( Akshay Kumar, Bsc. Patna, Bihar, Via: E-Mail )
Dear Akshay, UPSC CSE is a tough examination. It will test your limits and your ability to sustain the obstacles. Thus, it is necessary to cultivate good habits. We would say all the following small things are must to get selected in this examination:
Avoid Procrastination: This is certainly the easiest to understand but certainly difficult to manage. Every day you plan your targets and syllabus to complete but eventually you fall short of your determination/ motivation to complete that. You lose track and ultimately give up. Hence, it is better to wake up timely (if possible early) so to complete your goals regarding studies in the following day. It’s better to make plans the previous night and make a day-to-day schedule.
Keep Your Workspace Clean: Wherever you study, keep it clean and tidy. Tables covered with books, notes, newspaper and pen, pencil, etc make your workspace complex. Things distract you while studying and you do not feel fresh (ultimately lowering your grasping ability). So, make it a habit to improve your surrounding and that will improve your chances to crack this exam.
Atlas and Syllabus: This is important because you need to look into syllabus every now and then (if you haven’t memorized it) for GS, Optional topics. Which topic comes under which paper/ subheadings, etc. is very important to keep you on track. And Atlas helps you in many of your topics related to polity, geography, history and science. So, you cannot avoid these two things.
Read Newspaper: Current affairs are crucial for scoring well in UPSC Prelims as well as Mains. Inculcate a habit of reading the editorials of The Hindu and The Indian Express daily. The habit takes time to form, but once formed, the returns on investment are huge.
Radio and News: Listen to All India Radio to get in touch with all the current happenings in the country. Watch news and follow prime time news. Jot down notes during the shows.
Rewind: Relax during your preparations and avoid stress. Go for exercise and give breaks between different subjects. Start exercising and meditation. Proper rest is important to have a fresh mind that helps you prepare better.