How to cope with competitive exams in India

Mayank Sinha
3 min readJan 8, 2019

We all live in the ruthlessly competitive world. For placing your next step you have to give the exam. There is nothing different in India. Almost one million candidates applied for UPSE exams last year. Almost the same number of students applied for GATE in total this year. No more words are required to embellish the extent of toughness. We are the part of this world, and so we cannot run away from it. I have some ideas. Let us discuss them.

pic credit- google

“Well planned is half done” This sounds correct to me. Even before starting the preparation, there are a few hacks you can follow. Let me discuss them first. First one is Picking the study material. A friend of me discussed the interview of the IAS topper. She took almost a week to pick the books. Even until now all might seem to be okay for you but are those picks remain throughout the journey of preparation? The IAS topper cracked this problem. She decided that she won’t try the new book even if she gets the better book than which she is using. Well… now it is very fair to take time choosing books or study materials. You have to be confident that those picks are entirely capable to nail it for you.

The second hack is an important one. Let me discuss it with quoting this line, “Competitive exams are like video games” You read it right. Let me take an example to justify. Do you know EA sports cricket? Doesn’t matter if you don’t.

If you are batting, to hit continuous sixes, always make sure the ball marker is on the leg side of the batsman. Move the batsman’s foot accordingly so that the leg stump is visible and press the advance shot button together with the boost shot button towards the leg side. You can always hit a six.

This one has no relation to real cricket. But if you want to win the game you have to do this. Just like that, it is never a good idea to think beyond what examiner expect from you. At least for that specific exam. You have to figure out their pattern, conventions, surprise elements, favorites (Yes, here also nepotism) etc.

The most essential part of cracking the competitive exams is to become a magician. Sounds cool! Isn’t it? But it is not like that. Let me explain. What a magician does? He has techniques to deceive you. How he is able to do that? Actually, all his techniques, hand tricks are practiced millions of times by him. Simple as that! Just like that, you need to become the magician of subjects which would be asked in the exam. Wait! Up to a certain extent, according to the exam. Before performing magic, those practices will boost your confidence.

My teacher used to tell me that your half of the time is for studying what is going on and half of the time is to revise what has gone before. That was correct. Every exam tests your memory too, even if they deny, there are lots of things to be remembered. The revision comes into play for these. You can remember anything. Believe me!

The last thing is you, how you act on the various circumstances? Before that test, Life will test you anyway. You will fight, you will win, and you will lose. Never leave the ring. Most of the people used to quit in-between. It will certainly be tough. So has to be you!