Tips by IAS topper
As I am writing this post less than two weeks are left for the prelims examination and all of you must be having mixed feelings - anxiousness+ nervousness + excitement. It is quite natural to have such feeling as no one is Budhdha here who has achieved Nirvana, we all are common people with our own strengths and weaknesses. At this peak time, I would like to take few minutes and share my experience with you all may be it could help some of you.
"Success is a lock which needs two keys to be unlocked- one is your hard work and another is luck, first key i.e. hard work is in your hands while luck is beyond our control. Keep on trying with the key that you have who knows when God inserts the second key."
- Nidhi Siwach AIR 83, CSE 2018
UPSC examination is more of a mixture of hard work plus smart work. As preparation phase is over for Prelims and revision is going on, after facing prelims thrice I would share few things from my experience:
- As most of you have been attempting mocks try to figure out what is optimum number of questions where your score gets maximized, for some this is above 90 or 95 while for others it would be 80+. I fall in second category for me my score used to peak around 80-84. So, figure out the safe zone for you and don't change your strategy because someone else advised.
- Don't go with a preset notion about exam that I will attempt "X" number of questions in exam. Go with a free mind and decide on the basis of toughness of exam. Prelims exam is very unpredictable but seeing the paper we can have a rough estimate.
- Prelims is a qualifying exam you don't have to top in this exam so focus on qualifying it and take risk but a calculated one not wild guess.
- Things can go wrong but don't let any negative thing impact your calmness, if there is any issue you can think over it later on even cry if you feel like crying but not at the peak moment. So, for the D- Day just pray to God that your senses are in control.
- Prelims examination is a big level playing field, it doesn't matter it's your first attempt or last one the thing that matters is your mindset and attitude with which you enter examination hall on 2 June, so be optimistic.
If I have to equate UPSC to something I would equate it to game of Cricket, where you should focus on one ball at a time, if you keep on thinking about the previous ball or next ball and don't focus on the ball being served; you will be out. So, keep both long and short term goals but focus on the short term as it will be the building block for long term. At this peak time focus only on prelims don't think about mains and interview (even if in past you have scored badly in Mains or interview- because if on one ball you got out doesn't mean you can't hit a six on the next; just be confident and optimistic). So, now focus only on prelims, be optimistic and stay blessed. All the best!!!