Strategy:Last minute prelims tip by Mukund,AIR 54

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Hello to all my dear friends. Hope and believe you are doing great.

This is Mukund here. IAS,2020 Batch. AIR-54, UPSC CSE 2019. This article has specially been penned down for all of you who are appearing prelims examination on 4th.

Now that we have less than 72 hours for prelims to approach, here I will not tell you what to read rather I would share more important thing i.e how to go ahead from here on and do awesome in Prelims paper.

Some of my advices for my friends appearing in this year's Prelims would be :

1) Please do not read new materials now. There is no need at all to hop on from one source to another in these last moment. Believe you me, you have done sufficient by now. Have faith in your material and have confidence in you. Whatever one has done in last 12-15 months is more than enough and adequate.

2) It is time to relax yourself. By relaxing, I don't mean that you don't read anything. I mean that do not be anxious with thoughts of what will happen, what if things goes wrong and all those stuff. I know it's quite natural to have these feelings in these times of COVID induced uncertainty but try to avoid those thoughts and focus on things in your hand.

3) Just revise whatever you have read like notes from newspaper, Current affairs magazine etc. No new material.

4) Roughly just go through previous year question paper of last 1-2 years available on UPSC website, as we don't have much time now. This will help you to stimulate yourself with actual question paper that UPSC will give you on examination day.

5) Forget howsoever good or poor score you got in last test series. It doesn't matter now. All that would matter is how well one would perform on 4th. So stay confident and have faith in yourself. Do not be disheartened because you couldn't do well in last test or over-confident brecause you did very well. Please do maintain composure during paper.

6) Also now plan your own strategy to attempt paper. For example whether you will solve and fill up bubble simaltaneously or will solve and mark in question paper first and then fill up bubble in last 30 minutes left.


Now moving on to some advice for D day :

1) Reach at center atleast an hour before reporting time. Be early bird and do not get late. Keep traffic,congestion etc in mind and plan safe travel accordingly. As the popular saying goes : "IF YOU CAN NOT BE ON TIME, BETTER BE EARLY". We need to follow this.

2) Take light food in breakfast. Do not go empty stomach. One must be energetic on day of paper.

3) At center, try to avoid talk which may make you anxious like number of attempts one has given, number of mocks done etc.

4) Keep your ID,admit card and BLACK BALL PEN etc. as per requirement ready with you a day before.

5) Wear comfortable clothes, one in which you feel confident and easy.

6) Try to be at your respective seat at least 5-10 minutes before examination begins. Make yourself totally comfortable at your place.

Now, once inside the hall :

1) Do fill up all details meticulously and very carefully. Your roll number and every other details has to be filled very very carefully. In case of any doubts, do not hesitate to ask invigilators.

2) Do not be anxious at all. Believe you me, things get pretty easy when we do any task in cool, composed manner.

3) Sometimes, the first few questiones that you would face in your booklet may be very tough as it happened with me last year. Here it is very very important that one doesn't get worried because as you move on you are going to find easier ones. So do not get bowled out my dear friends in beginning or for that matter during entire duration of two hours.

4) Do not attempt those questions about which you have NO/ZERO idea. No wild guess/tukkas to be taken arbitrarily. If you haven't come across either question or even options, move on. Do not waste your precious time amd also one need not necessarily attempt 100 questiones compulsorily. Negatives has to be minimised and avoided.

5) From my personal experience, I always recommend that DO ATTEMPT that question in which you have eliminated 2 options. This is the safest and prudent risk that one can take. Because if you eliminate three option, then you reach at answer. So eliminating two and then taking attempt would always make cumulative score higher. However, individual discretion is again adviced here.

6) Spare enough time i.e last 30 minutes to fill up bubble if you are one who fills up in end. Do not wait for last moment. Fill up your bubbles and then look at questiones which are left and are doable or on which attempt can be made.

7) While there is no standard formula for number of questiones to be attempted, still something around 80-90 can be SAFE ZONE. Because at 60, you need to have really great accuracy which is not there for most of us. So decide accordingly based on your experience in mocks or depending upon your own accuracy,negativities. However following Buddha's "MADHYAMA MARG" aka "majjhima patipada" ia always wise way ahead.

Moving on to few tips for CSAT paper now, after your GS paper is over :

8) Now after GS paper is over, one get 3 hours gap before CSAT paper starts. Do not discuss questiones of GS paper in that time. As no one knows for sure what is correct or wrong answer. Discussion may make you anxious,worried and may impact your performance in CSAT paper.

9) Do not take CSAT paper casually. Scoring 33% marks is not that easy these days,if you take it casually. Attempt questiones seriously and with full concentration.

10) There are three section in CSAT paper i.e numerical, english comprehension and reasoning. So if one is not that great in numerical, no problem you can focus on other two section first and then try to do numerical in end. Bank upon your strength part first and then try to extracxt as much possible from other section. However, do not blindly leave any section. There are many easier questiones in every section which can be done easily.

11) Keep spare time here also to fill up bubble. CSAT usually is not tough job. However avoid negatives here.

Well, these are some of my bit that I am sharing with you all here which worked pretty well for me. I hope and pray this help you too and even bolden you for D day.

Stay happy and positive now on. Do what is in your hand, and leave rest to almighty God. I am pretty sure that things would be positive for you. May the POSITIVE FORCE be with all of you on 4th of October, 2020.

P.S - We batch of 2020 will be sharing toppers' key on 4th evening at csewiki.org. All of you can get your tentative marks checked from topper's key after you get home.

However, a word of caution : irrespective of marks one get, do devote yourself in preparation of mains as every key would have some variance in answer from actual one and also very less time is there this time for mains and we really can't tell what would be cut-off. So better be prepared than caught off-guard when result comes.


In the end, once again wishing all my dear friends and future CHAMPS all the very best from my side and also 2020 batch. I know you are surely going to excel and come up with flying colors. Just have faith in yourself and stay happy and positive. BEST WISHES.:)