UPSC prelims 2016: Last minute tips for cracking the exam

  • R Shiva Kumar
  • Updated: Aug 05, 2016 19:34 IST
The Civil services preliminary exam (CSP) will be held on August 7, 2016. (M Zhazo/HT file photo)

The Civil services preliminary exam (CSP) will be held on August 7, 2016. The marathon efforts that you have put in for the exam will bear fruit very soon. Here are 5 things that you must remember.

Focus on what you have already prepared

The last minute itch of picking up things that you have not been able to master is a normal reaction. It is best to keep that itch away. It is what you have done till now that will get you through the exam.

Don’t bother about pattern of question paper

Stop wondering about the pattern of the paper. The paper would only change marginally in real terms (if at all). Last year’s was a major change because of the “eligibility” criteria of the paper II. This year it would be more or less the same. A few changes here and there could be expected. But the core is unlikely to change. The qualifying marks is unlikely to shift significantly. Keep the 105 - 110 target range to qualify for the UPSC main exam.

Read more: Find out how Tina Dabi topped the civil services aptitude test

No wild guessing

Don’t do wild guessing, but intelligent guessing is a must. That is what MCQs are for. Some smart work will prop up your “diligent” work.

Efficient time management

Do not get caught in the “traps”. Since you have to attempt a questions per minute, it is important to quickly move away from time consuming questions. It is impossible to maximize your scores unless you have read all the questions. Put your “mental time TRACKER” ON, while you take the exam. Every 15 minutes needs to be accounted for. Mark your OMR as and when you solve the question. Do not postpone this activity!

Don’t change your strategy in exam hall

Stick to what has worked for you. Stick to what you have been doing till now. Do not experiment in the exam. It could backfire and break your deal. I have seen many students going through this agony.

The war is not won till you win the last battle. Do not underestimate the Paper-II (CSAT), make sure it is done and dusted, thoroughly. Just remind yourself how England lost the T-20 World Cup in the last over. Stay focused till the end of Paper II.

(Kumar is the chief academic officer at Career Launcher. The views expressed here are personal.)

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