With only three days till the UPSC Civil Services Mains Examination (CSE) 2023, it is without a doubt one of the country's most difficult and prestigious tests. Every year, several lakhs of aspiring candidates fill out the applications for different exams under the UPSC, but only a few succeed in cracking it.
While lakhs of aspirants sit for the UPSC Civil Services examination each year, it is used to fill openings in some of the top government positions, like IFS, IAS, IPS, IRS, etc. Once a candidate achieves the highest rank, the sky is no limit. However, not everyone is lucky enough to find their name on the list.
This year the exam will be held in two shifts on September 15, 16. 17, 23, and 24, 2023 morning (9:00 AM to 12:00 PM) and afternoon (2:00 PM to 5:00 PM).
Despite the fact that every year, mentors, teachers, and coaching institutes try their best to predict the exam pattern of UPSC CSE, Dr. A.R. Khan, the founder of Khan Study Group, has shared some tips on how to clear the UPSC CSE Mains 2023.
Be less afraid of failure
In general, an aspirant fears that "if I fail, a full year cycle will begin." Failure, I feel, is a possibility, but the most crucial aspect of this journey is not being afraid of it. When one is not terrified of failure, it begins to seek out those who are. If one is not afraid of failing, one is undoubtedly progressing.
Keeping a tab of what’s going around in recent times.
Are you aware of the focal points which are priority areas of the current government? For example, the subject What BRICS expansion means for India? was regularly in the news. Though most of us knew its importance, did we go the extra mile to read the topic deeply?
Prioritize revision over new knowledge
Don't start reading new material because I've seen people become overwhelmed when they stretch themselves too thin. Ultimately, there is no end to the resources available. Also, in the examination hall not to panic if one is not able to solve a few questions. Move on, one can always come back to those questions later.
Yes, avoid experimenting with new techniques or approaches during the examination. Stick to what has been practised and executed. Avoid long study sessions now. Be careful with reading the questions, as many students have come back to me after the examination saying, 'I wish I had read it more carefully because I knew the correct answer and I missed it.'
Master writing skills
“Practice makes perfect" An aspirant should go for regular answer writing practice. Pay attention to structuring your solutions, presenting arguments logically, and using relevant examples. Time yourself while writing answers to improve speed and efficiency during the exam. Show your answers to your fellow-aspirants appealing for the exam along with you. Test series are fine but nine better than your friend or neighbor and vice versa.
Before starting the study process, it is critical to properly comprehend the UPSC Mains syllabus and exam format. Given that the test is mostly traditional, focus on themes where questions are more likely to be asked.
Spend time with the previous years' questions
If you have the time, its highly recommended to attempt 1 or 2 mock tests before the exam and spend time with the previous years' questions as it helps one become familiar with the frequency and types of questions that are asked. Don't panic or worry if not able to solve some questions, but do spend time with the previous years' questions as they are very important.
Ensure Your Well-being
Preparing for the UPSC Mains is mentally and physically demanding. In order to enhance your productivity, make your health a priority. Take short breaks during study sessions to relax and rejuvenate your mind. Stay positive, manage stress effectively, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
Meditate, hydrate, and sleep
Meditating, hydrating, and sleeping are three important things one should prioritize throughout this week. It's important to take some time to calm oneself and approach things more carefully. On September 14, I recommend making logistical arrangements. Make sure one knows which papers and documents are needed to be carried, the location of the centre, and how one would be commuting there. Also, plan how one would spend the gap between the two sessions.
Avoid panic during examination
Every 5-10 questions, one has to remind herself to be more careful, and her mind will adjust to a higher level of concentration, which is expected. Any panic that may arise during the examination hall should be avoided. I want to conclude by emphasizing that there should be no self-doubt at this stage because the only thing that can stop an aspirant this week is one’s self-doubt.