After completing her MBBS and MS in General Surgery, Dr Kiranmayi Koppisetti’s quest to serve people in a better way had made her set her sights on civil services. Soon after, she cleared all rounds and acquired an All India Rank of 56 in her fourth attempt this year. Attributing her success to her parents […]
After completing her MBBS and MS in General Surgery, Dr Kiranmayi Koppisetti’s quest to serve people in a better way had made her set her sights on civil services. Soon after, she cleared all rounds and acquired an All India Rank of 56 in her fourth attempt this year. Attributing her success to her parents and husband, she shares some tips and tricks to crack the UPSC exam.
Ideally, most aspirants have to start preparing for the prelims at least one or one-and-a-half years in advance. When one starts late, there is a chance of not being able to cover all the topics. In a day, one can actively prepare for a maximum of 10 hours as more than that would be exhausting for the brain.
When it comes to revising the topic, everyone just reads the same content repeatedly and calls it revision. That is a mistake I committed in my first two attempts. Revision should be done mentally by recollecting and brainstorming the topics. For example, while I’m brushing or doing any other activity, I will try to remember something that I’ve read previously and spend some time mentally understanding and revising that topic.
In certain subjects, especially social sciences, using keywords in your answers is very important. When I was having difficulty remembering these keywords, I started to maintain a notebook. I wrote down specific phrases which included these important keywords and practised writing these phrases several times. Then, whenever I wrote my answers, these phrases came to me naturally.
Practice answer writing
The first time we write an answer, be mentally prepared that it will be the worst. Do not be hesitant to show your answers to others and seek feedback. Practice daily and make sure you have a format. Have an introduction where you can write facts, a body where you can elaborate on the keywords and a way forward for that issue, and finally write your conclusion.
Practicing previous years’ question papers is a must. Check from what chapters the questions are given and be thorough with them. And when it comes to mock tests, what most people do is just check their scores. One must evaluate each question and try to understand why they have or have not answered the question correctly.
To crack the exam confidence is vital, more so in the interview round. Be very confident in all the answers you give. Do not try to bluff with the interviewers by trying to make an impression that you know the answer. Just gracefully and confidently accept that you are unaware. Practice speaking in English daily and keep tabs on current affairs.