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Last 30 days strategy plan for excelling in Prelims 2019

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

With hardly any time left for the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam 2019, the stage has arrived where revision is the most important aspect of preparation process. Keeping the changing pattern of Prelims exam in mind, candidates are required to pay more attention on micro coverage of syllabus, writes Manoj k Jha, Faculty at GS SCORE Institute.

As the exam is approaching, some of you may feel the pressure & anxiety and may have doubts of completing the syllabus. This is quite common and you need not to be panic. Here are some steps to help you in final days of preparation. Because the syllabus is too vast, just preparing for each subject is not enough until and unless you are revising them thoroughly to get good hold on subjects.

Out of many challenges Civil Services aspirants face during the preparation process, one of the key challenges is less time and extensive syllabus that covers each and every aspect of respective subjects. And the best way to tackle this challenge is to have a well-structured and organized strategy for Civil Services Exam. Although, there is no fixed format for revision, as it varies from person to person, but still there are few standard guidelines which one should follow to excel in the Exam.

1. Strategies to crack prelims
Conceptual clarity is the first and foremost condition in getting through the exam. So, revise the source that already has been studied. Some of you might feel that even after revision, you are not able to recall what you have read. This is mainly due to less number of revisions. Though recapitulating capacity vary from person to person but on average several revisions (3-4 time) are required for consolidating information in mind.
2. Follow Three Tier Revision Method
Three Tier revision methods has become very common amongst IAS aspirants now. If you revise a topic the same day when you study it, you find it easy to revise and grab; while on the other hand if you revise that topics after few days of studying it, it becomes difficult to understand and revise and consume more time. So Three Tier Revision method suggests that aspirants should first revise the topic on the same day, then after 3 days and then revise the same topic at the end of the week. This way, you will be able to get strong hold on topics and subjects which stay in your memory for longer period.
3. Make short & crisp notes
If you have been making extensive notes of each subject and topic throughout your preparation process, then you are going on the right track. Good job! And if you haven’t made notes until now, so this is the time to correct your mistake. Read everything whatever you have studied thoroughly, and make notes for last minute quick revision. Although it will take lot of time now, but still, this is an important exercise. Make sure you make short and crisp notes, while keeping in mind the time constraint.
4. Enroll in Mock Tests and solve previous year question papers
Revision and practice of MCQs should be given top priority as the day of examination approach. Practicing MCQs is one of the best ways for consolidating your knowledge. For this, several test series are available in the market which covers MCQs from conceptual to advance level, NCERTs to standard books and current affairs to previous year UPSC questions. For more practice you can visit to GSSCORE institutes website i.e.- On an average practicing at least 5000 MCQs (100 questions/day in last 40-50 days) is required before exam to ensure effective time management, mind-hand coordination, clarifying doubts and adding new facts. Where previous year question papers help you get fair idea about examination pattern, the mock tests help you assess your preparation level and give an idea of probable questions. Both the exercises help you practice well and prepare for the final quest.
5. Analyze your mistakes
Analysis of mistakes and working on them is more important than taking new tests without analysis. If you are not analysing mistakes done in the test series, it will not help you. Generally, students do three types of mistakes- one conceptual, two factual and third silly.

  • If conceptual mistakes are high in test, this is a serious issue; you need to work on basics through NCERT and standard books. Focus on your conceptual clarity either through detailed study of concepts or through discussion with teacher or with your fellows. Clarification through discussion is more effective if wasteful talks are not your area of discussion.
  • To avoid factual mistakes, you need to work more on current affairs and revise them several times. You can learn facts through techniques like mnemonics which you did in your school days to learn several formulas.
  • Practice avoids silly mistakes like filling wrong bubbles, marking wrong option and not reading the question carefully. Therefore, practice more.

For better result you must take few full Mock tests in UPSC simulation environment. GSSCORE provides such opportunity in most of the state capitals of the country.

6. Make use of technology
Now, when we have the power of technology with us, why completely relying on hard study material? Make good use of technology, which will save your time as well. Since you cannot carry your books everywhere, you can always google the topics which you need to study and get in depth information about them. This exercise can be best done during your travel time. Although, it should be your regular exercise, because technology makes us well updated; so searching topics on google will help you get updated information in depth. Apart from this, you can always watch videos of successful candidates and other educational videos related to Civil Services Exam.

7. Stay updated with Current Affairs
Last, but extremely important, stay updated with current affairs. Do not stop reading Newspaper, editorials and make important notes. At this stage, I would not suggest reading anything new in any other topic, but current affairs need to be studied regularly. So do revise the current affairs which you have studied and keep reading new current affairs, as this is the dynamic portion of the syllabus which is extremely important.

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