8 Tips to Crack IES Exam

Important Tips for IES Exam Preparation

If you are reading this, you are probably an engineering student or graduate wishing to enter one of the various technical and managerial sectors such as railway, defence, construction, telecommunications etc. falling under the Government of India.

However, right at the entrance, there is a big, burly bouncer waiting to toss you right back out.

Yes, you guessed it correctly -the dreaded IES exam conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).Every year, scores of candidates across India apply for this exam, but due to a limited number of vacancies and the technical nature of the exam, only a handful number of people manage to pass this three-stage examination in the first attempt.You might have heard horror stories from your friends and relatives about the toughest exam in India and are wondering whether or not you have made the right decision.

So, if you are one of the many squirrels that have taken up the huge (and very brave) challenge to crack this tough nut of an exam, here are 8 tips by experts to help you along your quest.

Empty Your Cup

Start your preparations with a clean slate.

Remove all preconceived notions about IES being an extremely difficult exam to crack. A cup cannot be filled if it is already full. Always keep in mind that if you keep your goal in focus and do not allow yourself to get distracted - you will always achieve it no matter the difficulties encountered along the way.

Understand the Syllabus

It is very important to understand the IES syllabus and exam pattern of the Engineering Service Exam. It not only focuses on your technical knowledge but also your aptitude, general knowledge and personality.

Be sure that you sufficiently prepare for every phase accordingly and go through each and every point of the syllabus.

Don't Obsess over Timetables

By now, you must have heard from everyone around you the importance of making a timetable and sticking to it. It s all well and good if strictly adhering to a timetable works for you, but if you do not fare well with them, do not fret over it.

Everyone has a different method that works for them. Take time to analyse yourself and find a time of day when your concentration is at its best. It does not matter how many hours of study you put in, what matters is how many concepts you grasp within those hours.

Studying with full concentration for two to three hours gets more concepts into your brain than forcing yourself to pour over books for eight to ten hours. Writing down important points helps you to remember things and also serves as a quick revision, so you do not have to hunt through the whole book to search for a particular point.

The OK4R Method

In many cases, it is found that many students simply do not know how to study. Only reading through the topics is not enough.

The OK4R is a scientifically proven method that helps you to comprehend and remember the topics effectively.

The method is explained below -

  • Overview - Do not start reading the text immediately. Go over the headings, subtitles and the summary to get a general idea of what the text is about.
  • Key Ideas - Skim over the text by reading the first sentence of each paragraph to get the main idea about the concept.
  • Read - Now is the part when you read each and every word of the text carefully. This is the only part students usually focus on.
  • Recall - Close the text and concentrate. Try to recall all the main points from what you have read.
  • Reflect - Think over the meaningfulness of the topic. Relate the things you have learnt to the things in the real world. Doing this not only helps you to understand the topic better but also enables you to remember it for a longer period of time. Speak the concept out loud. Doing so increases your chances of remembering it better.
  • Review - Go back to the topic at a later time and read it again. If you find you have forgotten some things, study them again. Also, it is better to study the subjects you find difficult or boring at the start when your concentration level is at its peak and leave the easier topics for later.

Trick Your Brain Into Remembering Things

Have you ever wondered why you remember every little detail of the embarrassing situation you were in five years ago, but not the topic you read a few days ago?

That is because our brain tends to record the things that are out of the ordinary, eye-catching, apart from the normal routine of every day; things that the brain thinks are important.

Thus, the boring, technical topic gets filtered out of our storage area.

To remember the dull stuff, we have to trick our brain into thinking it is important.

Here are a few tricks to do this -

  • Our brain remembers images more than simple text. Wherever possible, make diagrammatic representations of what you have learnt.
  • Engage your brain into activities that will improve your cognitive ability and charges up your neurons, such as puzzle solving and brain teasers.
  • Focus on understanding rather than memorizing. Once you really understand a concept, you do not have to spend much effort to memorize
  • Do not try to learn anything new after putting your books down for the day. Your brain needs some time to process things to remember them well. Learning new things while processing what you have studied will cause you to lose some of what you have just learnt.

Keep Yourself Well-Hydrated

Surprised by this one? Yes, drinking water helps your brain to study more effectively.

Our body consists of 70% water. It has been found that dehydration decreases cognition function of the brain, thus hampering your learning.

Listen To What Your Brain Has To Say

You will know when your brain starts to get overloaded. If you find yourself just skimming over pages rather than actually reading, it is a cue for you to take a break.

Go listen to your favourite music or play your favourite sport to recharge your brain. Forcing yourself to keep on studying will do more harm than good.

Practice Makes Perfect

You have definitely heard this line, there is a reason this old adage is so oft repeated. The more you practice, the more chance you have of successfully passing the exam.Take as many mock tests as possible. They help you to manage your time and also allow you to find out your weaker areas so you can focus on them. Keep yourself up to date on current affairs for the general knowledge test. Develop a habit of reading newspapers and magazines daily to stay up to date with the goings-on in the world.

If you follow these tips, work smart and keep up your morale, our big, burly bouncer will have no choice but to look disappointed and let you pass through the entrance to your chosen sector in triumph.


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