MUST READ: PRELIMS in Testing Times – Don’t Forget the ‘WHY’; IASbaba’s dedicated HOTLINE for Aspirants and Prelims Postponing Rumours
There is an overall sense of anxiety around us. We all the know the reason- the deadly coronavirus. It is important that we take due measures in fighting a global threat that has hardly left any continent of the world unaffected. Though the COVD19 pandemic is global, the impact is local. Each one of us can get affected if we don’t take the necessary precautions. Needless to say, you must follow all the government instructions and practice social distancing. But is social distancing new to UPSC aspirants? You know the answer 🙂 The majority of aspirants go in a self imposed lockdown for many months, limiting their social interaction, staying at home and focusing on their studies. Just take the current situation as an extension of the same social distancing, albeit an extreme one.
So, now you are left with only one option- prepare for the Civil Services Examination (CSE). But that you have been doing already. What has changed then? Let us tell you- you have a golden opportunity to introspect and probe your thoughts. Most of us, while introspecting, ask questions in ‘what’ and ‘how’. What am I going to study in the next few weeks? What are my strengths and weaknesses? What are those subjects/ topics that need more preparation? How am I going to prepare those? How am I performing in the tests I am appearing for? How is UPSC going to judge my answers? Well, the list of questions can get really long. But do these questions help you in any way? Do these questions make you introspect better? Do getting to know the answers to these questions make you prepare more effectively? They hardly do. Let us try and understand this.
We are all driven by certain desires or aspirations. This driving force has the ability to get us going despite the odds. This driving force helps us begin the journey and gain the initial momentum to further the journey. However, once we are midway in our respective journeys, we tend to get disconnected from the driving force.
The disconnect from the driving force occurs simply because you never ask the simple question- ‘why’. In the middle of the journey, you know what you are doing and how you are doing. A simple analogy would be a bike ride to a hill station. You know you are riding a motorbike and that the motorbike is running at a certain speed. Similarly, presently you know that you are reading your textbooks/ notes and that you are finding some subjects/ topics more difficult than the others. Knowing these things is important but never sufficient. Let us come back to our analogy. What will happen if it starts raining heavily while you ride your bike towards the destination? Perhaps, you will stop at a shelter and come back home after the rain ceases. You might fear that the weather may get worse; and it is wiser to come back to the safety and comfort of your home. But, let us pause for a moment ask a simple question- why did you begin your journey at the first place? Maybe it was because you wanted to reach the highest motorable road of the world. Now that is a higher purpose that drove you to take a bike ride. If you remember this higher purpose or rather the ‘why’ of your journey, you will surely move ahead. It will change your emotions dramatically. Instead of worrying about the weather, you will now focus on the remainder of your journey. In all probability, you will reach your destination despite the weather.
This is the ‘why’ we are asking you to get reminded of. Why did you start your preparation? What was the motive? Do you remember it? If yes, there is nothing that can stop you. You will always march ahead. Whenever you are faced with difficulties and you feel less determined, ask the ‘why’ question and you will reenergise yourself by the same driving force that made you begin your journey at the first place. That is the beauty of asking ‘why’.
Now let us come to a specific point. Why did you decide to practice the ’60 Day’ questions? Perhaps to increase dramatically the probability of you getting through the Prelims stage. Do you still remember that? If yes, you need not worry. We know you are following the initiative religiously. You are posting your answers, engaging with peers and taking full advantage of a high value initiative.
But if you don’t remember the very reason that led you start with the ’60 Day’ initiative, then you are in bit of a trouble. You are not taking it seriously, hardly posting your responses in fear of getting shamed by comparing your scores with others and thereby losing complete focus. Let us remind you that ’60 Day’ is not the battleground. It is the ‘training ground’ for knowing your weak spots and then working to address those. If you are not posting your responses, you will always be shy to face the world. By posting your responses you will be motivated to improve your scores. Even an incremental increase on a day to day basis will lead to sure shot success in Prelims. Moreover, it becomes much easier for us to calculate the cut off as we deal with a bigger sample space. Since most of the low scorers hesitate to put their responses, the cut off goes up naturally. ’60 Day’ is a peer-driven initiative and by participating actively, you are placed to get better with each passing day.
Here is the Feedback on ’60 Day Plan’ from the UPSC Topper –Muthu Somasundaram, Rank 23 IFOS, 2019. IFOS Prelims cut-off being higher than the Civil Services Exam (CSE) cut-off, this means a lot to us.
Since 2017 I have been an ardent follower of the 60 day plan before Prelims. The quality of the questions is very good and it’s a good program to hone your question solving skills as well as brush up the basics. I want to sincerely thank IASbaba for continuing it as a free initiative and maintaining the quality of the program. There were times when after one attempt’s interview the time for next prelims would be short and I used to solve 4-5 day questions together and make short notes or titbits of the key. You can never take prelims lightly even if you had cleared it earlier, and the 60 day plan was an important part of clearing prelims since 2017 for me, as I used to have sense of satisfaction and confidence if I had completed all the 60 days questions. Many like me are using this program in their own ways.
Now a really IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT – IASbaba’s Dedicated HOTLINE for Aspirants !!
We would like to apologise that we have not been able to meet you in person for past one week at our office. Due to Government orders, we had to close our offices at Delhi and Bangalore. In order to compensate for that and to make sure that your preparation goes on smoothly, we are starting a new communication channel.
Yes, you read it correctly; you will be able to speak with the Founders and Core Team of IASbaba on telephone regarding ‘any queries’ related to Prelims preparation in general or subject specific doubts.
In addition, to the thread opened on daily basis for our 60 Day plan, a communication line will be open for two hours daily (excluding Sunday) from 5 pm to 7 pm. We will try to make sure that with so much going around these days, you have at least one less thing to worry about.
Also, use the thread opened on daily basis for our 60 Day plan – the ‘Disqus Comment’ section effectively and clarify your subject specific and general preparation related doubts/queries on daily basis. Make the best use of the channel (thread and calls) provided. We will make sure that, all your queries will be answered to.
Please Note that, Contact details and modus of operandi of the communication channel with the Mentors will be announced soon. Stay tuned !!
On Prelims Postponing Rumours!
Finally, we have been getting many emails asking whether Prelims 2020 is going to get postponed. We understand that the problem has been created by the rumour mongers. Out of nowhere, people are now speaking of cancellation of prelims examination. These type of rumours spread like wildfire, especially in places where there are established markets for UPSC coaching centres. First of all, no one knows whether the exam will be cancelled or not. UPSC hasn’t announced anything as such. If at all it happens, we will definitely let you know first. So please don’t panic, instead use the time effectively in your prelims preparation.
Moreover, as an aspirant should you be even concerned about that? You have control only over your preparation. Hence there is no need to pay any heed to such distractions. As mentioned above ask the ‘why’ question and you will reenergise yourself by the same driving force that made you begin your journey at the first place.
For those who have got your Interview re-scheduled (for candidates appearing between 23rd March to 3rd April, 2020) please don’t waste your time. Spend atleast 3-4 hours on your Prelims preparation on daily basis. Do follow our 60 day plan, use our communication channels effectively and revise your basics. Reading newspaper will help in both your prelims and interview preparation, so don’t neglect it. The other half of the day can be spent on your interview preparation.
For now, remember the keyword SHIP– stay Safe, stay Healthy, stay Informed and continue with your Preparation! We at IASbaba are always there to guide you to the best of our abilities.
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All the Best