Mastering writing skills
Answer writing skills with facts and figures can help in scoring more in competitive exams
BY: A.K Mishra
All young and dynamic minds are heading for UPSC Civil services examination 2020. Some will have their first attempt and some will make another try. But there are certain guidelines to be followed every time one plans to appear in such a prestigious examination are some of them are as under:
1. Following the curriculum – one of the biggest mistakes the aspirants commit is not to follow the syllabus given by the UPSC. Most of the students start their preparation without referring to the syllabus and within no time find themselves in ‘no progress zone’. Though the topics may be vast, but not completely unlimited! CSE aspirants need to break this myth as this may prove fatal in the long run costing you with time, money, energy and resource. In their course of preparation, consider the UPSC syllabus as your roadmap to start with and continue referring it at all points of preparation.
2. Don’t miss to go through previous year’s question papers- Aspirants do not realize that the previous year papers can help them prepare in accordance with the latest trend followed by the UPSC. While preparing, refer to previous years after each step in order to co-relate with the topics finished, as this is a good indicator of whether you are moving in the right direction or not.
3. Piling up relevant books – Flooding the room completely with UPSC preparation books does not always land you in success. For effective preparation, choose handpicked books that are genuinely relevant. Though there are several market places in the city that is the hub for such preparation books with various authors and publications available, scrutinize for the relevant book to idealize your preparation. It is preferable for the aspirants to seek advice from their seniors, experienced mentors or reliable sources before going for a book purchase.
4. Getting basic reference – Most of the aspirants do this by going for heavy weight books instead of getting the basics clear. The NCERT books up to 12 standards are a good source of knowledge to initiate steadily. This is the most atomic sized mistake that can compel your preparations to fall.
5. Master Writing skills – the mains exams is the criteria for the selection process that includes writing essays. One lacking in writing skills may not be well efficient in clearing the selection process. The aspirants should be well equipped with facts and wisdom, fluent flow of knowledge in a very precise and skilful manner. Being one of the toughest task, if not rectified on time, failure is guaranteed. Aspirants should focus on the exam pattern oriented writing rigorously rather than blogging to improve writing and typing skills.
6. Way of Choosing optional paper – Aspirants opt for the optional paper based on the subject scores and marking trends, length and extent of the curriculum and subject that covers almost the GS paper. Optional paper should be chosen smartly in such a way that it should also suit the aspirant’s interest and inclination towards it.
7. NOT perceiving the bottom-line of the newspapers – if the newspapers and the magazines are not understood about ‘what and how to read’, the results will yield low in the long run. A newspaper has three segments from preparation point of view – events (that gives facts and figures), Issues (provides views and reviews that helps in developing an individual’s understanding and opinion on contemporary subjects.) and gossips. So a thorough reading and understanding of concept will also help the aspirants to frame and write well structured essays. Hence utilize the newspapers with persistent efforts.
8. Proper analysis of your strengths – SWOT analysis is undertaken to identify the internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. As the nature of the UPSC exam demands high dynamism and adaptability, candidates miss to analyse their inbuilt strengths and weakness along with the posing opportunity and threats.
9.Prioritizing the task – improper management of time can lead to undesirable outcomes. As aspirants put years together for UPSC preparation, managing time and prioritizing their work is must. Any ambition without a time frame is nothing more than a fantasy, in order to achieve your goals one has to be timely. Understanding the difference between ‘urgent’ and ‘important’ is essential to achieve fruitful benefits.
10. Circumventing regular reviewing – To retain the information stored during the preparation it is necessary to revise consistently. There has to be a very well maintained cohesion between what you read and ‘revise’ what you have read till date. Video Lectures, Subject Audios and Group Discussions (Group Study) can prove to be a blessing for an aspirant of UPSC CSE.
The writer is Director and Founder, Chanakya IAS Academy