With UPSC prelims set to be held on 20th of May, here is some tips on how to crack the exam. When it comes to national level competitive examination cracking, it’s important to study more productively than concentrating on the number of hours.
According to Muhammed Ali Shahib, All India Civil Services exams, 2011 (Rank 226), a thorough preparation is what one needs. He feels that time management is very important, adding that it doesn’t matter if you study 16-17 hours a day, unless the hours are productive.
He also stresses that with the approaching prelims, candidate must start revising and looking for problem solution in particular subjects. Ali started preparing two years before the exams. For the CSAT, development of capacity to read as well as analyzing particular piece of writing is necessary. In addition, they must not read for the purpose of information gain, but rather try to understand the language, usage and structure of words, as Ali explains.
One key to cracking exams as per GSG Ayyangar, the joint secretary, National Intelligence Grid, Ministry of affairs says is the right subject selection. He says that it is important that the candidates pick the subjects which they feel they are comfortable with.
It become easier to score in the general studies, where the multiple choice paper is divided into 5-6 sections in the prelims. Hence, candidates must be thorough with the current affairs, making sure that they read magazines and newspapers as well. Ideally, one should start the prelims preparation three months to the exam, as Ayyanga stresses. Simultaneous preparation should also be done for at least a paper for the main, putting 6-7 hours a day.
2010 UPSC topper, S Divyasharshini says that the route to success is to have a strict adherence to the study schedules and having astute planning. Divyadharshini explains that she did the revision in 3-4 hours per day. An additional 4 hours were spent updating on general knowledge and facts. It’s during this time also that she started practicing the mock question papers. Divyadharshini believes that focus should be on the acing CSAT since a good score allows the candidate to gain competitive edge.
On the other hand, IAS 2009 sub divisional officer, West Benegal, Shilpa Gourisaria believes that synchronizing should be done for both prelims and the mains as well. She also emphasizes on proper time management and resources along with regular study schedule. She also advises that with the vast syllabus which covers everything under the sun, it becomes a daunting task. The mocks helps in gaining confidence before having the prelims.
S Anantharaman, Southern Railways, Chennai divisional railway manager adds that there is no way of denying of the high levels of motivation required for UPSC exam cracking. Nevertheless, the Sixth Pay Commission has ensured salaries of civil servants are attractive and so earning a fat pay along with a social status, definitely gives you the perk to look forward.
UPSC Prelims Dates 2012
Date of Notification – 04/2/2012
Last date for receipt of applications – 5/3/2012 (MONDAY)
Date of Exam – 20/5/2012 (SUNDAY)
Check UPSC Official Website more details about the exam - upsc.gov.in