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UPSC Prelims Strategy: Dos and Don’ts

Since it is often said that well begun is half done, the right and smart preparation strategies for UPSC Preliminary Exam not only increase one’s chances of qualifying for the next round, i.e., Mains Exam but also assures high success probability in the final selection. Indeed, a good start paves a smooth path for the rest of the journey. So, don’t go overboard with unrealistic plans, be calm and prepare a well-thought-out dos and don’ts plan to stay focused for the UPSC Prelims.

Below are some Dos and Don’ts suggestions that may help you to deliver your best in the UPSC preliminary exam.


Following the syllabus religiously

A clear understanding of the syllabus of a civil service exam is the key to success in UPSC civil service exams. The entire process of preparing for the UPSC exams might get longer and more hectic if one’s preparation strategy does not encompass the syllabus. On the other hand, the temptation to go beyond the syllabus by following different lists of books and topics is nothing but a diversion from the right approach. More study doesn’t mean better chances of success; it is a focused and consistent study which pays off in the end.

Pursue according to plan

While attempting to crack the preliminary exam, aspirants should have the right plan and a disciplined roadmap to cover the syllabus which is mostly based on the NCERT books. Students should make a habit of reading, thinking, writing and revising. After reading a chapter thoroughly, students should spend time thinking about how the knowledge can be applied professionally and then have hand-written notes of the key pointers for revising later. Also, candidates should refer to the previous years’ question papers to get an idea of what type of questions to expect.

Time management

Time management is a potent tool to achieve success in life, and UPSC civil services exam is no exception. In spite of having the reputation of one of the most competitive exams in the country, aspirants from various parts of the country and different socioeconomic backgrounds crack this exam each year. A major differentiating factor between them and those who failed to register success in the exam is time management. Time, the equally distributed resource, treats everyone equally. Thereby, it is the capability of a person how rationally and effectively s/he utilizes it.

Seeking expert suggestions

There are several applicants who lack proper guidance and training or the opportunity to learn from the knowledge and experience of the experts in this field. Though one’s own dedication and commitment level matter a lot, success seems closer when a coach helps you choose the right path and take the right steps. Even the most brilliant students who later secure top positions in the exam hone their knowledge and skills under the guidance of subject matter experts in the most reputed coaching institutes of India. Besides, they also enhance their knowledge following the lectures of experts on YouTube and other social media channels. However, students should carefully pick the lectures to follow for a well-guided preparation. Chanakya Academy has been regularly posting video lectures on its YouTube channel, which can be a reliable source of online learning and preparing for the UPSC exams.


Keep negativity at bay

Say neigh to negative and pessimistic thoughts. Negativity may turn even an easy challenge into a herculean task. If one is keen to qualify for the examination and has followed a disciplined approach during the preparation, appearing for the UPSC examination is neither difficult nor challenging. In actuality, the challenges are mere mental fears created through misinformation and misguidance and should not be considered actual challenges. After taking the decision to appear in the exam, the foremost focus of an individual should be to break the myths associated with it.

Do not be afraid

Do not get afraid of the numbers, the percentage of real candidates, who are really determined to qualify for the exam and prove it with their level of dedication is not more than 5 percent. So, one has to compete with these 5 percent of applicants, what remains behind is nothing but a crowd. One should neither overestimate others nor should underestimate oneself because it is the mindset that sets one’s limit. A positive mindset blows away all fears and suspicions in pursuing success goals.

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