How can I prepare for the UPSC exam without going to coaching classes?Self Study is one of the ways in which a candidate can qualify for Civil Services. Self Study involves independent decision-making, independent corrections, a lot of self-understanding, a lot of trial and error and learning, a lot of experiments and enormous amount of satisfaction. If one doesn’t repent that they are not able to join any coaching institute, and do not allow themselves to become negative, then it is indeed one of the best learning methods while they prepare for the examination.
Self Study has many advantages and limitations as well.
The advantages include-
- Self Study involves a lot of introspection, constant introspection that is enormously helpful in constant up gradation.
- Self Study involves experimentation and exploration of ones personality to the maximum possible extent.
- Self Study involves maximum time utilization and management if the candidate so wishes.
- The candidates do not get an opportunity to get themselves spoiled, or their mindset contaminated and even customized to the directions of coaching institutes.
- It doesn’t allow the candidate with a noble personality to become infected and influenced by gullible coaches and equally gullible peer group by coming into direct contact.
- In this era of internet aided information flow and some site offering real quality materials such as Insight, IAS baba, Civils Daily, and some animated lectures, Ensemble and some all as well, it is really going to be a time saving effort.
- The candidates can surf to find some of the most desirable contents virtually at no price.
- It saves the candidates, time, money, effort, peace of mind, and health.
While it has some obvious disadvantages
- The amount of effort a candidate requires to do increases without the aid of coaching institutes.
- A feeling of deprivation sets in some candidates who may not be able to join coaching institutes. This may have pseudo effect on the candidates.
- Inability to gauge the level of their preparation and the direction of their movement, whether right or wrong.
- The dimensions of a topic and the chapter, how much to know, where to stop
However there is no method of preparation that doesn’t have its own merits and demerits. In any case if any one is preparing solo and on their own, they must follow some do's and dont's
- They must begin with Self-understanding; i.e. about themselves, who are they, what do they like, how do they study, what are their strengths and what are their weaknesses. This is a MUST AT THIS STAGE OF LIFE as there will be no other stage where it will be required.
- Language improvement must be emphasized since everything one imagines, everything one studies everything one learns ultimately has to be written. Inability to write what one has studied will compel the candidates to borrow someone else’s language and this will amount to memorization. Once Memorisation starts, preparation stops, and drudgery sets in. In the absence of language UPSC preparation becomes next to impossible.
- Balance your perception but must be able to look at the other side of coin. Keep some critics of yours. Take feedback from one or two. Be in a diversified group. Keep meeting your people who are very different from you, not similar to you.
- Explore options of methods of studies, not always following the beaten track or conventional track.
- Must finish your school books before you think of anything else. Only those books that you studied. NOTHING MORE.
- Change your way of studies. Follow this programme.
(a) Pick up a chapter.
(b) Read and understand it, then learn it from some sites who offer you composite chapter.
(c) Comprehend the chapter come what may. Don’t leave ununderstood.
(d) Prepare a summary after having read the chapter.
(e) Attempt an answer of some questions.
(f) Get it checked by an experienced person, (not by your age group people who have made answer checking in a thoroughly wrong manner a very good profession). Remember teachers always are good, and become good when they become older. Younger people are not experienced enough to evaluate you (which is what is done)
- Compare yourself in intellect with others. Look for an elderly company.
- Explore online option for education & entertainment- download files arrange them make it systematic.
- Try to learn from sources other than books, such as observation or discussion or travelling, and write the experiences as if you are writing answers.
- Be a part of peer learning group.
- Invest in yourself, invest in quality material, leader material not mass material. Read books that please you not which are popular. Always remember quality is respected it is never popular. Be a collector, on every topic have two books.
Of course there are certain things that you don’t do. These are-
- Don’t be a follower, don’t have a herd mentality. The world worships only those who are leaders. Herds are never meant for big work. They are like masses who are to be used, abused and are to be abandoned.
- Dont imitate any topper. His/Her strategy may not suit you at all. They are not always speaking the truth. Remember never to believe anyone when they are angry, or when they are in love or when they are under a bliss of success.
- Don’t compare you with coaching institutes’ students. You will be better than them ultimately.
- Dont squander your time in gossip and in rumour mongering,
- Never take too many advices. Everyone is right everyone is wrong. Follow only those advise what suits your heart.
- Follow what the toppers suggest. They are there to inspire you not to guide you.
- Never become a bookworm, Enjoy learning rather studies. If you enjoy, your receptivity, grasping capacity will be always high, your insights will be wonderful and your efficiency sky high.
- NEVER MAKE A COMPANY OF TOXIC PEOPLE. THROW THEM AWAY FROM YOUR LIFE. THEY HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO KILL YOUR PSYCHE, TIME AND EVEN CAREER. MUST LEARN TO TRACK THEM AND SEPARATE THEM FROM YOUR LIFE.
If the students are really determined and have a rational attitude, the examination is not difficult and students can have a 100% certainity in results with respect to their efforts. The steps which the students can follow are going to be in phases.
- Emphasis must be on
- Revising the entire of school learning, and revisiting all the schoolbooks.
- Find gaps in whatever they have not learned—fill this gap
- Make a concerted effort to develop the language, comprehension and expression.
- Start reading newspaper regularly, Collect the different words. Comprehend the language prepare a synopsis.
Start concentrating on your personality. Expose yourself to different situations. Your personality development effort should have following components.
- Completing your sentences while conversing
- Don’t leave loose ends while conversing
- Stop taking extreme viewpoints.
- Start balancing your perception and thought
- Read as many newspapers as possible. Try to read between lines.
- Meet variety of people. Try your best to understand them. Understand that everyone is different.
This understanding will be important for preparing a base to study Paper- V of General Studies. As a first step Paper V preparation and understanding is important to begin with as it will develop a perspective for understanding General Studies.
Having revised the school syllabus and the entire of school level subjects, the foundation is made. Having got the ability to read and understand the newspapers, the candidate will be able to develop a perspective. Having taken a keen interest in oneself, and the surroundings, the students will be able to develop his/her thinking, perspective, and start differentiating between perception and reality, the candidate will now start understanding the world better and start learning much more fruitfully rather than only memorise chapter.
- Select an optional
- Prepare a daily routine
- Find gaps in whatever they have not learned—fill this gap
- Start studying GS topic by topic
- Complete the whole syllabus of GS and optional once.
- Preparing a synopsis of the topic
- Go for a writing practice by selecting questions and answering them. Once in writing practice, start perfecting writing.
- Keep developing perspective
- Learn about the topics but not only form books
- Go for extensive writing practice
- Keep meeting people, keep discussing topics
- Continue reading magazines and topics of choice so that the perspectives and innovation remain fresh and the candidates keep innovating with ideas and concepts.
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