May the coming Sunday mark the beginning of your victory march! May it also be the first page of your success story. But for that to happen, you need to manage all the anticipation and anxiety of this phase. You can’t overcome the butterflies in your belly but surely can learn to manipulate your mind in thinking that- ALL IS WELL!!
More than anything, the paper on Sunday will be a battle of emotions especially of Fear.
Our reasoning power forms the basis of our Intelligence Quotient, whereas how well we control our emotions forms the basis of our Emotional Quotient.
Intelligence quotient can be enriched by practicing, getting right guidance and is very important in success in various exams. However, the fact that people often forget is – howsoever well our reasoning power may be, if we do not keep control on our emotions, our intelligence and skills may get veiled by negative emotions. Result is failure even after having all the ingredients required for the success.
One such emotion is – FEAR. What triggers fear in a human being? A stressful stimulant is required to trigger the chain reaction in our brain, which may result in fast breathing rate, energized muscles, racing heart, etc. Stimulant may be a perceived danger like presence of a wild animal or snake. It can be an auditorium full of people waiting to listen to your speech or view your performance. It may even be a potentially benign thing like thunder, a sudden loud sound.
Some of the stimulants are not under our control, and feeling of FEAR is triggered automatically and unconsciously. But, FEAR is one such emotion which determines our success at higher levels.
While taking a mock test or writing answers on any forum/ mock test, there is no such feeling that what will happen if we commit any mistake. This is because we know our final success in civil service examination does not depend on this performance. But, does the same happen while attempting questions in civil service exam?
Your knowledge, your memory and your strengths are closely intertwined with your emotions and control on fear. You perform well when you are free of fears and anxieties. You can’t expect your memory to support you when your mind is overwhelmed by the occasion, in this case CSP. You can’t rely upon your memory if your nerves are sending negative vibes to your mind. You can’t bank upon your strengths if they are weakened by the fear of failure.
Believe us friends; you have done all that you could have done in your capacity. There is nothing much to be done now. The only thing that you need to ensure right now is to calm your nerves before the D-day.
Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, etc . What made them great?
They possess great skills. But many other cricketers also possess the same skill set. Why are they not as successful as MSD, Kohli?
It is their ability to perform at bigger stage. It is their ability to suppress the feeling of fear and think practically to solve the dilemmas with full confidence without being OVER-CONFIDENT. It is their will power, their ‘Never give up’ attitude, their faith in themselves. It is these qualities that make them great leaders, who can infuse energy in the whole team.
Like we said last year, two things you need to carry , First the attitude and second the strategy and tact for the exam especially in the last 2 days.
Take this attitude to the exam.
We want you people to feel bigger and better than the exam. The moment you do this, you will be able to separate rationality from emotions and give your best shot.
Must follow things
Set your biological clock to that of the exam timings: Sleep well before the Day of exam. A fresh mind is all you need.
Go through the whole paper quickly in 5 minutes.
By this you will know the level of question paper, difficult, moderate or easy.
Don’t think, it will impact you negatively. Anyway, you will have to encounter them in few minutes.
This exercise will make you more confident since you will see many familiar key words and concepts at a glance.
Most people, if they don’t answer the first 5 questions, feel so de-motivated that they start doubting their conviction over other answers too.
The purpose of the above exercise is to see some familiar words. You will realise that you will be straight-away knowing few questions. This will do a good lot to your confidence.
Answer ONLY those which you are 100% confident. There will be 40-45 such questions despite very difficult paper (if your preparation is decent).
Mark them directly on the OMR sheet. Don’t waste time marking on your sheet and then transferring them on the OMR. (One of the very reasons for failure in Prelims is marking late in OMR and committing mistake)
And if the paper is easy- you will definitely mark 50-55 questions with confidence
You are left with 90 minutes and around 50 questions. Take 50 minutes for this. (1 minute per question)
Go one by one for these questions. Assess your feeling of risk perception for each question.
Mark 30-40 if the paper is easy other-wise mark 20-30
There will be questions where your actual intelligence/smartness will come into play. Intelligent guess/process of elimination/contradicting options etc. will help you here.
You are left with 25-35 questions and 40 minutes (Worst case)
There will always be 10-15 questions, which most can’t answer. Don’t spend time on them. Simply leave them. Target the remaining 20-25 in 30 min
Try to get a hit ratio of greater than 50% in the remaining ones.
- Avoid mulling over questions like (No idea about or very confusing ones)
- Questions that have intrinsic details or facts!
There are certain questions which are very factual. You cannot do much about it if have no idea or clarity on those facts. Just leave them. They won’t constitute more than 2 or 3.
Left with 10 minutes- Revise and recheck. Take no risks based on your gut feeling.
Note: Do not re-read the left out ones and become greedy in the hope to score more. Be careful while you re-read, it’s a double edged sword. (Recall your previous attempts and think what you did in last few minutes and how it has pushed you to write this exam again)
Based on your preparation level, you can weigh the toughness of the paper in between. Act smartly and don’t try to stretch your limits in anticipation. This may backfire. Taking risk is wise but when it is just to silence your huge expectation, it is mere foolishness. One incorrect bubble in the OMR sheet can destroy your chances.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, don’t fret over a question too much. If you don’t know, don’t take it to your heart. You’ve to only qualify Prelims, not top. MARKS WON’T COUNT, if you are able to even just clear the Prelims. In 2014, Topper Ira Singhal scored 206 (The cut-off for GM was 205) so, just chill
At the end of the day, if we have helped you answer even one question extra or if we have contributed in any way to make your preparation better then we feel our lives are worth it.
Quoting Swami Vivekananda: “ARISE, AWAKE and SLEEP NOT, TILL THE GOAL IS REACHED”.
Go there and celebrate yourself! 🙂
All the very best