8 Common Mistakes Civil Service Aspirants commit during Preparation Period
8 Common Mistakes Civil Service Aspirants commit during Preparation Period -Setting Unrealistic Expectations happens to be the grave mistake most aspirants’ commit which can be quite taxing in the form of losing many years before reaching the final goal. Being aware and acknowledging these commonly committed mistakes can help one succeed in this examination in a given timeframe. Here’s listing 8 common mistakes aspirants generally make:
- Losing Track of Syllabus:
It is extremely important to be constantly aware of the syllabus prescribed by the UPSC. It is advised to revisit the syllabus every now and then to ensure you are focussed and not deviating. Having a look at the previous year’s papers, one can link the questions with the corresponding topic in the syllabus. Similarly while studying it is very crucial to locate the topics in the syllabus. This will help a student identify what to study and what not to study.
- Piecemeal Approach:
Most aspirants focus entirely on prelims at first and next mains. However, one needs to understand that the requirements and aims of prelims and mains are entirely different.Prelims’ being the first elimination round aims at finding a cohort of people who have basic sufficient knowledge to proceed to presenting their thoughts. The preparation should be from a long term perspective and hence the focus should be on mains.
- Not Referring Previous Years Papers:
Previous year’s papers act as a guide and assists aspirants in their preparation. It is advised to refer to the previous year’s papers from the beginning of the preparation and not rely on the same at the fag end. Upon completion of a topic, see the relevance of the questions asked in the previous papers and accordingly allocate time and importance to that area when you revise.
- Choosing Wrong Optional:
Choosing a right optional is the most critical decision every aspirant faces. Most beginners choose an optional based on scoring potential or popularity. Both are just an indicator and the decision should not be based alone on these factors. Every optional can be scoring provided, one has mastered the syllabus and finds the subject interesting and stimulating.Hence, before finalising the optional, it is important to consider few aspects like inclination towards the subject, availability of material, any previous background, right guidance and finally the dedication one can give on a regular basis.
- Not having Peer Group:
Having a peer group who share the same wavelength proves to be a boon for most CSE candidates. Peer group acts as a measuring stick to compare the group performance to understand your preparation level. It is an excellent forum to meet and exchange thoughts with fellow candidates who are grappling with similar issues and challenges. In uncertain times, finding a group of candidates seriously preparing for the upcoming examination helps you stick to the study plan and keeps you motivated.
- Reading from the wrong sources:
It is very essential to know clearly as to which sources one has to refer. By reading from the wrong sources, you will either end up wasting time or end up with half-baked knowledge. For example, for Indian Polity – Laxmikanth is the most apt, concise and relevant book. If you read Polity from DD Basu, which is highly technical in nature and full of legal jargon, you will not only find it harder to grasp but would also lead to inefficient time utilisation.
- Not taking up Test Series:
It is a known that no book or coaching institutes can roll out tailor made answers of UPSC questions as they are dynamic and analytical in nature. Studying linearly without frequent self-assessment, you may diverge from what UPSC demands. Taking up test series and answer writing practice play a crucial role for prelims and more so for mains. When you put yourself in the actual examination set up, you can gauge your performance against other fellow aspirants, analyse things holistically and the feedback leaves you with a huge scope for improvement.
- Isolation from the External World:
UPSC aspirants generally have a tendency to isolate themselves from the social world. It is good to have a great deal of focus with regard to your preparation but in that process, one should not cut themselves off from their social life. Research has shown that, engaging in extracurricular activities will boost performance in the curricular domain. As the proverb goes “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, so engaging in hobbies and maintaining social interactions helps in easing stress.
One more mistake which can contribute to underperformance is lack of revision and not having micro notes which aids your preparation.
“It takes a wise man to learn from his mistakes, but even wiser man to learn from others.”