What Does an All-rounded UPSC Preparation Look Like?

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What Does an All-rounded UPSC Preparation Look Like

From coaching institutes to mock interviews and tests, a well-rounded UPSC preparation has many factors involved. In this article, we will elaborate upon some of the tips that one can find useful while creating a study plan for IAS Preparation.

Keeping Oneself Free of Negativity during UPSC Preparation

1. Dissociation from unnecessary news: It’s prudent to stay away from unnecessary news that might result in a negative state of mind. In this post-Covid-19 era, media reports will likely incline towards the negative spectrum. One can also become restless as a result of being subjected to such news reports; hence it is important to be detached as it will help in overcoming pressure and might enable 100% focus on learning.

2. Differentiation in learning: It is human to become frustrated or stressed when one is not able to reach a set goal or when they are not able to solve a mock test or two. This is counterproductive and should be avoided. One way to overcome this is to enjoy the process of learning and thinking of positive outcomes. 

3. Do not obsess over perfection: Usually, candidates are reluctant to write answers even during practice sessions due to an unrealistic sense of perfectionism. They must get out of this cycle as this might jeopardise their chances of writing accurate answers at a crucial junction.

4. Adapting to the new normal: The Covid-19 situation has changed how the UPSC preparation is done. Physical classes have given way to online classes, negating the chances of group discussions and studies. As such, students might be uncomfortable with this shift in taking online classes, getting accustomed to reading PDFs and giving online mock tests. It is a tiring endeavour, but it is a necessary step. It is easier when the vast UPSC syllabus is broken down into smaller parts, and thus preparation becomes easier.

5. Avoid negativity: It’s important to be with the right people during the UPSC preparation. It is recommended to avoid people who give negative vibes. Such people are not worth keeping company with as the candidate will doubt their potential. Hence, it’s better to avoid negativity by keeping us out of their reach.

6. Maintain a reading habit: For the UPSC exams, it is necessary to maintain an appropriate reading habit, and it must be done while avoiding unwanted distractions. Reading about two to three newspapers daily will help in the long run. Also, it is recommended to read magazines like Yona, Kurukshetra Magazine etc. 

In any exam, a proper preparation plan is as necessary as fuel is to a car. The right kind of strategy will enable a candidate to make the cut even on the first attempt. One aspect of the exam strategy is formulating a timetable, and by adhering to it, a candidate can easily pass the IAS exam.

7. Analyse previous years’ question papers: Going through previous years’ UPSC question papers will give a sense of the type of questions asked in the exam. Moreover, it will help in analysing the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate through daily practice. Thus, practising previous years’ UPSC exam question papers should be a part of the preparation strategy.

8. Choosing the study material: While a good exam preparation strategy is a must for an IAS exam, the source material with which to prepare for the exam is a must as well. Hence, care must be taken in order to select the right kind of preparation material.

What Should Be Kept in Mind When Joining an IAS Coaching Institute?

When you join a coaching centre for the IAS Exam, it is a prerequisite to choosing a place where you get trained to meet your needs and your queries answered. Other important criteria for joining a coaching institute during preparation are as follows:

  • Identify your requirement: As a serious aspirant of UPSC, you must be aware of your requirements, positives and negatives, to move ahead with understanding and preparing for the exam. Choose an institute that matches your subject-specific requirements, whether it be History, Politics, Geography, CSAT, or optional subjects. To get the most out of the best IAS Coaching in India, one must keep their requirements in mind. Only then can one manage to look for such good institutions.
  • Do background research on the institute and collect personal feedback from students who have studied there. A thorough understanding of the coaching process can help you avoid a mistake before joining the institute.
  • Faculty services: Efficient faculty with a thorough understanding of their respective subject and who can provide personal mentorship are an asset to the organisation and students. At times, we have seen aspirants excel in particular subjects after they received the right guidance. You can also request demo classes from faculty members to decide the quality of teaching.
  • Fee structure and course duration: An understanding of the course duration and fee structure can make the decision-making process easier and more convenient. Also, research on the infrastructure facilities, libraries, and quality resource materials provided by the institute.
  •  If you are particular about time management, you have to be decisive about the time spent in coaching classes, libraries, mock tests, optional subjects, and self-preparation. If you are thorough with the base subjects, you can choose crash courses or attempt test series.

Why Are Attempting Mock IAS Questions Useful?

The most important aspect of the UPSC preparation plan is that of attempting mock tests. There are multi-faceted reasons why it is so, but here, we will focus on two important factors:

1. Reduces nervousness and phobia: Nervousness and phobia are one of the most common reasons why candidates make mistakes that are easily avoidable. A surefire way of easing the worst effects of phobia and nervousness is to practise IAS mock questions at regular intervals. It will give the candidates the feel of an actual exam once they have done enough practice questions. To a large extent, it will reduce nervousness and phobia on the day of the actual exam, making you confident enough to tackle whatever obstacles that come your way.

2. Identifies gaps in preparation: Unless you don’t practise, you won’t know how perfect (or not) your UPSC preparation has been. After all, the age-old proverb ‘Practice makes perfect’ holds true here. Practising IAS mock tests on a regular basis helps in identifying the proverbial gap that has come about in your exam preparation.

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