Dear aspirants, right now you may be disappointed in the performance you have given in the latest Prelims. I am sure you studied for hours and have sacrificed many things for this exam, and yet you may not be having the required cut off to move to Mains. I assure you, this phase is temporary. While I am sure that you have given your heart to become a Civil Servant, failures are a chance to learn and not a full stop in your preparation. Since Prelims exams are conducted to eliminate the maximum number of aspirants (from a staggering four lakhs to around ten thousand), you must not lose your way now. You have studied the necessary textbooks and have invested your time, and right now, you must have the courage to go back and pick up where you left off.
If you have gotten marks somewhere in the 70’s as mentioned in this question, you should aim to increase it to 100 plus in Prelims 2021. To do so, kindly do the following steps.
How to get 100 plus marks in Prelims
- Get your basics right– UPSC designs the Prelims exam in such a way that you cannot get the questions correct just by mugging all the facts. Only if you have applied the knowledge and if you have conceptual clarity, you will get selected for Mains. For this, start with the NCERT’s and move on to the standard texts ONLY after the NCERT’s are done. Only once you are done with the basics, should you move onto the standard textbooks.
- Try to know where you stand in your understanding. Attempt maximum number of questions from each subject. This includes both NCERTs and standard textbooks. If you wish to know how much you have fully understood the NCERT’s click here to use our free NCERT tests
- Start analysing previous years’ questions and understand what type of questions UPSC is asking. The syllabus of UPSC Prelims is vast, and that is one of the reasons why many do not clear. Aspirants try to study the textbooks cover to cover and do not give importance to repeatedly asked topics from the exam. Hence, it is essential to analyse question papers from previous years. Try having a look at how the questions are framed by clicking here, and you will start to get a clearer picture regarding the design of Prelims paper. We have also given the questions subject wise so that you can understand the maximum weightage from each subject and what topics are repeatedly asked.
- Make sure that you give enough time to prepare Current Affairs well. Read the Hindu newspaper and take notes from it, along with any decent Current Affairs magazine like Officers’ PULSE. The questions are designed such that it includes the latest current affairs as well. Hence, this part must not be forgotten, and no matter how much you have studied the static portions, Current Affairs have to be appropriately studied to give you success in Prelims and Mains.
- Study judiciously and devote your time without interruptions. Try to bring in at least 10 hours of study and start avoiding social media. The effect of social media is one of the most significant issues for an aspirant as Social Media is designed to be addictive and talented aspirants ultimately get side-tracked by this rabbit hole of time-wasting.
- Maintain a proper time table and follow it. If you are having trouble making a timetable and following it judiciously, you may use our Steeplechase Program. This program is designed specifically for those who have their basics right but could not clear Prelims by a few marks. We have started such a program so that we keep the momentum of studying going on. The Steeplechase Program is an intense 10-month programme. It is made in such a way that a maximum number of tests are conducted in every possible area, thereby sharpening the aspirant’s knowledge and teaching regular current affairs classes. The added advantage of this program is that it also has a Mains component so that you don’t lose out on your Mains preparation either. Hence, those who opt for this program will be appropriately guided in Prelims and Mains. If you feel that you are ready to take up the challenge, you may join it. You may refer to our Previous year’s Steeplechase Program details to understand further. Post Prelims results, we will be starting this year’s Steeplechase Programme.
Life is full of hurdles, and no matter what, life must go on. The same goes for your Civil Services preparation. No matter what, you have to find the courage to face the exam and get to the next level. Have patience and perseverance to keep the fight going.