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UPSC is the toughest and most prestigious exam in India. It requires thorough determination and hard work to crack the exam. Hard work when accompanied with smart strategies will definitely yield out to be good methodology for your IAS preparation. But during your preparation there are certain mistakes which when committed may deviate you from your target. In this article I will throw some light over top 9 mistakes which if avoided will increase your chances of clearing the exam.
1. Not considering UPSC syllabus
We all know that the syllabus of UPSC exam is very vast. Most of the coaching centers do not focus on the syllabus but tell you to study only topics listed in NCERT books. This is not true. There may be some extra topics or some topics which are not to be studied. So it is always recommended to download the syllabus from the UPSC official website and learn the syllabus by heart. The best way is to take a print out if the syllabus and paste it on a wall in your room.
2. Ignoring previous year papers
Most of the aspirants ignore solving previous years’ papers and directly jump over to the mocks or sample papers. This technique will not work. The first thing which you should do after completing the syllabus is to solve the previous year’s papers. This will help you to know the pattern followed in the exams and will improve your preparation level.
3. Following multiple books
Resource gathering is a difficult part. But that does not means that you will be picking whatever you get. Piling up 3-4 books of you optional book won’t work. A general trend has been seen that aspirants gather a lot of books and read from every book which ultimately confuses them. What we suggest is that first complete with your NCERTs and then follow just one book. Following one book will make you more confident and focused.
4. Ignoring the NCERTs
This is a worst mistake if anyone has been ignoring NCERTs. By any case you cannot skip the NCERT part. The clarity of concepts which you will get in NCERT books will not be provided in any other books. All the standard books are designed keeping in mind that you have completed your NCERT part. There are certain concepts which you will only learn from NCERT as they have been explained in a very clear and lucid manner.
5. Not making notes
It’s the human tendency that it will not retain 90% of the things which he/she has learnt the previous day. If you are not making notes and revising from them, then you are not studying effectively and there is a possibility that you will not be retaining anything till your paper. It is very difficult to read from the book again and again. SO the best way to save time and study effectively is to make notes. Notes help you in your revision. Nothing is best than handmade notes. But, even if you have not made the notes, these are available online in the form of PDF. You can also buy or download GIST NCERT books. These books have everything which you required to read from the NCERT books ad are best preparation material for revision.
6. Not selecting the optional subject wisely
Most of the aspirants select the optional subject just randomly. They do not consider regarding their interest. The aspirants should always remember that they should select the optional subject very wisely and in which they have the interest. An optional subject which makes the aspirant feel bored or sleepy will not fetch you good marks. You have to be very cautious while selecting the optional. It is always recommended to select a subject which you had studies in your graduation. The selection of optional subject should consider the following factors interest, availability of study material, coaching etc.
7. Not regular with newspaper reading
We all know that current affair section is the game changer section of UPSC. A student cannot clear the exam by only being good at academics. One has to be very active in newspaper reading and grabbing the latest affairs and events going on in the country and internationally. Even if you are reading a newspaper, it should not mean that you have to read that blindly. The aspirant needs to understand the what the information is and what is the topic which is being discussed. Make a diary and note down the important events, date and time and which personalities are associated with them. The candidates should understand and should know how to relate the issues in the newspaper with the IAS syllabus.
8. Preparing for mains after prelims
The candidate should understand that prelims is just a qualifying exam and your mains exam is the rank and future decider. Both the exams should be given equal importance. When you start preparation of your GS exam , start with mains simultaneously. Suppose if your start from June, then you must study for mains and prelims till January and after that give your full focus towards prelims. Keeping everything till the end may have a negative effect on your mains preparation. You must get yourself familiar with Mains answers and pattern beforehand. The months after prelims should be totally dedicated for revision and not for learning new concepts.
The main thing which is to be focused in your mains exam is the answer writing part. In the mains exam, if we calculate the average time, then it comes out to be 9 minutes. The candidate should be able to analyze the answer properly and immediately. The picture should be very clear in his mind and he should be able to write the answer in that frame of time. This thing can only be achieved by lot of practice. Practice and revision is the key to success. Ignoring this step may result in breaking of your dream of becoming a successful IAS officer.
9. Poor time management
The syllabus for UPSC is huge and never ending. The aspirant cannot afford to waste many months only to focus on one subject. If the aspirant is following this strategy of one subject at a time then it may result in poor or under preparation. The candidate may not get enough time for revision. The best way out is to follow a time management which will help to utilize the time properly and effectively. You can divide you time into small slots and divide the syllabus as per that. You can eve assign the topics which you have to study in that time frame. While making a time table, it will help you to analyze
Lakhs of students appear compete for just few seats of UPSC exam. The success rate of any aspirant clearing the exam is just 0.1%. The only way to crack the exam is to stay motivated and determined. Avoid committing the mistakes as mentioned above. This will surely increase your chances of clearing the exam. A proper time management strategy will prove substantial in your success. Revise as much as you can. The more you revise, the more you will retain. All the best.