(Getting Started) How to Study ? The Ultimate Dilemma

How to Study ? The Ultimate Dilemma

Any IAS aspirant faces a challenge, some or other time, about How to Study? And How to Cover the himalayan syllabus, that the UPSC throws at the candidates. In this article, IASEXAMPORTAL tries to discuss some aspects of a study-plan, and the various approaches that a person might follow.

To begin with, anyone and everyone can study what is given to them. However, the special task before the civil service aspirant is not only to apply his mind in to a great variety of subjects and disciplines, but also to understand, rather than remember, about the subjects. Thus, preparing for the civil services require a different plan.

While starting to studies, always remember that it is not the number of hours that decide your marks, but the kind of understanding that you are able to have. Thus, it does not matter if you are studying for 10 hours or 3 hours, what matters is the 'matter' that you are able to internalize/understand. Thus, instead of planning the number of hours you want to study, decide the portion you should cover in a day. Based upon the difficulty level of the topic being covered, you must set your daily goals, and dedicate the appropriate time. This would serve two positive purposes:

  1. You would be able to cover the right amount of syllabus in the right time-frame, decided by you.

  2. By planning your daily goals, you would be able to get some time for the family and friends. This is a wholesome study approach, that ensures a comprehensive development of the aspirant.

GS Foundation Course (PT+ MAINS) for IAS EXAM

सामान्य अध्ययन (GS) फ़ाउनडेशन कोर्स (Foundation Course) PT + Mains, HINDI Medium

Coming over to how to study, always remember- the best learning is done when it is not done under compulsion. Thus, do not force yourself to study, rather, try to take interest in what you are studying, by connecting it to the world around you. UPSC expects the aspirant to be able to understand the event around, in its multiple dimensions. Thus, gaining a multi-disciplinary understanding would help you in attain a civil servant mindset.

A great philosopher once said: You the more number of senses you use in the learning process, the better you are able to learn. Make the learning process interesting. Merely reading might become a source of boredom and frustration. On the contrary, it becomes interesting when we use different means to study something. For instance, writing helps in remembering the things better, as it indulges our different senses in the learning process.

Similarly, people use different methods, like- voice notes, slide show presentations, group discussions, flip cards, and many others. All this does not create any new knowledge but aids in the process of internalization of the subject being studied.

Next, give yourself some time to think and grasp the topic being studied. There should be no hurry in the study plan. Human mind needs some time to internalize the things we feed into it. So, once you study a topic, think over it later, and try to link it with the world around you. This would lay a strong foundation of anything you study.

Express Point-1

  1. For those who feel they cannot find adequate material in their language, try the above mentioned approach. Once you study and internalize a concept in any language, no one else would be able to explain or express it better than you.

  2. Don't feel demotivated by the lack of material in the market. Instead, study the material, even if it is available in the language, you are not comfortable with, and reinforce it through discussions. 3. Whatever you read, Link it to the world around you. And try to understand the cause-effect relations. This ensures your command on the subject you find hard to study.

Express Points 2:

  1. Study according to your ability, not under pressure or compulsion.
  2. It is important to link what you study to the world around you. This is also the latest trend of the UPSC
  3. Always remember Time does not matter. Only Understanding Does. However, it is also important to Manage you time adequately, as most of the aspirant fail because of a fault in their time management.
  4. Reinforce your knowledge base by using your knowledge in you life. Remember, Knowledge is never Wortheless. You would always finds some connection between what you study and where you live.


Some Recent Trends:

Lately, UPSC has been changing the trend of the IAS examination. Thus, the number of questions asked from different disciplines have undergone a change. Following is the general trend of the number of questions asked from different topics, year-wise:

Civil Services Prelims Paper-I GS:

Years 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2013
History 22 16 13 17 15 13 16
Geography 16 28 25 22 20 17 19
Polity 10 9 10 12 5 10 17
Economy 11 7 1 16 36 15 18
Science and Technology 14 19 21 13 12 3 23
Other Subjects 7 8 11 4 14 14 7

Civil Services Prelims Paper-II CSAT:

Topic  Questions asked in 2013 (out of 80)
Comprehension  24
English Comprehension 8
Quantitative Aptitude & Logical Reasoning  23
Data Interpretation  19
Decision Making and Problem Solving  6

Being Your Own Judge:

It is very important to self-evaluate yourself, from time to time. This helps you to analyze the effectiveness of your preparations, and make necessary amendments. Thus, after you finish with a topic, check your proficiency for it, by looking at different questions papers. In this regard, the previous year question papers could be of good help.

Carefully prepare your study plan, and don't hesitate to revise it to suit time and situation. Once you finish with the syllabus, start your revision, again. Remember, every subsequent revision should take lesser time than the previous one.

Also note that, it might not be advisable to spend your time in re-doing the trivial questions, that are easily answerable. Mark the questions that need more time and try to devise your own short-cut methods.
For any help and assistance, you may freely contact the IASEXAMPORTAL team. We are glad to help you.

All the Best Candidates.



GS Foundation Course (PT+ MAINS) for IAS EXAM

सामान्य अध्ययन (GS) फ़ाउनडेशन कोर्स (Foundation Course) PT + Mains, HINDI Medium

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