The Civil Services Examination is an exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission or the UPSC in order to recruit the brightest minds of the country for services to the nation. It is one of the toughest competitions of the country where lakhs of candidates appear, but an average of a thousand people each year actually make it through. As a result, aspirant students are continuously looking for new and innovative ways to crack the exam. With the availability and wide accessibility of the internet, along with the flux of digital media in India, the preparation for UPSC exams is quickly taking the online route. But there are certain inherent flaws in the online system of study.
One major flaw is the absence of a guiding figure in the midst of all the chaos. The internet typically offers an overload of information that is impossible to take in, in its entirety. The individual must sift and sort through it all, to absorb only the relevant portions. This may be too much on one mind. Previously the figure of the teacher would help in the process, act as a guide to students, offer their perspective whenever a student was caught in a dilemma. With the online system of study, it all falls on one person, the mind that is already under a lot of pressure.
To relieve some of that pressure, and to offer a bad approximation of what must have been great advice, here is a list of 5 honest tips that a teacher might have said to his or her students preparing for the UPSC exam:
- The early advantage
Most teachers will ask you to take advantage of your early years to try and crack the UPSC exams if that is really what you want to do. The criteria that one must meet to be eligible to take the Civil Services Examination is that he or she must be 21 years of age, and have at least one graduate degree to their name. This implies that most students are eligible to take the exam right after the college years. In order to be properly prepared by that time, you need to start your preparations for your Undergraduate years. This is a safe route to take, and fresh and eager college years will contribute to your performance in the examination. But it is difficult to clear the exam in one go. Either way, starting early leaves you with an advantage as you can appear for the exam multiple times.
- Prioritize your time
Time is the most important thing that governs your preparation, and any individual has to be alert about time management, even when he or she is answering the CSE in real time. Time is always short in supply, especially when you are preparing for the UPSC while also studying for an academic degree. It is extremely important for any candidate to prepare a timetable and stick to it, so as to make sure to complete sections of the syllabus in a given period. Time management can be key to your success. Even in the exam hall, an individual must have an idea as to the maximum number of minutes that he or she can devote to a particular question.
- Legitimate book recommendations
With the UPSC exam being as big as it is, new books come out every day, each advertising itself as a must-have for the Civil Services preparation. A teacher might be able to guide you through these books and decide on which books to actually get hold of that will help your exam preparation. With hoards of irrelevant material going around, it is very important to have someone who will identify the gold for you. To be safe, go for the UPSC prescribed text books. Guidebooks and other books may be secondary, but the legitimately prescribed books are a must.
- Enrol for mock tests
This is extremely important advice that any teacher gives to his or her student before any big examination is in sight. And the UPSC is no exception. Mock tests are a great way of testing your knowledge and preparation and chances of getting through. They test your time management skills and by showing you what is wrong the first time around, helps you correct your methods for the main event. The mocks also help familiarise you with the examination mind-frame and helps your perfect it. By the time the main exam comes around, you should be prepared and confident about the exam, and the mock exams play their part here.
- Stay in touch
Current affairs is an important part of the civil service exam. Merely reading magazines for updated information is not enough for acquiring knowledge can only serve its limited service. What is tested is an individual’s opinions on certain topics and these need to be developed through debate and discussion. Talk about the current affairs with your friends and make sure that you voice your opinion. Any teacher can tell you what an important part this is for your exam preparations.
Make sure to keep these 5 tips in your mind as you proceed with your UPSC exam preparations.