"Motivation" is one aspect which you need in doses at regular intervals throughout this UPSC Journey. With only few days remaining for the Prelims 2018, it is the right time for one such dose. And who is more better than Dr. Shubhamangala to motivate you?! Her journey as an Aspirant-Working professional-Mother is truly an inspiring one.
At the outset let me tell you that this article is only for those giving prelims on June 3rd and you will not find any guidance on study materials. I will write a post on exam preparation strategy after prelims is done.Time is just ticking away. There will be anxiety, fear of failure, fear of guilt if lost, fear of future, socio economic and familial pressures.Coming one and half week is very important to not sway in different directions as the wind blows but stand steady on the bedrock of your preparation.Please don't start following any new material you have never read till now because some xyz has written in their testimony or someone has informed that there is another material out from any ABC tutorial. Believe me, you have to revise, revise and revise whatever you have done these days. Touching a new thing now will not be useful.There are some intelligent guesses to be made too and I read an article on that in iasbaba by Mr. Abhijit Sinha, UPSC rank 19. To be honest, I have tried many such tricks to get through prelims.
These are some general tips:
1. Eat adequate, healthy and clean food. Remember, every second is important in exam and you don't want to be running down with fever or wasting time in washroom.
2. Have a nice sleep of at least 8 hours every day from now on including the day prior to exam.
3. Pack up your exam kit. Hall ticket, pens, identity proof, etc
4. Take proper note of your exam centre and if possible see it in person once before the actual exam. You should not lose time in searching it on the day.
5. Take snacks and food for afternoon.
6. Enter with confidence
7. Mark after thinking twice. See the question number before marking the answer.
8. Read question twice or any number of times till you are clear.
9. Incorrect or correct options may be asked and you shouldn't make mistakes in that.
10. If you feel you know very less number of questions, Don't worry. All will be in the same board. Focus on how you mark those 50/50,75/25 options.
11. Don't neglect CSAT. Last year question paper was tough. So try working at least for 30 minutes on that front now on.
Most importantly, tame your mind.
I had read during my MBBS second phase, a statement by Swami Vivekananda that even a snake bite can't poison us if our mind is strong. I wanted to test it. I took a strong sedative and I got sleep for a day ( obviously on Sunday). I took another week gap, and took double dose of same drug and I concentrated that nothing would happen. I kept telling myself that I am strong. Believe me, I did not get even feel drowsy. When I revealed it to my father next day, I got super scolding to not try such things in future. I never tried again too as I had learnt a lifetime lesson on power of mind.
So please take care of your most precious asset "MIND", always and more so for the coming week. Don't allow it to waver and lose confidence. Every single time you feel lost, just remember that Mind is the strongest thing in this world. Believe in it and you will succeed.
When a child asks something, it does with utmost desire and sincerity. There are no double thought in its mind and it always succeeds in getting what it needs. Same way my brothers and sisters, have that sincere desire in your goal, and universe will conspire in some form or the other to give you what you want. But first step for that is, you should have no duality in your demand.
Another enemy of success is NEGATIVITY. Comparing your position with someone more advantageous ( family background, graduation background, reservation benefit, coaching, etc and list goes on). If negativity has crept, half the battle is lost. This is not the time for unnecessary fretting and fumings. Shed the cloak of pessimism.
To be frank, what will you lose if you don't make to mains. Are you lost as a human? A child? A citizen? This is just an exam. I don't want to make you embrace the feeling of losing but I believe this exam is nothing to be linked to future. Just close your eyes and think of people you love, admire , respect and whom you think are famous or successful. Do you see UPSC toppers in that list?
Civil service is a good field for sure but not that it's the ultimate goal. The day of prelims, mains, interview, results, those media talks, garlands, etc are just another day in our life which neither define what you are nor determine what you do!
With my experience, I can say this that actually we should have nishkama karma. Being in medical profession, I have innumerable experiences that have revealed that ultimately we have to go for Lord Krishna's philosophy that we have right only on the work and not the result. Though it's difficult and comes with experience, please try to work without attachment. I would always expect some reward for my previous effort in exam but realised few years back that we are just here to act.
If you have not read this article and are reading/ revising, I would be the happiest. But if you have somehow read this, make sure this is the last one before exam. This is not the time to read testimony or exam strategy or struggle of anyone.
Work , work and work!
Revise, revise and revise!
Believe in yourself!
Have a smile ( lady luck favour those with smile)
Go free and liberated from bondages and fears!
After five years, you will be laughing that you were once scared or afraid to give just an exam.
"All power is within you. You can do anything.
Be a hero, always say " I have no fear"
All the best for exam.( That too shall pass )
- Dr. Shubhamangala, Rank 147, CSE 2017