Cracking CSE in first attempt
Sound health is prerequisite to crack civil services examination and without which all your plans will fall flat. In general, most of the students prefer late night studies but it might affect health adversely.
After going through the comprehensive IAS syllabus, most of the civil services examination aspirants form an opinion that the exam cannot be cleared in first attempt. Undoubtedly the syllabus is huge but you need to remind yourself that in principal, you are not starting afresh and you already have fair idea of many concepts- by brushing up that knowledge you can kick off your preparation. You may also divide the whole syllabus into different sections according to your strengths and weaknesses which will immensely help you map out study plan.
Stop looking at the IAS curriculum as a whole – divide and conquer
You can put to use a simple yet effective time management technique which says set about doing a big task by dividing them into smaller ones and accomplish the important ones first. This is how you avoid bogging down in less important tasks and head towards success. Employing this technique, conquering UPSC exam in the first attempt won’t appear distant dream.
Theory papers: History, Economy, Polity, Geography, Optional subject (Demands a lot of your time!)
Aptitude test: CSAT (Demands a fragment of your time, more of your intelligence!)
Make a timetable and adhere to it
Drawing out a timetable and clinging to it is a prerequisite to get through civil services examination. Your time table should apparently depict how much time you have allocated to different topics. By adhering to a systematically designed time table, you step up your chances of clearing IAS in the first attempt.
Indulge in quality discussions
Discussion is an important tool that removes lingering doubts in your mind. Discussing all the developments that take place in India or has an impact on India diaspora is recommended by IAS toppers and should be followed religiously if you want to clear the exam in the first attempt. Discussions will give you edge over your opponents not only in prelims and mains abut also in interview
Solve mock papers regularly
It is essential to solve mock papers for both Prelims and Mains which will help you keep a track on your progress and understand the areas where you need to work on. Solving mock papers will always keep you motivated.
Develop answer writing skills
Studying the syllabus and amassing abundance of knowledge is important but how you write in the exam eventually counts and decides your selection or rejection. How you put your writing skills to use in three hours is what makes one topper and one failure. Hence regular practice of essay/answer writing is important. Evaluate yourself before UPSC evaluates you.
The Two Time Revision Rule
Map put your studies in a way so that you have enough time for a minimum of two revisions. It is recommended thatgeneral studies as well as CSAT syllabus should be reviewed twice – a week before the examination.
Do not ever skip newspapers
A civil services examination aspirant should be attuned to the fact that all the questions come directly from the newspaper. So better understanding of ‘How to read a newspaper’ and ‘what to read and what not to read’ can guide you towards success. Reading Newspaper acts as an integral whole in your entire preparation process.
Start framing your own questions
An inquisitive person can garner unbelievable information which simply a knowledge-seeking person has no access to. In IAS preparation also an aspirant should probe into questions that can be asked in the examination. You can keep a separate notebook for your Current Affairs section and continuously update it with recent developments in the fields of Economy, Art, Polity and Social Sector Initiatives. This notebook will be your passport to success.
Plan and execute
Good planning is stepping stone to success and effective execution is the next step. Time to time, you should canvass your plans and make necessary amendments wherever it is required. Proper planning gives direction to your preparation. So if you are aiming to crack IAS exam in the first attempt, be a good planner.
Maintain a healthy diet and regular sleep
Sound health is prerequisite to crack civil services examination and without which all your plans will fall flat. In general, most of the students prefer late night studies but it might affect health adversely. Having rich and nutritious diet saves you from fatigue, stress and other health ailments that might knock you down. Similarly, there cannot be substitute to a good sleep and your mind and body if not rested properly cannot give optimal performance.
AK Misra - The writer is Director of Chanakya IAS Academy