‘I am Nervous and Tensed’ – How can I give my Best on August 7th (Prelims Exam)?
Is clearing preliminary exam your ultimate goal?
You know the answer. It’s just a first step that you must climb to reach your final goal. At the same time it is a very important step which you must climb without stumbling.
One of the reasons why you might be nervous right now is the pressure that you have put on yourself. Pressure affects thinking and performance. Being under pressure makes you nervous. Nervousness can kill your chances of clearing this exam. Every fraction of mark counts in Prelims. If you let pressure affect your performance, you will have to wait longer to reach your goal.
But how to overcome pressure and do well in exam?
First you must change your mindset about this exam. Preliminary exam is a screening test. It is there to eliminate non-serious, underprepared candidates. If you are a serious and well prepared candidate, you must not be under any pressure. This exam is there to select you – provided you use confidence, common sense and clarity to your advantage on the day of exam.
Best way to beat pressure or nervousness is to love the moment itself. On the day of prelims, treat the day as a day of fun where you are going to perform your best. If you have decently prepared, you are ready to do well. You just have to enjoy the exam process and let the best come out of you. Remember that you are actually competing with very less number of ‘serious’ candidates. This fact should relieve you from any little pressure you have. Seize the moment and enjoy it. This suggestion might sound strange, but enjoying solving the paper will definitely help you think clearly. Right answers will flash at right moment when you are relaxed and enjoying the process.
Looking at question paper, treat it as a quiz (Like in school quiz competition). Do not think about the cutoff, result or your ultimate goal. Live the moment and try to solve questions using all the preparation you have done.
Coming to preparation, don’t assume someone is better prepared and he/she is going to snatch your chance. With decent level of preparation, everyone has good chance of clearing prelims. All that matters is how you are going to utilize those two hours on the day of exam.
If the paper is very easy, don’t get carried away and try to answer every question (thinking cut-off might go high). If it’s easy for you, it may not be easy for everyone. If at all it’s easy for everyone, then it’s a level playing field – for everyone cut-off goes high.
There are other ways to overcome anxiety.
Prelims exam is an opportunity for you to move closer towards your dream. It’s not a threat. A person who wants to succeed will make use of the opportunity. If you assume it as an hurdle or a threat, you will treat it as one and get nervous when you face it. Instead, treat it as an opportunity to prove that you are suitable to become a civil servant, that you have all the qualities to be a future IAS officer.
At the same time, even though this exam is very important, you should not attach too much importance to it. Assuming something as life and death situation is bound to cause anxiety.
As said earlier, it’s just a screening test. Do not give too much importance to it. You should do well in it to pass it. You just have to pass it to move on to next stage. Its importance is limited to making you eligible for Mains exam. That’s it.
When you start thinking it’s very important event of your life, you put yourself under tremendous pressure. This will negatively affect you in many ways – poor decision making, lack of motivation and poor thinking are some of the consequences. They clearly will push you towards failure.
Your mission is to become a civil servant. Start exhibiting characters of a civil servant from now itself. Be calm and confident.
Always be ready to face both success and failure when you venture into something. If you are mentally prepared to face defeat, nothing will frighten you. It is not acceptance of defeat. It is being ready to accept defeat. Sometimes, even if you are very well prepared, certain circumstances might fail you. But you must be positive and prepare well till the last moment. 99 per cent, it’s in your hand not to give anything to chances.
You have the best in you. You can give your best performance only when you are not thinking about neither future nor past. Whatever be the distraction you have faced, whatever be the criticism you have got, whatever be the worst possible situations you have endured, and whatever be the final result – forget everything and just focus on task at hand.
If you had failed last year, don’t think you will fail this year too. You know you have prepared well compared to last year. Even if preparation has been haphazard, you have added new information to your knowledge base. This should help you do well in exam.
Anything or anyone you blame now is a pure excuse. You are just getting ready to fail. You want your loved ones to know this and not blame you later. You might plan to skip an attempt too (excuses – lack of optional preparation, didn’t solve test series, didn’t complete NCERT etc). All these are reactions to an event you haven’t faced yet. It’s not lack of preparation that is scaring you – it’s the thought of what might happen on the day of exam that’s making you anxious.
On the day of exam the paper will be same for everyone. Result depends on how well you tackle it.
As repeatedly said above, get ready to enjoy exam and crack it. Have faith in your abilities and use them to your advantage. Don’t give up yet. You still have time to do right things. Please do them.