The UPSC exam requires an aspirant to understand and retain a variety of topics under various subjects. When one is swamped by this it becomes hard to not only grasp the technicalities involved but also remember them. Your grasping power is key in your efforts to cover the entire syllabus.
Grasping involves two aspects – comprehension of the subject matter + retention of the subject matter.
If you are able to comprehend quickly and easily, it also translates to easier retention. These are some useful steps that you can take to ensure that grasping power increases:
- Study in smaller time slots
This is a useful technique to improve not only your efficiency but your grasping power as well. We all know that it is nearly impossible to stay focused on a particular difficult topic for a long time. Divide your study time for the day into smaller slots – say one and a half hour or two hour slots with breaks in between. In this way you will always be at near maximum efficiency while studying a topic and give you enough refreshing pauses in between.
- Use interactive or engaging material like video courses
Things heard are twice as likely to be remembered than things read. This hold quite true. This is why it will be beneficial if you study from a video course or teacher and then supplement it from the book. This has the twin benefit of making your studies interesting as well as allowing you to clarify doubts at the shortest notice. You can browse such courses at Neostencil.
There is no easy road to success in the UPSC exam. One must study for a long period of time that may stretch over 1.5 years. So, it is essential that you include adequate practice in your time schedule so as to build up your knowledge on the subject. Answer writing and note making are thus, indispensable as far as UPSC preparation is concerned. They not only test your ability to understand but your competence in reproduction of the subject matter as well.
- Discuss and Debate
It is quite advantageous if you have someone else preparing for the UPSC exam available to discuss issues, progress in preparation and other things UPSC-related. Not only will this help you identify your strengths and weaknesses it will also give you new perspectives on issues. It may happen that your approach to say studying the Economic Survey might vary from that of the person. However, their approach may be easier and may give more benefit. So, in this way you can learn not only new things but newer strategies for studying as well.
It goes without saying that you need to revise. The retentivity of a particular topic drops off exponentially as time progresses that is why we need to add a buffer so that the topic can be revisited and revitalized. Insert weekly, monthly and bimonthly revision days into your schedule for various subjects.
There is no doubt that meditation adds to your concentration power. It allows you to clear your mind of all the clutter that exists and helps you focus your energies on the topic at hand. Try and meditate each morning to maximise your productivity.
- Sleep well
It is a myth that you need to study for long hours each day to succeed in the UPSC exam. Several aspirants tend to eat into their sleeping time and not get enough sleep. This is quite disadvantageous for your grasping power as with inadequate sleep you will tend to have lower concentration throughout the entire day for the next day. This hangover often extends over several days. Thus, never compromise with your sleep. Prepare a schedule that helps you study as well as sleep in a balanced manner.
Grasping power is thus built on several planks and an aspirant must maintain a clear-headed dedicated approach to be able to ensure that he/she gets the maximum from the source that they study. We hope that these tips will help you build a proper strategy for your UPSC exam preparation. All the best!