Mentors play a huge part in every student’s life, and it is not necessary that the mentor can only be a teacher.
Your mother, teacher, uncle, or anyone you trust can be your mentor who shows you the right path when you are lost.
Let us take a famous example to see why mentors are so important and how much influence they can have on a person.
You all must have heard about harry potter right?
Well, this is one of the classic examples where the mentor who is Dumbledore is adored by most of his students. It was because of Dumbledore that harry was bought up this way fearless, bold, and righteous. If it was not for Dumbledore harry could have easily lost his path fearing Voldemort after what Voldemort did to Harry’s parents.
But Harry was shown the right path by his mentor every time and that led him to beat one of the strongest wizards that is Voldemort.
There is a famous saying “ The fastest way to reach there is to ask someone who is already there”-anonymous
Why is mentorship important for a serious UPSC candidate?
- Most of the aspirants when they are starting with their preparation are confused and lost.
- There are ample materials, books, coaching, and strategies everywhere on the internet.
- But to find the actual valuable source is important as well as difficult and there is where the role of the mentor begins.
- From planning to complete the syllabus on time to sorting out crucial previous year’s questions mentors are a blessing to every aspirant.
- Few students do prefer to study on their own and that is very good but mentors basically help you to do smart work along with hard work.
Experienced mentors not only have seen batches of students year after year but also know what mistakes most aspirants make.
What suggestions to give to the students, on how to overcome anxiety during exams, and how to not let the later students do the same mistakes performed by last year’s batch?
Difference between mentoring and coaching.
There is a huge difference between mentoring and coaching and one must choose wisely according to their needs and style of studying.
Both have completely different sets of rules and principles and work differently for different students.
It is not necessary that if other students are comfortable in a coaching environment then no other student could be uncomfortable in that.
Coaching institutes and coaches:
- Coaching institutes mostly have a larger number of students.
- The main focus is to deliver the knowledge and complete the syllabus in the promised time and way.
- There is no personal connection most of the time but along with this, there is a competitive environment as well.
- Coaches have to deal with a larger audience, unlike mentors.
- Coaching institutes conduct exams like the actual exam with ample students to give a taste of the actual tension and pressure.
Mentors and Mentoring relationship
- Mentors provide a very personalized experience.
- Students with personal mentors who are experienced most of the time have the upper hand over the other students.
- Experienced mentors can teach about the mistakes that one could perform and make the students aware of the situations from before.
- Mentors provide guidance at every step and for a longer duration than standard coaches.
- Doubt-solving and guidance are easier with mentors than with coaches.
- Many students get hesitant to ask doubts and questions due to various reasons:
- They could be shy
- Due to multiple drop years.
- Ego in front of other students.
- Lack of confidence
And here comes the benefits of a personal mentor where you can be free and solve all of your queries and doubts personally and most importantly in a comfortable way.
Problems faced by UPSC Aspirants
The most faced problem by almost all the students is the vast syllabus.
The UPSC syllabus is really vast and not only that there are lots and lots of material available offline and online making it difficult to understand.
With so many books and materials available making it is more difficult and confusing for an aspirant who is completely new.
Lack of time
- Due to the lengthy syllabus, it becomes very difficult to plan properly and complete the syllabus in time with enough time left for practice and revisions.
- Also, there is not enough time to make mistakes and learn, aspirants have to get done with all of the preparation as fast as possible and as efficiently as possible.
Students tend to make mistakes due to a lot of pressure, new patterns daily updates, and identifying the importance of topics either they overdo or skip portions due to lack of time.
Lack of guidance and feedback
In the case of an IAS aspirant with a trustworthy mentor, he or she will handle everything related to correction and guidance.
This preparation process involves studying, testing, receiving feedback, and seeking evaluation from an experienced mentor.
Demotivation and lack of confidence.
It is not always the study part, the UPSC exam is not a sprint it is like a marathon and required constant determination and consistent efforts for the longest time.
Also under so much pressure, it is very difficult to stay positive and motivated all the time and it is very normal to get disheartened with fewer marks even if you are giving your 100%.
At this time a mentor is there to uplift your morale and direct you in the right direction so that you do not get lost and find your way back.
Role of an experienced mentor in your UPSC preparation!
- Of course this is no more a school and no one will teach you everything and it is you who have to find suitable ways of studying, but a mentor will definitely show you the effective ways and also call out your faults at the right time.
- Furthermore, mentors should be able to identify the candidate’s mistakes and correct them as needed
- You may be finding it difficult to understand the concept despite reading it many times. Mentor will assist you in getting a broader understanding of the concept.
- Current affairs are one of the most important and even harder parts to cover than the other theoretical portions and a mentor can help you to analyze newspapers and also help you find out the essential articles.
- Aspirants generally are very confused about what to read and from where to study as there are so many materials available but an experienced mentor will know which one is the most recommended and useful material out there so that you do not have to waste any of your time.
No there is no such thing, if an aspirant is confident enough that they can manage all of it on their own then it is totally fine.
But it is generally recommended to have a mentor which will save you a lot of time which you can utilize to study and revise.