Why CSS Aspirants Fail
1. Failing to implement your plan
Benjamin Franklin said it right: “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. However, it is not planning only that is important, rather it is to implement that plan that has much more significance. Planning is the first step to strategize and it works as ladder to reach to your final goal. Implementing your plan effectively and efficiently is the only way to pass CSS exam. However, most aspirants fail at this stage. It may be lack of focus or even procrastination. For those of you for whom it is difficult to implement their plan, I have two suggestions.
First, go with your own pace and divide your plan into small chunks. One step at a time, and don’t rush yourself. Figure out what time of the day you can study well. Then, utilize that time and take rest when you feel your energy level is low. Figure out what days of the month you will be more productive. Don’t compare your work timings or work schedule with someone else. Draw up a plan according to your capacity and your needs, and then implement that. In the start, it would be difficult to build your capacity; so achieve small goals like one subject or one chapter a day. But as, with time, stamina develops, do set a goal of 2-3 subjects a day.
Secondly, I would recommend that you should treat yourself with something when you achieve your small goals. For example, if I did this chapter today, I will get myself a small gift or if I achieved my goals at the end of this month, I will watch a movie or spend some time with friends.
2. Failing to practice
There is always one key component that is a game-changer for whatever you want to achieve. For CSS, that game changer is practicing what you are reading or memorizing. Yet an unbelievable number of aspirants fail at this stage. Almost everyone is focused on reading like 10 articles for a topic but no one would practice writing on that topic. Practice can improve all the reasons that lead to failing the CSS exam. I know it is the hardest thing to do but without writing practice, it is impossible to pass CSS. If you have a six-month study plan, read or memorize topics for first four months and then, during the last two months, just practice past papers or write the important points of topics in bullets, whatever is easy for you. Also, during the last 10 days before exam, just practice Essay every day. And when you will actually take the Essay paper, it will be so easy for you.
3. Failing to manage time during exam
One of the key issues I have heard of, and experienced myself as well, is managing time during the exam. Every mentor and teacher will tell us to divide your time equally like 35 minutes for writing answer to a question. We say to ourselves, “Okay, 35 minutes for each question.” But, when we actually attempt paper, we give first 2 hours to first two questions and 40-45 minutes to the last two. And then when we fail that paper, we are surprised because we think that when we attempted all the questions, then why did we fail? The answer is that every question is equally important [as they have equal marks] and even if we write an answer on eight pages in one hour, it will still have 20 marks only. And if we write other answers on only 2 pages each or haphazardly, it will also carry 20 marks. By giving one question more time and other ones less, we are actually doing more harm than good to prospects of our success. Sometimes, less is more. So, we have to give attention to content quality and equal time distribution. Now, may be many of you will ask how can one do that? Answer is simple. First practice at your home and time yourself. Do this once in a week at least and check your speed. Next time, improve on that. Secondly, once you improve yourself, take mock exams. Doing so will be more effective.
4. Failing to control nerves
It is highly important to implement your plan and manage your time during the exam. Some aspirants do all the right things before the paper but when they go to the exam hall and see the question paper, especially that of Essay, they lose their control. They become anxious and stressed due to which they lose time, forget about the content or haphazardly attempt the paper which results in failure. CSS is a game of nerves and those who succeed have full control over their nerves. The question now arises: how one can control one’s nerves if one becomes nervous or anxious by seeing the question paper. Well, one vital thing to do is to always come before time, like 15 minutes or so, to the exam hall and sit there calmly. Feeling the chair, looking at everyone and mentally relaxing helps a lot. It is like acclimatizing your body and mind. Other thing to do, for Essay or any question for that matter, is that it always starts with a rough page at the end. Brainstorm and write an outline for every question; it will relax your mind and if time is short at the end, you can look at the points and write the answer without forgetting important points.
5. Failing to analytically answer the questions
Of all the above reasons, the number one reason, to me, is that most people fail to analytically analyze the questions and then answering accordingly. The first mistake we make is that most of the times, we don’t understand the full meaning of the question statement which can be very tricky at times, and the examiner knows this. Without properly understanding the question, we start writing the answer. Another mistake that most aspirants make is that despite understanding the question fully and knowing the answer to that, we write a bookish answer like what we have memorized from the book or an article, without analytically analyzing it and writing our own knowledge and views about it. Examiners are well versed in their respective domains and they have profound knowledge of every topic. But what they want from CSS aspirants is their own thoughts and analyses on the given topics. Yes, in order to prove your arguments, you can back those with a saying or some facts or a theory from a book, but the arguments must depict your own analysis. This skill can be learned when we study a topic. We just have to take out 15-20 minutes and ask ourselves what we think about this situation. What I think is the best solution to the problem or according to my knowledge, how can these issues be resolved. By asking these questions and analyzing each topic while studying will never let you fail.
We all feel overwhelmed by taking CSS exam. Even taking this decision is a big deal. But, it’s not that CSS is harder than other goals to achieve but is to arm ourselves with the right tools and strategies that will help us achieve it. By following above points religiously, this dream can be easily achieved.
The writer is an inspirational writer and digital content creator.