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Basic suggestions For prelims

  1. Believe in yourself [Such a Cliché right] but if a question in Prelims is tough for you, it must be equally tough for most, that intuition should come from your handwork and rational assessment.
  2. Single Minded Focus: Say No, a lot. To most of the things, and Definitely to people. Everything else can wait. [Failing by 2-5 marks is a lifetime regret]
    • Only the Most desperate and dedicated aspirants win, it has nothing to do with brilliant mind or access to new materials, It’s the desire to win that drives them.
  3. Revise Static: This is the most important step, revise standard books. What every one knows you should know, extra questions are bonus.
    • “There are known knowns. There are things we know, we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” Donald Rumsfeld
    • Adapting this to UPSC
    • Known knowns are Static books + Most obvious CA in news, You have to get these questions correctly. [This is what helps you get 65% of score]
    • Known Unknowns to be guessed/eliminated You have a vague idea, some static knowledge, some accumulated knowledge, some hunch/intuition, random luck, combine them all you can guess such questions. [This is what helps you get through the cut off]
    • Unknown Unknowns are risky, every one will face issue. [if everything works out, Cut-off + 10 marks comes from this kind of questions]
  4. Revise Mocks: Stick to [at max] 2 Institutes for mocks, then revise the same papers.
    • “It’s not about the number of hours you practice, it’s about the number of hours your mind is present during the practice.” — Kobe Bryant
  5. CSAT: Give enough respect to it, [Afghanistan is graveyard of empires] of late, CSAT has become Graveyard of so many UPSC Dreams.
  6. Current Affairs: Focus on Topics, not on months and years. [Priority to topics you see in the mocks repeatedly]
  7. Your Strategy: There is no other person on this planet who will know your strengths and weaknesses like yourself, believe in your common-sense, and you adapt to your needs. What will work for you may not work for others, so it’s in your hands to trust your system and keep working hard.
    • Common sense is a vital tool, don’t blindly follow any strategy, question everything, analyse 2020-2014 papers again and again, see the trend, focus on key areas.
  8. Deep Work: Less the distractions the better. [Throw your mobile away for next 39 days, get a basic phone.] 8 Hours with full focus is optimum, rest is bonus.
    • Fourteen hours a day is not guaranteed success, how focused are you is all that matter, 8-10-12. Whatever is comfortable, always quality over quantity.
    • Reading CA all time without perfecting static is useless, such 14 hours aspirants are not even your competition, don’t be fooled by everything you see.
  9. Boring is Scoring: What is boring? Reading the same books again and again, but human mind looks for new highs, new is interesting, new is shiny, and new must be good. Truth is doing the same things again and again till you get your name in the list, is the trick.
  10. Reality: No matter how good your preparation is, how serious you are, people or situations may bring some negativity in your life, they will test you.
    • They will demotivate you, they will discourage you, self-doubt and discouragement might affect your mindset.
    • Feel like giving up, or not having satisfaction is a very common issue, every one will go through that feeling.
    • I will prepare better for next attempt: This will never happen, so don’t let, comfort zone confuse you and make you complacent, you have worked hard till this point, continue that.
    • These are some things that will only make you stronger and better. If you don’t believe in yourself who else will?

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