So here we are. The Day of Judgement is around the corner. On 6th January, 2019, UPSC is going to conduct preliminary stage of ESE (Engineering Services Examination) for the recruitment in Indian Engineering Services (IES). This is the day you all have been waiting and preparing for from the day you set yourself on the journey towards realising your dreams. The tension is high now, the stage is set and here you are standing with butterflies in your stomach and getting all anxious about the fate of your future. Is Engineering Mathematics giving you nightmares? Are you still wondering about the marks you will get in the General Studies section? Being a little anxious is good as it gives you the right frame of mind to get serious about the exam. However, a high level of anxiety or putting yourself under a huge amount of pressure is the worst thing one can do to himself. More often than not students tend to lose belief in themselves and they implode right before the exam.
Belief in your strategy and having a confident attitude towards your preparation can do wonders for you on the day of the exam. Our habits are what makes us who we are. The small things that we pay attention to on a daily basis are what that shape the way we think. Having a focused mind just before the exam is vital for your success in the exam. So, today we are going to talk about 5 necessary and extremely important things you should do in these final days of your preparation, to keep yourself focused and to keep your mind calm.
- Stop Studying New Topics: This is one advice you must have been getting right from your school days but there are very few who actually understand it’s importance. If you ask any topper who has cracked IES exam, he or she will tell you that studying new topics in the last days of your preparation is the least productive thing one can do. Your brain needs a certain amount of time to process the information that you have gathered while studying. Frequent revisions of that information is what makes it permanent in your brain. If you study something in the last days, then neither will your brain have an ample amount of time to process it completely nor will you be able to do the required number of revisions. So, it is highly advisable to stick to the part of the syllabus that you have already completed and keep revising it so that you have everything fresh in your mind on the day of the exam.
- Do Quality Practice: This is vital and nothing can be more helpful to keep you focused. Regular practice builds a positive feedback loop in your brain which helps you in constantly improving your preparation and having a high level of confidence in yourself. Students often have a lot of misconceptions regarding practice. Practicing and revising is more about quality rather than the quantity of questions and concepts you are practicing and revising. In the last two weeks just practice those questions which you were not able to solve while giving the test series. Those questions will help you in getting a better clarity of the concepts and the formulae used in solving those questions. In this limited amount of time, make sure that you are not solving questions based on same concepts as that is not going to help you. Make a list of questions and concepts that you think are very important for the exam and keep on practicing and revising them.
- Take Quality Breaks: Taking quality breaks is a vital, crucial and an integral part of any preparation. For these last two weeks, make sure you are increasing both the quality as well as the quantity of those breaks. This may sound awkward to you and you may even ask “How am I supposed to take more breaks when there is so much left to revise?” or “Will this not give an edge to my competitors?” This is a myth which has prevailed for a very long time among the students. In these last two weeks, when the pressure and anxiety is too high, studying for long and tiring hours is not going to benefit you. It may even harm you because you are tiring your mind just before the exam. You need a fresh mind in the day of the exam so that you can handle the exam pressure nicely. Make practical routines for these last two weeks and keep taking short breaks. In those breaks go for a walk, talk to a good friend of yours who is not preparing for the exam as this will give your brain a break from the continuous pressure of exam you have put it under. Watch short motivational videos and keep yourself motivated. Just remember, whatever you do, just don’t distract yourself from your goal. This is a very fine line and a very important one too. Whenever you feel like you are getting exhausted, go for a break and whenever you feel that the break is going for too long and you are getting distracted, then get back to the studies. Repeat this for the next two weeks and you will be all set to tackle the pressure on the judgement day.
- Take Good Care of Yourself: Your body is your vehicle and your mind is the engine that drives it. If any one of them malfunctions, then you are bound to lose the race. Therefore, taking good care of your mind and body is essential for you to be ready for the exam. Students often make a routine which out rightly ignores their wellbeing and they keep studying for long hours without eating something substantial. In these last two weeks, make sure you are eating healthy food and getting all your meals on time. Try to ignore junk food and eat nourishing things like fruits and green vegetables. Make sure you are doing some physical activity in the entire day. Either go for a walk or have a short session of exercise in your room. Physical activity increases the receptive power of your brain and you will be more alert during the exam. Meditation and Yoga are also excellent ways of keep your brain calm and composed during these pressure situations and increasing your productivity during the exams.
- Rehearse for The D–Day: Our brain does what we train it for. Do you have to make an effort to brush your teeth in the morning? It’s as if you were born to brush your teeth in the morning but if you think about it then you will realise that there was a time when you were made to brush in the morning. Same goes for anything and everything that you want to do. Our brain learns things through repetition and if we repeat doing things for a certain amount of time, then we won’t even have to make an effort to do it in future. It becomes a part of you. You have to do the same with this exam. Calculate the time you will have to wake up on the day of the exam depending upon the location of your exam centre and the mode of conveyance. Try to wake up daily at the exact same time daily for the next two weeks. Try to study continuously during the supposed period of the exam i.e. 10-12 in the morning and 2-5 in the afternoon. This will train your brain not to sleep or feel lazy during the exam hours. Try solving as many numerical questions during this period of time as this will keep your mind alert and will also increase your speed of solving questions during the exam hours.
So these were few very important things that you must do in the coming two weeks to keep yourself focused and motivated for the exam. It’s the discipline and the right guidance that guides the warrior in his path towards victory. The more you bleed in the practice, the more comfortably you’ll win the war. So, we hope this article was helpful to you and we hope that you come out of this exam with flying colours. Just remember this, that only a calm surface can show you the clear picture. Don’t panic, don’t get distracted and keep believing in yourself. The success will be all yours.
All The Best for The Exam!