Quick Tips for UPSC Prelims 2024 - Again?

Table of contents

Prelims is an exam not only about knowledge but also about your temperament and mindset.


Go through this checklist and ensure you don’t forget anything:

  1. Admit card
  2. Govt ID Card
  3. Black ball point pen x2
  4. Water bottles
  5. Chocolates
  6. Lots of chutzpah!

NOTE: Most exam centres have a bag room where you can submit your bags and mobile phones, but there is usually a long line there - 15-20 minutes long.

Practical Tips

  1. GIVE BOTH PAPERS - no matter how hard paper 1 was or how badly you think you performed. Don't give up before the final bell.
  2. Randomness in GS Paper - No matter how much you’ve prepared, there will be about 25% questions which will be brain blasters! Be mentally prepared for this randomness. Remember, if you don’t know it, then probably other aspirants won’t know it either.
  3. Do the paper in 2 Rounds - Round 1, questions that you know and are sure of. Round 2, questions that you know something about but are not fully sure. You can also add a Round 3 if you have time left after 2 rounds.
    1. Look for the easy questions - each year in Prelims there are 20-30 easy questions in the exam. But they are spread out, it's your job to find them and do them first.
    2. Taking more than 1 minute to do a question? Push it to round 2.
    3. Rounds help you build momentum. Momentum keeps the doubts away.
  4. You only need 40Q in CSAT.
    1. And in those 40 you only need to get 32 right. So you have plenty of time.
    2. You won't get extra marks for solving the hard ones. Skip if it's taking more than 1 minute.
    3. In comprehension questions, go backwards. If the right answer is not making sense, then eliminate the wrong answers first.
    4. Same can be applied to logical reasoning.

Health Tips

  1. Stay hydrated. The heat in North India is intense - make sure you're drinking enough water as dehydration impacts your mental focus. If you want, you can carry glucose water with you.
  2. Eat light - Eat a light breakfast and carry or plan for a light lunch.
  3. Exam hall jitters - If you feel like you are blank or feel too much anxious in exam hall, close your eyes for 2 min, take deep breaths and focus on your breathing. Eat chocolate if you've taken some. Doing these mundane activities resets our physical state which in turn resets our mental state.
  4. No last minute changes - Don’t try any new strategy in exam hall. Go with what you have found to work for you in practice.
  5. Self belief - Don’t be too worried about what you’ve covered and what you’ve missed to cover/revise. It doesn’t matter now. Believe in yourself and write the exam with a positive mindset.
  6. During the break - Don’t discuss the GS 1 paper. It’s of no use and can unnecessarily impact your performance in CSAT.
  7. Take a nap - If needed, you can take a power nap of 5-15 min on your desk before the paper.
  8. Can’t sleep on a night before exam? You may not be able to sleep properly, and that’s fine. But give yourself full physical rest. Lie down closing your eyes, even if you are not able to fall asleep. Get some strong coffee or sting or redbull for the morning.

Best of luck!

Team UPSCPrep.com

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