It is my personal experience that the most crucial stage in Competitive Exam preparation is the very beginning. At this stage your aim plays a significant role. Achievement never comes without a clear goal in mind. Your aim can be to live a respectable life, to have power, to serve the country or it can be that you want to convince your lover’s father that you are competent enough to be his daughter’s husband. In short, there must be a burning desire that should impel you to take preparation seriously and give at least a few hours in the beginning of preparation and around ten hours in the final weeks before examination.
In the initial month and weeks of preparation you may think that you are reading books but you are not retaining concepts and facts. This is the time where majority give up. Being a zealous sportsman I would like to give fitness related example. I often see new faces in fitness club who are there either to gain or reduce weight. They are desperate to be fit in the beginning and work really hard but after a few weeks they think goals are not being achieved. Once they have this thought in their minds they put less effort and finally they quit. They do not realize that one can’t be fit in a few days or weeks; it really takes years to have a strong abdominal or perfect physique. The same philosophy is applicable in preparation for competitive exams. You will really have to show persistence, determination, and commitment.
Now comes the stage of actual preparation. Everyone must start from the compulsory subjects. It is a well-known reality that majority fails in compulsory subject. I know people who passed optionals with minimum preparation but failed in compulsory even with maximum preparation. Essay, English Composition and Islamiat are real culprits. These papers have really let down many extremely hard working and serious candidates. Grammar is a weakness of many. It was the most hated subject in my entire academic life but when I realized its significance in my first attempt then I read each and gave utmost importance to it. I brushed up things like parts of speech, articles, punctuation, tenses, narration, voices etc. By the way I am still not good at grammar.
Competitive Exam is a test of your writing skills. And don’t forget that you have to show writing skill in English. I will insist that from the very first day try to polish your writing skill. For polishing your writing skill you will have to pay attention to other departments of English as well i.e., reading, listening and speaking. Prepare notes and summaries, solve past papers, write essays and discuss your preparation with those friends and acquaintances who have either appeared or are preparing for Competitive Exam. The golden principle of the more you read the better you write should be always there to motivate you to read and read and read.
In the end I would like to say that give your 100 % concentration to your preparation. Consider Competitive Exam as a possessive and jealous darling. You will have to prove your utmost faithfulness and loyalty to your sweetheart. If she will ever find you involved with others then she will never marry you. Although I resigned just two weeks before my attempt but I do not recommend this strategy to others. It is always good to have one love in your heart otherwise it becomes really difficult to manage your thoughts and concentration.