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Showing posts with label Exam Preparation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Exam Preparation. Show all posts

Exam Preparation

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Newspaper is a textbook for IAS aspirants: expert



Reading a national newspaper is important for the aspirants of civil services/Competitive examinations, according to B. Ramasamy, social scientist and Director, RIAS Civil Services Academy, New Delhi. 

Delivering a special lecture at the IAS coaching programme said during his last 15 years of conducting coaching and training programme to civil service aspirants he had found that those who were familiar with day-to-day affairs had come up with flying colours in civil services examinations. 

They could be familiar with the current affairs only by reading national newspapers. It would be immensely useful in preliminary, main and interview stages. 

“For IAS aspirants, national newspaper is like a text book. If they undertake the reading in a dedicated manner, I think they have a bright chance,” Mr. Ramasamy said. 

Stating that the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) had effected a major change in the pattern of examinations for civil services, he said the pattern, which mostly benefited by the upper middleclass people particularly doctors, engineers during the last six decades, had been changed so to benefit all citizens of India.

All people irrespective of rich, poor, crossing barriers of caste, religion should come forward to reap the benefits of new pattern. 

Mr. Ramasamy said the second foremost important work for aspirants was to write extensively on various aspects. 

They must work hard to write so as to get good marks in descriptive aspects. 

If anyone wanted to become an IAS and IPS officer, he or she should preserve the school books and notes for reference. 

They would be immensely helpful to them for scoring good marks.

Finally you can get these  important news extracted from News Papers @ PREPARE GK

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Revising the Topics


  • Revision is very important for the performance in the exam. 

  • The efficiency with which you do revision determines the grip on the subject matter. It should not be postponed till the last phase. 

  • As you keep preparing, some time should be spent in revising and consolidating what you read. Otherwise, when you start revision in the end, everything will appear new and lot of time has to be spent in deciphering the notes made. This will be very counter productive and all the hard work will be a waste.

  • So, revision should also become a part of your everyday schedule. Don’t think it’s a waste of time, since finally you will save a lot and the pressure will also reduce. Therefore, revise what you read next day. Then keep coming back to it at regular intervals.

  • Finally, before the exam you should keep two months for the revision. It has to be done again and again, as many times as possible. 

  • Be very careful while preparing notes, keeping in view the requirements of the revision.


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Studying while doing a job



Civil Services/any competitive exam demand at least one and half year full time preparation. It is obviously difficult to prepare for exam while doing a job. It is even more difficult if you are doing a private job like software job. But, It is not impossible. 

There are many examples who have secured top ranks while doing job. Those who have financial constraints can definitely prepare while doing their job by following tips below.

Tips for those who are preparing while working:

1. Make sure that you get leave for at least 1 month before any competitive exam. And for Civils make sure to get leave for at least 1 month before Preliminary exam and 3 months before Mains Exam.


2. Make complete use of Internet at office. Simply exploit.

3. Evenings shall completely be devoted for preparation.

4. It is very important to have constant contacts with those who are preparing full time. Interact with them regularly.

5. Don’t get sentimental about Company if your boss motivates you to work more or when any job challenge is thrown at you. There is a danger of deviation if you get too much involved in the work. Never bring work home.


6. Your work for company should be impassionate.

7. Always remember that you are working only for financial support not for building a career in that company. If you eye for building a career in the company you will definitely be deviated from your cherished goal of Civil Services.

 

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Timetable for preparation


  • Many candidates give their first attempt without even completing the syllabus. This is a wrong step, which will have severe consequences later on. Any exam can be cleared in the first attempt itself with focused preparation and solid approach. 

  • Mainly, the thought that the exam requires multiple attempts should be removed from the mind. With right information and proper material, and sustained hard work for and year, there is no reason why someone should not clear the exam in the first attempt.

  • The preparation with full momentum should start at least one year before the exam. Ideally, the preparation should be started in May and by December the mains syllabus should be completed to a large extent. Then from January, prelims preparation should be made, while consolidating the mains knowledge. 

  • After the prelims, the preparation should be continued with out any break. The next 5 months will be very crucial and the preparation should be at full momentum. The syllabus in any case should be completed by July. At least two months are required for the revisions.

  • After the mains exam, interview preparation should be started. Simultaneously, prelims preparation should also be made. This is important since the final result will be given only 4-5 days before next prelims. In case of failure, you should be in a position to give next prelims. So, from the beginning it is better to be prepared for this possibility.

  • After the mains result, more focus should be made on interview preparation.


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Hobbies to be mentioned



While filling up the application form, there is a column for the hobbies and other interests. It is better to cultivate some hobby rather than leaving it blank. So be prepared for this aspect from the initial stages itself. It helps a lot in the interview if the questions are asked from your interest areas. 

You can also think of some peculiar hobbies to attract the interviewer. But be careful that you have a genuine interest in that area and do gather good information so as to answer any question.

Some of the hobbies of candidates are:

- reading books

- listening to music, even some specific variety say old songs.

- reading short stories

- Gandhism

- Introspection

- Philately and numismatics

- bird watching

- cooking

- conducting alcohol de-addiction camps

- social work

- teaching

- Learn and practice yoga and meditation

- weapon systems

- physical fitness, etc.



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Importance of Health



The importance of good health should be understood very clearly. The aspirants are under severe psychological stress. 

If suppose you become sick at any stage, you will have to write the exam again and lose out an another year and half. So, it is very important to take care of the health throughout the exam preparation period. Remember - Healthy mind in a healthy body.

Please note the following points:

• Get up early in the morning. It is the best time to make the body vibrations in tune with that of the natures’.


• Spend the first few hours in fitness activities. This is not a waste of time, but an investment. It ensures that the whole day is active and focused.

• Take care of the water and the food that you eat. Do not eat junk food, which will not help in anyway.

• Learn and practice Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation. They will develop the mental fitness, which is most essential in studying for long with concentration, to excel in the exam.

An important dimension in life, which is grossly ignored, is the breath. A person can live for a few days without food or water, but cannot exist for a few minutes without air. We take unnecessary care about food and water, but ignore the breath. The more oxygen we take the better will be the burning efficiency of carbohydrates in the cells. 


With more energy, the cells perform to their maximum capacity and the body becomes very active. This is also important to have good focus on whatever we do. However, we use only 25% of the lung capacity. That is the reason why we do not function to our potential. In India, there were ancient techniques, which have been developed to increase the capacity of the lungs and to use them to their full potential. They are called the Pranayama techniques.

In fact, the breath can be used to control the emotions in the mind, like using a thread to control the kite. There is a direct relation between the breath and the emotions in the mind. Observe the breath as the emotions change. If you are angry or depressed, the breath is shallow, short and rapid. 


If you are in a cool and happy serene mood, then observe that the breath is deep and of long duration. Normally, the breath is involuntary and its rhythm depends on the emotions. But through some techniques, you can reverse the process. That is by controlling the rhythm of breath, you can control the emotions in the mind. 

It is important to learn these techniques since they help a lot in preparation for the exam. You will have to sit and study for long durations throughout the year. Above that there will be lot of pressures both social and psychological. To face them all, it is important to manage the emotions in the mind.



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How to tackle negative marking?



UPSC/other banking sectors has taken a right step introducing negative marking to filter out candidates who get selected on the basis of smart guesses and luck. 

So, the serious candidates should cheer up now. Negative marking make paper more complex. But it is easy for a well prepared students and gives an extra benefit to a genuine candidates.

• Identify the areas of your strength in the question paper. Solve questions from these areas first. Solving easy question will boost your confidence.

• Don’t waste your time for particular questions. Leave time consuming questions to take up in the end.

• The definition of intelligent guessing changes now with negative marking. You should tick only those answers which you feel 70% correct.

• Don’t play any blind and stupid game of guessing.

• Practice…Practice…Practice…Mock tests reduce mistake in the exam and prepare you to face real environment in which you can tackle & solve the questions within time limit.

• Mock tests provide you a platform where you can check your own weakness, mistakes and errors and develop a better understanding for solving different types of questions.


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How should a fresh candidate approach the exam?



A new aspirant should keep in mind the following points:

• First try to understand the exam. Gather information from various sources, analyse the previous years’ papers, meet seniors and teachers, and think deeply about the exam and the way you should prepare.

• Choose the optionals very carefully.

• Settle down in some place where you can study without disturbances, it is better to be isolated for a year during the preparation.

Select the coaching centers carefully after enquiring from various sources. Do not merely go by the advertisements.

• Do not be in a hurry to buy all the material available in the market. Be selective and chose only the best, based on advise of right seniors.

• Establish good relation with the teachers and take complete advantage of their experience.

• Remember always that you are going to have a tough period for next two years. So be well prepared for all situations. Keep working hard right from the beginning without any distractions.

• Believe strongly that you will clear the exam in the first attempt itself and do not compromise at any stage. If required work harder than ever before.

• Take care of your health aspects.

• Do not be in a hurry to complete the syllabus. Go slow when you read new concepts. Do regular revisions.

• Make writing practice a part of your daily routine.

• The current affairs notes should be prepared every day.

• The preparation should be started at least a year ahead of the exam.

• Do not give the attempt unless you are confident of qualifying for the interview.

The first attempt should be the best one, so work hard with determination.

General Suggestions :

Long hours of study and lot of other sacrifices are needed. You should have a very determined mental make up and a never-say-die kind of spirit.

• The fortune favours the brave. So work hard with courage in spite of the failures. The final reward is bound to come. The luck factor does not help if you don’t work hard to your full capacity.

• To err is human, but the one who rectifies is a champion. So, do a lot of introspection as you progress in the preparation. This will help you in identifying the mistakes and rectifying them at the right time.

Devotion and Determination are the keys to the success. Be ready to work hard. But at the same time, ensure that your efforts are channelised in the right direction.

• Plan your study and try to work it out within schedule. Set weekly targets and at the end of the week, do a self-appraisal.

• There will be lots of temptation to give up the attempt, as you progress in the preparation. This is mainly due to the huge syllabus and the accumulating pressure. But be aware that these are the critical moments. You should face all these pressures with courage. Be determined to clear the exam in the first attempt.


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Is Coaching necessary ?



Due to the complex exam procedure, the coaching assumes a crucial role. Unfortunately, it is a costly affair.

But the coaching has the following advantages:

• Helps in understanding the requirements of the exam quickly, so that the preparation is focused.

• Reduces the efforts in preparation, as subject experts teach the topics in exam orientation. Anyhow, the candidate has to prepare for at least one new optional.

• Helps in getting many contacts with co-aspirants, which is useful for exam related information. Never prepare for the exam in complete isolation. In any complex situation, information plays the key role.

Please take into account the following points while joining any institute:

• Do not merely go by the advertisements, nor the claims made in magazines or the interviews supposedly given by the toppers.

• Meet the successful candidates and the seniors who have taken coaching from that institute.

• Do not go by the advise of only one person. It is better to contact as many as possible and get a general opinion.

• Meet the teacher personally, ask for their programme details, results, etc, and assess yourself if it is worth joining there.


If you are working somewhere or economically under privileged

If you are working somewhere or economically under privileged, and therefore, cannot go for coaching, please do not get discouraged. There are many people who cleared the exam without coaching. 

You can device ways of getting the required information about the exam. But you should always be aware that you would have to work harder than others to clear the exam. 

So be prepared for that and believe that hard work will always be paid back in the end.



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Making of Notes for Civils / Competitive Exams ?


Friends!! This topic helps you how to make notes for Civils/ Competitive Exams.

Since the competition is relative, your answers in the examination should not only be correct but also different with a touch of creativity. The creativity and innovation is not something that you will get in the textbooks. They have to be developed on your own. It requires lot of thinking and observation. 

By innovation in answers what is meant is –
• Catchy introduction
• Diagrams
• Graphs
• Flow charts
• Maps
• Case studies
• Contemporary touch and applicability
• Catchy conclusion.

Basics with clarity will come when there is lot of questioning while studying. The topic has to be studied in a logical manner. Suppose you are studying a topic on Inflation. 


Think logically as a layman, then you should get the following sequence of questions
• What is inflation

• Why should there be inflation, i.e., causes

• So what if there is inflation, i.e., impact

• If impact is negative, then naturally we should be doing something to reduce it, so what steps were taken and what happened

• If still inflation is there, then what’s wrong with the steps taken

• How to control inflation, any suggestions by experts and recent developments.

You can add innovations like a simple graph showing how the inflation has been in recent times and also a flow diagram about the impact of inflation.

In this manner, the basics in the topic can be covered with clarity. And the topic should be remembered in this logical structured way for the exam. It should be understood that once you have done the topic in this comprehensive method through logical questioning, the preparation is over for that topic. 

You need not go through any journals or hi-funda textbooks for becoming an expert in the topic. This much of basics with clarity are sufficient for the exam. And, this is what humanly possible in view of the huge syllabus.

The following points should be kept in mind while doing preparation:

• The focus should be on gaining basic clarity in each topic, which will come only through lot of logical questioning

• More time should be spent on thinking about the topic and making innovations, rather than on reading too many study material.

• The previous papers should be thoroughly analyzed to understand the expectations of the examiner.

• The preparation should be focused and all the hard work should be channelised in the right direction.


It is always better to prepare notes for every topic in the syllabus, especially for the topics, which you prepare from various sources. This aspect is the most crucial stage in the preparation. Finally what you write in the exam only matters. You write only what you remember. You remember only that which you revise before the exam. 

Note that you will have to revise as many as 1000 topics including all the sub-parts in GS and optionals. Therefore your efficiency in revision matters a lot for your performance in the exam. The revision efficiency depends on the notes that you prepare. So you should always be aware of this practical aspect while you prepare notes for the exam.

The notes should not be prepared as if writing a thesis paper. For any topic, you should have a brief synopsis. Do not even use sentences while writing notes. Note down the key terms and the logical structure with side headings. Also note down the figures and diagrams in a simple manner, which can be reproduced in the exam within time limit.

For most topics, one or two pages of notes are sufficient. Write them down in a logical framework using different inks, so that your efficiency in revision increases. Finally, when revising just before the exam, you cannot spend more than 5-10 minutes for each topic. So keep that in mind always.

Do not spend days together on any topic. The exam only requires a basic clarity which can be obtained by studying one or two standard books and spending more time on thinking. Usually, 3-4 hrs sufficient for each topic. Just be cautious if you are spending more time on any topic inspite of availability of good material.


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How to start the preparation ?



Hi Friends! This post helps you "how to start the Civils/Competitive Exam Preparation". Before anyone starts playing a game, he would like to know the rules of the game and that is sportsmanship. Similarly in any competitive exam, understanding the nature of the exam is very critical. 

The preparation will be more focused when you know exactly what the Examination expects rather demands from you. Remember at every stage of your preparation that this examination is relative. You only need to be better than the other aspirants to get a final place in the merit list.

The nature of the exam can be analysed through the following ways:

• A thorough perusal of Notification and carefully understanding the requirements from it.

• A thorough analysis of the previous year’s papers and the recent trends.

• Discussing elaborately with teachers, successful candidates and seniors.

A fresh aspirant comes with the idea that he has to do some hi-funda preparation and be like a scholar in the subjects. He starts his preparation on a high note and works hard in the beginning. For each topic he tries to do maximum and best preparation. In the process, he reads all the textbooks and the coaching material available in the market. Some spend 2-3 days on each topic and prepare 10-15 pages of notes. Gradually, he feels exhausted and the momentum slows down. 

Due to this approach, he is not able to complete the syllabus. So, he goes for a selective study as the exam nears. Now the pressure becomes unbearable, as on one hand he has not completed the syllabus and on the other hand he prepared so much notes for each topic that revision becomes impossible within a short time. 

People have a funny idea that exams can be cleared only in multiple attempts. So, the aspirant starts succumbing to pressure and convinces himself that it is only his first attempt and, therefore he can prepare better next time.

Though the exam demands hard work from the aspirant, it should be “intelligent hard work” and not just hard work. This exam is all about the basics with lot of clarity. The exam can be written well when the preparation is simple and the aspirant is very strong in basics with clarity.



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