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STRATEGY FOR PSYCHOLOGY (MAINS EXAMINATION)

“Winners do not do different things, they do things differently”. The knack is putting you in the shoes of the examiner. A little understanding of the psychology of the examiner, this can be done by putting yourself in the examiner's place. What you would like in any answer sheet? Clarity of thought, lucidity, good content, well expressed language. In short, good Communication Skill (Written Communication) so that the answer script speaks for itself. The reason why I began with writing skill is that it is the most important component in the preparation for the Mains Examination. There are many intelligent students, well versed with knowledge about their subject matter and yet they do not score in the Mains Examination. Why? Of course, luck and destiny is there. But another reason is faulty writing skill. Thus Civil Services Examination requires a two-pronged strategy to hit the target Content and Writing Skill. Now I will take up both these components in detail. 

·        CONTENT INVOLVES THE FOLLOWING:

(a)    Conceptual understanding. 
(b)   Facts. 
(c)    Manipulating the facts. 
(d)   Something new, in terms of knowledge base or linkages or ingenuity or diagrams.

1. Conceptual understanding - of the subject matter is most important. Give a layman's interpretation to the concepts and relate it with mundane example for long term memory. 

2. Facts - After conceptual understanding, the second step is memorizing the important facts. For example - some important theoretical aspects are to be memorized to attempt any question related to the spatial analysis of the subject matter. 

3. Something New - new diagrams, new ideas, original ideas, new content, latest reports, linkages etc. However, one has to be cautious that a balance is maintained and the ideas are not too radical. Also it should be well integrated with the answer. 


·        WRITING SKILL: 

          1. Be short and precise. 
          2. Writing should be legible and neat. 
          3. Grammatical errors to be avoided. 
          4. Simple language. 
          5. Neat diagrams whenever it is required to give precision to your answer. 

Writing skill does not mean a decorative language, having extra-ordinary vocabulary. It means that the ideas should be well expressed in a lucid manner. Simple language but a speaking Language is the demand i.e. the answer sheet should speak out everything for itself with requisite words, depends on..... 

·         Development of appropriate linkages (Transfer of Training so that better application in second paper)

·         Updated material (To cope up with the growing advances ,which serve the purpose of cherry on your pudding)

·         Application of Phemonia and other easy to remember techniques

·         Individual attention to every student (Proper strength ,weakness, opportunities and threats analysis) Above are the few important points, rest you experience yourself here at Khan Study Group Institute and chalk your destiny. SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO PREPARE PYSCHOLOGY


 ·        EIGHT STEPS OF SUCESS IN MAINS EXAMINATION:

1.       Read the basic books first, rather than going for journals and foreign authors etc. whether ‘Preliminary Examination’ or ‘Mains’, what is required as a first step is the mastering of the BASICS (A, B, C) of the subject. So, first step requires mastering these. 

2.       While reading, focus has to be on CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING rather than simply memorizing the facts. The Facts are easier to memorize if the concepts are clear.

3.       Memorizing the FACTS (even the conceptual words, books-authors etc. If one has the subject in the Preliminary Examination). Using Mnemonics or other interesting methods which suits your style, you can do this. 

4.       Make your flashcard or one register in which all your facts are intact and you can revise them anytime.  Rather than simply collecting new fact every day, focus should be on revising what you have with you. Only when that is memorized thoroughly move on the new facts. Even when you are reading the new material, keep coming to the old materials in between. This is very important, else during the examination, you will remember that you have read something like this somewhere but "what was it exactly" might not come to you mind and the memory of it will remain only as a faint image. This has to be checked. The ultimate success depends on not ‘what all you have read’ but ‘how’ much you retain it’. How far you have practiced diagrams as well organizing the event in chronological manner. This is very crucial and should not be neglected.

5.       Solve as many questions as possible. One should solve all the previous year’s questions of UPSC and solve them again and again. Many of the questions are repeated. Even if the same questions are not repeated in the same words, quite often the areas remain the same. Nature of the subject does matters. There should be no ambiguity in the answers. Writing skill comes through practice. Writing skill is also based on your knowledge base and conceptual understanding. This only can give flow and lucidity to your answers. The conceptual understanding will make your answer well organized and well integrated. Thus, writing skill and content both should complement and supplement each other. Writing skill has its base in content and content needs writing skill to be well expressed.

·        EFFECTIVE PRESENTATION FIVE PRINCIPLES:

1.       Underline the key words.
2.       Underline the latest updates that you have incorporated in your answer.
3.       Make some lucid diagrams to make your presentation effective. But remember that the diagrams need to be well integrated with your answer. 
4.       Each topic has some key words and the examiner expects you to write them.
5.       Another, crucial factor which many of us tend to overlook is the selection of the first answer. Remember “FIRST IMPRESSION IS THE LAST IMPRESSION”, hence your first answer should be your best answer, Len one in which you have command and also have SOMETHING NEW to give - in the form of linkages, recent reports, diagrams, maps etc.

·        WHY PSYCHOLOGY AS AN OPTIONAL?

Psychology is the study of behaviour of human beings and animals and application of it for the benefit of mankind. It is equally favourite among all streams of students irrespective of their background to appear in the Civil Services Main Examination. Besides being interesting in nature its simplicity and more marks fetching character attracts the students. Civil Services preparation is not just a preparation but strategic preparation.

To be successful not only hard work, determination, dedication, etc. required but also wise selection of subjects. Psychology is the subject which provides limited course and adequate gap with other optionals thus enhancing the chances of selection.

The best approach is to go through all the available material for the better understanding but you are not doing a PhD course but want to be selected in the civil services. Coaching institutions share this burden from you and filter the relevant material so that you can better utilize your scarce resources of time, money and energy. But in this market of coaching institutions you need wisdom to choose the right one.

·         Flow chart presentation (Easy to Remember and more marks fetching in character). Analyse the previous year UPSC question paper thoroughly and try to chalk out the areas of the question. Also write down these questions topic wise and keep going through them again and again.

·         Mark the mistakes, which you commit while solving these questions. Do not overlook them and do not lie to yourself that “it was a careless mistake”. Even was a careless mistake like overlooking the word "not" in the question, be cautious that you should not repeat it in the examination hall. Also analyse your mistake thoroughly whether it was due to lack of conceptual understanding or it was forgetting the facts. Master you weakness after analysing them. NOTE OF CAUTION- Do not read the guide first and then the basic books. It has to be the other way round.

·         Discuss with your friend. Discussion helps a lot provided it is honest discussion with the motive to help the other and in turn getting help. Else it can be disastrous also. These are broadly some tips, which can help you in the Mains as well as Preliminary Examination. However, what matters most is the mental calmness and cool, which you maintain in the examination hall. Do not panic if you do not know any question. Apply your mind. Though not always, but most of the times the questions can be rightly solved if one maintains his cool and analyses it logically. However, ultimately what matters is giving your best shot and leaving the rest on him.

·         Try to integrate the statement of the question, somewhere in you answer. Either begin with it or end with it. This makes your answer FOCUSSED and well knit.

·         Last, but not the least, just before your examination gives your precious three to four hours to those things which are the dynamic aspects of your preparation. This includes the latest updates, reports, diagrams etc. Even glancing over these things at the last moment makes they alive and fresh in your memory (provided you have read them earlier) and they can be reproduced more authentically in the examination. This will definitely make the Difference. These are the GOLDEN RULES for fetching marks in PSYCHOLOGY. These are not merely to be memorized and retold to others, but need to be applied in writing answers. So the thrust should be on writing answers and getting them evaluated. The more you practice the better answers you would be able to write. Next, I come to the question of reading list. But remember “It is not wide reading but useful reading that tends to excellence”.


·        SECTION B:

·         Application of Psychology to disadvantaged groups: The concepts of disadvantaged, deprivation and socially deprived. Social, physical, cultural and economic consequences of disadvantaged and deprived groups. Educating and motivating the disadvantaged towards development. 
·         Psychological and the problem of social integration: The concept of social integration. The problem of caste, class, religion and language conflicts and prejudice. Nature and manifestation of prejudice between the in-group and out-group. Casual factors of such conflicts and prejudices. 
·         Other applications of psychology: Sports psychology - improving performance of sports, personnel, psychology and understanding of political behaviour. Voting behaviours. 

·        WRITING IMPORTANT POINTS:

  • Don't exceed limit in short answer questions
  • Try to make the introduction catchy while answering short and long questions. Students should use real-life examples to make the answers lively.
  • Highlight the important points Short sentences should be order of the day. Conclusion should consist of entire discussion.
  • Make a framework of the answer like what would you write in the lead paragraph, body text and the conclusion before you proceed with writing the answer.
  • Time management is key and candidates should ensure that they have atleast 25 minutes on hand before they attempt the last question.

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