Here is the second part of UPSC Civil Services Preparation Guide for Working Professionals. Following are the most common doubts civil services aspirants face. This study plan is also useful for Group 1 aspirants. Working professionals should have clarity on the importance of the time and plan the preparation accordingly. These are discussed in Part 1 of the article.
2) I want to study but some how I am not able to get the will power to sit down with my books and study: While most working professionals would attend to office work regularly they complain of the lack of will power to study for the exam ( It is natural as they are well settled in life). Will power is the ability to overcome laziness and procrastination and control or reject unnecessary impulses. It is one of the corner stones of success. Self discipline is the companion of will power. It endows one with the stamina to persevere, and the ability to which stand hardships, whether physical, emotional, mental. It grants the ability to reject immediate satisfaction, in order to gain something better, but which requires effort and time. ( for eg.. You have to study but a new movie of your favorite hero has released, it requires will power to postpone seeing the movie, not enjoy your weekend and study).
How does one develop will power required to focus only on studies and the examination? Will power cannot be developed overnight. It has to be a conscious effort made by you. Any effort made will yield rich dividends. You can follow these tips for effective preparation for Civil Services Examination.
Here are some exercises which can help you boost your will power and self discipline.
i) While traveling to office you are comfortably sitting in the bus and an old man or woman or minorly a physically challenged individual walks in. Here stand up and give up your seat, even if you prefer to stay seated. Do so, not because it is polite but because you are doing something that you are reluctant to do. This is an exercise in overcoming the resistance of your body mind and feelings.
ii) (If you are staying alone) They are clothes but require washing and you postpone washing them for later. Getup and wash them immediately. Do not let your laziness overcome you. When you know that in this way you are developing your will power, and if you are convinced of the importance of will power, it will be easier for you to do whatever, you have to do.
iii) You come home tired and sit in front of the T.V. because you feel too lazy to take a bath first. Do not succumb to the desire to laze around. Go first and take a bath.
iv) You feel the need for physical exercise but instead you keep on sitting doing nothing or watching a movie. Get up and walk, run or do some physical exercise.
v) You like your tea with sugar……………if yes then try to have to drink tea for one whole week without sugar. If you drink three cups a day, cut it down only two cups for one whole week.
vi) While you are reading the paper you might be tempted to read unimportant gossip in the news paper. Ignore it.
vii) If you find yourself thinking unimportant, unnecessary negative thoughts – for example : “I have very less chances at the exam”, try to avoid these thoughts and develop a disinterested in them by thinking about their futility.
If you follow the above, techniques you may be able to control your thoughts and improve your concentration.
3) In the time available I am not able to collect the proper information : Most professionals have this problem. They do not have the time to collect and categorise information.
Collecting and sifting information is a very important skill for success. The most importance step here is to make the distinction between available and relevant information.
Appearing at the examination would be much simpler if one could just use the information available rather than the information that is required. There is too much of information and it can lead to information overload. As you may tend to collect unsolicited information. You have to ensure that you only collect the information required from the information available. This is possible by going through the syllabus, comparing the syllabus with the questions that have been asked and the relative important of all the areas.
Once this is done, you have to audit your knowledge and understanding. The table given will help you audit your knowledge.
Auditing your knowledge and understanding:
1. Are you aware of the information and knowledge that is needed for the examination?
2. Have you organized the information and knowledge in the way that facilitates the task?
3. Is your information and knowledge available to you when it is needed i.e., are your notes organized properly?
4. Have you made a knowledge audit i.e., have you made a list of what you know?
5. Do you ensure that you have useful information rather than just collate data?
6. Have you checked out the source of information and the issues regarding its reliability?
In case your answer for most of questions is yes, you are on the right track. Otherwise ensure that you convert your no’s into yes’s at the earliest.
If you follow the above step you should be able to solve the three major issues that confront a working professionals when he is appearing at the civil services / group-I examination. Remember many aspirants who have topped the examination have done it along with work.