I would like to reiterate what I have said earlier also – "Winners do not do different things, they do things differently".
The knack is putting you in the shoes of the examiner. A little understanding of the psychology of the examiner, this can be done by putting yourself in the examiner's place. What you would like in any answer sheet? Clarity of thought, lucidity, good content, well expressed language. In short, good Communication Skill (Written Communication) so that the answer script speaks for itself.
The reason why I began with writing skill is that it is the most important component in the preparation for the Mains Examination. There are many intelligent students, well versed with knowledge about their subject matter and yet they do not score in the Mains Examination. Why? Of course, luck and destiny is there. But another reason is faulty writing skill.
Thus Civil Services Examination requires a two-pronged strategy to hit the target Content and Writing Skill. Now I will take up both these components in detail.
Content involves the following:
(a) Conceptual understanding.
(c) Manipulating the facts.
(d) Something new, in terms of knowledge base or linkages or ingenuity or diagrams
1. Conceptual understanding - of the subject matter is most important. Give a layman's interpretation to the concepts and relate it with mundane example for long term memory.
2. Facts - After conceptual understanding, the second step is memorizing the important facts. For example - some important theoretical aspects are to be memorized to attempt any question related to the spatial analysis of the subject matter.
3. Something New - new diagrams, new ideas, original ideas, new content, latest reports, linkages etc. However, one has to be cautious that a balance is maintained and the ideas are not too radical. Also it should be well integrated with the answer.
1. Be short and precise.
2. Writing should be legible and neat.
3. Grammatical errors to be avoided.
4. Simple language.
5. Neat diagrams whenever it is required to give precision to your answer.
Writing skill does not mean a decorative language, having extra-ordinary vocabulary. It means that the ideas should be well expressed in a lucid manner. Simple language but a speaking Language is the demand i.e. the answer sheet should speak out everything for itself with requisite words, depends on
(MAINS EXAMINATION)EIGHT Steps 1. Read the basic books first, rather than going for journals and foreign authors etc. whether 'Preliminary Examination' or 'Mains', what is required as a first step is the mastering of the BASICS (A, B, C) of the subject. So, first step requires mastering these.
EFFECTIVE PRESENTATION (SEVEN PRINCIPLES)1. Underline the key words.
Why Psychology as an optional?Psychology is the study of behaviour of human beings and animals and application of it for the benefit of mankind. It is equally favourite among all streams of students irrespective of their background to appear in the Civil Services Main Examination. Besides being interesting in nature its simplicity and more marks fetching character attracts the students. Civil Services preparation is not just a preparation but strategic preparation. To be successful not only hard work, determination, dedication, etc required but also wise selection of subjects. Psychology is the subject which provides limited course and adequate gap with other optionals thus enhancing the chances of selection.
The best approach is to go through all the available material for the better understanding but you are not doing a PhD course but want to be selected in the civil services .Coaching institutions share this burden from you and filter the relevant material so that you can better utilize your scarce resources of time, money and energy. But in this market of coaching institutions you need wisdom to choose the right one. We claim that here at KSG we multiplies your chances by providing. Best available topic and sub-topic wise material (so that you can cruise through no matter from where question is asked "as last year 2006 exam")
6. Analyze the previous year UPSC question paper thoroughly and try to chalk out the areas of the question. Also write down these questions topic wise and keep going through them again and again.
7. Mark the mistakes, which you commit while solving these questions. Do not overlook them and do not lie to yourself that "it was a careless mistake". Even was a careless mistake like overlooking the word "not" in the question, be cautious that you should not repeat it in the examination hall. Also analyze your mistake thoroughly whether it was due to lack of conceptual understanding or it was forgetting the facts. Master you weakness after analyzing them. NOTE OF CAUTION- Do not read the guide first and then the basic books. It has to be the other way round.
8. Last but not the least, discuss with your friend. Discussion helps a lot provided it is honest discussion with the motive to help the other and in turn getting help. Else it can be disastrous also. These are broadly some tips, which can help you in the Mains as well as Preliminary Examination. However, what matters most is the mental calmness and cool, which you maintain in the examination hall. Do not panic if you do not know any question. Apply your mind. Though not always, but most of the times the questions can be rightly solved if one maintains his cool and analyses it logically. However, ultimately what matters is giving your hest shot and leaving the rest on him.
9. Try to integrate the statement of the question, somewhere in you answer. Either begin with it or end with it. This makes your answer FOCUSSED and well knit.
10. Last, but not the least, just before your examination give your precious three to four hours to those things which are the dynamic aspects of your preparation. This includes the latest updates, reports, diagrams etc. Even glancing over these things at the last moment makes they alive and fresh in your memory (provided you have read them earlier) and they can be reproduced more authentically in the examination. This will definitely make the Difference. These are the SEVEN GOLDEN RULES for fetching marks in PSYCHOLOGY. These are not merely to be memorized and retold to others, but need to be applied in writing answers. So the thrust should be on writing answers and getting them evaluated. The more you practice the better answers you would be able to write. Next, I come to the question of reading list. But remember "It is not wide reading but useful reading that tends to excellence".