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Beware of Distractions – They Not Only Kill Your Time, They Will Ruin Your Chances

As soon as you come out of the examination hall after giving your Prelims exam, log into internet, you can see people already discussing about expected cut-off and their own expected marks. They will be frantically searching for answer keys to evaluate their marks and to see if they stand any chance to clear Prelims.

This is natural. But, what is the use?

Once you submit your OMR sheet, forget about Prelims and your score -the moment you submit your sheet, your fate is sealed. Howsoever you worry about cut-off, you can not undo the things. You will either pass or fail. Even if you are dead sure that you will fail, you should continue your exam preparation. Because if you stop, you will fail again next year. Be sure about this.

Prelims is still many days away. Why am I talking about this now?

Biggest obstacles in your preparation do not come from within. They come from outside. Especially in the form of rumours. Cut-off rumour is one such thing. It will waste your two months if you are constantly worried about it. Once the result is out and you find that you have cleared prelims, you will start your Mains preparation – well after two and half months you gave prelims. That’s the difference between failure and success. Successful people start early. They start early because they are confident and know that things they do are right.

distractions and success, motivation

But there are other far bigger rumours, that can ruin your chances of getting selected. This year a rumour was floated saying that Optional subjects would be removed from Mains and Prelims pattern would be changed. Thousands of aspirants stopped preparing their Optional subject. When the notification came – nothing happened.  Those who had stopped their preparation  were shocked and again started their preparation.

Worst thing was that many not only stopped preparing their optional subject, they entirely stopped their whole exam preparation.

When a rumour is floated, it creates a sense of uncertainty and until this uncertainty is cleared, your preparation is completely unsettled. You will be made to visit ‘discussions’ that take place on various fora to learn about the latest development/news etc.

You know it’s a waste of time. But why do you do this despite knowing it’s useless?

This happens when you do not have a concrete plan of study. When you do not have goals to accomplish in a given week or month. This happens when you are yourself unsure about your exam preparation.

If you are serious about getting a rank and have well laid plan of action, you will not worry about rumours. No matter what storm is coming in your way, you must be prepared to face the worst. Visiting websites that feed your hunger for latest updates won’t help you in any way. They only make you more nervous. They breed anxiety.

Exam is just 35 days away. Now there are rumours about removing Paper-2 from Prelims. Remember that it is just a rumour as of now. You should not stop your preparation. Nor you should worry more about what happens next.

In case you are really worried – you should either go and fight or prepare well for the exam. But never waste time.

In case Paper-2 is removed, there will still be aptitude questions. UPSC won’t remove them completely. So, please do not stop preparing for Paper-2.

Some are already saying that Paper-1 now has become very important and it will be a deciding factor. It was always important and it will always be important. Importance should be given equally for all the papers. If you are aiming to score 150+ in Paper-2, aim the same for Paper-1 too. Whether you will get there is immaterial. You should try at least. You may end up scoring 120+ in Paper-1.

I won’t argue in favour of or against ongoing struggle for changes in exam pattern. All I want to convey is that no matter what changes UPSC brings, do not worry about it until it’s Official. Do not waste you precious time. Every hour of preparation you spend now helps you later when you go to the real exam.

You should realize that distractions which do not help you should be removed or you should stay away from them. When you clearly know that something is hindering your progress, be ruthless to remove such distractions. You are preparing for this exam at the cost of lots of sacrifices. If all those sacrifices to mean something, you need to get a rank. You know what to do to get a rank.

You read hundred stories of hundred toppers. You read hundred books on success tips. You won’t  succeed until you do what needs to be done.

Your preparation should be such that when you wake up next day you should be proud of what you did previous day. There should be tangible progress in your preparation.

If you waste time on any of these rumours, remember that you are committing a sin. It’s an insult to all the sacrifices you have made.



“Once you decide to do right, life is easy, there are no distractions.” 
― William Edgar Stafford