Getting in the right frame of mind by Prince Dhawan

Hello everyone,

Before I actually start sharing some experiences about the exam, I wish to write a post about the mind set with which one must approach this exam. I feel before anyone starts preparing for the Civil Service Exam (CSE), he/she must have clarity on some fundamental issues in his/her mind.

Firstly, as I have mentioned elsewhere too, the CSE is not just an exam, it is a journey. This journey is long and you must have a lot of patience and dedication to traverse it.

Do not rush through your attempts. Spend time with your subjects before you appear in the exam. Keep in mind that there are no shortcuts to success. Each individual has his/her own pace of studying. Some people like me, take more time to grasp things as compared to others. You must know yourself well. Know what timings of study suit you; know what inspires you; what motivates you; know what relaxes you; know what you ultimately want to do as a civil servant; know what are your strengths and your weaknesses. If you know yourself well, then things will get easier.

When you are walking on the road of the CSE, keep in mind that there will be highs and lows. Just like all fingers of our hand are different, so will be your days. Some days you will study more, some days you will study less and on some other days you will not study at all. But you must thoroughly enjoy all your days and each moment of your study as well as free time.

Never ever think about your marks or probable rank in the exam, just think about answers to the questions in-front of you. Choose your optionals keeping in mind your interest in the subject. All subjects are equally scoring but you must be able to study YOUR subjects for long hours. Keep your cool and peace of mind.

Another important point to be kept in mind is that this journey is a long one. Shortcuts may work but the only sure way to reach your destination is to take the longer route. So do not be in a hurry to give your attempt. Spend a lot of time doing each of your subjects and then GS. I would advice to do everything sequentially i.e. one after the other and not simultaneously. This way, one would realize that at least 1.5 to 2 years of dedicated preparation is must before you give your first attempt. However, I must say that for some people a shorter route works whereby they do some subjects simultaneously. It is risky but may take you to your final destination. The longer route on the other hand is safe and will surely take you to your destination. The choice between the two is subjective and is a decision best taken by YOU and no one else.

Finally believe in your hard-work and in GOD. Whenever you do something, believe that YOU can actually DO it. This is true for any task in life and not just CSE. Self confidence and self-belief is crucial.

Always remember- Preparation will only take you to a certain extent; beyond that you will have to take some leaps of faith.


By-  Prince Dhawan(IAS Topper)