Good physical health and mental health coupled with smart study habits will boost confidence for the big exam. Also setting reasonable expectations is important to not put too much pressure on yourself. So, make it easier, be patient with yourself and just do the best you can.
LEARNING HABITS FOR AN EFFECTIVE PREPARATION
To cover the humongous syllabus of civil services examination you are required to familiarize mass amounts of information. Using certain learning techniques you can remember whatever you have learned for a long period of time.
- VISUALIZING THE DATA: It can help in keeping, retaining, and analyzing all the information. Diagrams, maps and mind maps are great learning tools. Mind maps are a good way of organising and simplifying information,and seeing connections between the different aspects of a topic.
- ACRONYM MNEMONICS TECHNIQUE: To create acronym, take the list of words or facts that you want to remember and put them in an order so that the first letters of each word spell a real word or a made-up word. It's much easier to remember information when it's grouped into smaller chunks.
- FLASH CARDS: They are highly beneficial in either learning new concepts or revising already known concepts. Force yourself to condense your revision notes down to key words. Use colours and images to help make the information meaningful and memorable.
- STUDY BREAKS: Taking breaks helps you stay focused over long periods of time. Breaks can help you retain information in memory . Taking short breaks every now and then help you re-focus on your big-picture goals. Thus, two 2 hour sessions will be more effective than one 4 hour session.
- LAYERING: Try the ‘layering’ technique for remembering complex information. First, learn the easiest and simplest facts or ideas about a topic. Use these to provide a foundation before adding gradually more complex information,layer upon layer.
- MEMORY PALACE: This technique uses your spatial memory to help learn sequences of information. Turn the individual chunks of information into vivid mental images, then connect the images in a story that unfolds throughout a location you know well.
- TAKING TESTS: Taking a test is not just a passive mechanism for assessing how much people know. Tests are excellent tools not only to test your knowledge but also to improve your recall and retention.
MYTHS SURROUNDING CIVIL SERVICES EXAM
Some myths about this exam, that drain the energy of aspirants, need to be dispelled
- Myth : You should know everything about every topic/subject under the sun.
- Reality :From the analysis of civil services examination syllabus and previous year question papers it can be inferred that ,what is required in this exam is a general understanding of the topic and conceptual clarity. The exam does not require one to be an expert in a topic, rather, aspirants should have general awareness and analytical skills.
- Myth: You need to be an academic topper throughout to clear the exam.
- Reality : What is required is general awareness, logical reasoning and good writing skills. If you can develop those, you can clear this exam even if you have bad grades in school and college.
- Myth: One needs to study 16 hours a day to clear. It is not the hours that matter, rather the quality. There are aspirants who have cleared by studying for four to five hours a day alongside a job, and aspirants who have studied for 12 hours per day continuously for months. So, the number depends on the individual.
- Myth: To top this exams,you should sacrifice all your relationships ,hobbies and recreation.
- Reality: You only need to be self disciplined. You don't have to go in hibernation. If you know your priorities well and you know to manage them ,you needn’t sacrifice anything.
- Myth: You cannot clear the exam without the help of a coaching institute.
- Reality: Wrong. In the new era, one can make use of various resources, such as mobile apps and websites. . It is important to first understand where you stand and how much you need to improve. Once you know your study objectives, you can decide between self-study or joining a coaching institute.
Overcoming the mental pressures during exam preparation
Handling Pressure is one of the important aspects in UPSC Civil Services Preparation. The pressure is the result of cut throat competition, societal and parental expectations and the long drawn out process of preparation .
- Exam results don’t determine success: Exam results shouldn’t be the yardstick to measure your intelligence or ability. Failing an exam is not the end of the world. It is one of the many hurdles you will have to surpass in your life, and there are always possibilities to learn and rise above failure.
- Eat, sleep and exercise well : For your body's best performance, make sure you're getting 6/8 hours of sleep, enough nutritious food, water, and at least half an hour of exercise per day.
- Believe in yourself : When being constantly faced with new challenges, we often forget to look back at how far we have come and how much we have already achieved. Don't be too hard on yourself
- Scores shouldn't demotivate: Don’t Get Demotivated After Seeing Your Mock Score. Identify your weak areas from previous exams and work on them. Also stop comparing yourself to others. Don’t measure your worth by comparing with others’ progress and achievements.
- Hobbies relieve stress: When you are physically and/or mentally focusing yourself on your hobby, it draws your attention to the task at hand and helps you de-stress from the daily grind. Hobbies like Gardening,Meditation, Writing and Journaling etc can make you feel happier and healthier
- Set Realistic goals: Setting realistic goals is important because knowing you can attain your goal helps keep up your motivation.
- Talk about it: If you feel like you are struggling, talk to someone. Asking for help is never shameful. In the most extreme cases, it can help save a life. Seek medical help whenever necessary.