Knowing the pattern of Civil Services Exam is not enough. You need to know how to do an analysis of the syllabus. This analysis shall help you in preparing the smart way.
Unfortunately, or rather fortunately so for you, most of the civil services aspirants don't know the smart prep technique yet. Here is a chance for you to jump ahead of all of them and take a huge leap forward by getting selected in this prestigious exam. But before that you must become aware of the basic pattern of the exam.
Pattern of the Exam:
The exam journey begins with you making the decision to appear for this exam. Immediately afterwards there is enormous pressure to finalize a particular optional subject for the Main Exam (i.e. Round 2) The moment you have the syllabus in front of you there is no stopping. You have to get started with the preparation.
Round 1 - Preliminary Exam - Two Papers - Objective Type Questions
Round 2 - Main Exam - Nine Papers - Subjective Type Questions
Round 3 - Personality Test - Interview with a Board
What is the Smart Prep Technique:
The analysis involves knowing your present level of preparation and then moving ahead accordingly. But how do you get to know of your present level of prep?
There is a simple way to know about it however not many students are aware of their respective levels. This leads to studying in the most random manner and not having a personalized strategy of your own. Ultimately, this proves to be costly and one ends up wasting a lot of precious time without even realizing it.
First thing, you must do to avoid falling into this trap and to know exactly about your level of preparation is that you start with the basic texts of the subject that interests you. For example: Start reading a chapter from Geography NCERT and then after having read the chapter try and attempt some multiple choice questions from that chapter and its topics.
The more questions you will see and attempt the more you will realize about your level of preparation. You will become more aware of your current level and also you will be able to figure out the difference between your level and the required level by looking at the previous year's UPSC civil services exam.
This analysis is the key. And, surprisingly a majority of the students don't do such an analysis at regular intervals.
Yes, I said regular intervals. So you need to keep doing it after every two weeks or three weeks. And you would notice that all the problem areas will soon become your strength areas.
The Most Common Mistakes:
- I will do an analysis when I have prepared or when I am over with this particular subject.
- I will attempt questions and through questions only I will prepare the subject.
- I will read all the books and other sources so that none of the questions remain unseen to me.
All of the above 3 are common approaches that students often take. And all of them are not the recommended ones. You do not have to wait for completing the subject to do an analysis of it.
At the same time, it is absolutely wrong to think that your preparation could be based only on the questions and not on building concepts through reading.
Further, you do not have to run after every possible book or magazine that you can find. Trust me, there is plenty of material out there and you can not read everything. So select and choose wisely and once you have made the choice concentrate on building clarity in the fundamentals and basic concepts.
These few strategy tips shall help you immensely in getting ahead of others. In our next episode we are going to take up things related to strategy of Main exam in a more detailed way.