Mistake #1: Relying on someone else
Candidates should remember that since they are taking the exam, they should be responsible for the preparation as well. A lot of people rely on external factors like a teacher, mentor, friends or online videos, etc. to help them understand certain topics or motivate them. The first thrust should come from within them. Help should be taken only when needed.
Mistake #2: Relying on past credentials
Some people make the mistake of thinking, ‘Since I am 12th topper, I can easily crack this exam’. Every exam is different and different set of attributes are tested in each. So, candidates should treat each exam as new and prepare adequately.
Mistake #3: Planning but not executing
When it comes to exams, actions speak louder than words. Merely thinking and planning about preparation will bear no fruits. Those plans have to be worked upon.
Mistake #4: Collecting hordes of study material
This is indeed a common mistake. A lot of material is available especially for the 12th based exams and there would be a tendency to buy everything available. Also, these days a lot of material is available online as well. Candidates tend to horde all that electronic data with them. This exercise is pointless since it is humanly impossible to study everything. It is advisable to select the most recommended study material and prepare from them. For a complete list of books to read for the civil services, click on the link below:
Mistake #5: Ignoring self-study
Candidates can choose to attend coaching classes or stay away from them. It is a matter of personal liking and interest. However, self-study should not be ignored at any cost. Only actual studying will help in writing answers in the exams.
Mistake #6: Focusing on too many exams
Again, this is a matter of personal choice whether the candidate wants to take many competitive exams or not. But, for better results, it is better to focus on one exam at a time.
Mistake #7: Not focusing on tests
A lot of candidates keep on studying. So far, so good. But for competitive exams, it is extremely important to take mock tests. Only this will actually help them assess their strengths and weaknesses and also make them exam-ready. There are a lot of things at play here like negative marking, time constraints, etc. that decide the final outcome.
Mistake #8: Not pacing the preparation properly
Unable to complete the exam in time.
Mistake #9: Wasting time while “studying”
This is another common mistake. Candidates might have observed how easy it is to become drawn into the world of rumors especially on the net during the preparation. Out of a total of ten hours that were spent at the study table, effectively only 5-6 hours were spent in actual exam-related studies.
Mistake #10: Not studying smart
A lot of candidates fail to make the cut despite seemingly having done everything. They would have studied hard and spent a lot of time practicing tests and previous questions papers. Then, why didn’t they clear the exam? The reason lies in ‘the right approach’. It is important to know how to study, what to study and what not to do during the preparation process. It is not enough to solve papers; one must know which the best mock tests are. One must also know which the most relevant topics for the exam are. One must know how to study smart for the exam.