Essay is one of the nine mains paper. which gives you an opportunity to put forward your thoughts in a manner . This paper checks the depth and breadth of your knowledge. And when we say knowledge, it doesn’t mean our conventional understanding of the same. The topics are unknown to us before the exam and we are expected to apply all that we have learnt to produce a logical and intelligent account of what is being asked. You have to write two essays each with a word count of 1000 – 1200. You have to pick one topic from four topics. The Essay Paper is for a total of 250 marks with one essay for 125 marks. Essay writing is not easy job. It requires right approach and good practice. MAny candidates take the essay paper too lightly resulting in a score not comparable with their potential. Hence, it is vital to attempt this paper with the same seriousness as all other papers in GS Mains and learn the art of writing a good essay.
It can be easily said that many UPSC exam aspirants overlook the importance of preparing their essays well. A majority of novices mistakenly feel they can write the perfect essay on their exam day, while the repeaters equate the knowledge gained through their General studies preparation to successful writing. In both cases, writing practice is left unconsidered. UPSC essay writing carries a total of 250 marks comprising of 2 essays in total (125 marks each). Leaving behind writing a good essay of 1000 to 1200 words to mere chance is a grave error.
Essay is the deciding factor in your Mains score. Even after spending months in GS preparation, aspirants struggle to score even 100 marks in GS papers out of 250 each. If one prepares smartly and gives adequate time for Essay preparation, its quite possible to score 150+ marks in Essay.
Being unpredictable nature of essay evaluation, how can we can tackle this paper?
Tackling it smartly
The duration of the essay paper is 3 hours and the word limit is not mentioned. It is generally said that 1500-2000 words should make a good essay. This can comfortably be written even with a moderate pace in 2 to 2 ½ hours. So the first 30- 45 minutes can be spent for the groundwork preparation. First is the selection of the proper essay topic. Out of the 6 topics, one topic would generally be related to philosophical issue, unless one is confident it is better to opt it out. Like wise one can eliminate topics with which one is not comfortable. Some topics, most of the aspirants cannot maintain a balance throughout the essay so better opt them also out. Finally select the topic that you think can do justice. The answer booklet of the main examination consists of 24 single pages. The last 3-4 pages can be used for rough work. If you are sure that you can complete the main booklet, then ask for one additional at the beginning of the exam and use it for rough work. In these pages prepare outline for the essay by asking questions yourselves. It is also called as brainstorming.
Few Essay Writing Tips
A proper structured framework with all your essay points is required before writing. You have see toppers strategy, papers and It will have three compulsory distinct parts. They are an introduction, content body, and conclusion. This type of format looks neat and authentic. As a result, you will be able to fetch greater marks.
UPSC essay writing is not your regular school or college question. Here, along with your knowledge of a topic, your ability to produce it sequentially, consistently and with precision is given equal importance.
Your general studies preparation, magazines like Economic and Political weekly, Yojana, etc will give to knowlwdge. These magazines will not only help you revise your GS content, but will also give you good ideas regarding content presentation.
Starting your GS answers with a definition is the right thing to do, but doing so in essays just makes it stale and boring. You must try to up the examiner’s interest by quoting a famous personality, an interesting quote, or a relatable real-life/fictional event. Books, magazines and newspapers will help you learn essay-worthy anecdotes and incidents.
One way of writing for a particular topic might not necessarily work for the other. You must first understand the nature of your topic and then decide how you want to tackle it down further.
It is a must to include constitutional provisions, examples, statistics and expert opinions, to look authentic.
A good vocabulary showcases how well-read you are. This doesn’t mean you use it incessantly. But, a strong word can add value to your sentences when used the right way.We know that you can’t read up an entire dictionary in a week. And we do not expect you to do so too. The best way to build-up a strong vocabulary is by reading the newspaper daily. Even reading non-fiction can be of great help here. What you must do is write down the words, phrases and quotes that seem unique alongside their meanings. Writing an example sentence along with it will also help you retain it in your memory longer.
- Intelligent and wordly-wise subheadings
The subheading is the entire body copy at a glance. Representing a paragraph with a catchy, smart and content-aligned subheading can get you major points in an essay exam. It raises the interest of the examiner, and also aids readability.
When writing a long essay of 1000-1200 words, it’s quite easy to end up losing out on the main message you want to convey. To ensure that you deliver the desired message, it is crucial to present your sentences/paragraphs in an organized and sequential manner. Practice is essential if you want to deliver a write-up that showcases your well-connected thinking ability. You can end a paragraph with a question, or an introduction to the next paragraph. This will help you maintain a smooth connect between your subtopics.
Though exam tests your vocabulary , but avoid using complex words just to sound well-read. Instead, concentrate on writing clear, concise and meaningful sentences that put your point across. It is best to avoid redundant sentences. A common mistake made by many is writing lengthy sentences. It’s best to put down small and simple sentences rather than elaborate ones that will make the reader lose out on the crux of your point.
You must always summarise your essay on an optimistic note in 3-4 lines. It is advisable to not skip on giving your vision for the future. Introduction and conclusion are most important in making your impression /picture and deciding your score. Hence ending and introduction of your essay should be very strong.
Preparation Strategy for beginners
- Start reading relevant NCERT books from 6 to 12th standard.
- Start Reading some newspaper and brief notes to improve general awareness
- Listen to News and analysis on TV channels. DD/BBC/CNN/RajyaSabha channels should be preferred.
Understanding pattern of examination
- See the whole examination from an integrated approach ( pre cum Mains approach is best)
- Do not say let me clear the pre first than i will start preparing for mains
- Always remember the important date in the whole examination manner
- Do not waste time thinking " Still a lot of time is left"
Selection of optionals
- take into consideration factors your own academic background, Interest, Time available and access to resources before selecting optionals.
- There is nothing like good or bad optional, lengthy and small optional, these perceptions varies from person to person depending upon individual situation and capabilities.
- Do not decide the optional on the basis of success of others
- Give sufficient time to yourself to final decide the optional ( normally it must take around 15 days to complete the whole process)
- No optional is scoring or not scoring, it all depends upon how you have prepared it.
- Do not decide the optional on the basis of general studies.
- Take responsibility of your decision and prepare religiously.
Time management plan
- Prepare the mains part before the pre examination ie the optional subjects should be prepared before pre examination.
- Fix time limits for every aspect of the preparation
- Newspapers should not be given more than an hour before pre.
- Select you study material carefully as wrong material may waste your time
Selecting Study Material
- Do not collect the material as it comes
- Take a conscious decision to consult an expert while choosing it or refer to past year papers.
- There is no "the material"
- Do not ignore studying standard text books , concentrating simply on notes never helps
Check out Free Resources which can help you in your preparation
How To Prepapre Notes For IAS Exam
Making notes is essential for the preparation of Civil Services examination and there are several reasons to it; one, notes makes you to understand the given topic clearly. This is because you have to pick up important points and condense them in few words or sentences while making notes. Second, writing down any information helps you to remember it much better. Thirdly, making notes is a good practice for thinking and writing about the given topic. Fourth, well-made notes help you to avoid going back to voluminous study material. Lastly, notes remind you of the most important points of each topic and helps you in your final revision.
The next question is how to make notes from voluminous study material? There are different methods of making notes and one should decide which method suits you the best. There are two types of making notes; one is the 'Linear Notes' the other is 'Pattern Notes'.
'Linear Notes': Linear notes method is in which you condense the material you have read and jot down the most important points using headings and sub headings. This is a best method make notes after reading a book newspaper or a magazine. Here one has to avoid copying a lot of material and lot of care has to be taken while condensing the contents. The right way is to use loose sheets of paper to make notes on a given topic as it is easier to keep adding information through additional sheets. One can make the notes look more interesting by using colors, block letters, boxes and highlighters. All this will immediately draw your attention to the actual contents and they would make it much easier for quick recall of the important points of a topic.
'Pattern Notes': In this method you have to begin the topic at the center of the page and each line radiating from it should represent a branch of the main idea. Each point is written as briefly as possible using a key word or a phrase. This is a better method to adopt because it is more flexible and one can add extra information at any point of time.
Second, we can see the entire pattern at one go without actually turning the pages. Thirdly, we can indicate the links between different topics more easily. Fourth, it is useful from one's memory point of view as one can keep jotting down the points as and when they crop in the mind.
Lastly, since it is in a shape format it is much easier to remember the content of the notes. This patter help in revision much faster as only brief key words are being used to make notes.
The disadvantage of pattern notes making is if there are too many facts and too much of information, your notes becomes messy and overcrowded. Using key words can remind of basic ideas but when it comes to remembering details, this method cannot be sufficient alone.
So the best method of making good notes is to use a combination of both Linear and Pattern methods and evolve your own unique pattern of making notes that may help you in your last minute revisions.
However, whichever method you may choose to make notes it essential to have them made into four basic stages, one outlining the topic, second jotting its key points, third, its advantages and disadvantages and finally the conclusion.
One important thing to remember is that for many subjects your notes will have to include diagrams, table or a graph and sketch maps etc and you must have them accurate and labeled very clearly.
Whatever method one may follow, one thing has to remember that the notes have to be kept handy at all times and has to be kept in a proper file. It is a good idea to use colored flags to demarcate different topics. With such systematic preparation of making the notes the challenge of revision can be faced with much greater confidence.
Now the last question when should one start making notes? One should start making notes right from the very beginning of the preparation and could be much before taking an attempt to write the Prelims exam.
The best way to make notes is to pick up a topic and get hold of different reading material and resources for it, and once you have finished reading them all, you must start making its notes because its content is fresh in your mind. This will helps to write the important part of the topic in your notes and reading and writing method will help in its retention of the topic.
One important thing to remember is to never treat a set of notes as the final version. You can first start making brief notes on a given topic, and then keep adding information to it from time to time. Later on you can expand and organize your notes in a much more properly. This as such is much better way to make notes because when you are updating the information, your revision will be happening simultaneously while going through your notes.
How To Prepare IAS Prelims
IAS Prelims Exam Format
No. of questions
Required marks to qualify
Marks counted for ranking
Cut-off prescribed by UPSC
So, here are two objective types (MCQs) papers in the prelims exam.
1. General Studies Paper 1 (General Awareness)
2.General Studies Paper 2 (CSAT)
Paper2 is qualifying in nature and merit is decided by paper1. So lets look in detail of this paper.
Topics For Paper1
- Current Affairs
- Polity and Governance
- Environmental Studies
- General Science
- Comprehension and Communication Skills
- Reasoning and Decision Making
- Basic Numeracy and Data Interpretation
To succeed in this IAS / CSE examination, it require prudent planning, organized preparation and appropriate resource materials. Determination to succeed, positive attitude and requisite confidence would be a key in clearing IAS / CSE. Keeping in mind the pattern and level of questions asked in Prelims General studies , this paper require an appropriate strategy. A thorough knowledge of concepts, current affairs, speed and accuracy coupled with confidence would be key elements to tackle Prelims.
It is not an overrated fact that IAS is the nation’s toughest competitive exam and it demands intensive preparation and practice. One should also understand that it is not about quantitative preparation and what required is qualitative. It is about the completion of your short term target.
- Outline the syllabus and Design your preparation : Heard of the biological process “catabolism” where you break down the original components into their byproducts, do the same with your IAS syllabus. Find out about what topic you would have an edge and the topics you would need help in. Do it for all the subjects. You have now marked your territory; the bulk of the syllabus wouldn’t scare you at all. Also, this is an excellent confidence building exercise.
- Objectifying the syllabus : Most of the IAS aspirants feel that the bulk of IAS syllabus deters them. No doubt, the syllabus is huge, but remind yourself that it is something that you have already studied before. Let’s take a quick look at the definition for ‘Divide and Conquer’. It basically means that you divide the population in this case the subjects into manageable chunks and that makes it impossible for them to come together (dividing them) and fight against the sovereign authority (conquering them).
- Enjoy your preparation : Undeniably, UPSC preparation is a lengthy process, but you won’t find it easy if you don’t enjoy your preparation. Preparing for UPSC doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice all your hobbies, make sure to keep abreast your hobbies as it will make your preparation more fun. Don’t give up music especially if you are a music lover and there are people who study while listening to music and if you are one among them then definitely you make your learning more interesting and enjoyable. If you are passionate about anything make sure to keep it abreast during your UPSC preparation as this will keep you lively.
- Give Prelims Mock test series : Since a mock test is a simulated exam environment there you could experiment with yourself by weighing different strategies of approaching and attempting the exam so that you could zero on one single strategy that produces maximum results. So every mock test can be an experiment until you develop your own strategy for the test which ultimately would help in clearing the exam as yours is a tested and certified strategy.
How To Prepare IAS Mains
How To Prepare For IAS Mains Exam
Making a study plan
The first step in any endeavour is to outline a plan. Before you embark on your mains preparation, make a realistic study plan. In this plan, you must include dates for all the GS papers, language papers and the optional subject. You should also incorporate a dedicated time every day for newspaper reading.
Basic book reading
You would already have read many of the basic books before the prelims exam. Even so, you can read basic textbooks of all the subjects that you have to study. Start with subjects that interest you so that you can cover a lot of ground in the initial phase itself. After the basic books are done with, you should move on to detailed books only where it is recommended.
Simultaneous to your book reading, you should start practicing questions from previous years’ UPSC papers. This will help you analyse your own knowledge and also familiarise you with the type of questions asked. Answer writing is very important in the mains exam and at the end of the day, you will be marked on what you write on paper and not on your knowledge. So, practice answer writing along with your mains preparation. Don’t wait till you finish the full syllabus to start writing practice.
Using the Internet
Technology offers new and exciting ways to learn. The internet is now an integral part of the UPSC exam preparation and it has made life of aspirants easier in more ways than one. You can visit BYJU’S Free IAS Prep website daily and get the latest updates, excellent current affairs material and crisp NCERT notes to augment your preparation. You can also stay ahead of your competition by taking the weekly current affairs quiz. You can also watch BYJU’S learning videos in which our expert faculty give you the best explanations and analyses of events, news and syllabus-related topics in the most lucid and effective manner.
Revision is a must if you are serious about clearing the IAS mains exam, you should revise periodically and ensure maximum understanding and retention. Revision ensures that you remember whatever you read in the vast UPSC syllabus.
How To Prepare IAS Interview
IAS Interview Preparation
The IAS Interview preparation is the final hurdle in the way of becoming a part of the Government services. UPSC Civil Service Examination holds the title of Mother of all Exams" in India. To become an IAS officer, one has overcome mainly three obstacles (Prelims, Mains and Interview) during the course of UPSC Civil Service exam preparation. The last hurdle before the candidate which is unpredictable in nature is the IAS interview, a.k.a. UPSC Personality Test.
So, in UPSC terms, it is not a regular job interview - it is a test of one's personality, integrity and honesty.
UPSC IAS preparation is an integrated process wherein the three phases of the exam - Prelims, Mains and IAS Interview, should be prepared comprehensively and holistically.
As stated earlier, IAS Interview preparation is a test of personality, not knowledge. This is because of the fact that UPSC analyses and judges the candidate's knowledge in the Mains written examination.
During the IAS interview, the interviewer assesses the candidate s personality by listening carefully to the candidate s approach to the question, and probe him or her further based on that. A vibrant & positive candidate is what they look for.
An individual's personality cannot be changed within a short duration of time just for the IAS interviews sake. As personality development is a process, which students have been developed over years. The best way to prepare for IAS interview after your mains results are to approach all situations with a positive attitude. Candidates, please note that this is how to prepare for IAS interview.
Most of the interview questions revolve around your Detailed Application Form (DAF) that the candidate submits during his or her mains written exam. Thus, be cautious and honest while filling the DAF. Please don t bluff or write irrelevant matter (Especially in the hobby section) that you won t be able to recall during the interview.
When you stand before the interview board, try to present yourself in a positive way. Try an honest approach to every question, if you're not honest or conveying irrelevant information, your body language which is being observed closely by the interviewers will surely help them figure out if you re answering truthfully or not.
How to prepare for IAS interview? Before the D-day, take as many mock interviews as possible and get feedback from the mentors and experts. Try to incorporate the feedback in your IAS interview preparation and you will do well!
Finally, and most importantly, self-evaluation is the best evaluation. Sit before a mirror, ask questions and answer to yourself. This is the best way to prepare and present yourself before the IAS interview panel.
Presentation of Answers is one of the most important aspect of Mains or we can say it is the utmost important factor in realising your dream. Understanding of subject is one thing that cannot be undermined, But it is just the presentation of answers that matter in deciding your score. You cannot cultivate this skill overnight before mains. You need to start earlier. So lets discuss everything in detail here. Mains examination, which is a subjective examination, carries 1750 marks out of a total of 2025. Developing Answer Writing skill is an absolute necessity for cracking the Civil Services Examination. Besides adequate knowledge in General Studies, understanding the demand of question, better structuring of the content, excellent articulation and the presentation skills matter equally.
Few questions/doubts related to answer writing
- How to start answer writing?
- What is balance approach in answers?
- How can we score higher?
- What examiner is looking at in our answers?
- How to impress examiner even if you have moderate knowledge?
- When should we start answer writing?
- What is the time period required to get hold over it?
- What is ideal answer?
- Do we need to write ideal answer all the times to sail through?
- Do we need to follow word limit?
- Do we need strong command over English( Grammer or Vocabulary)?
- How is it different from answering our university papers?
Go through this article and you will get aswers to all your queries.
How Beginners Should Start
- As a beginner starting from point zero one can buy previous years question paper module and attempt some questions daily, moreover the questions from NCERT too will help.
- Start writing answers as and when you study, don’t wait for the whole or even sufficient amount of syllabus to be finished.
- Say you are studying polity and finished President, soon after, check previous years’ papers on this topic and try to answer as many as you wish, you could pick a single question that is the easiest for you and start answering on a piece of paper.You might not be able to answer questions that involve president and the prime minister as you wouldn’t have covered the latter yet. You can skip such questions for later.
Qualities Of Answer To Score High
- Multifaceted answers are appreciated.
- Short introduction and conclusion are required.
- Reiteration of the similar thoughts is to be avioded.
- Use as many concepts as possible especially for your optional papers.
- Give as many examples as possible to support your view. Try to have a contemporary relevance to you answer.
- Use simple English , Don't use jargons.
- Dynamic and holistic perspective answers is required. As UPSC says “The candidates must give relevant, meaningful and succinct answers.
- Write answers directly; do not beat around the bush. Some punctuation marks like this one (;) play a crucial role.
- For a balanced answer that too within the specified word limit -you first need a reasonable level of knowledge base.
- First read and learn a topic. Attempt simple questions, Commit mistakes again and again while practising. Practice makes it perfect.
- When a Question is asked to present your views try to give a generalist’s view. Sometimes you need not to give your suggestion, but you are expected to present existing facts in the present context. For e.g. Instead of writing ‘I feel’,it is better to write ‘it is felt….’.
- If they are asking what innovation means, then a simple definition with one relevant example will be better rather than explaining it with lot of jargon/theory/models.
- Also while writing for a particular paper do not think that you can write points from that particular syllabus only. Take a holistic view, broaden your outlook, Use relevant concepts/knowledge from other subjects also.
- Communication skill, command over a language etc are known as SOFT Skills. A good vocabulary is needed to articulate your thought in a precise manner.
How it is different from College/University
University is checking your knowledge about the subject. UPSC is looking for a leader in you. So its not just about knowledge but the perspective that matter.
In University theory papers word limit doesn't matter, But it matters in UPSC and it is expected from you that you would not cross that limit.
Quality Of Answer
In university paper, both matter but in CSE -quantity is fixed and quality only rules.
In university exams questions are quite repetitive but in CSE ,No one knows.
Tips And Tricks
Understand Question And Directive
Understand the directive asked, which will decide how your answer will look like. Examples are justify, critically evaluate, discuss, comment, examine, analyse, etc. Each of them warrants a specific approach to answer writing in IAS mains exam.
Answers It completely
Use multidimensional approach to answer the questions. Use many perspectives and balance your answer. Most importantly, answer all the subparts.
Always use keywords to highlight important points and scoring points in your answers. Highlight these keywords to grap examiner's attention.
Substantiate your answers
Don’t forget to substantiate what you claim in your answers. This will give legitimacy to your answers, not to mention, make you look well-read to the examiner. In some questions, you will be asked to ‘substantiate’. In these cases, it is mandatory to give real-life examples to situations.
Presentation is important since you are not typing the answers. It is important to make the answers neat and legible. Give headings and subheadings wherever necessary. Also, have tables and figures if it will augment the quality of your answers.
The last tip in improving your answer writing in IAS mains is daily practice. Practice makes perfect and this can be the key that will separate you from your rivals. You can enroll for the BYJU’S Mains Answer Writing Series that will help enhance your answer writing skills and also give you a good practice for the actual exam.
Enrich your answer
As the questions are quite analytical in nature, the answer should incorporate multi-dimensions. Placing different dimensions requires proper understanding of the question as well as good active reading skill through which a student may be able to jot down good points from the article, report and place that at Right time at Right place.
So, We should understand that CSE Mains requires timely effective actions directed toward our ideals and objective to crack the Mains exam. It’s a time taking initiative and challenges you to step out of your comfort zone to achieve big. All instruments that you will ever require to crack this exam can be found via introspection. Lastly stop worrying and start believing in your hard work and face the challenge of UPSC Mains with open arms.
In general, Management is basically means planning and controlling the time spent on specific activities to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity. Time management may be aided by a range of skills, tools, and techniques used to manage time when accomplishing specific tasks, projects and goals complying with a due date. It covers a wide range of activities like planning ,setting goals ,analysis of time spent. In the Civil Services exam it is a tool to success. Time management is essential and one of the important tool in the Civil Services Examination. In the first stage of examination that is called preliminaries, real-time testing is very important. When it comes to Mains time management has become more important one has to solve the whole paper in merely three hours. Here aspirants should allocate the time as according to the requirement of the question paper. As the nature of Mains exam paper is that one need to stick to the word limits in all questions and here need proper time management, candidates should note that if too much time spent on one particular question will surely means that one miss out on others questions. This examination process checks management skills of candidates. Time management is important not just in writing the exam, but also while preparing for it. It is advisable to break up long study sessions into a few compact ones with more breaks to refresh oneself. For example, two four-hour sessions prove to be more beneficial than one long eight-hour stretch. Some students prefer to study in short bursts of two hours, with 15-minute breaks in between.
Here are some tips for time management
- Set practical, realistic target: Always set time bound targets that are achievable, for UPSC preparation,. If the target is not accomplished in the desired period then do not panic, just revise the schedule. Try to achieve the target and take a break and start with a new topic. Pen down your plan for a day and check at the end of the day if you have done well.
- Aviod exhaustive schedule: Plan before hand and make a schedule for UPSC preparation. Ideally a good schedule comprises of sufficient amount of breaks too, and the right amount of study hours since overburdening yourself with too much of study will reduce the ability to understand the topic. Candidates should also include an hour to dedicate for personality development as UPSC exam tests the overall personality of the candidates.
- Assess yourself periodically: Time management for UPSC examination should also include self-evaluation to understand the learning you have achieved, by writing mock tests. If you are lacking in some concepts, revise again. All this process helps in better UPSC preparation.
- Analyze previous years’ papers: Go through previous years’ papers and analyze the topics of your strength and weakness for UPSC preparation. This helps in selecting subjects for mains and for prelims and aids in effective time management for UPSC examination on the basis of topics which need to be given more attention.
- Constant reading without failure: Make a habit of reading daily. Reading newspapers, books of syllabus and magazines of current affairs helps to get a big picture about the current happenings around the world and up to date knowledge which are an essential component of UPSC exam preparation.
- Aviod Distractions: Keep distractions like mobiles, phones, TV and social media at bay. When you have to ensure effective UPSC preparation, these distractions waste a lot of your time and then the real goal goes for a toss.
- Eat healthy and exercise and sleep well: UPSC preparation is not just about studying; it’s about management of time along with staying healthy ad focused. A fit body helps in studying better and retaining the knowledge well. So, eat timely and eat healthy and have adequate sleep. Take some time out for exercise and yoga which relieve the mental pressure and ensure successful UPSC preparation for you to reach your goal.
- Follow a regular routine and stick to your pre-scheduled plan.
- Always remember that your IAS preparation is aimed at becoming a topper and not just for qualifying the exam as it will get reflected in your IAS preparation, and naturally you will not be giving your best.
- Focus on your optimum time utilization, instead of consumption of the maximum time consumption.
The main thing is to manage time and focus on the time regime that you allocate for the preparation of the civil service exam. There could be many agonizing moments during the preparation but never compromise on your time schedule. The adage, fortunes favors the brave is best description who judiciously manage time for the preparation of the civil service exams.
Ultimately it is up to the individual to find his or her own unique time management strategy. It is also possible to use "free time" effectively. Thus, time spent commuting, or relaxing can also be used to refresh concepts or read different, if not completely unrelated, books. However, it is important to "switch-off" for at least some time in a day.
The Civil Services Examination is known to induce considerable stress on aspirants and this stress may even hamper their chances of getting through all the stages of the examination. The focus of this strategy is specifically on time and stress issues that come up during preparation.
Stress is not the same as ill-health, but has been related to such illnesses as; Cardiovascular disease, Immune system disease Asthma, Diabetes, Digestive disorders, Ulcers, Skin complaints - psoriasis, Headaches and migraines, Pre-menstrual syndrome Depression-
- Stress can lead to Distress.
- Therefore De-Stress yourself to relieve yourself from Stress.
- Become a master over your actions rather than a prisoner of your reactions
To manage stress and for a proper management of time, first we need to identify the various sources of stress and the various reasons for time mismanagement.
Sources of Stress
Main source of stress is in understanding the huge syllabus. Candidates are simply dubious whether or not they will be able to cover the entire syllabus within the available time. So starting the preparation becomes a hard task. That is why, lack of clarity regarding the syllabus, its open ended nature on some topics, are the primary sources of stress when preparing for the CSE. Candidates usually find it difficult to evaluate whether or not they are covering the important topics from the right sources. Hence to make choices with respect to reading materials is another source of stress. We have numerous sources like books, mazagines, coaching material and others for single topics.So what to prepare and from where is very important and source of stress.
Another most important issue is the long cycle of the examination and you need to follow this vicious cycle again if you fail in cut throat situation. It long drawn process and even if a candidate clears all the stages at one go, it takes close to a year for the process to complete. God forbid if one falters at any of the stages of the exam, one should utilize the time available for making the next attempt the best one. You have to take it positively and keep working on your preparation. For overcoming the pressures of competition you have to keep in mind that CSE is after all a competitive examination and as such competition is natural. It is not the competition that should matter but only the preparation that you do for it. So just focus on factors which are in your control.
Another side of coin:
Stress is not negative always, It can also have a positive effect and makes your more responsible gentleman like:
- enhances motivation and awareness,
- Helps to cope up with challenging situations.
- Stress helps us to survive when we confront threatening situations
Basically to overcome stress we have to change our attitude, by accepting our strenghts and weakness. And then understand the situation in complete manner. Don't compare yourself with any one in this world. If you do so, you are insulting yourself. Remember everyone is unique and each individual has its role in this worls. And we need to accept that role with courage and repsonsible manner rather than being fearful and dubious.
Some tips to de-stress yourself
- Remember its your decision.
- Say yourself i am the hero in my life
- This world, this society and your family needs you.
- Enjoy your food, cloths and your life events.
- When you are sad blame your stars, when you are happy thank your stars
- forgive and forget
- forget and forgive
- Laugh and smile makes you stonger internally.
- Plan your short term and long tern goals.
- if you can't fight, flight
- anger is one letter short of danger
- Love yourself
Strategies To Reduce Stress
Take control, Manage your time instead of letting it manage you. Use a to-do list, follow a written plan, set goals and follow through. Avoid procrastination (defer action): a major cause of stress. Make a realistic list of things you need to do each day. Do the most important things first. That way, even if you don't finish the list, you get the most important things done. Take a break: Sometimes it is better to get away from the situation for a short time. Take a brisk walk, focus on pleasant thoughts. Then, go back to the task feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever it is you have to do.
Join the crowd
Even though you may think you are the only person in the world who is experiencing stress, the fact is that everyone experiences it sometime. Talk to someone: Find someone you trust, discuss the problems and look for solutions Put it in perspective: Chances are, this is only one small part of the rest of your life
Sit comfortably and think of a favorite place. Imagine yourself in a successful situation Breathe: Sit quietly, and breathe deeply and slowly. Continue for five or six breaths. It is calming and the extra dose of oxygen increases the brain's thinking ability. Lighten up: Take responsibility for your feelings. When you get angry, take a break and cool down before you act. Learn always to count from one to ten or more. Use it: A little stress is a good thing. Athletes use it to increase performance. If you are experiencing a small amount of anxiety, it can help to keep you active and alert. Use it to increase your performance.
Life of an IAS aspirant is no less important than the IAS itself. Its the stage where you have to build the attitude , you may look at it like hour long study, I see it in a way preparing for day long service to my country. Its almost Like a chicken inside an Egg, which can easily be spoilt prematurely but, with time and proper care it can crack someday naturally to give a new life to this beautiful world.
During IAS Preparation, the life style of aspiring candidates matters a lot. From the initial stage of their preparation for IAS Exam, the IAS aspirants should focus on such activities which should not hamper his/her enthusiasm to become an IAS and help his/her entry in civil services. With ever increasing competition, cracking the IAS exam has become a mammoth task for aspirants.
In fact, every year the gap between the few fortunate who are selected for IAS and the others who don’t make the cut, is shrinking and not many are able to figure out the reason. One of the key reasons that make IAS exam so tough is apart from being a test of knowledge it is also a test of lifestyle, personality and character traits of the aspirant. While, knowledge can be accumulated from books and resources but lifestyle qualities like self-discipline, motivation, punctuality and others cannot. They are part of one’s lifestyle and is incubated over years. These make a vital different for candidates when it comes to the final selection. If you also want to stand apart from the crowd when it comes to IAS exam, here’s how your lifestyle can help you.
Must qualities for a candidate
- Grasping power
- Read Read Read
- Physical Health
- Writing Ability
- Communication Skill
- Self Belief
Required changes in aspirant life
UPSC syllabus has vast horizontal and vertical coverage. Anyhow you have to read a lot of stuff. So if you love what you do , is the only way to success.
Actually by following all these tips, aspirants will develop this quality by itself. There is no strict rule to be consistent. Type of consistencey, time table etc vary for individuals. so stick to your pattern rather than copying another ones.
You should rise early and sleep early to be healthy. You can revise things in morning after meditation or utilize this time for test or other prepa
You need to be energetic to get most of the day. This can be achieved by eating, excercising and sleeping on time.
Eat green vegetables, fruits and other things which provide required nutrients to you. So that you can be healhy body, without which you can't achieve your goal.
A healthy brain needs healthy body so excercise regularly.
This is also important to have concentration and strong from inside out.
Suggestions For IAS Exam
Toppers Suggestions to crack IAS Exam:
1.Hard work and Dedication
There is one commonality between all the IAS toppers irrespective of their educational back ground, family status, Age and category is Hard work and Dedication. Yes, IAS toppers has stated that we achieved success because of our hard work and dedication with the help and support from family, friends and their mentors who guided them. Tina Tabi 2015 IAS topper admitted that it is because of her hard work and dedication she was able to achieve All India Rank 1 in UPSC IAS exam.
2. Understanding the syllabus
Aspirants preparing for IAS must have complete knowledge on UPSC prelims and Mains syllabus. Syllabus is very important in UPSC preparation it provides the proper direction and also intimate what to read and what not to read in the civil services exam. All toppers admitted that they followed syllabus of UPSC for preparing the exam.
3. Proper Guidance and Support
In UPSC preparation aspirants need proper guidance and support to prepare their exam. Especially for IAS interview. IAS interview is the most crucial part in Civil Services exam and it is not a test of knowledge, rather it is a test of personality. Most of the toppers admitted that they took guidance from experts and mentors for interview preparation specially and few took complete guidance for IAS preparation.
4. Mock Tests
Regular practice of question papers both previous years and Mock test question papers will provide aspirants to analyse their strength and weakness. All IAS toppers who qualified the UPSC exam have admitted that they followed some institutes or online portal test series programmes for their exam preparation. Mock test questions papers are important for both Prelims and Mains. In prelims it allows to student to rectify their mistakes and in mains it helps in improving their answer writing skills.
5. Answer writing practice
UPSC Civil Services exam is all about writing good answers. There is no magic wand to change your answer writing style in overnight. As Haritha V. Kumar says, Success is not the product of an overnight effort . Further she says in order to write good quality answers in Mains exam one has to do lot of writing practice before appearing the exam. She admitted that she was not able to crack his earlier attempts, though she had knowledge, hard work and knew answer to questions
It is better to make own notes than referring other materials. The classic example for efficient note making is done by IAS topper Nitin Singhania. He prepared his own notes for all subjects and in that he prepared a detailed note on Art and culture, which is now being referred by all IAS aspirants. In fact, it has become a primary source for Art and culture subject.
7. Newspaper Reading
Newspaper reading is a must says 2015 IAS topper Tina Dabi. In UPSC exams Hindu newspaper reading is must without which one cannot have good knowledge on current issues. UPSC gives more importance to the Current issues be it prelim, mains or interview. All toppers have admitted that they followed national news-daily regularly for news update. Most of the toppers followed either Hindu or Indian Express. Most preferred one was Hindu.
8. Relied on authentic resources
UPSC toppers has stated that they referred standard text books and magazines for Civil Services Examination. As this exam is conducted by UPSC, it relies more on government sources like Pib website, Yojana Magazine, AIR News analysis and Publication Division Books. As Gaurav Aggarwal mentioned in preparation book list, he stated that he referred authentic government resources like ARC reoport, Planning commission Document, Economic Survey and annual reports of various ministries.
9. Regular Revision
Revision is very important in IAS exam preparation. Without proper revision one cannot succeed in competitive exams. 2015 IAS topper Chadra Mohan Garg also admitted that he was able to crack this elite IAS exam because of proper revision. He advises fellow aspirants to revise thrice before the prelims exam. And in the mains exam candidates need to revise optional subject after prelims and there should be only value addition to the already prepared topics.
10. Time Management
To be successful one should know how to utilise the time properly. (Remember: It is the same 24 hours for the topper and you.) What matters the most is how effectively you use your study is important in IAS preparation. Haritha V Kumar of 2012 IAS toppers states that, instead of studying for a certain number of hours, divide the syllabus into parts and decide how much you would cover each day. One day your name and strategy will also appear in various news articles and blogs.
Work hard to achieve your goal.