There are times when all you see is darkness ahead. Despite spending lots of time reading, writing and revising everything that matters, you might sometimes wonder if everything you are doing is actually leading you in the right direction.
The syllabus seems so vast that no matter how much you read or write, you feel there is so much to complete.
Then there is fear of failing in this exam. Everything seems uncertain. What if I fail to clear Prelims? What if I fail in Mains? How can I score good marks in Optional? General Studies papers?
All these feelings are natural. They creep in now and then to make you realize that there is no room for complacency in this exam. They wake you up and help you correct your mistakes. This is possible provided you treat these anxieties positively. You should not let these feelings dominate you. Instead face them and ask how you can improve more.
Our favourite suggestion to students which has worked wonders for them is this:
“If all the efforts and all the sacrifices that you have made so far have to bear fruit, please stop treating this exam as life and death situation. If you want to clear Prelims, first clear your mind. Clear it of all anxieties and fears. If you want to perform well in exam, the most important prerequisite is a calm mind.When you are calm, you can face this exam with confidence. When you are calm, your common sense helps you solve even the difficult questions with ease. Three important characters will bring you success: calmness, common sense and confidence. Prepare extremely well for this exam, but make sure that you perform very well in the exam. All the preparation is waste if you are not calm on the day of exam. From now itself tell yourself that the exam you are going to give will not kill you. It is just another exam. It has nothing to do with your life. Tell yourself that you are going to do well as you have nothing to lose here.”
Prepare well. Be serious. But be free of all the fears.
Don’t worry about what parents will think if you fail. Don’t worry what your girlfriend would think (or do) if you fail. Just let go of all these fears. You know that the world is not going to sink under your feet if you fail. Most of the times people fail when they think about failing.
There was a student who was scared like hell about CSAT paper. It was newly introduced and it was his last attempt. He had good aptitude and lots of common sense. Yet, he was so scared of this paper that he took coaching from two institutions and solve thousands of questions. Still the fear didn’t go away. He was scared of his last attempt; about his girlfriend ditching him; about parents assuming (or discarding) him as useless son.
On the day of exam he was so scared that he couldn’t comprehend simple passages properly; he could not solve any reasoning problem. He failed that prelims. He got less than 80 in CSAT paper.
He went back to his corporate job. Then he got one extra attempt in 2014. He had forgotten most of the things he had read for this exam. But he just wanted to give Prelims once again without any preparation. This time he was not scared. His common sense was intact. He was earning well in his corporate job. He wrote prelims and finished both papers ten minutes before the time limit. He scored 140+ in CSAT this time. He wrote Mains for the sake of writing and went back to his job. He learnt that fear was his greatest enemy.
This is not a cooked up story to motivate you. Discard all fears. Your preparation level at present is good enough to make you eligible for Mains provided you write prelims with a happy smiling face. With a mind that’s not thinking about future.
Enjoy the questions. Solve them to test your knowledge. If you do not know, don’t answer them. You can learn about it tomorrow. Move to the next question with curiosity and try to solve it no matter what is your level of preparation. s
If you are preparing daily and following the words of toppers and mentors, you are on the right path. Have faith and keep moving. You will succeed when you forget about the result and start enjoying each passing day, including the hardships you face.