Updated: January 6, 2022 8:19:27 pm
— Piyush Choubey
The Civil Services Examination is one of the most reputable competitive exams carried out by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and it has multiple levels. For those applicants who qualify for the prelim examination, the UPSC conducts CSE Mains which is then followed by the final stage of the Personality Test. The UPSC CSE Mains Examination 2021 is scheduled to take place from January, 7-16 2022.
It is vital to have a definitive grasp of the UPSC exam pattern. So, while you prepare for one of the toughest examinations in the country to crack, keep in mind these examination tips and tricks like:
- Analyse the difficulty level: Read the entire question paper attentively and mark the easy questions first, then the medium-difficult questions, and finally the content-heavy ones, as our recall ability improves over time. By the time you reach the final hour of the exam, your mind would have warmed up, allowing you to tackle even the most challenging questions.
- Divide your time in the examination hall wisely: Depending on whether the questions are 10 or 15 marks, divide your 170 minutes equally among them. Allow 7 to 10 minutes for things like signing the attendance OMR sheet and going to the restroom. It is important to plan your time accordingly.
- Read the questions twice before beginning to write an answer: Before you begin your answer, be sure you comprehend the exact demand of the question. Concentrate on keywords and terms and remember to include an introduction and conclusion in your answers. Provide a coherent introduction and conclusion even if you feel you have little or no content for it.
- Do not worry about the word limit: Concentrate on the content, instead of worrying about the word limit. If you have already written everything you know, continue to the next question. Remember that you are being awarded marks for your content, not for filling up the sheets.
- Do not hesitate to switch between formats of your answers: The answers can be in paragraph, pointwise, or flowchart format, depending on the question. Choose any method of articulation as long as it conveys most of the important information effectively.
- Facts and figures should be highlighted: To draw the evaluator’s attention to your areas of strength in the answer, use the underlining method. If the question is divided into sections, begin each section’s answer with a distinct heading.
- Things to keep in mind: Write only what you know about the topic and then move on. Try to not waste your time in writing unnecessary content if you have less knowledge on one topic. Continue to the next question, and utilise the time saved from the previous one to create a better and more elaborate answer to a question that you find moderately challenging.
The mains exam is structured to assess a candidate’s academic knowledge as well as their comprehension and articulation. Even though it can be quite daunting to face one of the hardest exams in the country, with the correct guidance and techniques in place, as well as a current understanding of news and policy developments, an aspirant can succeed on their first attempt.
(The writer is a UPSC CSE educator at Unacademy)
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