How should I mentally prepare myself for IAS?

UPSC Civil Service exam is an exam conducted to recruit civil servants for various posts like IAS, IPS, IRS, etc. These services are not only coveted but also essential elements for building the nation. Hence, UPSC selects the cream of the crop aspirants for these various posts. To achieve this, the exam itself is set such that it tests the aspirants’ mental calibre and not just the knowledge alone that is acquired. Hence, one must be mentally strong to manage any adversarial situation while preparing for the civil services. They must be confident about themselves as Upsc Coaching In Bangalore will most definitely test their wits, grit, and determination in all the three stages of the exam- Prelims, Mains, and the Interview.

Unlike other competitive exams where knowledge is tested, for the civil services exam, the UPSC syllabus for the personality test (the Interview) clearly states that the personality test’s objective is to judge a candidate’s mental calibre. Hence, while you prepare for this exam, the element as mentioned above must not be forgotten. Mental preparation comes in two ways-The first one, is to assess, persevere and control the overall course of your preparation and the latter, is how you present yourself in the exam.

 Starting with your preparation journey, the aspirant must possess the mental fortitude to go through the whole process. Most aspirants realize that an oceanic syllabus is waiting for them. It is to be completed in a short period as well. Considering the exam’s competitive nature, the aspirant has to perform better than others to have a shot at success. They are bound to feel disheartened, discouraged or even feel demotivated in the face of the vast syllabus, never-ending tests and meagre marks. One must understand that everyone -even the toppers- go through these mental blocks and self-doubt during their preparation. Failures during preparation is a common thing for aspirants. To get that sharp mental strength, one must embrace a very simple mantra- “Your best teacher is your last mistake”.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s words are simple yet an absolute revelation when you prepare for this exam. Do not be disheartened by a single failure you have met; instead, learn from it and move on. Without expecting immediate results, try to work towards your goal with nothing but confidence. Over time, your mind will be able to withstand any mental struggle as you come to terms with life’s reality. Accept that struggles are part and parcel of life, and there is beauty in overcoming it. Now, look at how UPSC is preparing you to become a knowledgeable civil servant and as someone who comprehends the struggles of life.

For your preparation, a mind that is unwilling to give up on its ambitions is what is needed. However, what about the exams? Starting with Prelims, where the maximum number of eliminations happen, it has to be noted that this stage is where your mental fortitude comes into play. A large number of unknown questions are asked each year to throw you off balance. What sets a successful candidate apart is the ability to calmly answer the questions to which the answers are known and attempting the rest in an advantageous manner to ensure they get a decent score. Just by seeing a number of tough questions, aspirants often make mistakes even in areas they are good at. This can be avoided by putting yourself in an exam-like environment while taking practice tests.

The mind is just like any other body part. It has to be trained to achieve the level of finesse you need to not get side-tracked when you see a difficult question paper. The same goes for the Mains exam. Here, there is more time to respond than in the Prelims paper, and the mental fatigue is greater for the Mains exam due to its long, strenuous hours. Again, training your mind to get used to these conditions is the preparation you need to crack this exam.

For the final stage, the personality test, one must understand that it is not the knowledge that is checked by the board but the following traits – mental alertness, critical powers of assimilation, clear and logical exposition, the balance of judgment, variety and depth of interest, the ability for social cohesion and leadership, intellectual and moral integrity. Every one of these traits has its roots in the mental strength that you possess. To simplify the requirement, the aspirant must gracefully face the board while making logical arguments that are constitutionally valid and ethically right. This confidence and elegance you display under pressure are the markers of what UPSC expects from a civil servant on duty. For this, start portraying your style of speaking with a positive tone that pairs well with the qualities of a civil servant aspiring to serve the nation.

Once you decide to appear for this exam, it has to be noted that you are not only going to gain knowledge on many fronts but also become more mentally capable in life and for this exam. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of this exam- it makes you stronger-intellectually and mentally. For getting the best results for a healthy mind, you can consider doing meditation, Yoga or any other moderate exercises. Like I have mentioned before, our mind is just like any other body part, continue training it to achieve the success you need. 

Published by
Officers IAS Academy – Best IAS Coahing in Chennai.

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