With the Civil Services Preliminary less than a month away, the aspiring candidates are engaged in adding frenzied last minute touches to their preparation. One of the toughest competitive exams conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, the CSE is extremely difficult to get through. An average of 15000 people get through every year of the lakhs of candidates who apply, and that is a dismal percentage.
There are many reasons as to why people cannot get through. As the exam is aimed at recruiting officials for civil service, it is has a high threshold of difficult questions. Here is a list of 10 reasons as to why most people do not make the cut:
Poor time management during preparation
Time is an important factor for the preparation of any exam. And in its proper management lies the secret to success. An individual preparing for the CSE Prelims must have a timetable that he or she must stick to, a routine that pays due importance to the time factor. Short term goals are encouraged and viable. Setting monthly targets can also be of immense help provided that you deliver on them. Having poor management of time is an important factor that accounts for failure in the CSE Prelims.
Poor time management in the examination hall
Management of time is pertinent everywhere, including at the hour of examination. You cannot spend more than a set amount of time on each question, and many students have difficulties practising that. Out of the 100 questions in the General papers, for example, 40 are direct. If you are well prepared, it should not take you much time to answer these. For the rest, however, analysis and calculations may be required, and that is where most people misjudge the amount of time spent on each question. As a result, they cannot complete their paper, and the chances of qualifying are reduced significantly.
Lack of revision
One of the most common mistakes on the part of the students would be underestimating the part that revision has to play in preparing for any exam. An exam preparation without revision is fundamentally flawed in its very conception. No preparation is complete without a revision of all chapters studied as they boost the memory and help remember essential details and facts.
Lack of writing practice
Reading is the absorption of knowledge and revision is assimilation, but writing is what tells you how much you have been able to retain and apply in the context of your examination. Daily writing practice is essential for a thorough preparatory process. Sadly, this is also ignored by most students preparing for the UPSC 2018 answer key.
Irrelevant study material
There are innumerable exam guides available to any candidate venturing to apply for the UPSC examination. But a lot of these guides have irrelevant material. The students, therefore, spend their time preparing topics which are not directly relevant to their exam. This can be crucial. Students are encouraged to follow officially prescribed books as primary texts for their preparation.
Not going through previous years’ question papers
Not going through question papers of previous years, for an exam as difficult as the CSE Prelims speaks volumes about a casual approach to the examination as a whole. Any serious student who sincerely attempts the exam, must go through previous papers, and with good reason. By familiarising oneself with the pattern and trend from each topic, the students are better equipped at approaching the topics in the syllabus in an appropriate manner.
Underestimating the magnitude of the CSE Prelims
It is a common misconception that the CSE Preliminary exam is merely a qualifying exam for the CSE Main exam, which leads students to not take the prelims seriously. If anything, the difficulty level is more in the preliminary exam and students need to be at their best preparation to crack the exam in their first go.
Not testing yourself
Regularly testing your preparation is not merely a reflection of how well you have prepared a certain topic, but it also eases you into the process of an examination. It is easier for you to slip into the headspace reserved for exams if you make a habit of it in the stage of preparation. While coaching institutions can impose this on students, you can test yourself on various online portals as well.
Inconsistent studying method
The method of studying has to be organised, and more importantly, consistent. Consistency ensures proper exposure to the syllabus and preparation to mentally prepare yourself for the exam that will decide your future.
Over-dependence on coaching
Many coaching institutions have come up to help students crack the UPSC exam. But they are helpful only as far as imposing discipline on your study method is concerned. You can do so yourself and not fall into the trap of commercialised education. Over-dependence on coaching, institutions can even hamper your own level of preparation.
It is important to keep these common reasons for failure in your mind as you go ahead with your UPSC preparations. Don’t fall into the vortex that many others have stepped into and make sure you go about it maturely.