This article is for all the hardworking IAS exam aspirants out there as well as the other random jaywalkers looking to learn something anew.
This comprehensive guide is aimed at charging you up and help focus on the right things, with the perfect mindset.
Let’s just sit back for a while first.
Get a glass of water and share a seat with us while you take a ride through this post, surfing through multiple IAS exam tips illustrated across.
Let’s find a way for you to calm down first if you’re too tense! Let us quickly try these 4 little secrets to de-stress. Use this process whenever agony takes over you.
- Firstly, take that glass of plain water.
- Try to feel your heartbeat & breathing for a few moments. Concentrate.
- Angle your eyes up. The focus below your brows. Yes, you got that right, that’s your pituitary!
- And smile half-way, please!
IAS Exam Hacks – 13 Big and Bold Ones
Choosing a Spot: A Place to Study: It is well known that your brain makes connections between the background and what you are studying.
Realizing the Magical Effect of Ambience: A clatter-free zone away from the hassle of visitors or other people; the reduced presence of electronic gadgets & other such distractions (except maybe your Kindle & e-books) is the best for focused studying and enhanced concentration.
Ensure that your room has some greenery around too (if possible, and you must be able to see it).
Formulating your own calendar: Start early. Take note of your exam time-table and the days on which you have to write them. Then organize your study accordingly.
Understanding the Game of Time: Devote appropriate time for your subjects according to their difficulty level. Don’t take up all the subjects at the same time.
Sort all your handouts and arrange all you study materials well. Organization is key when you’re preparing for IAS exam because you need to deal with truckloads of information
Time-boxing, Pomodoro & mnemonics: Segment your study time with 3-4 minute breaks in between or whatever suits you. “Pomodoro” is the interval of time spent studying. You can make your own mnemonics according to convenience.
Nibble on a Musical Snack for Your Mind, for constructive interference (augmentation) of your brain waves and electronic sound waves (or recorded music) unless you have someone to physically play the chords around you!
For example, listen to “Jelta” (Jazz+delta waves) which is jazz music playing along with 0.3 – 5 Hz of sound waves These waves are replicated in our brains too. These help to calm your nerves.
You may listen to anything else too, whatever sounds balmy to you, not just jelta!
Mind maps & visual aids: Leverage software applications like FreeMind or ScapeHop to make charts, diagrams, etc. or what you may like to call “mind-maps”. Unleash the power of your brain’s hippocampus by mind mapping.
Quickly Stick It On: To make a vision board, scribble your notes on Stick Ons.
Try explaining answers to your grandmother or little sister (or anyone else for that matter, silly!).
Practise on paper: Practice old exam papers and time-test yourself mandatorily. Get used to the format of the questions.
Know that rewards always work: Reward or treat yourself whenever you accomplish a goal, try it as this seriously works.
“What’s Inside Is Reflected Out”. Believe in this. You must fuel your body & brain by choosing “functional” edibles. You must maintain a work-out regimen, if you don’t have one because training at Mussoorie will be tough especially the group community & trekking activities.
Sugars may summon you,but no quick-snacking. STOP yourself as your energy levels from sugars will collapse near to an hour or so later!
Also, find adequate hygienic “sleep” for yourself. The adequacy levels vary between individuals but close to 6-8 hours should be good.
IAS Exam Hacks – 33 Short & Smart Ones
- Get to know the syllabus well
- Know your strengths & weaknesses
- Set a realistic target score for each subject
- Make your own study plan
- Start early
- Focused, targeted practice
- Get the right prep material & books
- Practice solving harder questions
- Build your stamina
- Review mock answers thoroughly
- Read everyday
- Do previous years’ questions
- Maintain notes
- Timed practice
- Know fundamental concepts back and forth – NCERTs must
- Work open book for the first few weeks
- Study consistently but for short periods
- Procrastinate procrastination!
- Learn the question types and the common wrong answer traps
- Prepare to go wrong
- Try to study in chunks. Pomodoro, remember?
- Get the blood moving – jump around, move your legs, arms, hands.
- Learn how to use a scratch pad
- Don’t be afraid of the tough questions
- Use mind maps to memorize concepts
- Don’t cram
- Practice mental math
- Learn to speed read
- No last-minute preparation
- Visit your testing center before your test
- Wear earplugs while studying and on test day
- Have a physical stopwatch with you
- Hard work pays off!
It’s a Wrap
Preparing for the mammoth IAS exam? Good to know! Well, good luck to you and some of these hacks, if not all, are sure to help you in the long run! Go back once more, if you wish.
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- Useful resources – Insights Active Learning
- Check online study circles and test preparators here.
- IAS exam pattern and more