There are 2 more days left for UPSC Civil Services Mains 2016 Exam. Here we go with few words of wisdom and important tips for the D-Day!
As you wait for the Civil Services mains (CSM) Examination to commence on 3rd December, the following thoughts must be keeping you awake:
- Is my preparation up to the mark?
- What if I don’t know the answers to few questions?
- What if I don’t qualify?
- What will my friends and relatives think about me?
Well, its in human nature to become apprehensive and skeptical whenever something important is about to happen. That’s natural and the same is happening with all of you. Let us deconstruct your apprehensions one by one and bring out the reality:
1. Is my preparation up to the mark?
Somewhere, someone, who will secure rank 1 this year must be reading this post. In fact, that might actually be YOU! No one actually can predict it. Isn’t it? And yet we know that someone will secure the top rank this year. And believe us, even that person is facing the same question- Is my preparation up to the mark? Nothing to worry about it! A grain of insecurity is actually good for you. It makes you work harder and never lets you be complacent. However, this insecurity must not overwhelm you. This examination tests your knowledge and skills on a relative scale. There is no absolute criteria for success here. Even if you give your worst performance but manage to outperform others, success will be yours.
2. What if I don’t know the answers to few questions?
Virat Kohli went on to score a century against England in the ongoing series. Did he score a boundary on all the deliveries bowled by the English players? No! He didn’t. He ducked the bouncers, defended the yorkers and left the good length deliveries. Yet he could manage to score a century. In CSM also, its not necessary to attempt all the questions. There will be few which you won’t be able to answer but that should not stop you from writing better answers for the rest. Believe in your strengths and give your best shot to those questions that you know.
3. What if I don’t qualify?
Civil Services preparation can be a long journey. There are aspirants who have qualified this examination in their last attempt also. But then:
“The longest and the toughest journeys are normally the most rewarding.”
This quote must reverberate in your mind when you enter the examination hall. And the reason is simple- you have worked hard and it will give you dividends, may be today or tomorrow but definitely day after tomorrow.
In any case, there are many examples of civil servants actually quitting their service and doing what they feel for.
The best way to succeed in CSE is to detach yourself from the consequences of the process. You will always excel if you have the potential, may be in the Civil Services or any other field of your liking.
4. What will my friends, society and relatives think about me?
We live in a society where perceptions and stereotypes are made and destroyed everyday. It doesn’t matter what you achieve in your life; people have their notions about you and you can hardly change that.
You are all grown ups. Start living your life at your terms without thinking too much about what others think. Only you are bothered about their perception towards you. In reality, the amount of time someone dedicates to think or discuss about is negligible. You do your work and live your life my dear friend! Everything else will follow.
Now, few important tips for the D-day:
1. Before the examination:
- Eat healthy food and take proper sleep in the next few days. Tune your biological clock as per the time table of the examination. Your mind must be at its performing best during 9 am to 5 pm.
- Don’t over burden yourself with study. Only do a cursory revision of the areas in which you lack confidence.
- Talk to your friends, family and relatives. However avoid negative people. Talk to only those who inspire you, motivate you and make you laugh. And don’t talk about your preparation. Rather discuss movies, books, relationship etc.
- Make sure that your hall ticket, pens, pencils etc are in place. Take out additional copies of your hall ticket to avoid last minute hiccups.
2. During the examination
- Prioritize the questions before attempting. However, it’s always better to answer the first few questions first as they make the first impression before the examiner.
- Don’t go with any pre conceived notions about the markings and all. Trust yourself. If you are able to present your ideas in a time-bound manner, then it’s enough. It means you can add anything- maps, mind maps, charts, graphs etc. to make your answers better.
- Read the questions carefully. Don’t rush to complete the paper. In fact, 16-18 good quality answers are better than 20 poor answers.
- If your writing speed is not so good, change your strategy. Rather than doing all the questions in 200 words each, attempt 17-18 questions in 160-170 words each. However, these answers must be complete in all respects i.e introduction, body and conclusion. It simply means that leave no loose ends. UPSC can accept a dwarf answer but not a mutilated one. Your answers must, therefore, be complete.
If you are still confused about the structure of your answers, adopt the following structure:
Para 1: Induction in paragraph form: 2 to 3 lines; 40 words maximum
Para 2: Body in point form: Number your points.
Para 3: Induction to tail question in paragraph form: 2 to 3 lines; 40 words maximum
Para 4: Body of tail question in point form. Number your points.
Para 5: Conclusion: 2 to 3 lines; 40 words maimum
NOTE: If there are no tail questions, paras 3 and 4 aren’t required.
- Don’t panic if UPSC paper throws a surprise at you. It’s the same for every one. The only difference lies in the attitude as to how you tackle that situation.
3. After the examination:
Don’t discuss the question paper with anyone else. Simply leave for your home/ hostel/ PG/ hotel. Have some refreshment, listen to some music and revise for a couple of hours and sleep early for the next day.
You have all worked hard on our TLP Platform and various other forums too. We have firm believe in your abilities and potential. Do give your best and be rest assured that success will follow.
All the Best 🙂
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