What to do in the next 25 days – UPSC Prelims 2022 Tips & Tricks provides guidance for the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2022, which is less than a month away. With only 26 days left for preparation, there are three key things that matter the most. These include revision, practicing test papers, and analyzing your performance. However, it is important to focus on the mental preparation for the General Studies (GS) paper, as it plays a crucial role in clearing the prelims.
During my preparation for the UPSC Prelims, I had appeared for all six exams starting from 2016. I successfully cleared four of them, but in the two instances where I didn’t make it, my mental preparation fell short rather than my studies. I lacked focus and succumbed to fear, resulting in silly mistakes that cost me a chance to write the mains.
When we talk about “mental preparation,” it means knowing how to handle confusion during the actual exam and understanding what works and what harms your mental state. The two hours of the GS paper from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM are the most critical hours of the two years spent preparing for the exam. The fruitfulness of your studies and the year that follows the prelims depend on how you maintain your confidence during those two hours.
Now, let’s discuss the concept of an “ideal attempt.” The truth is, there is no fixed number of questions that constitutes an ideal attempt. Different sources may suggest various minimum attempts needed to clear the exam, such as 85 or 90 questions or even attempting all the questions. However, I have discovered that the number of questions attempted varies in each attempt, but the key is to clear the cut-off.
Every candidate has a different temperament and strengths in different stages of the exam. For example, I have always had a knack for clearing mains but struggled in prelims due to a lack of understanding essential for calculated guesses. Therefore, my attempts have always been lower. However, in prelims, what matters is clearing the cut-off, regardless of how close you are to it. So, attempt questions based on your accuracy and confidence in guesswork.
Another factor that determines the ideal attempt is the nature of the year’s paper. Some papers may have more conceptual questions, while others may have bizarre questions that you either know or don’t. Therefore, the ideal attempt varies based on your understanding and the paper’s nature. If you have the ability to confidently attempt over 90 questions in any paper, that’s great. But for the rest of us, it is important to attempt only those questions we are confident in answering. Leave the rest unattempted.
Always remember that clearing prelims is not about studying extensively but rather avoiding silly mistakes. Candidates who consistently clear prelims have a strong grasp of the basics in all subjects, and their accuracy in static questions is high. To avoid mistakes, slow down when you come across easy or predictable questions and take a few extra seconds if needed. Pay attention to details and ensure you mark the correct answer on the OMR sheet.
In prelims, there are usually four sets (A, B, C, and D), and groups of 20-25 questions are rotated in different sets. A truth that remains is that there is always a patch of tough questions and a patch of easy/predictable questions. The patch of easy questions often includes some from polity. If you encounter a set with challenging questions at the beginning, consider starting the paper from question number 51 onwards to maintain your confidence.
Lastly, do not count your attempts while in the exam hall. This can lead to unnecessary stress and distraction. Focus on each question individually and attempt them based on your understanding, accuracy, and confidence. Trust yourself and your preparation.
In conclusion, in the remaining 25 days of UPSC Prelims 2022 Tips & Tricks before the UPSC Prelims, prioritize revision, practicing test papers, and analyzing your performance. However, remember that mental preparation for the GS paper is crucial. There is no fixed “ideal attempt,” and it varies based on your temperament and the nature of the paper. Avoid silly mistakes, attempt questions you are confident in, and maintain your confidence and focus during the exam. Good luck!
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