What is the one thing that will get you in?
2) Hard Work
I think I can go on with a whole list of things and wonder as to what is that one thing that will get you in. And my answer would be
Your personality, your character and how you integrate the above factors with your personality and make it work. The beauty of this exam is its unpredictability. No one can be a 100% sure as to what is going to be the prime focus of the exam and how you are going to make it. Someone recently asked me
How Do I remember so many things?
My question was – Why do you need to try and remember everything? Sometimes it is just enough to have that educated guess and understand the examination process well. The most important thing of course is to make sure that you have your base knowledge for which your hard work, determination and knowledge comes into picture. That is the basic necessity and I am sure you all are doing it, taking huge strides in making that progress.
What about the other two factors – your creativity and your presentation? Now that the prelims results are out and all of you are headed towards the mains, the question would be more about your answer writing skills and how you tackle the various challenges with that. UPSC no longer wants to know that you know the facts. It wants to know how you are able to use it – in other words it is going to try and test the way you apply your mind, it is trying to test you how you think and how you use these facts to corroborate that. In short, upsc wants to know that it is taking in a smart person, someone who can think and try make a difference.
Make the process easier. Start developing the mindset that will help you brace this, prepare yourself to think holistically and that is exactly how you can concentrate on your writing. A more holistic approach is going to help you largely over the approach of a specialist. Remember they are looking at someone who can take the role of a generalist who can use the specifics well. They don’t need a technical person, they need someone who can be general and use the resources offered to him very well.
And that should certainly reflect in your answers. And if you ask how – well that is where your thinking process comes into picture and if that comes out in your answer, well – there is nothing that can stop you.
Here is a post that might help you improve your writing skills