As I’ve mentioned in all my articles, UPSC is a tough nut to crack, but with a focused study plan spread out throughout one year, you can achieve your dream of becoming a civil servant.
With preparation spanning out 365 days, it is natural for any aspirant to face the issue of how to concentrate on studies for UPSC exams. In this article, I will cover easy and practical tips that you can comfortably adopt in your everyday study schedule for increased concentration.
Your success depends substantially on your power of concentration. It is your ability to focus your mind singularly in one direction, and exterminating everything else that is even remotely unrelated.
UPSC Syllabus is vast and there is no way but to study long hours continuously, repeatedly and regularly everyday with the same enthusiasm. This requires high concentration prowess.
Are there any cons of adopting these concentration techniques?
With better concentration, you have access to:
- An increased efficiency in study
- Better understanding of multiple concepts in limited time
- A sharp and active memory
- A higher memory recall and retention.
12 powerful tips to increase concentration power of your brain during UPSC preparation
Techniques to increase concentration are a healthy mix of physical, scholarly and mental practices that you must apply in your regimen.
Let us explore these techniques in the following list: –
1. Start with a feasible Study Plan
When you are making your study plan, try to stick to these factors: –
- Understand whether you are a day person or a night person when it comes to study.
- Work out practical study hours that gel with your daily schedule.
- Divide your subject and topics sequentially in decreasing order of importance.
- Allot more days/hours to subjects that are harder to study.
- Set daily study targets and stay self-motivated to achieve it.
- Study in time slots of 40 minutes each.
- Make short revision after every 40 minutes of what you have learnt so far.
2. Select The Perfect Study Space
- Your study space has great impact on the effectiveness of your efforts.
- The right space also helps you concentrate on your study for longer hours.
- The perfect spot to study in is one where you can focus the most.
- Select a place in a quite corner of the house.
- Your study space must be furnished with a table and chair, and a bookshelf within reach where you can keep your books and notes.
- Use your study space exclusively for study.
- Avoid snacking at your desk.
- Make sure there is adequate lighting and comfortable temperature where you study.
3. Turn Off Your Electronics
- Phones, tablets, television, radio, etc. are major distractions when you are trying to focus.
- UPSC preparation is not the best time to test your ability to focus.
- The best thing to do is keep the temptations at bay.
- Turn off all your electronic devices and keep them out of your reach.
- You can keep your laptop on for secondary research, but practice self-control when it comes to clicking the buttons for social media.
4. Practice Active Learning
Active learning is honing your ability to transform whatever you have learned.
This can be done in the following ways: –
- With application of knowledge to real-life events
- By differentiating between old knowledge you had and new knowledge you’ve learnt.
- Rephrasing and writing learnt knowledge in your words
- By utilizing newly gained information whenever appropriate and possible.
5. Learn The Art Of Self Discipline
Discipline your mind so that it doesn’t wander. I know it is easier said than done. But remember to tell yourself to stop when your thoughts start to take flight.
This might take a good amount of practice, but you’ll see the results within the first month if you take this seriously.
A good way to keep distracting thoughts out of your mind is by writing it down on a paper every time it pops up in your head.
6. Redo Your Plan If Required
To concentrate during long hours of study is not possible right away. Your plan might need some tweaks here and there throughout the course of our study.
You must change your plan based on these questions: –
- Am I still sticking to my main goal?
- What is my daily target? My weekly target? Have I reached them?
- Where am I on my timetable?
- Is my plan actually working?
- In case no, is there a way I can fix it?
7. Don’t Juggle Multiple Things At A Time
- The worst mistake that kills your concentration power is trying to master multiple things at once.
- It is always best to focus all your attention specifically on one task at a time.
- When you stick to one thing at one time, you also increase your productivity.
- Too many tasks lead to ineffective learning.
8. Enjoy Your Study Time
- If you have an interest in the subject you are studying, you will automatically concentrate on it.
- On the contrary, subjects you dislike feel draining and hard to get through.
- If you want to clear your UPSC, tell yourself that you find the topic interesting.
- Do not treat it as something that must be done, but as something that you want to do.
9. Get Your Eight Hours Of Sleep
- A clear, refreshed and calm mind is essential for great concentration.
- For a mind to feel fresh and calm, it needs rest.
- Give your brain the much-needed rest of 8 hours every night.
- Turn off your lights, your phone and any noise in the room; get a good night’s sleep.
10. Get Good Exercise
- A healthy mind lives in a healthy body.
- Exercise releases a happy chemical called “endorphin” in your bloodstream that helps relieve stress and makes you feel settled.
- To concentrate on your studies, you need to get rid of anxiety and restlessness.
- Let your daily dose of exercise take care of that.
11. Try Meditation
- Believe it or not, meditation is a magic tool to increase concentration.
- Meditation is essentially a controlled breathing exercise that increases blood circulation in your body.
- It makes your brain run faster and smoother.
- Start meditating in a quiet place for 10 minutes daily.
- For much better results, you can club your meditation minutes with yoga.
- Surya namaskar, sarvangasana and paranayam should make its way to your to-do daily list.
12. Right Food-Right Time-Right Amount
It is best to not over eat, as it will make you sleepy and lethargic. Stick to a high-fiber and protein diet. Do not indulge in snacking while you are studying. Always eat at fixed timings.
To conclude, I ask you to remind yourself every time you feel you’re going to give up, of how badly you want to crack the UPSC. These practical tips are time-tested and a powerful answer on How To Concentrate On Studies For UPSC Exams.