In one way or the other, you are going to make history on the 4th of October, 2020. These are not normal times after all! When the entire world is waging a war against COVID-19, you will be fighting your own battle in the examination hall. For some of you, it might be overwhelming. The fear of unknown in the examination is always a source of worry for aspirants. However, this time, you will be carrying the extra burden of ensuring your safety and health. It means you have to fight your battles at two fronts. It is such a great challenge, isn’t it?
But then, you will remember this day. Imagine yourself, delivering a lecture to the new probationers at LBSNAA after 15 years in your capacity as the director of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). You will be recounting the day when you appeared for your prelims examination amidst the chaos and fear of a global pandemic that had already impacted millions of people across the world. But you will also tell them that the virtues of patience, self belief and bravery helped you and your fellow aspirants overcome the situation and you came out with flying colours. It is not merely a romantic imagination. You will one day look back and take immense pride and satisfaction that you succeeded despite all the challenges.
Of course, you need to be careful. Since times are critical, you need to be smart. Don’t take any risk. Wear your mask, carry a small bottle of sanitiser, maintain distance with the people to the maximum extent possible, don’t chit chat with other aspirants during the break and immediately report to the invigilator if you feel any discomfort. In a nutshell, take all the necessary precautions. Once you have convinced yourself that you are safe and good to go, you will perform much better.
Once you start attempting the questions, don’t get too worried about the pandemic. It won’t matter. Since you have already started, give this examination your best shot. Declutter your mind by breathing deeply. Remember one thing – you are not alone in this. There are many students like you who would be taking the examination on the 4th. It is a level playing filed and COVID-19 has made prelims a matter of controlling one’s senses. Those who would be focussing better, will definitely have much better chances to crack the examination.
Apart from the milieu in which you are going to write your examination, nothing has changed. UPSC remains the same, the pattern of the examination is the same and most importantly, even competition isn’t going to change much. Therefore, there is no room for complacency. Once you have entered your responses on the OMR sheet, the machine checking your answers won’t be kind enough to take into account the pandemic situation and give few grace marks. However bitter it may sound, it is the reality. The point of talking about all these is simple – you may or may not be willing to risk your health and safety by appearing in the examination, but once you have entered the examination hall, nothing should distract you.
It means, the fundamentals remain the same. Remain calm while answering the questions, do not over attempt or make wild guesses, try to finish the portions you are more comfortable with and most importantly, be sure to mark the bubbles correctly.
You have already worked hard and sustained through the ups and downs of this pandemic. October 4th is just another day, albeit one that warrants more care and safety. We are sure that with power packed initiatives like Hotline, 60 Day Plan, IRP and Rapid Revision Series (RRS), you have the wherewithals to perform extremely well in the paper.
So, have faith in yourself and give your best.
All the Best