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Few More Days to Go: Getting Ready for Mains – 2015 + Some Tips

At this point of time, one common problem that majority faces is this: “I am not able to remember anything! I can not recall all the information I have studied till now. I feel like giving up. Pressure is too much to bear.”

This is a common feeling when exam is nearing. It is impossible to remember everything. It is impossible to recall everything. Maximum what you can do is recall 50-60% of information to frame an answer to a question. Beyond this, it is very difficult to recall everything. These days questions are such that, you need to recall information from diverse interrelated topics to frame a meaningful answer. Almost everyone faces this challenge. It is not unique to you.

What should be unique to you is your ability to withstand any amount of pressure you might face in the course of preparation. As elsewhere, only those who weather difficult situations will emerge victorious later. Let there be pressure, but let it help you improve your efficiency and not affect you adversely. 

What should you do now? 

Now, you should focus more on staying healthy and happy. Stay Happy!? Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but success in this exam depends on your right attitude. You can be happy if you see Mains as just Mains. It is not going to decide your fate. Your fate is in your hands. 

Assuming you haven’t prepared well, what are your options?

  1. Quit preparation and go for a vacation
  2. Slip into depression and make everyone around you unhappy
  3. Spend more time on movies, Facebook, Whatsapp and keep bugging friends on phone
  4. Start devising an excellent preparation strategy for 2016 Mains
  5. Study as much as possible, eat well, sleep well, stay happy  and give Mains – 2015 no matter what happens next

First four options won’t help you. They will ruin your chances of success. They will make your wait protracted and painful.

 But if you utilize next few days meaningfully (revise Optional, Practice 5 Essays, Write Twenty Case Studies, Revise Secure compilations – assuming you have done these) you might still clear Mains. Hope is not a bad thing. If you do your part sincerely,  luck will favour you. Option five is the best course of action for you right now. 

There is no point in getting tensed. It will only waste your time – a precious commodity that won’t care for your emotions. It won’t wait for you. Accept the situation. Go ahead. You are one of those few lucky persons who have cleared prelims. There are lakhs and lakhs who haven’t cleared prelims. This is your chance to shine no matter what’s your preparation level.

Some of you might have practised very well, yet feeling tensed. This might be due to past failures. There will be a scary feeling of failing again. But, most of the times what happens is, if you have prepared well this time, you will succeed with flying colours. Of course, you are cynical to even imagine this. Your mind might be sceptical to visualise a scenario where you are jumping with ecstasy (or collapsing with shock!) after seeing your name figuring in top 50 of the UPSC civil services 2015 final list. But this might turn out be true. 

Let your mind doubt your ability, or luck. For now, be calm and composed. You will do well in Mains. You should. Just remember a fact that no matter what you have read till now, you will have to frame a whole new answer in the exam hall. You can not just reproduce something from your memory (except in Optional papers). If your head is clear and calm, you will frame a better answer using the knowledge you have gained all these years.  

Few tips to score good Marks in Mains:

  1. Avoid writing irrelevant stuff. It not only wastes time, it will also affect your marks. If you do not know full answer, write only what you know. If you don’t know anything, leave it blank. Examiner will be happy to see 2-3 blank pages. He won’t be annoyed.
  2. Read question 3-4 times. Read it again after writing each paragraph. This keeps you on track. Understanding the demand of the questions is a half battle won!
  3. First question should not be treated with too much of love, affection and care. Allot equal time for all the questions. You should be conscious of this fact from the first question itself. 
  4. In Ethics, start with Case Studies. Allot 15 minutes or less for each. Never cross this limit.
  5. In Essay paper, both topics deserve your equal attention. Do not discriminate. Those who score less in Essay, probably score less in second topic thanks to shortage of time which results in shorter and incoherent essay. Spending equal time and energy on both topics might itself get you 130+ score provided you write relevant stuff in both essays.
  6. As every single Mark is important, be focused during entire duration of Three Hours while answering the paper. You must try to maximise your marks in each answer. This doesn’t mean you should write more. Your answer should be to the point, non-nonsense stuff, meeting the exact demand of the question. 
  7. Be positive. 

Please relax and stay focused. Do not worry about things you haven’t read. Do not worry about things you have forgotten. Revise as much as you can now. One TRUTH is that nobody will write exam with 100% preparation.

It is actually a  fight between more tensed vs less tensed aspirants. 

If you are more tensed, you will win one extra year. If you are less tensed and face this exam, you might see your name in the list. 

Relax and let go all tensions and fears. They won’t help you in any way.

If you are still feeling that there is more to read but there is less time, be happy that you are not alone and almost everyone is on the same page. 

A topper will not know he would become a topper. They are made in the course of exam process.

Now, it’s time to download Admit Card ……

Wish you all the best.