Civil Services Exam is for the Attentive!
Civil Services Exam is vast and complex. It is also the most competitive exam in India because of the authority and prestige it offers. Candidates determined in clearing this exam leave no stone unturned in the preparation.
The idiom ‘Slow and steady wins the Race’ holds true in this case. It is the steadiness in learning that helps for progress. It is therefore important for the aspirant to ensure that they are able to maintain consistency while learning.
How consistent are you?
Consistency does not stay with being regular in learning and having a planned timetable to follow.
Like how it is important to take care that a wall is well maintained so that it could be painted, it is equally important that one takes care of his/her health to lead a successful life.
The below 7 factors that help maintain stability or consistency is to be seriously considered. These would prevent the candidate from feeling the stress/pressure of learning.
Eating food systematically: The mistake that many learners do is to skip food or to delay it while deeply engrossed in studying. This, over a period of time, affects the brain function to absorb information. The right thing to do is ensure that healthy food is consumed in a scheduled manner.
1. Sleep: Sleep, like food, plays an important role in health. A sluggish mind can never think clearly. There are many scientific types of research which prove that for an efficient mind, a bare minimum of 6 to 8 hours sleep is essential. So, let-go and sleep peacefully to have a fresh start.
2. Exercising or activity: Sitting continuously for long hours can be really unsafe to maintain fitness. It is important to get involved in an activity/exercise for 5 mins every half an hour so that the mind is also diverted from the pressure. A healthy body leads to healthy and active mind.
3. Avoid intoxication: Intoxicating yourself with habits such as drinking and smoking will only prove to be counterproductive. And this isn’t just for the UPSC aspirants!
Some people tend to have tea breaks too frequently, thinking that they can stay awake and focused.
4. Studying with breaks: Researchers have proved that learning continuously without breaks confuses the mind and causes information retention issues. Taking frequent breaks gives freshness to the mind.
5. Following a hobby: A relaxed mind is more dynamic. It is therefore essential that a hobby is followed on a regular basis to avoid fatigue of body and mind.
6. Talking to family/friends: Open communication with close ones helps energize the day.
7. Learning to relax: The key factor to help relax does not lie with the outside world but within oneself. It is essential to learn techniques like yoga, meditation, etc., to stay calm.
What matters is the Attitude and not the number of hours!
The number of hours put into studying hardly matters wrt the Civil Services Exam. Learning with interest matters and it is only a rejuvenated mind that can turn mountains. It is therefore not impossible to clear the CSE exam if the right approach is followed to learn consistently.
It is not just the Civil services exam but also the role assigned to the candidate post clearing the exam that is tough. To meet the challenges faced in the role it is essential that these ways are followed from the time of learning.
The UPSC CSE enriches one’s knowledge and molds a person in a way which is otherwise quite difficult to achieve. However, one of the biggest mistakes which aspirants make is getting attached to this exam. The more professional approach you will have, better will be the result. If so many people have done it already, so can you! All it demands is hard work, discipline, and perseverance.
All the best!
— Vidya Sudarshan
Author: Akshay Palande
Akshay Palande is a passionate teacher helping hundreds of students in their UPSC preparation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and double masters in Public Administration and Economics, he has experience of teaching UPSC aspirants for 5 years. His subject of expertise are Geography, Polity, Economics and Environment and Ecology.