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What UPSC aspirants should do in times of uncertainty?

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Categories: Prelims, Published: 7th May, 2020

The unprecedented crisis and resultant lockdown have already affected every aspect of country and students are no different from it. Now since, it is officially notified that exam has been postponed, not many would be surprised, however, most students are now living in an uncertainty never seen before.

In the notification it is informed that exam has been postponed, however, the new date of exam is not yet decided by UPSC itself. Like you, authorities are also facing uncertainty as number of cases are expanding fast and the crisis is far from over. Hence it can be safely assumed the new date is unlikely to be announced soon, and whenever it is going to be announced, students can expect to get at least 30-45 days gap.

Few candidates in these hours of crisis thinking to drop examination this year. I would strongly recommend you to not drop a year. The problem emerged around the end of march, by then any serious student should have been through the basics and core textbooks. Similarly, all the coaching institutes also conclude their classes by that time, after that it’s all about the practice, which is very much unaffected by the lockdown or lack of mobility. Most institutes including us, are providing ample practice material on the website and you can do the practice to the perfection. Dropping year is good option when, you feel you have lot to cover and identify about your preparation, in this case, not much is lost in first case, hence recovering the lost ground is not an argument.

How to prepare for probable exam in July/August? As it was mentioned earlier, most of the aspirants for the 2020 exam have already prepared the core syllabus and basics and were already doing revision and practice. In the given scenario, you just need to continue with that.

It is important that you do not become complacent believing exam is nowhere on the horizon now. Dropping the guard now can be very dangerous. In absence of proper revision, your effort and hard work of recent moths would be lost, just like the sleeping rabbit from the proverbial tale. The time is never too much and since this exam is all about doing relatively better, remember all the time one may waste due to uncertainty is giving edge to his/her competition. Remember the problem is same for everyone and you are not alone in this and do not make the uncertainty an excuse for under-performance and complacency.

However, in case you are feeling that you already prepared everything and have practiced enough, maybe it’s time to give a partial break to PT preparation for some time and allot 2-3 hours daily to your optional subjects for some time. Some revision in optional will keep you on track and may also break the monotony that may have emerged due to same schedule for a longtime. So, it can be good strategy for the time being, but never leave PT preparation completely for that.

 - Gaurav Bansal, Faculty at GSSCORE

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