Don’t destroy your chances of succeeding before you have even started properly. Drop these five habits before they become a part of your IAS exam preparation and you will be able to avoid the most common reasons because of which most of the aspirants fail to crack the exam.
1) Procrastination + Pile Up
Do not let newspapers for UPSC current affairs and unread articles to pile up. Do not fall behind a set schedule (Of course, have a schedule first!). If you procrastinate, your frustration and fear will increase drastically and your hard work will become less productive. Stressed reading will help you remember less and you will get stuck in a vicious loop.
Stop procrastinating and start sticking to a daily schedule. Prepare a daily schedule and stick it up on your wall! Take less stress and plan better!
2) Not Taking Help and Using it Well
Don’t think you can go it alone. Most likely you will need the guidance of a coaching center when learning so many entirely new things. If you don’t want to or cannot, make sure you have a solid mentor or a a solid study circle to help you through an deep you motivated. Contact us in case you want to be put in touch with a mentor who can guide you.
And once you decide to take help (of a coaching center, mentor, etc.), keep the momentum going. Don’t stop hogging to classes midway, don’t miss too many classes and don’t fall behind the class in your preparation. These are highly demotivating habits that will kill your preparation if you let them!
3) More Timepass = Less Focused Work
Don’t spend too much time in forums, social media, and other areas. Use your allocated time for preparation everyday well. You don’t need to put in 12 hours a day like some people will tell you, you can crack even with 3-4 hours a day. But the time that you do give, has to be high quality time.
4) Giving up your Job Too early
UPSC is unpredictable. Don’t give up your job for full time preparation. It mostly leads to frustration and added tension. Join a good coaching center and make sure they give you flexibility and options (such as tablet learning) to allow you to prepare well even while working. This will allow you to give your best for the exam without having to act like the D-Day is a life and death day. We work better when under reasonable stress but not when under debilitating stress. Plus, in the interview, it is always a bonus when your profile says that you have been working till recently. Try to avoid leaving your job to as late in the preparation as possible, preferably very close to or after the mains or only after you are sure that this attempt is something you can do justice to.
5) Trying to Read Everything
Be selective in what you read. Don’t think you have to read every book about every subject. Have a clear plan of attack and a clear aim on which books to read. Here is a plan which you can follow. Stick to the books and understand them well – the way to approach each book is given in the linked article. Use your study groups and your mentors well in choosing and in discussing books. Never move on too fast from a book. Remember, the objective is never to just finish a book. The objective is to be able to write thoughtful and complete answers. Align all your readings to that end.
If you can avoid these traps early enough, then your preparation has started off well. Keep going!
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