The prelims just got over. Many of you might have been left in a state of shock and many of you must have had a firm faith of clearing the first step of the 3 stepped ladder. The UPSC once again proved to be as unpredictable as tornado with pre exam questionsranging from NSSO’s data to the longitudinal information of the 4 major cities of India. The pay of percentages in the NK Singh panel’s report to the number of kilometer squares of the IRNSS.
Well the article is not about making guesses on upsc cutoff or the discussions on the answers of the questions to which almost every coaching has given a different answer. It is about suggestion of remaining consistent and persistent. It’s easier said than done you might argue but what is the alternative. You must have calculated the risk at the time of making an investment of your time and money in UPSC.
All of you must be categorizing yourself into three kind of people at the first outset : Those of you who must have already started preparing for upsc mains considering that you’ll qualify based on preliminary analysis of the marks you’re expecting. Some of you might not have had a great day and you must be well satisfied that you’ll not make it this time and Some of you might be finding yourself in “cat on the wall” like situation. It is these category of people who’ll be facing indecisiveness and a feeling of regret or angst.
For people who’re quite well situated that you’ll not make it this time , This is the time when you’re ought to analyse what went wrong. The reasons may vary from the time devoted to studies to the lack of fundamental knowledge, from sources you read to the newspapers you referred for current affairs. The reason might also include lack of practice of mock testsand making decision on well calculated risk at the number of attempts ought to be made. It is the time to analyze and then work out a plan on correcting the mistakes.
For those who’re facing “Cat on a wall” situation based on assumption of the probable cutoff and expected score , It is high time to realize that to nothing will surely won’t bring anything but to act might bring you something. There are ample precedents and I’m including my own example here of how I wasted around 40 doing nothing and supposing that I won’t clear based on the marks calculated from the answer keys of major institutes but UPSC had a different story and it made a difference of around 7 marks from what I calculated using the coaching keys and the cutoff too dropped by 11 points so all worked in my favour but nothing could have brought those 40 days back in which I did nothing. I could have well revised my optional in those days. Even if you don’t clear in worst case you won’t regret and you’ll have a lead of more than 40 days for the next mains and prelims which is a huge boost.
Many of you must have prepared well for prelims but the subjects often ignored in the earlier stages are Ethics, World history, Essay writing , Optional paper 1 and 2 which are not part of prelims syllabus. These are time consuming and they require in depth study and writing practice which if not done overshadows the entire gain in GS Mains 1,2 and 3 papers. The lead in these subjects provides one with the competitive advantage.
The summary of the entire writing is therefore to suggest that “being paralised by indecision is worse than making the wrong decision , you can surely grow if you trust your inner voice”.