What are the three advices you would give to a newcomer who is planning to write the Civils exam? - ForumIAS

What are the three advices you would give to a newcomer who is planning to write the Civils exam?

You cant advice them ( dont write the exam ? )

jack_Sparrow,Naadan_Parindaand17 otherslike this
15.3k views

45 comments

1.Enter the preparation with a planned timetable.

2. Read the blog on forum ias on "How to avoid exhausting attempts?" Do/don't Take coaching as per convenience. Take advice from a mentor (friend/senior/teacher...)

3. Prepare sincerely keeping the only goal in mind to clear the exam.



Marigold,SAand7 otherslike this
3.6k views

Read well

Revise well

Write well

🔁 

Improvise  

A strong foundation is needed ,so coaching might help newcomers but more important than coaching is a mentor or a guide (not necessarily a faculty,even friends in good spirit can help)


Optional should be read repeatedly especially if it's not your graduation subject

, ethics essay papers also needs regular practice


After 2 attempts ,Backup job advisable as competition is cut throat and social pressures



Mocks help us realise our mistakes ,better to commit mistakes & learn  in mocks then in real exam which may prove costly



Marigold,SAand9 otherslike this
3.9k views
1. Self control - be it with respect to distractions or material fomo.
2. Do what you feel is the best for you.
3. Have small realistic - based on your capacity - progresses everyday. They will add up to a lot on the day of the exam.

 

Marigold,SAand6 otherslike this
3.5k views

1.Don't compare yourself to others stay focused on ur own journey and leave footprints behind.

2.Hard work is more important than having genius

3.DISCIPLINE-suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret

4.start studying within the first hour of waking up .If u don't do this ur mind will forcibly push u towards negative thoughts.

5.practice,practice and practice:whether it be prelims mock papers or mains answer writing if u don't test urself u will fail even before upsc will fails u.

6.Quietly,scecretly work towards progress,not perfection.

and lastly believe on urself

Neyawn,DMand10 otherslike this
3.8k views

A bit more specific advice I wished I'd received at the start 

1) Invest time and money in technology.

If you can afford it, buy a tablet compatible with a stylus/pen. It will make note making easier. Plus you'll save a lot on the books, monthlies and other resources that you can download instead. It's easy to mark in it, highlight, write side notes etc. Further, it saves cupboard space + shifting your residence would be easier 

If not a tablet, atleast start with digital notemaking on any device. While initially it's a struggle, over time it becomes much more convenient due to ease of updation, categorization etc. 

On a similar vein, invest in Anki from the very beginning. Learn it's best practices. And revise regularly. Delete what's irrelevant over time. 


2) Seek mentors 

Find people who are one or two levels more successful than you and learn from them. This makes them approachable, relatable and at the same time capable enough to guide you.

For a beginner it might be someone who's qualified for the interview or even someone who's written mains before.  Their advice would help you avoid a lot of pitfalls. 

Perhaps the best way for this is to join this community. But since I'm already writing this comment here, it kinda feels redundant mentioning it. 


3) Create a process that's intensive yet sustainable in the long run. 

If you don't plan for your breaks, or you don't find other avenues to refresh yourself, you'll burn yourself out. Create a schedule that's replicable not just for a week or a month but for a year or two, maybe even more. 

Neyawn,D503and18 otherslike this
3.8k views

1. 8-10 baar basics book and 1.5 yrs k current affairs  padh lena... Log bolenge ki concept clear rakho, understanding banao- jaruri hain ye concepts and understanding and banana chahiye but last mein jo dimaag mein YAAD hai wahi kaam aayega. Notes banane ki aadat lag gaye toh samjho dusron se double speed hai aapke clear karne ki.

2. Pre K liye 40-50 tests laga lena and Mains k liye around 20.(With 30 yrs PYQ for prelims and 5 yrs PYQ for Mains)

3. Ye guarrantee nahi hai ki mehnat krne par ho hi jaayega but es baat ki guarrantee hai ki mehnat nahi karne par nahi hoga (exceptions are extremely rare in UPSC)

4. Ye khel kai baar lamba chal sakta hai, toh thoda sabar rakkho but jyada nahi... You need same energy level for around 3 years.( qki kai baar prepn hi 1-2 saal baad samajh mein aati hai)

5. Khule dil se swagat hai tumhara, qki u are destined to change ur personality and outlook towards society in 1.5 yrs of intensive preparation.... Plato socrates waali feeling aayegi.

6. HIMMAT HAUSLA SANYAM ANUSHASHAN ki bahut jarurat padegi- keep a lot of it for emergency situations

7. Life and UPSC is no different....Saare concepts apply kar sakte hain ek dusre pe

Neyawn,DMand14 otherslike this
3.5k views

Few things bas 

1) Be selective 

        In the world of upsc, 5% stuff is relevant and 95% stuff is irrelevant. Respect that and avoid fomo. 

2) Trust yourselfonly if you can. Do what works for you the best, only if you can trust yourself.

3) Stay on track, this prep phase will make you understand the real meaning of slippery slope. Occasional breaks are necessary but should know what kind of breaks and with whom. 

4) This is a bit controversial but still here it is. Avoid forum if you already have your peer group. This is nothing but reddit for upsc with all social media features. It makes you feel good about using it but it's addictive, time consuming if you don't have control on yourself. Also, induces fomo. 

5) Avoid beginners pitfalls, they're many. Just like point one, 95% stuff is irrelevant

6) imo there is no integrated mains and prelims prep after initial 7-8months of prep. Those 7-8 months are there to understand the concepts of every subject. Post that, there's nothing common in prelims and mains. Demand of the paper is itself way too different. 

7) No one studies 8-10+ hours everyday(at least none in my peers). It touches only 10 around the exams. Be realistic, don't be hard on yourself. Also, efficiency follows sine curve, don't get too excited on your highs and be soft when you're at your lowest. 

  


Neyawn,GaryVeeand17 otherslike this
3.4k views

1. Don't underestimate yourself - past achievements or failures don't matter. This exam is a great leveller. What you see or hear are just 1% of those who have cracked the exam.

2. This is merely an exam, normal exam. Don't see it as a matter of ego or prestige. This will also guide you to know when to enter and when to leave the cycle.  

3. Choose the right people you seek advice from, who you look up to and who you share your thoughts with. 

4. Make UPSC PYQ your best friend especially in mains. Nothing is more predictable than mains if you have done PYQ right. 

5. Don't isolate yourself. Be with people and among people. Isolation hampers intellectual growth and mental health. 

DM,Marigoldand14 otherslike this
3.2k views
Deleted
.
2.7k views

1.Stay away from unsolicited advices,Telegram groups and YouTube channels . Make sure you get guidance from someone who knows the turf (or else - Toppers) . A lot of teachers and coaches have failed to evolve. Thus must stay away from them and find your method in the madness 


2. Know that PYQ are your best guide.Understand that 80% of questions will come from 20% of the syllabus. Know where to draw the line (Eg - Focus on Agri, Security, S&T in GS 3 or GS 4 & Essay) 


3. There are some skills specific to this exam that you will need to develop and many already have. Not everyone begins from the same starting point. These skills are viz 1. Reading ability 2. Expression ability (Shubham kumar didn't have this so he learnt good expressions and modified it) 3. Endurance will play a huge role (2 papers a day for prelims and The Mains Marathon) 4. Calmness (All through the journey) 5. Memorization skills (not a very huge role though ) . It's here that the role of mock tests come into play 


4.Know you are different. It might take you more time than others.One of my friends in Top Ten this year had a photographic memory. Whenever we used to read PT 365, I was stunned to see him/her recall even the minutest of details. He/she told me what he/she wrote in the Security questions in Mains 2020 and I knew that his/her Mains score would be amazing (and it was) given the recalling powers & minute points in the answers. Thus, Play on YOUR strengths and never compare or emulate others 🙂


Always remember 

असाध्य ते साध्य करिता सायास |

कारण अभ्यास तुका म्हणे”.


Impossible will be possible, if you practice and do hardwork



Neyawn,D503and7 otherslike this
2.4k views

Welcome to this beautiful journey (full of high lows fear thrill anxiety or what not )

If all sure abt it ,

*Firstly go through the syllabus ....learn it understand it (use mgp of forumIAS brochure they have described n divided it nicely)by heart n keep revising 

*Cover ur basic books n notes making first don't get intimated by various sources (arc ,niti reports ) before u make a basic foundation ....don't fall in the trap of answer writing from day 1 

*Don't give ur first attempt for trial (give your 200 percent n prepare well then only give it )

* When making notes keep in mind ..are u going to revise? Otherwise don't make (especially newspaper notes- those should be made fr specific things once u r done with basic mains prep like statements by various leaders , quotes,data ,case studies , conclusions from editorials  )

Although few PPL are good with making newspaper notes n revising dat u have to figure out fr urself  

* N apart from dat stay happy , consistent ,true to urself  n prepare in a detached manner to score in a exam 

* Dump the perfectionist mindset(perfectionist fear being unable to complete a task perfectly n this leads to procrastination ) and whenever you delay because ur mind says u have time .....remind urself u don't have time !!!

Years will pass like anything 

So if everything goes well n u clear stages then well n good 

Otherwise real test starts 

As u fail one prelims u will bounce back like iss baar aur ache se krenge frst hi attempt tha but when u fail second prelims ur journey is not smooth anymore 

So fr this situation 

Before u strt be clear with your "why?" (It should preferably not be attraction towards lbsnaa or lifestyle ,fame )

This journey is not going to test ur patience only ...so sit with ur family talk to them before u strt ( especially if u r going to be a female aspirant) because at the end their support will only matter or affect u 

Meanwhile u should be ready to stay strong... keep moving forward in situations of failure , do not get affected by the ques "kya kr rhe ho " "ye kr lete woh kr lete", when all ur friends will be enjoying life n u r dealing with failures etc

There can be a scenario where u will get isolated at dat time only  u r fr urself (don't expect angels)

Stay away from people who can emotionally affect u (apart from ur family) n strictly don't add new ones in this category because this journey have enough to already deal with (don't get intimated with toppers getting married )

Few advices I got when I strtd which I still remember :

* It's not dat difficult ki koi kr nhi skta but it's not dat easy ki har koi karle

If this is a 100mts journey ..then most serious aspirant are able to finish 80 mts n the hardest part is dat 20mts most give up when they reach this part 

So u know ur competition 

N other was once u dcd " sankalp me vikalp nhi hna chahiye" 

(But  u should know when to quit)

At the end stay focused 

All u need :

yakeen ,

himmat 

ek achi ummeed 

Bure ke liye taiyaar raho n give ur best with an attitude ki hona toh acha hi h 

U will come out with flying colours one day :)

**Sorry fr a long message













Neyawn,SAand3 otherslike this
2.2k views

Few things bas 

1) Be selective 

        In the world of upsc, 5% stuff is relevant and 95% stuff is irrelevant. Respect that and avoid fomo. 

2) Trust yourselfonly if you can. Do what works for you the best, only if you can trust yourself.

3) Stay on track, this prep phase will make you understand the real meaning of slippery slope. Occasional breaks are necessary but should know what kind of breaks and with whom. 

4) This is a bit controversial but still here it is. Avoid forum if you already have your peer group. This is nothing but reddit for upsc with all social media features. It makes you feel good about using it but it's addictive, time consuming if you don't have control on yourself. Also, induces fomo. 

5) Avoid beginners pitfalls, they're many. Just like point one, 95% stuff is irrelevant

6) imo there is no integrated mains and prelims prep after initial 7-8months of prep. Those 7-8 months are there to understand the concepts of every subject. Post that, there's nothing common in prelims and mains. Demand of the paper is itself way too different. 

7) No one studies 8-10+ hours everyday(at least none in my peers). It touches only 10 around the exams. Be realistic, don't be hard on yourself. Also, efficiency follows sine curve, don't get too excited on your highs and be soft when you're at your lowest. 

    Occasional breaks can involve using insta,bumble or getting some buzz in your head. It's fine, we're human beings, this is inevitable. Just be mindful of slippery slope.


what do you mean by "getting some buzz in head" ?

2.1k views
@Titanium Just to add that thing for talking with family is inevitable.  It should be done irrespective of male or female. 
Bdw beautifully expressed 🤘👌


Titanium,
2k views

Just saw this thread, if I were to say this to my younger self who was planning to give my 1st attempt then it would be this

1. Swallow your pride and talk to seniors, ask for help and ask stupidest doubts.

2. Don't have any relationships, agar gf to keh do 2 saal baad milenge, atleast don't allow her to screw the mental balance u need for upsc prep(personal exp). Don't get attached to girls in library or classrooms( after COVID)( no personal exp but seen it with friends). Keep life simple.

3. Attempt tests, listen to feedbacks, don't be irrational in targets, don't get jealous of those who succeed and ask them for help if needed coz apna time bhi ayega, always be positive.




Neyawn,Naadan_Parindaand3 otherslike this
1.8k views

My 3 advices would be

1. Do not enter into the preparation because you are frustrated with what you are doing. This holds true especially when you are in a job. Enter it only when you really want to do it.

2.Spend a month or two in deciding optional and sources. The criteria for choosing optional is not just interest but also availability of guidance, completion time, GS overlap etc. Every optional becomes boring to study after more than two attempts.

3. Have a broad based plan for exiting the process. In essence think of your exit plan before you start the journey. Don't let your ego get the better of you. Quit the race when ur mind says so.


Civils Mains:2017,2018,2020,2021,Forest Mains:2021.

sheldon,
1.5k views

1.Join a program that drives you. SFG and AWFG was for me. Could be completing books or showing up for coaching every single day for someone else.

2.Respect luck factor. We hedge against risks, but luck is a taboo. Both are equally impactful in this exam. 

3.Master balancing - because there is always too much on the plate. 

Bonus tip - May watch youtube Daily Vlogs at times to see how others are doing it. It is motivating and you get to learn additional tricks. 

Naadan_Parinda,DMand1 otherslike this
1.5k views

1.Analyse practically before you start it (pros, cons, work nature ,if some other career suits you only if u feel nothing satisfies you start the prep :P ...  )

2. Give your first attempt only with sincere prep ( gs almost done atleast half optional)

3.after 3 failures ( specially prelims) look for a decent career ( not temporary backup and get back to prep when u have a good job and confident mind)

4. Maintain a journal and join some test program to be on track and no self doubts till u finish most of the syllabus.

 dont over do planning and watching too many topper strategies stick to one that suits u

end of the day time is the most precious thing invest it wisely and dont do things which u would regret later...

1.2k views
@Celeborn how do u suggest Anki should be used, some usecases? Can u please elaborate on the tech aspect more


1.1k views

Develop the habit of thinking..just think brainstorm like you used to think about your 1st gf in teenage..

Don't run over fancy content...read basic books like Bibble..kuch nahi hai upsc ki duniya esse upar maan lo.


Don't try to clear this exam in 4-5 month in 1st attempt.Thoda ijjat do yaar mariyade wale Ghar se aata hai ye exam hai..


NeoCule,LetsGetThisBread
862 views

I’m pretty sure everything worth saying has already been said but here goes:

1.Don’t underestimate the amount of work you will need to put in. I feel a lot of people forget that behind the glamour of prep is just hours and days of relentless grind. In college we don’t have the habit of sitting and studying XYZ hours, especially if you are from a humanities background. This exam requires you chuck all that training out of the window and rewire the way you approach learning. You don’t want to end up wasting a year or two learning discipline.

2.Find a good supportive peer group, preferably with some people who have more experience than you. It makes the journey less lonely and gives you the much needed direction in the initial days. Don’t be afraid to ask doubts, no matter however silly they seem to you. Once you’ve got the hang of it obviously learn to dissociate a little as well.

3.Don’t get attached to the outcome. It’s the easiest way to lose your mental resilience, a tool you will require in immense measure to get through this process relatively unscathed. This exam is just like any any other government exam, and just like any other government job. Do your due diligence and don’t worry about the rest. At the end of the day you should feel satisfied that given your unique set of constraints (whether they be regarding mental health or any other commitments) you did the best you could.

That’s all folks!

Just_restless,JoMarch2021
792 views
Write your comment…