The minds of most of the aspirants are clogged with confusing questions like what should be the recommended approach to revise. This blog post caters to answer this in a very aspirant friendly, concise manner.
Time and again, it has been iterated that the magical mantra to achieve success in UPSC CSE is:
‘LEARN, REVISE & PRACTICE, TEST, IMPROVE, SUCCEED’.
Before dealing with the revision aspect, it is essential to know how to learn.
HOW TO DEAL WITH LEARNING ASPECT?
- The first most important step is to have the right study material. If one thinks that they need to read 100s of books, browse 10s of websites and prepare notes from 5 newspapers and 10 magazines each day to clear the exam, this is wrong. What matters is not the quantity of materials one had gone through, but the quality of learning done.
- The second step is to have a proper strategy in place. CSE Mains requires a SMART STRATERGY with the following key points kept in mind:
- Learn in multiple ways: Human brain is able to learn better when we see, hear and read; rather than when we read alone. So, just don’t read a particular topic, watch a video or hear a podcast on the same.
- Read multiple subjects in one day
- Take handwritten notes
- Learn by association: we read that WBCs are cells of the immune system. If we remember them as soldiers, it would be easy to recall that they protect the body from foreign invasion.
- Simplify the information
- Know what to filter
- Read textbooks effectively
- Don’t cram, understand
- Cover all the topics in the syllabus and make sure you have static notes as well as a compilation of dynamic issues involving the topic.
- Go through Previous years’ papers and make sure you write answers to all those questions.
NOW COMES THE REVISION STRATEGY
- The first and most important step is to master the material in the form that you already have e.g. class notes (or/& any book that you already were following).
- Revise the class notes as many times as would equip you with
- Solid understanding and conceptual clarity.
- Precise memory and specific recall when faced with a particular question, as per its needs.
- Once these two steps are done, then only consolidation comes as the 3rd step, i.e.
Grasping and mastering linkages so that you can use them when required by a specific Q.
- The more you master the base notes and memorise SOLID, the consolidation will AUTOMATICALLY start happening within your brain, with repeated revisions. Don’t worry on that aspect.
- Remember, there’s no substitute for high quality recall and reproduction, rather than merely writing vague stories of your own, based on sketchy preparation and faint recall.
- Thus, merely reading notes or preparing shallow won’t help.
- Multiple revisions are the key. Andeach successive revision should have a different GOAL.
Lastly, it must be emphasized that, each successive revision should take far lesser time e.g. if the 1st revision of entire paper-1 takes 21 days (give or take), then 2nd should take less than 14 days, 3rd about 10 days and 4th approximately 7 days (of course there will be minor individual differences of speed, ability, grasp and retention).
HOW TO DEAL WITH EVALUATION ASPECT?
The answer is very simple: through MOCKS!!
There are a lot of benefits of taking mocks…
- help in overcoming the fear psychosis.
- help in making management strategy for the real exam.
- help in knowing ones’ strengths and weaknesses, doing self-analytics.
- help in preparing topics which have not been covered.
- provide extra vital information.
- help in developing speed, refining the thought process.
- help one to face the tremendous competition by honing their skills .
- help one to tackle uncertainties, boost exam preparedness and improve ones’ score and rank.
Get going guys. You’re never alone.
All the best!!