Indian Civil service is an elite career. Not everyone is talented enough to get into this prestigious service. Lakhs of aspirants prepare for this exam every year but very few get successful in finding their names in final merit list. Everyone starts with the goal of clearing it in one shot. No one wants to be senior player in this game. But as life would have it, many aspirants toil year after year committing the same mistakes as year before and repeating their failure strategies. Let us talk about some mistakes that one should avoid in their preparation for Civil Service examination.
1. It is wrong that you have to study everything and anything that comes under your nose. Absolutely wrong. All you end up with is a lot of confusion, and immense wastage of time in studying things that you would not even remember on the D-day. You need to develop common sense. You don’t need to do R&D on every topic just have a broad idea about how things work. To use the cliché, you need to be a smart worker along with being a hard worker. Remember, you only have to write 250 words in the Mains Exam for every answer.
2. Choose the optional wisely. It should pertain to your – interest, amount of syllabus, time taken for revision, difficulty level in understanding and something that should get you the highest marks per hour that you spent in studying that optional while judging the efficiency level.
3. You need not read the newspapers in detail. And you definitely don’t need to read 10 newspapers. Either Hindu or Indian Express with tid-bits of important articles from other newspapers will suffice. Yes, reading habit helps you in developing an understanding of the subject but doesn’t do much at the end because you hardly remember much from 1000-1500 words articles scattered over months. Instead you can take a compilation of important articles given by any coaching institute and systematically study them. It is easier to read and revise when it is all at one place.
4. Joining a test series is not important. But you must practice it. If you have enough understanding of the subject, you can check the answer yourself - the points that should be included and what shouldn’t be. If not confident you can take help of a friend or someone who has cleared UPSC mains with good marks. The objective of answer writing practice is to improve both quantity and quality of your answers.
5. You don’t need to study 14-15 hours daily. Quality of studying is what is of utmost importance. 9-10 hours daily is enough. You should be consistent in your preparation.
6. Revision is very important. Because you may study the whole world of syllabus but if you are not able to reproduce it on your exam paper, it amounts to zilch. It’s about equivalent to not having studied at all because it hasn’t got you any results. Revision is as, if not more, important than studying itself.