How to Cope up with Examination Blues
UPSC evaluates one’s managerial capabilities — these include working under pressure, managing time,making decisions and tackling change. Strangely, most students neglect this aspect of civil service examinations.As a result, many bright students do not clear the exam. If you want to do well in CSAT, you should devote timeto developing and honing a managerial aptitude. If you do not believe in your abilities and end up worryingabout the question paper, it will be tough. CSAT is an entrance test for would-be civil servant, the future bureaucratsof the nation; hence, it simulates complications that a civil servant has to tackle. This exam thus tests not only thegeneral knowledge and language skills but also inter- personal skills and the logical reasoning and analytics of an individual.Winners are inspired by the prospect of beating the competition, whereas losers are cowed down by thecompetition. It is this pressure that takes the heaviest toll and this happens during the preparation and notduring the hours of the actual test. Close to 30% students give up on their hopes of clearing the examinations bythe time they give the mock tests. Remember, the paper is the same for everyone. If you have studied well andput in hard work, there is no reason why you should not be selected. In fact, it is this competition pressure thatweeds out the losers from the winners. Believe in yourself and believe in the goal that you have set for yourself.Do not rethink your position as a student and strengthen yourself. Take as many tests as possible and Identifytopics you sailed through and topics that were difficult to crack. Determine these topics you are weak at and taketime to make these areas stronger. Study hard and prepare without fear. You should consider this as just anotherexam and do not give in to the various pressures and insecurities.Exam stress is perhaps the biggest menace for students. Dealing with it effectively can make the differencein acing the exams. Exam time is round the corner and students are working hard to ace their papers and securegood results. Cut throat competition and high expectations have now become part of the package. And thoughstress and pressure during exams is not new, students must learn to use this to their advantage. One of the mostimportant driving forces is confidence.You must believe in your capabilities and be sure of what you can do.Many students sail through the preparation but often panic on the day of the examination. It is natural to feelnervous prior to the exam, but getting excessively nervous is counterproductive as it will hinder your ability tothink clearly. Develop a time table so that you can track and monitor your progress.Give more emphasis on understanding and analysis than memorizing This is test of the candidate’s aptitudefor the prestigious civil services from the ethical and moral dimension. Candidates with low moral and ethicalaptitude will get weeded out. Spruce up your general awareness and mental ability. Focus more on decision-oriented analytical questions. Be prepared to answer situational questions faced in real life by the civil servants.Throughout the preparation for the prelims exam, it is important to remember that any topic or concept shouldnot be studied in isolation. It is better to understand and establish a correlation between related concepts fromother subjects and current events and happenings. Here are some easy to follow steps:•When you start losing concentration, take a short break.•Don’t get influenced by the revision your friends are doing.•Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply.•Try to relax tensed muscles; imagine the tension disappearing.•After 20 minutes, take some deep breaths and stretch.And finally in the examination hall, when you see a question you can’t answer do not panic. It is better towrite something down than nothing at all. Try your best, but if you do not do as well as you hoped, it is not theend of the world. Then, spend time on deciding a particular strategy for taking the exam, the order in which youwould like to tackle the sections, which questions to attempt first and which ones to avoid within a section, theapproach to tackling reading comprehension, etc. Experiment with these parameters while taking the variousmock exams and take a call on which strategy works best for you.
Yagya Nand Jha