- Changing your strategy after reading every toppers strategy. This will harm your preparation a lot. Because a lot of opinions only make a mess. That’s why i always recommend to read as many strategies as you can in the beginning and make a Common minimum Program for yourself. Then have faith in your strategy and stick to it. Minor changes are of course permitted as and when the requirement arises.
- Getting tensed by looking at other people with regards to the marks they are receiving in the test series or what they are studying. Dont get worried by looking at what other people are doing, stick to your own Common Minimum Program. Have faith in yourself.
- Reading each subject from too many places. This will completely spoil any chances of writing good answers or solving MCQs.
- Not doing enough revisions and overestimating your own capabilities. Whatever you read will remain in your head for around 15 days before starting to fade out. Revise as many times as you can.
- Having too many outings and roaming around with friends a lot. You can ofcourse understand the problem here. When you are roaming around, others are studying, and it matters. Breaks are important but they should be kept to a bare minimum.
- Getting into a new relationship. While relationships are beautiful, but a new one takes too much time.
- Not being confident. The most important part of this exam is to believe in yourself and that no one can be better than you as civil servant. This confidence will let you do amazing things which will even surprise you.
- Not having clarity in your mind regarding why you want to want to do UPSC. Having definiteness of purpose will help you go a long way.
- Not taking notes and simply underlining in books. While it may not be necessary to make notes on everything, but having one final consolidated source for high efficiency revision is very important.
- Running after every coaching institute.
- Worrying for the result too much or daydreaming about finally being in the list.
- Getting emotional with a subject.
- Not following the syllabus. Download the official syllabus and stick it to your wall. Before reading anything, see whether it is relevant to the course. Everything you read must be result oriented because you simply have no time to wander about.
- Spending too much time on Newspapers. While newspapers are important, spending more than 1–1.5 hour during peak of your preparation is a waste of time and energy because it eats into the time you could put into other areas. The monthly compilations are the most useful as they present all the information in a consolidated way rather than newspapers in which the matter is scattered. Newspapers are important for understanding chronology and building a perspective.
- Not doing enough Answer writing practice. Reading answers written by other people will not improve your inner writing. You have to get down to it and write as many tests as possible before Mains, that too within a time limit. Many students simply take their time in writing tests and wondering how much could they score if they had enough time. But that is where the fallacy lies. You dont have enough time. Time is always a constraint.
- Not solving test series for Prelims. Test series practice for Prelims is very important. And simply giving tests will not do. Sit and analyse where you are going wrong and mould your preparation accordingly.
- Previous year question papers should be referred to for both Prelims and Mains. They will give you an idea on what to prepare and what not to prepare.
- Being active on Social Media. It makes you see and crave the lives that your friends might be having and distracts from the hard work and toil that is required for the exam.
Realize that your lives will change a lot once you are on the other side. You can enjoy your life once you have earned it, once you have become what you aspired to be, dreamt to be!
Work hard, work with confidence and work with optimism. You will definitely come out the other side with flying colors.