What To Do After the UPSC Mains Exam?

timer
1 min read
What To Do After the UPSC Mains Exam? Blog Image

"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." - Wayne Dyer

Now that UPSC Main Examination 2023 is over, a lot of you would be wondering what to do next? While the result is expected to be released sometime around in the month of December 2023, it leaves you with a three month gap period to fill in. The journey of a UPSC aspirant is often marked by hurdles, uncertainties, and moments of self-doubt. It's a journey that tests not only one's knowledge but also their character, perseverance, and, most importantly, one’s outlook on life. Such a journey sometimes requires one to find pathways and directions. Here’s a roadmap that might help decide on what to do after the UPSC Main Examination is over:

Me Time!!

After months of rigorous preparation, it's essential to take a short break to recharge your mind and body. Spend a few days away from your study materials, watch some OTT Series, engage in hobbies, exercise, or simply relax with family and friends. Go on that trip you were wanting to go for a very long time. Basically, reward yourself with some me time. It takes a lot of time and effort to prepare for UPSC Mains Examination. You deserve this break! 

The Half Glass Theory Defined

Imagine a glass filled halfway with water. The optimist perceives it as "half full," while the pessimist sees it as "half empty." In the context of the UPSC journey, this theory applies to what you as an aspirant decide to do after the Mains Examination is over. An optimist will take a few days break and then get back to his/her preparation for the Personality test round while a pessimist is going to spend the next 3 months in anticipation of whether or not he/she will be qualifying the UPSC Mains Examination.

In the UPSC journey, as in life, one's outlook can shape their destiny. The Half Glass Theory teaches us that optimism, the belief in possibilities and the willingness to take action, can lead to better outcomes. Choosing to prepare diligently for the interview round after the Mains Examination is a choice in optimism. It's an investment in your dreams, your future, and your potential as a civil servant. Here are a few suggestions on how you can utilise your next three months after UPSC Main Examination:

Analyse Your Performance!

Once you have rested well and have become ready to get back to your preparation, the first thing to do will be to begin with analysing your UPSC Main Examination papers. It will offer you invaluable insights into your strengths and areas that need improvement. This self-assessment is not only about understanding mistakes but also recognizing your strengths and refining your strategy. It will empower you to chart a more effective course for future preparation, ensuring that you focus on areas that need attention and build upon your strengths. This reflective process could play a pivotal role in enhancing your performance and increase your chances of success.

Unlock the World of Books

The next most important thing you should do is quickly read a few recently published books. Interviewers often ask candidates if they have read any books recently, and they will usually ask you to elaborate on the book you mention. This is because they want to see that you are well-read and have a broad range of interests.

In other words, interviewers want to see that you are not just someone who has memorised the syllabus but someone who is interested in the world around you. By reading recent books, you can show them that you are up-to-date on current events and social issues. You can also use your knowledge of these books to start conversations with the interviewers and demonstrate your critical thinking skills.

Here are some tips for choosing books to read for the Civil Services Interview:

  • Choose books on a variety of topics, including current events, social issues, history, philosophy, and literature.
  • Read books by both Indian and international authors.
  • Economics and Political Weekly

Once you have chosen a few books to read, be sure to take notes on the main points and any interesting ideas or quotes. This will help you to remember what you have read and to be able to talk about the books in a knowledgeable way during your interview. 

Develop Hobbies

Third,thing that you should do during this intermittent period is to start working on collecting information on the Detailed Application Form (DAF) and focus on developing hobbies. It may be noted that the emphasis should be on ‘collecting’ and not ‘memorising’ them. Particular focus should be given to the ‘Column 16,’ which will include information pertaining to your extracurricular activities, hobbies, awards, recognitions and leadership qualities. It would be very helpful to collect sufficient material pertaining to the areas mentioned in this Column and be ready with answers of the probable questions weaved around them.

Mainstreaming of Mind

The second area of preparation you should focus on is what is known as "mainstreaming of mind." This simply means going beyond the UPSC syllabus and expanding your knowledge of the topics and issues that concern the general public.

After the Mains Exam, you have more time to read and learn about the world around you. Take advantage of this time by reading popular magazines and newspapers. This will help you to stay informed about current events and social issues, and to form your own opinions on these matters.

Here are some popular magazines and newspapers that you can read:

  • Magazines: India Today, Outlook, The Week
  • Newspapers: The Hindu, The Hindustan Times, The Times of India, The Indian Express
  • You can also read graphics novels, watch documentaries, and listen to podcasts on topics that interest you. The more you learn, the better equipped you will be to answer questions about current affairs and social issues during your interview.

By mainstreaming your mind, you will show the interviewers that you are a well-rounded individual who is interested in the world around you and who is capable of thinking critically about important issues. 

Develop Hobbies

Third thing that you should do during this intermittent period is to start working on collecting information on the Detailed Application Form(DAF). It may be noted that the emphasis should be on ‘collecting’ and not ‘memorising’ them. Particular focus should be given to the ‘Column 16,’ which includes information pertaining to a candidate’s extracurricular activities, hobbies, awards, recognitions and leadership qualities. It would be very helpful to collect sufficient material pertaining to the areas mentioned in this Column and be ready with answers of the probable questions weaved around them.

Work on your Personality Development 

Lastly, you should definitely start working on your ‘spoken personality’. This is particularly essential as the Preliminary Examination is modelled in such a manner that it requires your mind to be reactive to the options given with the questions asked. And for the Mains Examination, you equip yourself in slowly thinking and writing, in which case your mind is in sync with the speed of the pen that is moving on the answer sheet. 

However, during the Interview, which is conducted orally, you need to look into the eyes of the members of the Interview Board. This process requires you to think much faster as compared to the occasion of when you are writing. 

In order to acquire this skill, we would advise you to start teaching somebody. Because when you are teaching somebody, your mind gets sorted and your thoughts get structured, helping you in effective articulation. This way you are able to convey your thoughts in a structured manner in real time and simultaneously see how the other person is receiving it.

Apart from this, participating in Public Speaking events and group discussion should become part of your new hobbies that you adopt in these three months.This is what we call an essential element of developing a ‘spoken personality’ as opposed to a written one.

Practice is key to mastering any skill, including interview performance. Appearing for Mock online Interviews before the UPSC Mains Result is declared will help you gain confidence in facing the interview board. This early exposure will significantly reduce anxiety and nervousness when the actual interview date approaches.

Remember, success in the UPSC examination often hinges on not just what you know but also how you present yourself – a trait that the interview round assesses. So, when you find yourself at that juncture after the Mains Examination, consider embracing optimism, taking the opportunity to learn, grow, and shine in the interview round. After all, a "half full" glass has much more potential than a "half empty" one, and in the world of UPSC, it's only the optimists who often go on to script their success stories.