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10 mantras to help you stay calm in IAS Prelims Exam 2016

Jagran Josh

With just a few days left for the IAS Prelim Exam 2016, IAS aspirants have been beefing up their preparation strategy with new and innovative techniques to give their best. Deemed as ‘the mother of all exams’; the IAS Prelims 2016 is surely one of the most anticipated recruitment exams on the calendar of aspirants. With nearly 10 lakh applicants vying for a few thousand posts, the IAS CSAT exam is surely one of the toughest nuts to crack as far as India is concerned.

All this information is already in public domain and has created a fear psychosis regarding IAS Prelim Exam 2016 among the aspirants. Like every year, many IAS aspirants have reported facing depression, anxiety and stress in the run up to the IAS Prelims 2016. Such insurmountable tension leads to a nervous breakdown which not only affects their preparation but also their final performance in the IAS Prelims.
However cracking UPSC CSE is not an impossible task. It certainly is not a cake-walk but with hard work and dedication you have put in through the year, it shouldn’t really be a matter that scares you. In order to help you through the up-coming IAS Prelims Exam and help you stay cool, calm and composed during these last few hours, we have listed a few tips below:

1. Real Competition

One of the main reasons behind the fear psychosis that surrounds IAS Prelims Exam is that it has always been marketed as one of the toughest and most competitive examination in the world. Well, statistically speaking it does stand out as one of the hardest ones around, but that is not the complete reality.

When it comes to competition in IAS CSAT 2016, the odds might be stacked against you as badly as you might think. This is because, while nearly 10 lakh aspirants have applied for IAS Prelims 2016 not all of them are going to appear. Looking at the general trend, only 50% i.e., around 5 lakh students will be competing against you in the IAS Prelims Exam 2016. And even among these 5 lakh aspirants, almost half are not serious about IAS Prelims and have just taken up it up because of the hype that surrounds it.
So, in reality, the actual competition is between the 1-2 lakh odd students, who are really serious, focused and have worked hard for the IAS Prelims 2016. When you look at the competition with this perspective, competition certainly doesn’t look as daunting as it is being made out to be.

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2. Sleep well before the IAS Prelims Exam

Many IAS aspirants would have already planned the last few days that are left before the IAS Prelims 2016 and an all-nighter study session prior to the day of the exam would surely be on the cards. However, experts certainly advise against it. IAS Exam is not your regular academic affair that one can crack by a night of study; it requires rigorous preparation of 6-8 months. So, panicking last minute and staying up to study might just go against you. Lack of sleep may not allow you to concentrate and the resultant fatigue will surely slow you down during the exam. So, try to build a balanced sleep cycle and ensure that you enjoy minimum 8 hours of sleep every day.

3. Dress comfortably

In all the excitement and nervousness of IAS exam, aspirants often ignore the kind of attire they put on for the examination. For some, IAS Prelims 2016 might be a very big event and so they plan on putting their best clothes to impress others. But, it should be comfort and not looks that you should go for on the day of CSAT 2016. Remember, IAS Prelims is to be held in August, so do take into account the heat and humidity factors that you might encounter in the exam hall.

4. Exercise a bit before the examination

There is no better way to distress and put your worries behind you than a bit of light exercise. Take a brisk walk or go for a small jog on the day of the examination. Nothing that will really tire you out but enough to get your blood pumping in order to improve your blood pressure, and get those mood-boosting endorphins kicking. Fresh air, light exercise and boost of metabolism will surely help your brain to work at its peak potential during the IAS Exam.

5. Reach on Time

Once you are done with the morning schedule and last minute revisions for IAS Prelims, it is very important to reach the venue of the exam or exam centre on time. In order to avoid any problems in finding the exam centre on the day of CSAT 2016, candidates are advised to locate the centre atleast a few days before the exam. You should also calculate the tentative time taken to reach your exam centre from your residence to avoid any last minute problems. Reaching exam centre on time is very important as it avoids any unnecessary stress and tension of being late or not having enough time to do the basic revision.

6. Get hold over our nerves with some relaxation exercises

IAS Prelims 2016 is certainly going to be one of the biggest exams of your life, so it is quite natural for you to feel nervous. Don’t be overwhelmed by this! Instead, you can try to calm your nerves with the help of few basic relaxation exercises. The most common one is the breathing – meditation exercise, where you just concentrate on your breathing pattern and push everything else out of mind. This will help you get things into perspective.

Another simple exercise you can try is to go for a small walk around the IAS Prelims exam centre. It will again help you break the cycle of nervousness. If none of these work, you can also try to tighten your fists as hard as you can and then letting go. After a few attempts, you will realize that you are much more relaxed and ready to take up the UPSC CSE 2016.

7. Don’t think about the outcomes

Many psychologists have suggested that it is not very much the exam that candidates are scared of but the ultimate outcome and the consequences that will follow after it. So, try and avoid thinking about the IAS Prelims 2016 Result already. Remember, you have worked very hard through the year to earn a seat in this examination hall. You have given your best shot and it is your effort that is more important than the final outcome. Cracking IAS Exam is a journey where irrespective of the final outcome; you would come out as a better and more knowledgeable person.

8. Know the test

Considering that you have been rigorously preparing for the IAS Prelims 2016 since last few months, you would be quite aware of the exam format and style. IAS Prelims Exam paper is not a Pandora’s box which will throw up unprecedented surprises, as you already know the syllabus and have worked really hard to complete the same. You know all the type and style of questions that are going to be asked. So, it is best that you prepare a time-bound strategy to handle the questions being put before you.
The best way to go about this is to attempt the questions that you are comfortable with first, followed by the difficult ones. Remember, the exam has negative marking, so rather than attempting more number of questions try to get as many questions right as you can. If you see something out of ordinary or confusing, keep it for last, do not let it shake your confidence upfront.

9. Visualize success

Despite toiling hard for over 12-14 hours a day, any IAS aspirants still face the jitters on the D-day. It is quite natural to be a little bit nervous on the day of UPSC CSE 2016 and it is equally easy to get over it. While many people would advise you to be confident in the efforts you have put it but that really doesn’t work at a psychological level. However, to beat the last minute nervousness, you can start visualizing success.
Imagine yourself sitting in the examination hall, in front of the IAS Prelims 2016 paper quite comfortably. Visualize the confidence in you have while handling the questions, the way you move forward and solve even the tough ones. Seeing yourself be successful in a similar setting, overcoming all the obstacles and handling all the problems head on will boost your confidence and help you win over your fears.

10. Be positive

Since our childhood days, we have been told that positivity is the key to success in life and civil services examination, especially IAS Prelims 2016 is no exception to this rule. Being positive will surely help you cope with the anxiety and stress that you would experience on the day of IAS Prelims 2016. Positive thoughts about your preparation level, your dedication and self-belief in your hard work will help you emerge victorious in this examination.

See here first the IAS Prelims Question Paper and Answer Key

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