Get success in government jobs competitive exams – a must have guidance for every aspirant

By Sanjay Sharma
Last modified 14 Sep 2019


For last 15 years, I am helping students to get their dream jobs. I have taken initiative to provide coaching to the government job aspirants and since this is not my profession as I utilise my free time so do this free of cost.

If you search the internet then a lot of websites are there which suggests the preparation techniques but none of them are government jobs specific. They do not even touch the basic and important facts which are must to do in order to get the success in government exams.

For every competition, the initial steps are very important and need to take care very cautiously. No race can be win if the starting steps went wrong or went as unexpected. In fact, just like an athlete’s first step which plays a very important role in the final result, in the same way, the success or failure is decided when you take initial decisions for the exams.

To know how tough is to get the government jobs now a days,the below figure shows the data of total applicant and their success ratio in the exam held in the year 2014 and 2015.

Figure showing the applicant and their success ratio in government job exams

I have wind up the complete guidance under 10 points. Believe me these 10 points can change your life if you take them seriously and follow with the same intention as I have written them.

In most of the government jobs, there are 3 stages to qualify, preliminary examination, main examination and interview. If you clear the preliminary examination then you qualify for the main examination and on clearing the main examination you qualify for final round and that is interview.

As a standard of majority of exams, preliminary examination are to check for general knowledge, current affairs and analytical knowledge and IQ so this test is mandatory and you do not have choice to select the subject or topic for this exam. In the main written exam, you have the liberty to select the subjects of your choice. Since this the exam to test your deep knowledge of the chosen subject so this exam is of written and descriptive type. In the final stage, you have to clear the interview and the marks got in interview and main written exam are summed up to declare the ranking of candidates.

The below 10 strategic points will ensure your success in government competitive examinations.

1. Select the right subjects 

This is the athlete’s first step. Your success or failure is highly dependent on this step. This is the step where you have to use your brain more than anything else. All the aspirants who did not get success, almost had one thing in common, they did not use their brain enough while selecting the exam subjects. So how to select the right subjects for the pre and main exams?

Choose the subjects who you have studied as a part of your curriculum

For the written or main examination, while choosing subjects and submitting the application form, candidate has to choose his or her subjects in which he or she will appear for the exam. Choose the subjects which you have studied in the school or college as a part of curriculum. Since you are very well familiar with the known subjects and depth of the syllabus so it’s always a great advantage. The study material, preparation strategy ,time distribution for each topic and how to get maximum marks with less efforts are some of the advantages of the choosing the known subjects. Apart from this, since you have studied the subject in your school or college, so most of the syllabus is just like revising which reduces the mental burden.

Topic of subject or syllabus should not be wide

The second most important thing to take care while selecting the subject is the syllabus. Syllabus must not be too wide otherwise you never have a control on the subject. The more topic coverage means more study material, more time to study, more memory use and more mental burden. Although the subject you have chosen was the part of your curriculum but it can take you the other way if the syllabus is too wide.

Do not choose the subjects which needs calculation or analytical ability

The subjects which uses calculation or analytical ability takes a lot of time to analyse or calculate. Since the answer cannot be achieved without calculation so you have to do calculation on paper. Once you start attempting the question, it can be very tough to leave the question without getting the answer, even if you have invested a lot of time on it. 

2. Study material 

I have seen very few candidates who has the sense of identifying what they need to study. Without going deeper into the exam requirement, most of the candidates start studying the topics which covers only a part of their requirements. Candidates start reading the books or tutorials which are not specific to their exam or touches the topics partially.

It is much better to work hard and devote a significant time on collecting the study material or choosing the right tutorials or books which covers the syllabus deeply and completely. For most of the exams, you will not find the complete syllabus in one book or tutorial so you need to put efforts to search the same on internet or any other source.
For example, in every exam, general awareness or general knowledge paper is there. Since general awareness is not limited to current affairs only but can also include quantitative aptitude, verbal and non-verbal reasoning and other analytical and logical problem solving which is used to know the candidates IQ level so while preparing for this subject you need to refer different books or tutorials and put extra efforts to search and collect the topics.

It’s better to spent time on arranging the correct and complete syllabus rather than studying the wrong or incomplete syllabus. The more you work hard to know your syllabus the less time will require to study

3. Preliminary exam- take it seriously

“Sir, I am not worried about the preliminary examination, I am worried for the main written examination so sparing more time on main exam subjects”
I hear this statement often while talking to the aspirants about their preparation. This statement might be true if you have more than 4 years of experience of appearing in the preliminary exams otherwise it’s a suicidal.

Do you know, on an average approximately 5% or less candidates qualify for the main written examination? That means if 5, 00,000 aspirants were appeared for a preliminary examination then approximately 25000 were able to pass the exam. If the preliminary exam is so easy to clear then how can 95% candidates gets fail? I know around 10 to 20% candidates appearing for any exam are not aiming to success or not serious but still if we reduce this percentage from the total failed candidates then still the figure is too big. 
Remember, it’s the first step and the entire journey depends on the success of this step. Each exam has the equal importance. Give the preliminary examination same respect as you give to main exam or face to face interview. Your hard work and preparedness for written and interviews are waste if you do not success in preliminary examination.

 You can be in the race if your first hurdle is clear. Do not take the preliminary exam casually as your whole journey or success depends on it. 

4. While preparing for preliminary exam, study main subjects which can contribute in preliminary 

It’s obvious that while preparing for the preliminary exam, you also study one or more subjects in parallel which are part of the main examination. Since the preliminary exam is mostly based on general knowledge so if you have subjects like history, geography or Environmental Science in your main exam then these subjects can be very helpful in preliminary exam too, and studying these subjects in parallel will enhance the knowledge which is fruitful in both type of exams.

Always keep the current upcoming exam in focus. The subjects which you are studying should be able to help in the upcoming exams.
 

5. Play with your strength

No one in this world except you, knows your strength and ability. We all are blessed with some unique skills, ability and senses which makes us different from others. If majority of peoples are following the same path that doesn’t mean that path is correct. If your brain is sensing something different then listen it and follow it, it can never go wrong. 

Prepare the subjects or topics according to your strength. I have seen a lot of candidates who spend much time on studying the new topics but less time on the known subjects or topics. In the first view, it seems fine but sometimes we have to pay heavily for this negligence.

For example , in a subject, 70% of the syllabus is known to us and we think that preparing this would be easy and will take less time so we decide to prepare the remaining 30% of the syllabus first which is comparatively new or less known to us. Since commanding over the new topics takes more time and hard work so we spend almost all time with the new syllabus or topics and little time we spare for the known topics. In this way, neither we would be strong enough in newly learned syllabus nor we have prepared well of known syllabus. 

If we prepare well 70% of the syllabus which is already known and easy to prepare and then spend remaining time on the 30% syllabus which is new then definitely we have a better chance to score high in the exam.  
Avoid the mistake of spending more time on a small portion of syllabus. Spare reasonable time on each topic and first prepare well your favourite or familiar topics.

6. Have discipline and plan

Discipline does not mean to wake up early morning and then study. Discipline is the regularity of following a plan or set of activities.  It does not matter that you like to study in late night or early morning or like to study in alone or with friends or listening music. No matter how you study but you must follow a plan and have regularity on it. 

Make a plan or schedule for each and every activity and then follow it strictly. When I am saying each and every activity then it also includes morning walk and other activities which are the part of your routine. Since government exams are mostly conducted after 3 months or more after submitting the application forms so in keeping view of the long time, your plan should have space for your important routine activities which is necessary to energies you.

Most of the candidates make an action packed schedule but after 1 week they could not follow it. The reason is, their schedule have no time for refreshment. This type of schedule works only if the exams are 1 or 2 weeks away but if the exams are too far then you cannot dip your head every time in the books. So to keep you energies and fresh, include your important routine activities in the plan. 
Your study plan should be practical enough to follow otherwise it is certainly going to be failed to follow.

7. Prepare as it is your last chance

Government jobs in India are getting reduced every year. The vacancies of the post which you are looking for will be certainly less next time. Other important factor about government’s jobs is, exam for a post does not held every year. The processing of an exam for any post takes approximately 1 to 2 years (from declaration of the post to declaring final result and then handing over the appointment letter), so losing a chance means waiting for next 4-5 years. Above all that, age is another important factor. If your age is under eligibility criteria then only you have the luxury to try again.

Never ever have a thought of doing better in second chance. My personal experience says that you have the best possibility to qualify in your first attempt. Why so? There are some obvious reasons. First of all you prepare fearlessly and confidently in your first attempt whereas in your second or other next chances, you have a fear of failure and because of the failure in first attempt, confidence keeps low. Second reason is, exam pattern keeps changing. The experience or knowledge which you have got from your first attempt is of no use if the pattern gets changed.

So if you are getting a chance to appear in an exam then work hard and apply all of your energy and resources to get the success otherwise the whole life is there to regret. When I say hard work that means trying best to achieve through smart work.

8. Develop skills to manage yourself on the exam day

All of the above points were to prepare yourself for the examination but this point is for the examination day itself. It does not matter how much knowledge you have or how much hard you have worked, the thing which matters most at the end is, what you have gained. If you are not able to perform well in the examination then everything is a waste.

Points to remember on the examination day to score high and perform best

Do not get excited if the exam paper looks easy to you. Remember, it’s a competition and job vacancies are very few so to get the success you have to be far ahead from other candidates. If the question paper is easy then the paper is easy too for other candidates.
A single questions correct or wrong answer can change the game. Do not take a chance with the thinking that most of paper is solved and now I can take a chance. This can be an unforgettable mistake. So do not take chances if everything is going well.

The first thing what you have to do after getting the exam paper is , go through all the questions and mark the questions for which you have the answer ready. First answer these questions and then move to others. Second thing is, attempt the section or unit which is easy and takes less time. Once you answer all the questions for which you are sure then use the remaining time to answer the pending questions.

Be calm. Do not get overwhelmed or disappointed if the question paper is easy or tough. Your aim should be to attempt maximum questions with correct answer within the time limit. If you succeed to do so then it does not matter whether the question paper is easy or tough, you can expect a good result in favour of you.

It does not matter that question paper looks easy or tough to you, it is same for all. The thing only which matters is to attempt maximum questions with correct answers.  
 

9. Practice is the key

If you get the meaning of the below famous Hindi quote of Dushyant Kumar then assimilate it.

कैसे आकाश में सूराख़ हो नहीं सकता
एक पत्थर तो तबीयत से उछालो यारो

Everyone knows that practice is the key of the success but interesting thing is that we need a reminder of this to boost up and keep us motivating. The best way to keep ourselves motivated is select some best inspiring quotes and make wall posters of them and hang them in your study room or other places where you spend most of the time. Remember, no one is there to motivate you, you have to search the success key yourself.

There is no alternate of hard work and practice. I have seen and witness of amazing stories where some average IQ level candidates got success whereas candidates with much better IQ level were failed to crack the exams just because of the lack of hard work and continuous learning. 

Inspiration and motivations are very important factors to keep you in the race when there is a long journey ahead and you have to win the race. You have to be your self-motivator and for this you can follow the below strategies to keep you inspire and motivate.

  1. Put the posters on your study room wall who have inspirational quote written on them.
  2. Keep photos or posters of legends like Albert Einstein and others great scientists who achieved the success with their hard work. Put these photos or posters where you spend your maximum time.
  3. Set the wallpaper for your mobile, laptop or other gadgets about those things which inspires you. These wallpapers can be about anything but your brain must stimulate when sees them. (of course only you know which things inspire you so try to collect some best and set them as wallpaper)
  4. Stay away from the peoples specially your friends who have negative thoughts or demotivate you 

There is no one to motivate you. You have to be your self-motivator as you know yourself better than everyone else.

10- Face to face interview – be confident but not over smart

How to crack the face to face interview? This is very frequent question which I face. 

If you are reading this then I am sure that a mix feeling of happiness and excitement has entered in you, this is because interview is the final round of exam for most of the government jobs and everyone wants to see himself or herself in this round. If you have qualified for the interview round then it means you have already achieved a milestone by your hard work and intelligence. 
At this stage, no one wants to loose after coming too close to the success. 

How to prepare face to face interview round for the government jobs? The below 10 points are the key of success in any type of face to face interview.
 

  1. Know the purpose of the interview. Since you have proven your knowledge already by qualifying the written examination so by face to face interview , interviewer wants to make sure that whoever they are choosing for the job, must be an ambitious, motivated , intelligent , keen learner from experiences , have his or her own point of view and a good human being with positive attitude. Once you know the purpose, you are the self-coach for you. 
  2. Be well dressed (of course be in formal). A well-dressed person always puts a good and positive impression. The dressing sense and your seriousness towards the occasion can certainly make the things much better for you.( This is an indirect and best approach to impress the interview panellist without saying a word in favour of you)
  3. You must be confident. Our body language and face impression says a lot about us. No interviewer likes a candidate with withered and energy less personality. While answering, your voice should not be loud but confident and full of energy. Speak with full confidence as whatever you are saying is correct and you have no doubt in our mind about it.
  4. Don’t try to be over smart. Over smartness means trying to make fool of others who knows the subjects much better than you. It does not matter how much confidence you show but if you are saying something wrong and thinking that the interviewer takes it as it is then you are committing a big mistake. 
  5. First impression works great. Believe me, first impression not only sets the mood of interviewer but it also decides your confidence and positivity. Enter the interviewer room steady and confidently, have a little smile on your face, greet all of the interviewer by having eye contact with them, tell them your name and then ask them if you can take your seat. When asked about your introduction then tell them about you in a very calm and energetic voice.
  6. Every question need not to be answered. This is not necessary that everyone knows everything. If you have no answer of any question then either ask them for more clarity on the question or say them that you are not aware about this.
  7. Include real life examples in your answer. As much as possible, include real world example in support of your answer. That way you can connect with the interviewer in much better way and also it helps interviewer to see a practical human being inside you. 
  8. Use your common sense. Each and every human being is different and this rule applies well with the interviewers too. Do not go with the perception of other candidates who are already interviewed by the same interviewers. Follow your senses and ready to answer as per the expectations of the interviewer.
  9. Be a good listener. Do not start answering before the interviewer finishes. Remember, to answer the interviewer you have to understand the different angles of the question and the motive of the interviewer behind the question.
  10. You should not be biased in your answer. Of course you must have a clear point of view but you must also have a balance answer. For example, if interviewer asks you that “what do you think about the new traffic rules implemented by the Indian government who increases the fine on violating them?” then first you need to tell them whether this is good or bad decision according to you and then you need to tell them positive and negative impact of implementing it on the society.

As per my experience, this is all what I have observed and can suggest to the government job seekers in India. Will be eager to know your success stories.

Best of luck !

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Sanjay Sharma

Hard work has no alternatives ! Give your best always.

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