UPSC Prelims 2017 over – what next?!
Ufff…the first challenge is officially over. UPSC Prelims 2017 is over. You can all perhaps sigh with a feeling of relief. Have you checked the answer keys for UPSC Prelims 2017 GS Paper I and Paper II in www.iasparliament.com. Whatever your position might be, get over that as early as possible and start working on your future course of action. In this article, we are willing to guide you on the next step whatever the outcome of your Prelims may be.
In all possibilities, you must be finding yourself in one of the four following scenarios.
- You are comfortably placed above the speculated Civil Services cutoff as well as the IFoS cutoff (in case you have applied for both).
- You find yourself clearing the Civil Services cutoff comfortably and either you are not sure of clearing the IFoS cutoff or you haven’t applied for the latter at all.
- You have a cat-on-the-wall situation as your expected marks hover around the speculated cut-off range and you are in an absolute dilemma.
- You find yourself short of the speculated range and your chances of writing Mains 2017 are less or non-existent.
Scenario #1 and #2:
If you are finding yourself in the first case, you must be in a state of luxury. Given that the Forest Service Exam (Mains) is only in December, you have an excellent chance to have a proper go at both the exams. You are going to study for the CS(M) Exam for the next four months along with covering the basics for the IFoS subjects (especially optional) when you would want to take a break. But you are going to spend the majority of your time in preparing for Civil Services just like those in the second case.
With four months firmly in your pockets, you could go through the Mainstorming schedule and get an outline of your direction of preparation. Before that, to get off the Prelims Mode and to launch yourself in the Mains mode, you could start with subjects that you didn’t read for your Prelims. Starting with your optional subject can be a good idea since that can also provide you the much-needed boost to kick-start your preparation. You can also go ahead with subjects like World History, International Relations, Security and Ethics as these are almost Mains-exclusive subjects. After that you can slowly align yourselves with the test schedule. If there is one small warning which we could add, never ever neglect the compulsory language papers.
Put the cut-off marks away from your head. There is going to be no use going through multiple answer keys and speculations in search of comfort. Instead they will only add to the anxiety regarding the outcome of Prelims. Keep your mind steady and visualize that you have qualified and now start preparing as mentioned in the previous scenarios. Don’t keep your preparation waiting for the results to be published – it will result in a ‘lose-it-all’ situation for you. Even if the results are not going to come your way, you haven’t got anything to gain by postponing your preparation. There is no special way out for you here and follow the same as those in the previous scenario.
This is an unfortunate situation. The most important thing to do is not to lose heart. Don’t start doing a post-mortem analysis thinking all is lost. Any amount of consolation will perhaps not be enough but you can’t be simply staring at the negative side. Instead look at the nicer way of how things can pan out. As you have got eliminated in the first round, you have got another full year to shape your preparation and ensure, this time, you are fully prepared for the complete process. You will not be doing any harm if you are going to prepare for the Mains syllabus, start writing a few mock tests and keep yourself occupied. This way, you will let off neither your focus nor your confidence.
Wherever you find yourself in the above situations, remember this: you are not going to give up and you are not going to relax for a long time. Place the Prelims Exam back in your stride and keep walking towards what you want to achieve.
This article has been contributed by Mr. Akshy Sridhar IAS (UPSC CSE 2016, AIR 45)
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