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Old Wednesday, May 25, 2016
shahsamadhamadani's Avatar
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Default Time management in the css exam

When I graduated out of university and returned to my home, my father suggested me to appear in the civil service exam.

At that time, I had no idea about the complexity of the CSS exam and its preparation. So, I treated it only as an exam and initiated the preparation for it without seeking any guidance from any senior or teacher. My friends and cousins advised me that thinking of qualifying the CSS exam by studying just 3 months is a wild goose chase but I was determined enough to pass it in the first go.

I appeared in the exam and ultimately qualified the written portion. Though I could not get allocation because I opted a low scoring subject of 200 marks and thats a whole another story but I did qualify it. Later on, when I came to know about the intricacy of the exam, I realized that my success was quite miraculous. In retrospect, when I think of my success which I gained by just studying 3 months, I realize that it was merely a result of my time management. I would like to share some of the tricks I opted pertaining to time management.

Since I had only 3 months to prepare and no idea of how to prepare, I allocated a specific time duration to each subject. I never made a written time table since us, the Pakistani lot, are damn good at making time tables but never actually following them is our specialty. ;-) Coming back to my point, I always used to have only in my mind which subjects to study after how many days? I did not stick to just one subject. I always studied some 6,7 subjects daily giving time to other 6 subjects the very next day and so on.

Let me clarify my schedule through examples. For instance, I used to begin my study with Everyday Science. I would choose 3 questions and allocate 30 mins to them. Now, I tried my best to finish them in 30 mins and not consume even one minute over them. When 30 mins ended, I started Islamiyat. I chose one topic and allocated 40 mins to finish it. When it ended, I begun the preparation of English idioms, pair of words and vocabulary and allocated 35 mins to them. Got it?

One more thing. If I could not end a chosen topic within the allocated time, I left it there and then not to disrupt my planned routine. I used to complete these remainder parts of each subjects in the evening time at the end of my day.

Along with regularly following this routine, I also took care of another aspect of my preparation. I made sure that the time to prepare a subject or its topics should keep on lessening down. For instance, if I used to give 1 hour to precise in the beginning phase of my preparation, after a few weeks, I brought it down to 30 mins. If I used to read newspaper in 45 mins, I lessened it down to 30 mins. Likewise, initially if it took me 35 mins to write an idea expansion, after a few months, I managed to cut it down to 20 mins.
I can never study continuously. So I took breaks after every 1 or 1.30 hours of study. Breaks varied from 15 to 30 mins. Then, studying for long hours in a day has never been my genre. So I allocated duration of study according to the time of the day. In the morning, it was some 2.30 to 3 hours of study. After lunch it was of 1 or 1 30 hours and in the evening (after maghrib) I could not study for more than 1 hour. So, all in all, I studied for not more than 5 hours a day.

I always advise the aspirants to study and prepare according to their stamina and nature. It is not necessary that a schedule or a routine, which worked for one person, may work for everyone as well. However, a general idea can be taken and any person may opt it after a bit of an amendment. For me, 30 or 40 mins allocated for a subject's preparation was enough. You can allocate the time according to your own comfort.

The only thing indispensable to succeed in any routine is to stick to it and follow it on any cost, no matter what. Consistency is the key. Keep a close check on this planned schedule over the time period that what loopholes need to be fixed and which additions or deletions can make your preparation comfortable. For example, you can change the sequence of subjects that which ones to read first? You can change the time of the day for the subjects which ones to study in the morning and which ones in the evening?

Remember: Time management is the key to a successful completion of preparation within a short span of time in the civil service exam.
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