How to improve Prelims Mock Tests scores?

How to improve Prelims Mock Tests scores?

A Guide to Analysis and Improvement in UPSC Prelims mock tests

Picking a Mock Test

Test Series Selection

  • Choose a test series that includes sectional papers from any reputed coaching institute one for each subject atleast.
  • Attempt tests from 3-4 institutes' papers (5 tests each) for full mocks.

How many Tests to attempt?

  • Attempt one sectional per subject and if your score is not up to the mark, attempt one more sectional test.
  • But focus more on full mocks to get used to unpredictability.
  • Attempt 10-15 full mock tests atleast in next 50 days.

Optimising Test-Taking Strategy

Attempting Questions in Rounds

  • Round 1 (100% Sure): Mark the ones you are sure about, Eliminate 2 options (mark that question with a star) and eliminate 1 option (mark that question with a circle).
  • Round 2 (75% Sure): Solve questions with 2 options eliminated and make a decision.
  • Round 3 (Difficult Questions): Attempt questions with leftover time and those with a single option eliminated (carefully consider the probability of getting such questions correct based on test series performance).

Time Management

  • Aim to finish -
    • Round 1 in 1 hour 10 minutes
    • Round 2 in 30 minutes
  • These are flexible targets; focus on optimizing your pace.

How Many Questions to Attempt?

  • Prioritize easy and solvable questions (30-50 in UPSC Prelims).
  • Attempt questions with 2 options eliminated after careful consideration.
  • For questions with 1 option eliminated, weigh the probability of getting such questions correct based on your test series performance.
  • Difficult questions can be left unattempted, especially in unpredictable papers like 2023.
  • Aim for an attempt rate of 80-90 questions. However, prioritize accuracy over blind guessing in difficult papers.

Effective Mock Test Analysis

Focus on Learnings, Not Just Marks
  • Do not dwell excessively on marks. Analyze your performance to identify areas for improvement.

Ask yourself

  • Are all questions where you 'eliminated 2 options' going wrong?
    • If yes, then you are eliminating the right option; there is a knowledge gap.
    • According to probability, 50 per cent of these questions should be correct.

How to analyse?

  • Identify Common Mistakes:
    • Are you eliminating the right options in questions with 2 options eliminated? This might indicate knowledge gaps.
  • Detailed Analysis:
    • Create a table with columns for - attempted questions, correct answers, wrong answers, score, and accuracy for each round.
    • Analyze subject-wise performance to identify weaknesses.
      • Divide the paper in to subjects.
      • Check which subjects are you making the most mistakes in.
  • Types of error - Categorize errors as:
    • Factual (knowledge gaps requiring revisiting source material)
    • Conceptual (lack of revision or understanding), or
    • Silly mistakes (careless reading or marking)
  • Read solution
    • See if there is any additional information, which is not covered in your core study materials.
    • Do not take notes unnecessarily if the content is already present in your static book.

Remember this

  • Paper Difficulty: Mentally prepare for a potentially difficult paper.

Maintain this temperament that paper is going to be difficult, it is difficult for all.

Remember, difficulty affects everyone.
  • Focus on the Process, Not Just Marks: The analysis process itself is valuable for raising awareness of your strengths and weaknesses.
  • In every UPSC prelims:
    • 30-50 questions are easy, and solvable.
    • 30-40 questions are of medium difficulty.
    • The rest of the questions are Vague or difficult. So, do not panic.

Want to watch this strategy in a video?

Watch Abhijeet Yadav decode this strategy for you in this YouTube Video.

By following these strategies, you can transform mock tests from mere exams into valuable learning experiences that propel you towards UPSC Prelims success. Remember, consistent analysis and focused improvement are key to achieving your goals.

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