UPSC Prelims is considered tough to crack not because very tough questions are asked or students lack knowledge or they do not work hard.It is because aspirants do not prepare for the unpredictable nature of the exam.You must have heard,students saying that they did a silly mistake or they knew the answer but marked wrong.Or they had read it but could not recall in the exam.These mistakes cost them an entire year. This happens because they toil hard the entire year,burn the midnight oil but do not take time to sharpen their axe. Just like the woodcutter whose productivity declined with each passing day from felling fifteen trees a day to two -three a day.He blamed himself that he was not working hard enough.One day the boss asked,“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” “Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been too busy cutting down trees…”.The woodcutter realized his mistake.He sharpened his axe and immediately was back to felling 15 trees a day.
Sharpening your axeThree steps to sharpen your axe Read daily– Consistency is very important.It does not mean that you need to study for 8-10 hours daily.Even 3-4 hours of focused study is enough if you do that for an entire year.Remember that You cannot maintain the same level of enthusiasm for the exam for the whole year.And one should not go for long hours in the beginning as you may feel exhaust just before exams loosing the will to succeed.This is the primary reason that many aspirants back out at the last moment. Revise –Revision is the most crucial factor that will decide your success or failure.The importance of revision is twofold. Firstly, it helps you to remember facts, figures,topics and methodologies that you have covered some time ago. Secondly, If done correctly it will help increase your confidence and reduce anxiety – you will be well prepared for your examination Practice As they say, practice makes perfect.All too often students have fantastic knowledge but their exam technique is lacking, which ends up affecting their final result.And, that is precisely why, we love what Anton Chekhov, had to say KNOWLEDGE IS OF NO VALUE UNLESS YOU PUT IT INTO PRACTICE. Gaining knowledge is only half the battle won. The other half comes through extensive practice and feedback. Many people struggle to put knowledge into practice and that is what the quote is all about. The reason is pretty obvious. Practice helps improve skills and make you better at what you do. If you routinely practice a certain skill, you will get good at it. And, this happens with studying too. We all have been there – studying for long hours, practicing something we have learned over and over again for an exam or a test we have. But, what happened with tests you haven’t put that practice into? You, most likely, did not perform as well as the one you studied for.
Best way is to attempt mock on the topics you have read.It helps you in understandig all the dimensions of a topic and prepare you for any type of question that can be asked from it.For objective papers such as UPSC prelims one needs to master the elimination skill to score those extra marks which will secure your name in the list. At last,remember the line “KEEP IT SIMPLE”.Read NCERT,Few reference books and follow the NEWSPAPER.Do not rush to buy every other material available in the market.For detailed booklist and strategy Click here
The test series covers
1.Two years of current affairs,
2.Vision IAS magazine based tests.
3.Standard reference books tests
4.Chapter wise tests of All NCERTs
5.Full-Length Mock tests
6.Previous year based tests
7.Economic Survey, Budget and India Yearbook tests
8.50 Previous Year based subject wise tests