If you are appearing in Mains this year, you belong to a community that doesn’t offer membership so easily. Of lakhs of candidates who appeared in Prelims this year, you are the one who made into the list of few thousands that would carry forward their journey to get their names registered into the most coveted pdf i.e. the final list of selected candidates. So congratulations!
Since the stakes are too high, it is natural to feel the butterflies. With hardly a few days remaining for the Main examination to commence, the following thoughts must be coming to your mind:
- Am I prepared well enough to qualify?
- What if I don’t answer all the questions?
- Am I supposed to answer all the questions even if I don’t know a few of them?
- How shall my parents feel if I don’t qualify?
- Why does my roommate feel more confident than me?
- Why are other’s answers better than mine on IASbaba’s TLP platform?
- I haven’t been getting good feedback from my peers. Does it mean that I stand no chance this year?
- This is only my first attempt. How can I compete with the veterans?
- I am a veteran player. How can I compete with the fresh and more energetic freshers?
- It’s my last attempt. What will happen if I don’t qualify this year too?
Most of the times these thoughts scare and derail you. You have these thoughts in your mind simply because you give this exam the due importance and respect. If CSE doesn’t overwhelm your emotions, what else can? But it doesn’t mean that you let these thoughts be a hurdle to your success.
Someone amongst you, reading this write up, is going to be Rank 1 this year. It could be you! Yes, YOU! But you are scared and stressed, aren’t you? So is everyone my friend. Even Sachin Tendulkar used to have sleepless nights before an important match despite his mastery and skills. You must understand that by all means even Rank 1 in UPSC is a poor performer. Scoring only 60-70% in any exam is, in absolute terms, a poor show. But then, UPSC isn’t searching for the ones who can score full marks! UPSC simply wants to weed out those who would buckle the most under pressure. So, the key to Mains is to keep performing your best despite the pressure even if the ‘best’ isn’t the best as per your expectations or standards. Believe us, my dear friends, success would be yours.
We have seen scenarios in which toppers couldn’t even score 40% in different papers but yet went on to qualify. It could happen because they didn’t let the minor setbacks unsettle them. With 9 papers, Mains examination is just like a relay race. It doesn’t matter if a particular subject couldn’t perform well unless the overall performance was good. So, don’t get depressed with one bad paper and also don’t get buoyed by one good paper. Just keep doing your work. In the 3 hours that you get in a paper, all your focus and energy should be on producing the best possible answers. Keep doing this throughout the week of examination and no one can stop you.
Few suggestions from IASbaba:
- Take proper rest from now on. Set right your biological clock by sleeping early and waking up before 7 in the morning.
- Start taking healthy food.
- If possible, do some meditation for a few minutes on a daily basis. It will soothe your senses.
- Keep revising the concepts without worrying too much about the bulk of the syllabus.
- Stop talking to negative people around you. Try to interact with jolly and energetic people.
- Never have this perception that you need to answer all the questions even if you don’t know them. If you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s better to leave it and concentrate on the ones that you know than to irritate the examiner by writing irrelevant content.
- Before writing the answers, channelise your thoughts for 30 seconds and prepare a mental framework of your answers. This way, you shall be able to write faster and more effective answers.
- Don’t think about the questions that you have already answered. Always focus on the ones that you are writing at the moment.
- Believe in hard work and blessings of friends, family, and teachers.
We believe that we have already equipped you with many tools and instruments through various initiatives and programmes on our website. If you have followed them religiously, success shall definitely be yours. In your journey towards success, you shall always find us beside you.
Best of luck