.
3. Set realistic goals
Setting unreachable milestones is the biggest mistake made by UPSC aspirants. When you first take a look at the Civil Services Exam syllabus, you think about completing it as soon as possible to save time for revision. Most students make strict time tables and routines that are too exhausting and unrealistic to follow. No one can simply jump into a new routine and work efficiently from the very start. So, it is essential to understand that learning is a process that evolves with time. Trying to stuff your mind with new concepts in a limited time will only make it difficult for you to follow the strenuous routine and you’ll eventually crack under pressure. No matter how smart you are, if the goals you set are unrealistic, you’ll only end up performing under your own expectations. That’s why a lot of students preparing for the UPSC CSE feel they are depressed and under pressure. The best way is to break your journey into smaller goals that are easier to achieve. You can analyze your progress regularly by reaching such milestones and then plan your journey after each accomplishment accordingly.
4. Learn smarter ways to study
With the rise in competition among the candidates, the studying methods have also seen an evolution. Students keep devising new methods to stay above the conventional crowd and perform at the top level. Also, when you have a syllabus as comprehensive as UPSC’s, age-old methods do not stand a chance. So, you should also incorporate new techniques to get the best result. Some examples of smarter ways are mnemonics, mind maps, and integrated notes. Mnemonics allow you to remember complex concepts with the help of easy catchphrases. For example, if you want to learn the sessions of Lok Sabha, you can simply remember the mnemonic BMW. Which will remind you of the names of sessions as Budget (February to May), Monsoon (June to September), Winter (November to December). You can create more such fun mnemonics that are easy to keep in mind.
The next technique is Mind-Maps. Mind maps allow you to relate data from various topics in a visual way. You can pick a central theme and then design a structure around that basic to remember all the linked points. Integrated notes are a similar procedure where you choose the aspects of various topics that have the same base and then take notes accordingly. This allows you to link important topics easily and you don’t have to shuffle through the pages over and over.
5. Follow a dynamic strategy
The final tip for the UPSC beginners is to refrain from sticking to a concrete strategy throughout your preparation. A rigid approach limits your development and learning. As you progress through your study, analyze your progress, and make changes to your routine accordingly. After you have completed your basics, you can start taking mock tests. Mock tests show you the real picture of your efforts and knowledge. Make sure to take at least one test daily and then analyze your performance. Find out your weak points and then change your strategy to strengthen those spots. A dynamic plan allows you to work on your weaknesses efficiently, and your efforts are more fruitful in the long run. A static routine, on the other hand, only restricts you from learning new things as required and you stay stuck in a loop that leads you nowhere. So, keep your mind open to new possibilities and work smartly.
These are some tips that must be kept in mind before diving into a deep ocean of books for UPSC Civil Services Exam preparation. The climb uphill is steep, and the work is burdensome. But if your vision is clear and your efforts are in the right direction, nothing can stop you. So, get your working shoes on and get ready for a weary but extraordinary hike to the top.
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