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:
You would be able to cover the right amount of syllabus in the right
time-frame, decided by you.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Study according to your ability, not under pressure or compulsion.
- It is important to link what you study to the world around you. This
is also the latest trend of the UPSC
- 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.
- 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
Civil Services Prelims Paper-I GS:
Science and Technology
|| Questions asked in 2013 (out of 80)
|Quantitative Aptitude & Logical Reasoning
|Decision Making and Problem Solving
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
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
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
We are glad to help you.
All the Best Candidates.