Rev up for Prelims
With the UPSC Preliminary Examination round the corner, founder-director of Chanakya IAS Academy, AK Mishra, lists last-minute revision tips for aspirants
With less than a month left for this year’s UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam, revision is the most important aspect of preparation process. The syllabus is too vast, so preparing for each subject is not enough until you revise it thoroughly.
Out of the many challenges Civil Services aspirants face during the preparation process, the key ones are less time and extensive syllabus. The best way to tackle this challenge is to have a well-structured and organised revision strategy. Although, there is no fixed format for revision as it varies from person to person, there are a few standard guidelines to follow.
Make revision notes: If you have been making extensive notes of every subject and topic throughout your preparation process, you are on the right track. If you haven’t made notes till now, this is the time to correct your mistake. Read everything you have studied thoroughly and make notes for last-minute quick revision. Although it will take lot of time now, still, this is an important exercise. Make sure you make short and crisp notes, keeping in mind the time constraint.
To-Do list: Add a daily to-do list in your revision strategy. Make a plan or a time table consisting of the topics and subjects you need to cover each day. Allocate different time slots based on the importance of each subject. The to-do list will help you keep a good check on what has been covered and what needs to be covered within the stipulated time.
Prioritise topics: Since, revising the vast syllabus is not possible in these last few days, prioritise the topics. Prioritise your topics in each subject based on their importance, complexity and marks allocation and focus your revision on them.
Revision day plan: Revising all topics in one go is not a good idea as different topics may get mixed up in your mind. Allocate different slots in a day to each topic. For example, take two topics for revision in a day and allocate two hours to each subject.
Enroll in Mock Tests: I don’t need to explain the importance of mock tests and solving previous years’ question papers. Where previous question papers help you get a fair idea of the examination pattern, mock tests help you assess your preparation level and give you an idea of probable questions. Both the exercises help you practise and prepare for the final quest.
Three-Tier Revision: The three-tier revision method has become common among aspirants. If you revise a topic the same day you study it, it becomes easy to grab it. If you revise a topic after a few days of studying it, it becomes difficult and consumes more time. So, you should first revise the topic the same day, then after three days and then revise the same topic at the end of the week. This way, the topics will stay in your memory longer.
Use technology: When we have the power of technology, why rely on hard study material? Make good use of technology to save time. Since you cannot carry your books everywhere, you can Google the topics you need to study and get in-depth information about. This exercise is best done while commuting. Searching topics on Google helps you get updated information. Apart from this, watch videos of successful candidates and other educational videos related to the Civil Services Exam.
Practice Quizzes: Quizzes are the best to practice solving answers in a stipulated time limit. When revision becomes monotonous, these quizzes help revive interest level and rev up your preparation. It helps you assess your knowledge level and enhance your speed of opting for the right answer. There are many quizzes available on the Internet which you can opt for to boost prep.
Up on Current Affairs: Last, but extremely important, stay updated on current affairs. Do not stop reading newspapers and editorials and make important notes. At this stage, I would not suggest reading anything new on any topic, but current affairs needs to be studied regularly.
Revise the current affairs you have studied and keep reading breaking news as this is the dynamic part of the syllabus which is most important.
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