The Civil Services examination is conducted annually by the Union Public Service Commission and is a tough nut to crack even for the most brilliant of students. The syllabus to cover requires vast amount of studying for any individual aspiring to make the cut. A large number of candidates take the exam every year with only a small percentage making it through. Clearing the exam in the first attempt is considered a rare feat for anyone.
Studying in a group, especially for an examination as difficult and competitive as the Civil services exam, comes with a range of advantages. Preparing as a group is always more resourceful than preparing by one self. However, the adjustment factor is huge and certain people may not be comfortable with the idea of involving more people in their preparation process.
If you are not queasy about studying in a group and do not mind putting yourself out there, group studies come with a hole range of perks. Some of the advantages are listed below:
- More resourceful
It does not take a genius to figure out that more people automatically means more resources. With a little planning, you can make sure that you have access to all the books and material that you need. Individual application for the same material is not necessary when one of you can access and have no qualms sharing. The finances of investing in expensive books can also be arranged with contribution from the group for the use of your group study sessions.
With more people involved in the process of preparation, you get to interact with people under the purview of a common goal. The people in your group study session does not necessarily have to be your friend. Group study sessions provide an opportunity to practice professional interaction on a manageable level which can go a long way for future social interaction in the work place.
- Healthy competition
A group study session naturally involves like minded people, often aiming for the same thing. While preparing and looking out for each other may be one feature, the reality of a competitive atmosphere also sinks in. In a group study you can actually get you experience and utilise the competitive spirit, without getting malicious about it. This spirit will also motivate you to do better, to the best you can manage, which is beneficial to your preparation in general.
Every individual has strong and weak points in their preparation for the UPSC exam. With a group to study with, you can collaborate with someone who is better at a topic you are not so good at and seek help, and in turn help out with sections that you excel in. This helps in the improvement of the group as a whole, a far as studying for UPSC is concerned.
Current affairs is an important aspect of the civil services exam and it is not always possible for an individual candidate to always stay abreast about what is going on in the world. Having a group to discuss current affairs with, and facts about its allied history, can be extremely helpful to the exam preparation. Every person can bring their knowledge to the table and all the rest can share in the vast storehouse contributed by the group itself.
- Opinion building
One tricky thing that the civil services exam tests, through learning and current affairs, is a person’s opinion. With months of knowledge-based preparation, where the facts assume key importance rather than the motives, our opinions tend to be lost in the crowd. However, discussion of topics with other people who have other perspectives lets us be on touch with our opinions in more accessible manner. This can be significant for the UPSC exam.
Having different opinions and putting them forward while also being exposed to several other opinions, expressing your own in a way that doesn’t offend others are all important skills of diplomacy that any aspiring officer in the civil service ought to have. Group study sessions give an impromptu training of the process that enables you to negotiate and express your opinion without succumbing to someone else’s thoughts.
The profession of an IAS officer often requires dealing with people on an everyday-basis in the daily line of work. Even if you are not comfortable with groups, this is a good way to start exposing yourself to more social interaction if you are truly sincere about a career in the civil service.