Many candidates expect for easy questions, easy evaluation, easy preparation, limited curriculum for Civil Services Examination. This is absolutely not possible and shouldn’t be possible. In real, knowingly or unknowingly they expect a favor from the examination body, which never happens. Every year I interact with 100’s of candidates and each one of them after coming out of the exam hall converse with me happily or broodingly that additional focus given to a specific subject which no one expected or question paper pattern was erratic, lengthy, complex vocabulary, ambiguous answer choices and so on……….
The point is, don’t try to guess, forecast or predict the question paper. If you try to predict, you will get a blow in each of your additional attempt and you don’t have unlimited attempts. Most of the candidates who fail, will try to predict the question paper and frame their preparation strategy in accordance to their prediction. In all the cases the examination body outsmarts the individuals.
The best strategy is to prepare unbiased. Think like a pro tennis coach or champ, who has to think about playing in natural turf, artificial turf, lawn, mud, indoor & out door, in heat, in cold regardless of every erratic situation they play to win. The only attitude you should carry is play to win. When I say play to win, I insist in playing every day without expectations to win. Play, Play, Play. What does this mean how can you play in your preparation?
Imagine what happens to a tennis pro champ who does ‘n’ number of exercises for flexibility, endurance and strength, but plays tennis only once in a year. It is obvious he will fail. Alternatively the winner is the one who does the “n” number of exercise and spends more time on real time playing. The winner never leaves a single day without the real game practice. Both the exercise and real game should go hand in hand. Without exercise it will be a sloppy game and without a real game practice the exercise is of no use.
The point is that the strength, flexibility and endurance obtained out of exercise are channelized to the real game performance. This will improve the game, builds confidence and effortless execution of techniques. The brain and body works in sync.
Most of the CSE aspirants spend several hours in studying and learning every day, but spends only less than 5 hours in a week in taking practice test. This is like a tennis pro champ exercising several hours in a day without playing the game.
This technique of reading several books for several hours is of no use. You gain knowledge, but how will you channelize that knowledge in the exam. Recollect the situation of handling a competitive exam and you will realize that you haven’t answered several questions correctly which you very well know. This is because your brain is not trained to swiftly recollect the content in line with analytically perceiving the questions.
More over one more interesting fact is, we read a topic and revisit the same topic again and again only to realize we are beating around the bush with no real solution. Contemplate this scenario, you read a chapter. Then you revisit the same chapter again after a month and this happens until the day before the exam. Why do you want to revisit the same content again and again, because you are not confident and you may don’t even know whether you have mastered the chapter. Candidates who are taking the examination for more than 2 attempts will understand what I say as they experience this situation by rereading the same topics in the same book for several years together.
Hence understand clearly, in competitive exams reading is like doing exercise, taking mock test is like practicing real game.
Whenever you read a topic spend the same amount of time in taking test in the same chapter. Try this once and you will be amazed in the results you see and confidence you build. The cumulative effect will be exceptional.
Make a rule, you spend one hour in studying a topic, you should spend one hour or more (I prefer more) in taking test or reviewing questions from that topic. In this way you no need to revisit the content again and again and you have mastered the logic used to frame questions from that topic.
Purchase question bank, review previous question papers, borrow question papers from your friends/teachers/coaching institutes and all other available options. I even suggest you to build your own question bank by framing quality questions from what you have read.
Resolve to keep yourself occupied for at least 30 weekends out of 52 weekends in a year by applying and attending exams organized by UPSC, SSC, SPSC, RRB, IBPS and other possible exams. There are several benefits in doing this. You will see hundreds of new questions every week and you have real time exam experience provided by these examination bodies. This definitely gives a winning advantage. Along with this add the number of questions you reviewed and test taken from books, internet and coaching institutes.
Review all the UPSC exam question papers which include previous CSE papers and CDS….. Question papers in the current year. Each question is a potential important topic. There is a saying “no one ever kicks a dead dog”, similarly no examination body takes a irrelevant or insignificant question. So each question has a seed, a topic for us to devour.
The movie Rocky is one of the all-time motivational movie in which the coach Michael "Mickey" Goldmill insist Sylvester Stallone to practice 500 punches to deliver one punch in the real boxing match. The same applies here; you should practice 1000’s of questions from each topic to gear yourself to face 1 question in the real exam.
Subscribe with Educasium Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Educasium and you will start receiving several hundreds of question and discussion on those question to make your preparation wholistc. Additionally, you can enroll in Educasium mock test batch and keep writing mock test for the entire year on a phased manner. You can get the details of educasium mock test batch in this link https://www.educasium.com/test-series.html
All the best
Purush & Team