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  4. UPSC CSE Prelims 2021: Analytical skills, common sense, honesty will get you through, say experts

UPSC CSE Prelims 2021: Analytical skills, common sense, honesty will get you through, say experts

In this article check some very important tips to perform better at the UPSC CSE Prelims Exam 2021.

Arnab Mitra Arnab Mitra @arnabindiatv
New Delhi Published on: October 09, 2021 16:27 IST

UPSC CSE Prelims 2021: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is going to conduct the civil service prelims (CSE) 2021 on Sunday (October 10). On the last day before the exam it is important to keep yourself calm, said Pradeep Nair from Vajirao IAS Academy.  He said, "I would advise that candidates refer to their personal notes this close to the exam, instead of digging up new information.

"If you learn something new this close to the examination day, it would only confuse you and create unwanted stress. So, keep yourself calm, and revise the things that you have already studies."

Nair said, "The UPSC not only tests your knowledge on one particular topic but it also wants to know your level of understanding on the topic. So, it is very important to develop a good understanding of whatever topic you are covering, apply your logic and common sense and most importantly follow your instincts."

When asked about the role of NCERT books in the UPCS preparation, Pradeep said, "Of course NCERT books help a lot as most of the useful information comes from the NCERT books. So, when you go back to your old books, it gives a sense of familiarity."  

"These are the things we have already studied in school and now when you start to read it again, all of it starts coming back and you remember a lot of things," he continued.

Talking about the strategies candidates should adopt for the preparation, Balaji Srinivasan from Oliver said, "As far as completing the syllabus is concerned, aim to complete the syllabus by July or August, then focus on individual topics and then move to practice last year question papers." According to Balaji, Polity, history, the economy is the most scoring topics. He said that these three topics form the core of the exam and as many as 15-20 questions from these topics have been appearing in the exam every year. 

Balaji suggested that it is best to focus on the current affairs question that is dynamic in nature. He hinted that UPSC tends to often not as questions on topics that are too dominant. "At this time candidates should find smart ways to capitalise your time," said Srinivasan. When asked about any particular repetitive topics, Balaji said, " It would be misleading to say that there is any particular kind of topics that UPSC asks questions about." 

About the preparation strategies to adopt for the Mains exam once the prelims are clear, Balaji said, "The preparation for both UPSC prelims and mains are done simultaneously. It is not possible to prepare for prelims first and then separately prepare for the mains exam." In agreement with Balaji, Pradeep Nair said, "You will have to take it as a whole because your ultimate goal is to crack the UPSC CSE exam."

"My advice is that once the prelim exams are over don't go back to check your answers and analyse your result. Instead, take a break of 2-3 days and start your preparations for mains. Practice mock tests and previous year question paper, try to work on your speed and structure your answers," said Balaji. 

Talking about how appearing for the UPSC CSE prelim exam helps with the UPSC Mains performance, Nair said, "When you have done your preparation for the prelims, you get an idea about where you stand. You can then carry forward from there. You can build on what you have already done at the last minute."  

It is often very confusing as to how should the candidates direct their preparations when applying for any exam. For that it is very important to understand the objective of the examination, talking about the same, "Your analytical skills will help a lot, so it is very important to understand what your study. It not advisable to learn something without understanding."  He also added that the UPSC Prelims exam is a screening exam to filter the eligible candidates. 

To crack the UPSC CSE exam, Pradeep Nair shared five very important yet simple tips that candidates should keep in mind:

  • Staying honest
  • Show your integrity
  • Staying calm
  • Keep a Pilot's presence of mind
  • Always keep an element of balance. 

Often we come across discussions such as the UPSC has a preference towards the candidates with pro-government opinions. When asked about the same to Balaji, he said, "Candidates should be true about their opinion, but they will have to frame it in a way that it comes across as constructive criticism as suppose to rant. Candidates will have to present their opinions in a more acceptable way." 

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