— Written by Sherry A Singh
At this juncture when coronavirus pandemic has gripped the world and the future stands unpredictable, it is a challenge to maintain poise and calm, especially while preparing for a competitive examination like Civil Services, conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The date for prelims has been already postponed with no idea as to when the UPSC CSE Main will take place. So, aspirants are struggling to strike a balance between a year-long preparation and crisis management at hand.
If you are among thousands of UPSC aspirants, then these few tips can help you to sail through these turbulent times:
Solve the maximum mocks
Keep on solving as many mock exams as possible. Try to take both preliminary exams – general studies paper-1 and general studies paper-2 (CSAT) in the real-time and exam-like environment. Post the mocks, dedicate an ample amount of time to analyse the wrongly attempted questions and in enhancing the concepts for the rightly attempted questions. This is a multi-pronged strategy; in a single shot all aspects of the preparation are covered.
In video | How to prepare for UPSC CSE 2020
Reading newspaper is must
Keep all those suggestions at bay which says about abandoning reading newspapers. Undoubtedly, we live in the era of online learning with a click-easy availability of news, information, videos related to on-going events etc. So the urge is to watch a video instead of reading the complete newspaper.
Reading the newspaper provides news along with the views of the editor as well as of the other intellectuals. This automatically enhances the knowledge and enriches the content for UPSC CSE main. Following the trend of recent years, most of the questions in Main are thought-provoking, demanding action instead of theory, seeking solutions not just the causes behind the challenges that the nation is facing. So, religiously follow newspapers and other online stuff should supplement the newspaper not replace it.
Divide time between prelims and main
As the date for prelims is unannounced, therefore it is an opportunity to do a bit by bit revision for the main exam as well. Start by writing one question per day related to general studies’ papers. So, the first four days can be easily contributed to four papers of general studies, day five should be booked for essay practice and day six for optional preparation. This will keep all the limbs of Civil Services preparation in rhythmic momentum.
Integrated approach for current affairs and static subjects
There is no need to start anything new related to static topics like Indian history, Indian polity etc. but make sure of providing the linkages between the static portion and current affairs. Repeat the revision of concepts which are unclear or bit tricky to remember; the rest of the revision exercise will be taken care of mocks and their deep analysis.
Plan your day judiciously
Wasting time or shirking work, by thinking of the future is a big-time futile exercise. There will be no substantial outcome. Focus on the present and stick to your goal. Truly, the times are telling but rise above the mediocrity to make a mark. Civil Services is about challenging the challenges by working relentlessly. So, plan your judiciously but I suggest starting your day by solving preliminary mocks first then create a trail of other things.
Honestly, these are neither tips nor tricks for Civil Services preparation rather these points are the fundamentals of cracking this exam at one go without deviating under any circumstances.
— The author is senior editor (Acquisition) Test Prep, Pearson
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