Best Revision Techniques For UPSC Exam

The Civil Services Examination is considered one of the toughest examinations in the country. The UPSC 2020 Prelims examination to screen candidates for the Mains exam will be conducted on October 4, 2020.

Revision of the topics making up the UPSC syllabus is one of the most important parts of IAS preparation. In this article, we will give you the details of two revision techniques which will enhance your preparation levels for the 2020 IAS Exam.

There are two types of revision called Normal or Standard Revision Technique and Frequent Revision Technique. Both techniques are good, but for a prestigious exam like UPSC, an aspirant should adopt a technique which suits their learning style. The following paragraphs give a brief outline of both the techniques:

Standard Revision Technique

Standard Revision Technique is the technique followed by most UPSC aspirants. This is a common method followed by school and college students for exam preparation. In this pattern aspirants study and as the time passes by, aspirants forget and they study again and again.

  • Suppose a UPSC aspirant studies History in December and feels confident about his knowledge level. After studying for 4 hours, his preparation for the subject is 100%. After one month, in January, he studies the same portion again from history, he could remember only 60% of what was studied. So he has to study again for 2 hours to keep his recollection at 100%.
  • Again, one month later the aspirant studies the same History topics he could recollect only 40% of what he studied. So he has to study for 3 hours to take his recollection level to 100%.

This happens when using the Normal Revision Technique. As time passes by, UPSC aspirants lose recollection levels of a subject and so they have to spend more time to keep their preparation at an optimum level. This technique is suitable early in the preparation process but candidates should switch to frequent revision a few months before the exam.

Frequent Revision Technique

Frequent Revision Technique is basically the same as the standard revision technique but differs in the time period between studying a topic for the first time and revising it. It emphasizes that a UPSC aspirant should study repeatedly with no more than 5 or 6 days gap between two readings of the same topic. The key concept in this technique is steadiness. Studying more often saves time and energy as smaller portions are easier to cover.

  • For example, a UPSC aspirant who uses the Frequent Revision Technique studied History on the 1st of December and achieved a 100% level of recollection.
  • According to his IAS study plan, he has study time assigned for History on 6th of December. He answers a UPSC previous year question paper and finds that his preparation level is at 90 %. He spends only 15-20 minutes for restoring his preparation level to 100%.
  • Again he has scheduled some time to study History on December 10th, he discovers that he recollects 95% of what he studied. Now he spends less than 15 minutes to restore his preparation to 100%.

IAS aspirants would be able to judge which style suits them the best. The focus should always be on retaining maximum information with minimum effort so that the tempo of preparation can be maintained.

Revision Tips for UPSC Aspirants

Here are a few tips which IAS aspirants can follow to revise the syllabus of the UPSC exam efficiently:

  • The revision gap should not go beyond 9-15 days to avoid loss of memory level. Since the syllabus is vast, one should revise topics at frequent intervals so as not get overwhelmed.
  • UPSC aspirants should have a meticulously designed IAS study plan as well as a revision plan. Aspirants should make sure that their revision plan corresponds with their study plan. It means that when an aspirant sits to study one topic, they should not forget the revision of previous topics. For example, if an aspirant spends 1 hour for a specific subject, they should assign 10-15 minutes for revision.

A lot of revision also depends on practice. It is important to solve previous year’s UPSC question papers and mock tests at regular intervals to spot weak areas. This would give candidates enough time to fix knowledge gaps and revise in a focussed manner.

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