UPSC Civil Service is the most prestigious exam that gets attended by millions of aspirantsand is conducted throughout the year. This exam that has 3 stages including the Prelims, Mains and the Personality test is indeed a difficult one, but not that hard nut to crack.
The core of this year long preparation is of course the time management which has to be given a lot of importance. Rather than any other competitive exams, the Civil Service Examination is not about simply by hearting the given facts and learning it without any clear cut vision.
Learning is the process of imbibing new information, analyzing it and storing it in your brain and utilizing it appropriately according to the situation. Learning involves 5 steps that include:
- Presentation of the information
Relaxation is one of the important techniques that one should adopt to make the learning easy. Imagine being tensed at the time of learning and trying to recall what you’ve studied, comes as half baked bread. So, the best way to adopt this is the 1:4:2 method.
- You have to sit straight on a chair, and inhale forcefully and hold it for 4 seconds and then exhale it for 2 seconds.
- Practice this 4 times each, soon after you are awake, followed by doing it in the morning before you are set to study and then in the evening and finally at night before bed.
This method regulates the autonomous nervous system (ANS) that improves the blood flow in the heart, lungs and blood vessels.
There comes a common issue where you try to open the book and your mind wanders without any consideration. To stay focused becomes a hard task to cope up with. There can be a lot of factors that distract you which includes the anxiety issues, past memories and even various sounds and objects. Once you become out of focus, you lack the concentration and energy to complete a particular task and thus drains away your confidence.
Mindful breathing is a perfect method to bring back your ability to concentrate effectively on your studies for even a long duration of time.
Mindfulness is a moment to non judgmental awareness and acceptance of the present after detaching yourself from all your past experiences, events, emotions and the future concerns.
- Sit straight with your left palm on your chest and the right palm on your stomach.
- Breathe normally and focus your attention on breathing.
- Follow the flow of the air that you respire and feel the vibration too.
- If get distracted, redirect it to breathing.
- Do this for about 15 minutes each day with a timer or not and soon after that vigorously rub your palm and place it on your closed eyes and take it off once your palm becomes cold.
To focus for 15 minutes straight is indeed a difficult task, but slowly can come to the track even if you get distracted in between.
Memory is all about assimilating internalizing and storing it properly. When comes to Prelims Mains and Personality test, the pattern of memory becomes different and requires special skill to master each level of the exam. There are 3 types of memory: Visual memory, Verbal memory and Kinetic memory.
- Creating a story out of the words that you need to memorize in the order.
- Mind mapping with the help of spider knob where you use a circle in which the important topic is written and note down the related points with the help of spikes around that circle. Memorize it each day with a single glance.
- Chart making also is an effective method to improve visual memory that can be stuck on walls with the important topics.
Verbal memory is the ability to remember what you read or hear. Reading out loud what you need to learn or participating in peer group studies even let you have a very sharp memory.
PRESENTATION OF THE INFORMATION
The exam gets well attended only when you present the information required for the asked question in an appropriate manner. Although Prelims is an objective type of exam where you have to correctly choose among the multiple choices given, it is much necessary to give importance to the presentation of the information when comes to Mains and Personality test.
Mains exam requires explanation for the questions that are being asked with the correct points within the time limit and marks.
At same time, for the personality test, to convince the interview board with the analytical ability, state of mind, judgment, composure and ability to logical learning from available information with flexibility of mind requires a lot of practice. To remember a bunch of information and use it at the right place is of course a tough row to hoe, but is possible through constant practice.
When comes to answering for Prelims:
- Filter out the easy questions and try to answer them first, followed by the little difficult questions and then the most difficult questions at last.
- If it becomes difficult to recall the right answer, try to calm your mind, close your eyes and then remember the topic that was difficult for you to memorize.
The best way to succeed in Prelims exam is to do several mock test papers to assess your preparation and analyze it thoroughly to know your weak point. Once you take the mock test, note down the questions that went wrong and also read the topic that comes under that specific question by referring the sources. Taking mock tests also helps to identify the topic which has to be given more importance same as the way you analyze the previous Prelims question papers too.
18 and 15 questions of Amrita IAS Academy’s Mains Test Series have appeared in UPSC exam 2021 and 2022 respectively, giving students a distinct advantage. Check out the questions here
In general, mugging up the facts given according to the syllabus or studying at the best IAS Academy won’t help you succeed in UPSC 2023. There comes a situation where you have to deal with a lot of pressure, both mentally and physically and may find it even tiring along the journey. It becomes much necessary to hold yourself together to go through all these challenges and overcome it all to be successful at the end.
Besides following the preparation process, it will be much better if good habits are brought in the daily routine that will in turn benefit the speed of the preparation and make it effectively. Some of them like:
- Continuous sleep for 6 hours to exfoliate you to maintain a peaceful mind by disposing all the unwanted thoughts can benefit the preparation throughout.
- At the same time, make it a habit to workout daily for about 45 minutes in the evening followed by a cold shower.
- Restrict the usage of mobile phone and spent not more than an hour on Social Medias only if it is beneficial for your preparation.
- Practice digital detoxification by keeping aside the phone 1 hour before the bed.
- Take proper food at the morning and at noon followed by a light dinner.
- Drink 15 glasses of water that includes 5 glasses of water containing electrolytes.
Crack UPSC CSE 2023 Amrita IAS Academy Trivandrum, by practicing the tips shared by known Psychiatrist Dr. Arun B. Nair. Check out the words of the students on how the session helped them manage stress and prioritise their mental health.