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Be a techno-savvy aspirant: it helps!

RAJANVIR SINGH KAPUR
Technology is everywhere today. Preparing for civil service examination sans any technology would be like driving a Maruti-800 in a mountain rally. Gone are the days when people used to study with loads of books and did not know anything about what is happening elsewhere. The world is smaller today and people around the globe are connected with technology. If used cleverly, this can bring a paradigm change in how one perceives the civil service exam preparation. The preparation is long time and one needs to be constantly motivated. If one fails to plan his strategy, the battle becomes tougher and longer. There is a big myth that only engineers (especially Computer engineers) have an advantage in this regard. Just about anyone who can think sensibly can do wonders to his preparation with the use of diverse options available today. One can use multiple technologies today. It makes the preparation: • Easy • Interesting • Logical • Fast • Reliable Now the question arises: can you benefit from all the latest and popular technologies and techniques? The answer is yes! Look around; there is technology all around you. The key is using it to your best possible advantage. Moreover, it can help you at all the stages of preparation- PT( CSAT), Mains and the Interview. The preparation is also about smart work and not just hard work. Just like kitchen appliances have turned hardworking housewives into smart working home makers, technology can reinvent the entire concept of the civil service preparation for anyone. If anyone of you takes the pain to follow the techniques given in here, I am sure that it will surely help you get wonderful results in this examination. Here I am giving you a list of few techniques and tools to boost your preparation. The techniques are as follows: 1. E-news 2. Idea recording 3. Object search 4. Micro notes 5. Social networking 6. Source management 7. Interview analysis 8. Syllabus overview 9. Answer writing practice

the chances are that you are surely reading piles of newspapers. The problem with conventional newspapers is that all types of articles are mixed and its time consuming to read them selectively. The problem can be eased with the help of e-versions of the newspapers. The biggest plus is that you save a lot of time. go to the popular newspapers website and open the archives. the main areas to focus are opinion pages. For some this ritual is just like the bed tea. 4. Maybe when you find something important. These are the same newspapers which fill your room and which you store as a proud possession. . 6. 2. remember and revise. there is no distraction of less useful articles and no risk of you being lost in the Bollywood section of the newspapers. In both mains and interview. Radio Television Blogging Alarm clocks. I still remember many of my friends who spent majority time reading sports news in the garb of preparing for current affairs. It would be best to make categories like: • Science related • Social issues • Economy • International affairs. 5. you either mark it or cut it. few tools are also given that can assist you manifolds: 1. However. digital diaries Latest stationery E-books TECHNIQUES:E-news: If you aspiring to become a civil servant. all this can be avoided for good. Moreover. Then get them printed and make different files for each area like this. Select the articles you want to read and paste them in a word file.In addition. 3. editorials and any factual information pertinent to the examination. A very few hardworking people make notes of newspapers and spend 2 hours a day at a minimum. This kind of preparation certainly helps in the long run as it is very easy to read. This is more suitable for mains and interview. Once a week.

Instead of shouting ‘eureka’.“catch the raindrop where it falls”. Idea recording: Do not worry! This is not about detective agency stuff!! This technique is based on the principle of rainwater harvesting. Just like water. Mobiles nowadays have a voice recorder and it can be used for civils preparation especially mains and interview. you have 15 kilos of newspapers with marked articles waiting to be revised and you nervously go through them but in vain. your mind is subconsciously thinking about the exam all the time and many times you may have bright ideas. Just anywhere you get an idea.There is no need to cut and collect articles as the selected articles are all printed at one place. On the other hand. They need to be recorded and used whenever they are not growing in plenty. The choice is yours! The time that you save here can be used in some other value adding work. party or a restaurant. record it. you may have compact. . train. This makes it excellent for revision. It may be in a toilet. Just compare the 2 scenarios: Just a week before the exam. neat n clean subject wise files with all articles printed chronologically. These ideas may sound tough but are like God’s gift before the exam. Just take out your phone and record your ideas When you are preparing. you need to take out your mobile and record them there and then. Water is collected whenever it rains and is stored for rain deficient seasons. ideas need to be harvested. This may sound babyish but you will realize the magnitude of this technique when you try it.

go ahead and catch your ideas! You may be the next Archimedes. If you give him what he asks and that little extra edge. . Here. Any answer can be made easy to read and scoring with objects.geography. If you record your ideas. The examiner is a man in hurry and to ease his job should be your goal. A good diagram search can help manifold. Nowadays everyone carries a mobile so using it for this purpose becomes a smart and practical choice. Following is a collection of maps and figures I searched and saved for my optional. they may seem like stupid thoughts but you never know that they may be the game changers in future. The only precondition is that your mobile phone should have a voice recorder. it can help you a lot. Interview preparation does not begin after mains.Like this you can have a store of multiple ideas and thoughts your mind and heart produce. Any subject can be mastered by mastering objects. you become aware of your own self and you can work on your strengths and weaknesses easily and skillfully. This technique is superb for interview preparation. I define objects as: • Diagrams • Maps • Flowcharts • Other illustrations. Keeping a log of your thoughts help you understand your real self! In the end. illustrations. If you search various sources for nice diagrams. the interviewers are judging your personality and that is a reflection of your views and ideas. But the question is that when all students go to a few popular institutes and all follow few prominent teachers’ notes. it goes a long way in helping you make the cut. it rather begins from the very first day you decide to prepare for civil services exam. maps. how can one have a USP with this? Here comes the role of the internet. A picture can speak a 1000 words and using them in answers can enhance the value of the answers and make the task of the examiner easy. So. Sometimes. Object search: Any examiner who checks the mains sheet is bored of evaluating so many scripts having similar coaching type answers.

To know the significance of the technique.After searching the objects. With all the experience and exposure I have had. If this effort helps you achieve those critical marks. Some say. print them. Search 2. It undeniably helps! . make them with hand and remember them. it’s totally worth the effort. ask those who are unable to make it to the civil services due to lack of 1 or 2 marks. Remember Keep a notebook for ready reference and revision. This object search and usage in answers can give you those vital few marks in each question which finally determine your result in the civils. It may not add much to your score but never reduces your marks. A myth is that adding diagrams may decrease the score. Then after understanding them.‘some examiners do not like diagrams’. Print 3. Draw in a notebook 4. Steps are: 1. I can say that one never gets fewer marks due to objects.

Moreover. So what are you waiting for? Go. it would be a chaos. you know what all material to follow for it but later if you forget it. This makes networking essential for effective preparation. facebook etc are novel ways to boost your preparation. The solution here could be. Anyone can call u anytime and there is more gossip than focused talk many times.save a list of all the topics in a spreadsheet like Ms Excel or simply Ms Word. With social networking you can also share material in soft copy and form a virtual group to prepare. login to a social networking site and create your own social capital. helping teachers and others to guide and help you. Like this. Many communities in these sites related to civil services exam help you clear your doubts and keep you updated. A strong virtual support system definitely boosts your confidence and helps u 24*7. For all these reasons social networking forums like orkut. Source management: Every topic for the exam needs a few reference sources for preparation. At the end of the day.Micro notes: Some people get so carried away by the journey that they do not think at all about the destination. For that. They are the condensed notes with skeletons of all information. It is imperative to have like minded friends. one has to take the exam and that is what matters the most. Having right information at the right time is critical in this exam as there is a lot of competition. It may sound poetic but can be a disaster for the civil service exam. Keeping in touch through phone sometimes becomes expensive or too intrusive. the chances are that you are committing the same blunder. it’s a crucial asset for preparation. Micro notes can be easily made by using a small font size and can be printed and updated later. compact and clear notes are always at your disposal for a quick review anytime! Social networking: This preparation is a long one and you can not expect to run the entire race alone. Some may say it is a waste of time but if you are not addicted to it. all this helps you make friends which are also an essential part of social life. If you just think about collecting material and studying like a machine. When you study a topic. Given below is an example of source management for a subject (here geography): . revision is the single most imperative thing. Revision can be made a piece of cake with micro-notes. Then you add and write all the source materials for reference to be linked with the topics for a quick look later.

Video recording yourself in an interview like situation gives you a pretty decent estimate of how you look while you talk. you can write all the asked questions in computer by recall method. the list of references (or sources) is stored and can be modified and printed as and when needed. Here. Many a times. Another major technology for interviews is video recording. one should go for mocks. in which the ingredients for every dish are mentioned. By analyzing such self videos. for every topic. one gets to know the exact game as it is reality. For such Post mock analysis. Interview analysis: During interview preparation. I have seen people attending various mocks but not remembering what happened in them or what evaluation was given.It is a long lasting method to store in one place all the references one needs to follow for any subject. you can notice the mistakes and try to rectify them with ease. With this you can revise it often and show it to others by e-mailing. It is just like a recipe book. In mock interviews. This kind of linkage is called source management and can make preparation quite logical and easy. It is very easy to manage and helps you monitor the performance variations and your shortcomings. .

This is the magic of using technology productively! Syllabus overview: People usually begin the groundwork for the exam as if it is a war. Even while revising. This will give you all the basic idea to get a bird eye’s view of the entire subject. Even with several changes. Then they gave me their analysis. it doesn’t happen itself unless you are a noble laureate. And mind you. In a sense.I personally video recorded myself and sent it to my seniors and teachers through email. Now how to use technology?? Simple. For anyone who is normal like me and you. On evaluation by a teacher or a friend. one can have answer writing in digital form. What would have otherwise taken so many books is just done with a few hours surfing the net!! Answer writing practice: This exam needs you to write those wonderful answers in the mains exam. you can simply modify the answer and save the new versions later.“what is the basic minimum which lets me know the entire subject?” the answer is syllabus. With this. Moreover.Google all syllabus words!! Just search and store the information related to all the topics in the syllabus. They ask anyone and everyone and buy kilos of books! It seems very stylish to fill your book shelf indeed. portable and also easily changeable. Rather than scribbling. you can always add/ update your notes and develop answers. use computer.rather than writing answers on paper. The syllabus though pretty compact and deceiving sometimes is the best outline for any subject. Like this multiple versions of the same answer can be stored. you may later want to add/ change something. you again write the same thing and repeat it a few times till you get it right. some practice is certainly needed in answer writing. the answers look neat and clean! . But for any one who wants to know. Chances are that by the time you are done with all the changes. updating is easy and changes can be made really fast. your answer looks like a Michelangelo painting! So the mantra here is. which is more long lasting. If this practice is followed. I could get multiple feedbacks without going anywhere. The conventional ritual is buying sheets and writing answers on it.

it adds variety. The pretext of buying them in the first place is equally odd. Moreover. Some buy it to increase their confidence. it is sometimes not feasible to have a TV independently so radio is the reliable friend. buying a book reader like Kindle is not a bad idea either. the adage is pretty true in the case of radio transistors! The radio can be used to listen to news like Doordarshan. The crux is that people spend lots of time and money roaming around book shops buying anything for the sake of ‘preparation’.TOOLS:E-books: Go to any aspirant’s room and you can see a flood of books of all sizes and shapes! Most of them are unread or even unseen. For students. Shown below is an e-book: You can say good bye to book shelves overloaded like public buses and welcome the e book revolution! For those who love this concept. Nowadays. . Some just do it showoff to others-“look! I am preparing for civil service exam so do not mess with me!” For many it’s a status symbol to have all the foreign authors in their room. there are zillions of options on net. For the rest. Just look for a title and chances are you will get something like that. the rustic computer is perfect! Radio: Old is gold. If one has a collection of e books one can select the important material from them and use it judiciously in preparation. It helps a lot as it reduces cost and saves time.

Hence. It is like a concise module of current affairs daily. themes. Little bit of entertainment is also a must as it helps you keep a balanced personality. Anyone following these blogs is well placed in terms of knowledge. • Paper Clips are tiny but amazing way to bundle your sheets into sections and it costs peanuts. I believe simple innovations can help you loads to organize your material. A wonderful technique to use them is to colour code them according to subject. current affairs and awareness. TV is a very strong medium. Folders can hold bigger stacks and helps in organizing the notes into chapters. Today. talk shows help one prepare tremendously for interview as one can see how big personalities conduct themselves in formal environment. Just go and check out some good blogs related to civils and enjoy! Latest stationery: Gone are the days when ink pen was the only possession of anyone preparing for exams. the stationery stores are full of options which we don’t even know. There are some current affairs blogs that keep you updated. it is not all bad but a lot good! Blogging: Web logging or blogging is a tremendous way to communicate with many aspirants. listening. TV involves seeing. Television: Gone are the days when TV was a taboo for IAS aspirants.The audio coverage of the important news is amazing. Some may argue that it has more ills but it all depends upon the habits one cultivates. An example: o Yellow-facts o Green-name of authors/personalities o Pink-opinions This makes the study interesting and really very easy for revision! • • . With abundance of options on various fields. If you watch for knowledge or just awareness. Personality-debates. Various news channels and knowledge channels are full of wonderful offerings. teachers. the accent is great and can be learnt over time for smooth interview discussions. Leaving apart the really hi-fi extra terrestrial stuff. Moreover. Highlighters are very common nowadays. understanding so its impact is much more than radio or books. selected candidates who have their blogs. TV has emerged as an inevitable companion for preparation. The free flow of ideas in the blogs makes it the perfect place for keeping tab about any happening.

it can be used throughout the day. Using Task managers daily can boost your efficiency levels for sure. When myriad options are at your disposal. The solution is age-old. Conclusion== Making your preparation techno-savvy will surely change the way you look at it. Digital diaries were a fad once upon a time but nowadays people use laptops and mobiles instead. Keep a good alarm clock/ digital mobile alarm which is loud. So. waking up in the morning is an ordeal for most. all of the three devices can be used to manage your civil service preparation.• • Stick slips can help in adding new info to any page of a book/ note. Alarm clocks. Then you can go for more detailing and use reminders. just go and start exploring all the choices and have a happy study time! . You can time your breaks and get back to work after some time. In addition to the morning. You can start with storing the 3 most important works of a day. Still. This creates a sense of urgency and helps you stick to the schedule! Otherwise. why should not you take advantage of them? It is easier said than done. The key is to put alarms for coming back to the study table whenever you getup for a break. This kind of routine helps you in time management. Book marks come in really handy when one takes breaks in between study. If you are staying without family like most students. what started as an advertisement browsing on TV could end up being a movie and you may lose precious 3 hours. this becomes even a more vital issue. peculiar and wakes you up. digital diaries: Whatever anyone may say.