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Guidance for Mains

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After an aspirant qualifies the Prelims, the next stage is the Mains exam. Now the candidate needs a dedicated approach and smart preparation plan for conquering mains exam. He/she has an excellent command over General Studies, given the overall weightage. Besides, they must know the optional subject inside out in order to score well. Also to compensate the lost marks in four general studies papers.

Here are a few tips that you must register in your mind for success in the Mains exams.

Practice how to write answers: In the Civil Services Mains exam your brain have to think pulling all the relevant data for a particular topic, simultaneously those ideas should be articulated in a logical fashion and your hand should synchronize with your brain by writing the content in the answer sheet.
Remember the marks in the main examination will be awarded to you only if all the information collected by you falls on the paper from your finger through your pen.
This will be little strange when you do it first, second or third time, but once you practice for a couple of times you will be amazed to see the results.
After few practice of mock tests, you can find that your brain automatically pulls all the relevant data, articulates it, identifies the problem area, gives innovated solution all this happens at the same time your hand writes it on the paper. Hence students must practice taking sufficient mock test to equip them to write with an extraordinary speed.

Time Management- The time is very limited in the Civil Services Mains exam. You have to write approximately 3000 words in 180 minutes to score in the exam which is of maximum 300 marks.
Make sure you don't waste time in too much of planning on how to write. Just make a simple blue print once you see the question paper. Start writing and you will automatically get the required details on the flow of writing the answers.
Equate (Marks = Words = Time) - Maintain this proportion at all the minutes throughout the 180 minutes in the examination hall. For example if your write a 2 mark question, it should be equated like this [2 Marks = 20 Words = 1.5 Minutes (Approx)].
This kind of calculation will keep you alert on whether you are wasting too much time for a low mark questions. If you save some time it will boost your energy to perform well.
Also remember this calculation will have to be altered in General Studies Paper 2 since there is a part to work out on Statistics. Make sure to manage time appropriately to get the winning edge advantage in the examination.
Remember, you must come to the exam hall with sufficient stationary. You must not waste time bothering about such issue while you write the exam.

Understanding the question - This is another important task as most of students interpret the question incorrectly leading them to give an answer which is not at all relevant to the question or the expectation of the examiner.
For this, students must try to understand the meaning of the following keywords. They are; Assess, Analyze, Brief, Calculate, Compare, Comprehend, Define, Discuss, Derive, Determine, Enumerate, Evaluate, Examine, Explain, Prove, and Synthesize.
Once you understand the question give precise clear answer.
Use bullet points, use diagrammatic representation whenever possible and be logical. Don't have long introduction and conclusion. Just pitch in to the core topic with two or three lines of introduction. Conclude the answers logically. In two marks questions hit the examiner with the facts. Make sure to pack the 20 words with maximum facts in 2 marks.

Stay Healthy - Most of you study day and night for the Main exams. Due to high amount of stress and exam fear the probability of being sick on the examination days is very high. This has a direct impact on your output. Surely there is difference between the thoughts from a healthy refreshed mind and a sick and a dull mind.
For healthy mind, ideas, thoughts and analytical ability ooze out and recollecting memorized facts and correlating various data happens naturally. Whereas confusion, fear, lack of memory and depression will be associated with those who feels sick and tired.
Hence candidates should remain healthy during the preparation of the mains exams. You can do some physical workout either by taking a pleasant walk or jog to sweat out and remain fresh and healthy.
These are some tips that are of primary importance which many students do not consider due to sheer negligence.
Civil Service India wishes you best of luck for your main examination and come out with flying colours to face the Interview.

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