How to Prepare For UPSC Exam during Covid-19

Planning and Execution is the Key

Plans are worth nothing unless executed. And a proper plan charted out today and religiously executed now is better than a perfect plan you devise tomorrow. 

Dedication, Discipline, and Consistency: IAS aspirant No less than a Gladiator

The arduous, yet enjoyable journey of a UPSC aspirant is no less than that of a gladiator who engages in preparations for his final show in the arena which decides his fate. In this case, it is the UPSC IAS exam. It is the dedication, consistency, hard work intertwined with discipline and the practical strategy at any given point of time in his/her preparation that would open the heavenly gates of LBSNAA, which otherwise would remain shut till the next year.

The COVID-19 factor: Unexpected, Uncalled for intervention

COVID-19 outbreak was a bolt out of the blue. The pandemic has had an impact which is of deleterious nature on the entire human race without any sort of discrimination. The Civil Services aspirants are no exception. Right?! The preparation now becomes more herculean for the fact that the old plans are to be shelved, and new revision plans are to be drawn up. But with the right strategy and a positive mindset, it would still be possible to overcome all the uncertainties and emerge triumphant within that limited amount of time, if we put our mental faculties to efficient use

Will the prelims 2020 be postponed? – Importance of staying indifferent to rumourmongering 

Even before talking about the strategy, it is of foremost importance to steer clear from the ongoing rumors about the preliminary examination regarding its re-schedule. ( Will the UPSC prelims 2020 be postponed due to COVID-19? )

In a nutshell, the aforementioned blog comes to the conclusion that it would be at your own peril to think that the exam will be postponed for sure. The benefit of the doubt, of course, has been accorded to the postponing of the exam, but this endeavor of knowledge accumulation should not come to a halt just based on probabilities. Mission mode preparation must be imperative, thinking that the exam would still happen on the 31st of May.

Defeatist attitude needs to be quelled and refocus on Online Classes and Credible material

For those who think it’s impossible at this moment to resume their preparation, it would be accepting an early defeat on their part for not even trying from the available resources which include taking online classes and revision modules from amongst the best IAS academies. It is notable to mention the institute’s effort in giving its best in these testing times. You may refer to the following

  • The ONLINE CLASSES on the Indian economy, Indian polity, History, Geography, and Environment.

                • Revision strategy

                • Government schemes, Environment related topics, etc..

Although there is an infinite number of sources for almost all the subjects, mere collection of material serves no purpose. You have to allocate enough time to look through the contents of the material and try to imbue the same into your memory. This happens only when the aspirant manages to devote most part of his day to his studies.

Putting on a fight against Lockdown, and a possible lockdown extension

Having locked down inside a house, it’s obvious that he/she is devoid of all the external distractions making it more conducive for an aspirant to productively use the time to study. The below picture shows how one can maintain his/her time in a day.

UPSC Preparation Time Table

Despite studying for 10 to 11 hours along with a sound sleep of 7 hours, one will be still left with 6 hours which in the picture is apportioned for Family and/or Entertainment. Such a breakdown is important because aspirants should allot some time to socialize. This in fact has not been possible for the last few days, if not weeks. Engaging in conversations will put your mind at ease. It is often advisable to converse about topics that instill a sense of positivity.

The psychological impact of lockdown

Psychological impact on individuals at this juncture cannot simply be brushed aside, even as one is forced to stay indoors away from the ever-accustomed social life with friends and significant others. The same holds true for aspirants who had been engaging in group discussions. It would be better for these students to shift their discussions to some online video-conferencing, instead of whining about not being able to meet his/her friends in person.

Testing Emotional Competence

A proper routine of an aspirant should go in hand with his other competitors, as one would be competing with the best of the minds, some of whom would have already written the main exam twice or thrice. So, it is equally important to not lose heart learning the fact that the competition is tough. Despite the toughness, every year there are names in the final PDF. And, despite the competition, there are lakhs writing the same exam again and again.

UPSC IAS preparation, an emotion in itself: Roller coaster ride or a stabiliser?

Perhaps, it would not be an exaggeration if one says that UPSC is an emotion. It does play with the emotions of all the aspirants for which it leaves an everlasting impression on those who seriously get themselves into it. Nevertheless, it’s up to the individuals as to how they perceive it and make it last.

DOs and DON’Ts in a day for a Civil Services Aspirant

A sneak peek into an aspirant’s day in the present scenario should look something like this-

  • First of all, synchronizing the daily routine to the exam date plays a vital role. This provides an insight into the duration left and the efforts required. This also helps in making a time table for the leftover days.
  • He/she wakes up early, by 5 AM and utilizes that golden few hours to the most prioritized subjects.
  • He/she will outrightly avoid negative distractions such as Instagram, Facebook, and other social media throughout the preparation.
  • Will set reasonable targets for the day and try to accomplish it by the end.
  • We Will also set weekly targets alongside revisions.
  • Will not miss a single day of making current affairs from newspapers to keep themselves updated.
  • Gives daily mocks and effectively analyze it at the end and never feel over-enthused or let down by the marks obtained.
  • Controls anxiety through meditation and yoga.
  • Stays positive throughout the day and throughout the preparation.
  • Eats healthy and never risks falling sick.
  • Above all, he/she will be consistent and accountable for themselves.
  • To double the effect, he/she will be in touch with their mentors, family and trusted friends who would keep them motivated throughout.

Nishkama Karma: Devotion to Duty, not just the results

To sum up, everything, assuming that there won’t be any harm to the preparations would be naïve and smack of withdrawal from reality. It would be apt for everyone to adapt and continue their preparation with equanimity. Meanwhile, making every day count until the prelims without becoming prey to your own desires of sleeping for long hours, indulging in entertainment (movies and the like) should be avoided.

An extract from Bhagavat Gita says-“Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender. Seek refuge in the knowledge of Brahma. They who work selfishly for results are miserable”, which implies what it is actually required of an aspirant now.

In conclusion

Apparently, being quarantined and staying indoors is not a new thing for an aspirant, as he would anyways stay “quarantined” as he enters the last lap of preparation (that is the last 3 months to prelims). In fact, one should embrace the fact that there’s altogether very less distraction than there was earlier. Moreover, it is the last leg of preparation (tests, current affairs, and the revision) that might get affected the most. Provided if one makes a proper plan for the remaining days, the entire scene will still be a WIN situation for anyone who thinks it’s not impossible at all.

You are what you believe in. You become that which you believe you can become

All the very best.

Read Useful Articles:

Will the UPSC prelims 2020 be postponed due to COVID-19?

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