UPSC exam countdown begins

Mitali Dhar

It is impossible to win the race unless you venture to run, impossible to win the victory unless you dare to battle –
Richard M. DeVos

With just less than one month left for UPSC Civil Services preliminary examination, lakhs of aspirants across the country must be in their last leg of preparation. Yearly, the exam is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to shortlist officers for Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) among others. The Commission will be conducting the Civil Services Examination (Preliminary) 2019 on June 2 at various centers. The recruitment exam is conducted annually by the UPSC in three stages – preliminary, main, and interview.
As last-minute revisions pace up and stress levels escalate, here are few yet effective tips that might help young minds become the future steel pillars of our nation.
*Trust your standard sources obviously. A careful reading of the current edition of the NCERT course textbooks is the heavenly vessel of this test. You would regularly discover questions coming from the NCERT.
*Keep your previous year papers ready while you are revising. This way, the candidate would exactly know how the paper has been designed, how much time to be allotted to each section and what are the subjects being tested in each section. This would also allow the student to know the cut-off for each section and exactly how many questions he is required to do and marks needed to score to qualify for the examination.
*De-clutter your preparation by revising whatever sources you have already been referring to. Do not try to read from several new sources as they might lead to confusion.
*Stick to the core topics: Do not try to overshoot and increase the topics to be covered to study. Instead, do the opposite and focus on the most important areas of the syllabus. Environment and Ecology, Geography, Modern History, Art and Culture, Polity and Economy are important areas.
*It is important to create a timetable and then adhere to it. Do not change it daily. Employ 60 percent of your time to revise what you have already read. In the remaining 40 percent, cover the remaining topics, one by one. Gradually, as the exam date nears, reduce this percentage so that in the last week you are not reading anything new. Be thorough in all topics.
*Current affairs are not the mammoth it is often made out to be. An advisable strategy would be to summarise relevant defense acquisitions and joint exercises, space launches, bills, or laws in news in a single document for easy referral. These are straight-jacketed questions and can be answered easily.
*One should use the test series or practice questions one is referring to very wisely. A good way to cover practice questions in the last week is to simply focus on the questions in current happenings. This would help you revise current affairs and give you a broad and diverse coverage.
*Newspaper reading should not be sacrificed at preparing at the cost of static portion in any case. Papers offer you the chance to think about the news, and furnish you with the advantage of understanding it in a spaced out format.
*The last month of the examination can be extremely testing for the candidate both physically and mentally. Hence, it is extremely important that all candidates preparing for the UPSC-IAS Prelims do not compromise on the same. Candidates are advised to complete their regular sleep in 6-8 hours, which would leave the student feeling fresh and restored for the next day.
*Take the second paper on Aptitude (CSAT) seriously. Don’t be over zealous and remember that it is a qualifying paper and you need simply those many marks to be considered.
*Do not enter with a mindset of attempting particular number of questions. Remember, there is negative marking also and the result may not be in your favor.
*You will get enough break between both the papers, be well aware about the area and the locality of your center. Be hydrated and eat something.
Finally, despite the lakhs of students writing this exam, a few thousands seriously prepare. Don’t let the competition get to you. Trust your instinct, and your latent memory shall recall elements that you think you might not remember. At the core of it all, this is an endurance test, stay calm and conquer this stage!