UPSC civil services exam is one of the toughest exams to crack. It requires months of dedicated efforts. During this journey, a lot of time, effort and money have to be put in to ensure success. After a few months of preparation everyone feels that they know things but don’t know how to present it. Here comes, the crucial role of coaching Institutes.
New aspirants often have many questions regarding this: Should one join coaching for UPSC? Which coaching to join? Can we clear this exam without any coaching? What exactly is the role of coaching in IAS exam etc? And we have heard different versions of answers from the toppers– depending on whether they adopted coaching or not. Now let us discuss various doubts and questions regarding UPSC coaching
We at O2 IAS Academy believe that coaching has never been the essential element for the preparation. There are plenty of examples where aspirants get through with self-preparation and without any help of coaching institution. Coaching is an additional component of the preparation rather than essential. IAS Coaching definitely helps up to a certain extent. After that only aspirants own hard work, self-study, consistency, and revisions ensure their success.
So in a way coaching acts like a catalyst to the students own capabilities. It helps to keep you on the right path and will put you in the competition in the right way. In our opinion, good mentors reduce the work of students by half! By good guidance and clear knowledge, they can help students learn fast and succeed in the age of tight competition.
Thus, coaching has many advantages
One of the biggest mistakes many aspirants’ make is that they solely rely on their coaching notes. And they completely neglect the standard textbooks like Lakhsmikant and current affairs from newspapers. This is a recipe for disaster. Standard books are important because they are written from the ground up and they form the foundation of your knowledge. They make it easier to understand the coaching notes. You can also see where in that big picture a small topic fits in.
The problem with reading just the coaching notes is that: They are often either overly simplified version of core concepts for student’s preliminary understanding or contain technical jargon for the final value addition in mains preparation. What you will be left with are fragmented concepts and broken knowledge which doesn’t stick for long in your memory. For long-term memory, a topic’s context is required. Thus standard books should not be ignored. Coaching notes are helpful and easy to revise before the exam. But they can only supplement but never substitute standard books.
See More : Common Issues Faced by IAS Aspirants
Always map your coaching notes onto the chapters and topics in the syllabus. So when you see a topic not covered well in your coaching notes, read on your own from other sources and make notes.
Coaching notes and material come in handy to cover a specific topic. For example for a topic like Govt schemes, read your class notes instead of you laboring to compile them from ministries’ websites
You have to remember that UPSC is not at all like a graduation exam. None of the questions usually come directly from your coaching notes. It’s your clarity of concepts— especially in optional— that will help you write good answers.
Coaching institutes also provides the advantage of peer learning and competition, mock tests, analysis etc. But one has to reap these benefits in a timely manner. If you don’t attend tests and revision classes on time; Then merely mugging up test solutions on the last week before your exam will not help you at all.
Many aspirants commit one fundamental mistake: they read and revise, over and over, but never practice. Remember that the examiner checking your copy will have no idea about the number of books you’ve read or the number of hours you’ve slogged. Your answers are all that he has to judge you. So it makes sense to learn it, practice it and perfect it. Thus it is crucial to attempt tests in a timely manner and more importantly to get them reviewed from a good teacher. Then only you can track your progress and hone your skills.
Test series train your brain to function in a stressful exam environment. So even if you practice daily answer writing, you should write full-length tests within dedicated time limits. Writing such tests will teach you to manage time and give an incredible insight into your strengths and weaknesses. The feedback on your answers will also help you get an independent, critical perspective.
Moreover, you need to remember that Mains exam demands not only our memory and intelligence but also endurance. If you lack prior practice, writing relentlessly for 6 hours a day and do this for 5 days will cause both mental and physical fatigue. The only way to overcome it is to practice enough before the final exam.
By joining a good test series, you will get such practice and it prepares you both mentally and physically for the final battle.
To join coaching or not to join coaching for UPSC preparation is a very subjective decision. But it is indisputable that good guidance provided by a quality institute and efficient faculty plays a pivotal role in the UPSC journey of a candidate. Along with students hard work, it definitely helps in realizing the dream of becoming an IAS/IPS officer.