The initial move towards your groundwork for any competitive exam is to comprehend the pre-requirements of the exam. You should also well-rehearsed with the syllabus (you get that easily on the Internet). Other than the syllabus, you should make a note of the weightage of various subjects so that you can plan your preparations likewise. Looking over previous years' question papers assists in getting well acquainted with the exam pattern.
Here are six steps that you can follow to prepare for any competitive exam:
1) Understanding the Syllabus: First thing first, you should always put all your mind and heart in understanding the syllabus of the exam and the level of questions asked. It is very important for you to understand ‘what to prepare’.
2) Preparing a Time Table: After you have decided on ‘what to prepare’ it is your turn to plan ‘how to prepare’. Prepare a time table including your short term and long term goals; this, in turn, will help you in timely preparation for the exam. A good time table is most likely to help you in better preparation and avoids haphazardness.
“Belief is a very powerful tool. You must believe in yourself and your preparation”
3) Study Smartly: Working hard is always important but the smart study never goes out of fashion. Going through previous years' question papers gives you an edge and also you can analyze the kind of questions being asked, including heavy weightage topics. Your major focus should be on qualitative studying rather than quantitative studying.
4) Revise Regularly: Every candidate should have a regular revision strategy in handy. It takes at least four times of regular revision to actually remember something for the long term. Whatever you study should be revised on the third day then on the sixth day then on the twelfth day and after than on the twenty-first day. A good revision cycle is definitely going to help you ace the exam.
5) Take Breaks: ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, as rightly emphasized by the proverb, it is equally important to take breaks. Rather than studying for long durations divided your slots and take a break in between, go out for a walk, take a nap or just listen to your favorite track.
6) Keep Yourself Motivated: The last and the most important thing is to keep yourself motivated. Motivation to achieve your goal is the key to success. If you are preparing for any exam and if you lack motivation then even a single failure is going to affect you badly. To qualify any exam we should have a strong desire to clear it and it should be maintained on a regular basis.
Belief is a very powerful tool. You must believe in yourself and your preparation. Ensure that you study the same way throughout the year, to avoid last-minute rush and stress. Spend 10-15 minutes before going off to sleep to quickly recap all that you learned throughout the day.
Also, a bit of physical activity and meditation helps to improve concentration. Do not take stress throughout the entire preparation time and stay away from stressful people. Each and every moment you must tell yourself ‘I Can, I Will’ and trust me you will do it!
Akhand Swaroop Pandit, Educationist
Akhand Swaroop Pandit is the CEO and Founder of The Catalyst Group, Online Learning Platform. He is also the Indian Ambassador for Asia Summit, a TEDx Speaker and a UPSC topper turned Entrepreneur. Akhand has been recognized with awards such as Star Achiever & Education Icon of India 2019 and Asian of the Year 2020.