Mains is Coming!

Last minute tips for UPSC Mains 2022

Table of contents

A Reminder

There's still time. Use it well.

Mains 2022 starts on the 16th of September. The Mains exam calendar looks like this:

Date Day Paper
16 Sep Friday Essay
17 Sep Saturday GS1 and GS2
18 Sep Sunday GS3 and GS4
19 Sep Monday Break
20 Sep Tuesday Break
21 Sep Wednesday Break
22 Sep Thursday Break
23 Sep Friday Break
24 Sep Saturday Language Papers
25 Sep Sunday Optional Papers

This has been the schedule for the last few years.

Let's get down to business.

1. Mains Simulation

Give at least 1 full simulation of Mains.

What does this mean?

Give 5 papers on 3 days.

Essay, GS1, GS2, GS3 and GS4 back to back just like the actual exam. This will help you get a feel of how physically and mentally exhausted you will be during the actual exam.

Because mind you, it will get exhausting.

Time trouble?

If you're still facing time trouble in completing the paper, try the 7Q challenge for the next 2 weeks.

7Q Challenge
Write 7 10-markers in 60 minutes.

Take questions from PYQs. Or you can even use these.

2. Organise information

You have gathered a lot of information already. Time to organise this in a USABLE form.

IF you've made notes - organise them as per syllabus.

IF you've not made notes - cut down resources to the bare minimum.

What's the idea?
Make it easier for yourself to review the info before the exam.

3. No new content

Stop running after new content. It's just going to stress you out and it won't add as much value as you think it will. Focus on what you have already done.

Work on:

  1. Adding examples in answers
  2. Improving answer structure
  3. Better introductions & conclusions
  4. Diagrams & maps


Improving the content you have is better than collecting a lot of content you'll never use.

4. Avoid Penalty Marks

If you've never seen this file before, I suggest you download it and have a look.

This is the official list of examples for what attracts penalty marks from UPSC.

Example file

5. Sleep Well

Good sleep is essential in Mains.

While you can get by (possibly) with lack of sleep in Prelims, as it's a one day exam. You can't do that for Mains. The sleep debt will keep piling up and you will keep performing worse and worse.

What's the point of reading and practicing all that much if you duck yourself over by not sleeping well?

Make that effort count.

IF you're a late sleeper, time to get that schedule straight.

Best of luck!

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