Right Approach for UPSC Examination
Building the right approach is very crucial for any serious UPSC Civil Serivces Aspirant. The so called right approach is what distinguishes the crowned from the subdued. However, the question is What is this right approach?
Specifying one particular right approach would be very difficult as success in this examination is a product of multiple factors which cannot be objectively defined. However, what we can do is map out a general strategy which can maximize your chances of success in this examination.
Following are a set of key areas in mapping out success strategy in Civil Services Examination:
Disciplined and Focused Mind with Passion for Learning & Reading
A disciplined and focused mind with a passion for learning and reading is the basic trait of all successful candidates. However, such a trait is not something which you can attain by just taking a capsule with lukewarm water. This is something which you need to imbibe in you i.e. it should form part of your personality.
Now, another question that immediately pops up is how to imbibe this trait?
Such a trait will develop only if one takes an intelligent interest in his/her preparation for the examination. This means you don’t just have to cover the syllabus in theoretical mode but you also have to relate it to the events that are happening around you. You have to have that cunningness to grap any piece of information around you and relate it what you have studied. This will also help you in retaining things in your mind for a longer time period. Also, your intelligent interest in current affairs would give you an extra edge at each level of the examination – Prelims. Mains & Interview.
Understanding the Nature of the Exam
Understanding the nature of Civil Services Examination is another essential ingredient for a delightful result. The UPSC Civil Services exam is more a test of the analytic and presentation skills along with knowledge gained by the candidate. This means that UPSC is not just testing the quantum of facts or editorials you have mugged up. It is testing whether you have analytically decoded i.e. raise a WHY? while studying all the relevant issues. Thus, the Mantra:
Read, Remember & Analyse
Also, you need to have excellent presentation skills because “Presentation ke marks bhi hai.” If you are not able to comprehensively present what all you have studied, then all your effort will be no good. Though, you may be able to crack prelims, but then you will be stuck in mains without good presentation skills. This can be mastered by regular writing practice under the auspices of experienced mentor.
Follow an Integrated Pre cum Mains Approach
The trick is to adopt an integrated approach for both Prelims cum Mains because the subjects have a lot in common and will help you save time for revision.
Beginning with Basics
Every candidate should begin their preparation by covering basic NCERT books of different subjects at school level. These NCERT books are a must as they will form the foundation of your entire preparation. NCERT books can be downloaded from NCERT website free of cost.
Daily Newspaper Reading
Current affairs carry a lot of importance because the approach is to focus on concepts and dynamism. Candidates should develop a habit of reading atleast one good newspaper like Hindu, Indian Express etc. They should also try to relate current events with what they studied during classroom study. Candidates should refrain from reading bollywood gossips, masala news, details of corruption/scams, tussles between political leaders etc. They should try to stick to key issues of national and international importance.