For my young friends taking the Prelims exam in October.
1. Try lots of mock tests in exam-like conditions. Ignore mock test questions focusing on data or numbers or dates.
2. Play a percentage game. Be a Sampras, not an Agassi. Negative marking can ruin your hard work.
3. Solve previous years’ UPSC questions. 5 to 20 years’. You decide. Ignore the ‘dated’ questions.
4. Revise till you get bored. Everyday. Focus on why, not on what.
5. Find time for economy, geography, science and environment and other high yield areas. Revise well.
6. Don’t worry about how you fare in solving mock test papers. Worry about how you approach the ‘why’ questions in them.
7. Wake up early and hit the bed by 10:30 PM. Be a Rahul Dravid. Not everyone is an Ian Botham.
8. No music while studying. Exam halls don’t give you DJs.
9. Boyfriends and girlfriends can wait. Parents can wait. Whatsapp gyaan can wait. Stay focused. Manage your time stealers smartly.
10. Take care of your mental health. Don’t ignore it. Reach out to a therapist if you feel stressed out.
11. Protect your mornings, evenings and nights’ sleep from devices, Whatsapp and “Beta, doodh ley aanaa”.