How to Prepare for the Competitive Exams?

6 Things to know before preparing for Competitive Exam

The exam is the yardstick to check the caliber of the students or candidate. The competitive exams have become norm for Admission in good Institute or Recruitment in the Government Jobs. ‘How to fair well in the these exams?’ has become one of the most common question for the candidates appearing in these cut throat competitive exams. Your past academic results certainly have the impact on your overall performance. However, it should not dis-hearten the average students. In the end your hard work and your smart work will definitely pay off.

There is no one-size fit for all the competitive exams. Each exam needs different strategy. The basics or fundamentals for preparation for any exam are unarguably same. The candidate appearing in the competitive exams will have to bear following point in the mind:

1. Exam Pattern – Every exam has specific demand. That demand can be understood from the pattern of the exam. The candidate should go through the Exam pattern thoroughly and try what is demanded for the post or admission.

For instance, for the any post in banking sector numerical ability, mathematics and reasoning take the priority. The IBPS Exam therefore revolve around testing this ability. On the other hand for UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) and PSC (Public Service Commission) like BPSC, UPPSC, GPSC, RPSC, TNPSC, MPSC, MPPSC, etc the exam stresses more on the General Studies. In UPSC CSAT (Civil Service Aptitude Test) is only qualifying.

2. Syllabus – The candidate should stick the syllabus of the exam on his desk or wall. It should be read again and again in such a way that each and every letter written in syllabus is remembered. It will help the candidate in confining his preparation. Otherwise there are plenty chance that the candidate will start studying things out of syllabus and will burdened himself with lot of unnecessary information.

3. Gather Material – The material include everything from book to PDF to senior/classes notes. While gathering material remember the title of book by E. F. Schumacher “Small is Beautiful”. Several material on same topic will make revision difficult for you. If reading several material is absolutely necessary than make sure you make concise notes so that you don’t need to toss books at the time of exam. Internet is good source for information. To manage the articles or topic you read either download pdf and store them in easily accessible folder. Or you can use the modern software like OneNote or Evernote to save the topic in organized manner.

4. Prepare notes – Many people as well as experts believe that preparing notes is key ingredient to success in competitive exam. It has no doubt helped many but it should be taken with pinch of salts.

  • If your topic is scattered over places it is essential to make concise note to make revision easier (as told before).
  • If concise material is already available in tabulated or chart form than it will be waste of time to copy those things just for shake of making notes. Instead get them print, compile in single place and use energy in remembering or perfecting it.
  • When making note make sure you are not copy pasting sentence to sentence. Don’t write book again. Read the topic several times and write what you understand in your own word or as flowchart. It has two benefit – you will thoroughly understand the topic and you will be exam prepared for it. In case of mains (written) exam it is easier to recall and reproduce such topics.

5. Revise-Reproduce – Many students spend many sleepless night in reading everything below the sun and yet faces crisis at time of exam. In Objective type (Multiple Choice Question) exam they find it hard to recall the exact details. In Mains (written) exam they completely Blank Out. Rather expanding horizon, deepen the level for same topic. It can be done by revising same topic multiple times. Soon it will be ingrained in your subconscious mind and it will become accessible in the exam where the environment is filled with pressure.

  • When you are revising make sure you are not reading in autopilot mode – by flipping pages and reading each and every words. It will be waste of time. Try to read in active manner – Try to recollect everything you remember about the topic before you actually read it. This way layer of information will be formed and you will be able to consolidate the topic in better way.
  • For better result in Mains (Written) exam try to write what you have read after completing each topic. This self evaluation technique will help you identify the gaps in your preparation. In the end in written exam its not about what you know but what you can represent on paper. It will also help in improving your representation skills on longer run. (Representation of answer in exam will not come by forcing it. Repeat the Revision-Reproduce method and it will become better on its own).

6. Mock Tests – Please do not underestimate the impact of the mock tests. The candidate preparing for the highly competitive exam should give couple of mock test before the final exams. It helps in identifying the gaps in the preparation. Besides, it will enable the candidate to manage the time in exam in better way. Time management is important because without it you will not be able to complete the paper.

Note: Make your own strategy – no two individual are same in the world. In similar way take lessons from the strategy of the toppers but do not try to mimic them. Because what clicked for them may not work for you. Understand your strength and weaknesses and make your strategy based on that.

How to Prepare for the Competitive Exams?
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