Prelims Motivation: Conquering the first Bastion

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

These lines from the tale of two cities resonate with the feelings aspirants are having now. These days are filled with fear, apprehensions, anxiety, the excitement of all kinds. There is this hope of qualifying with good margin and also fear of losing at the first stage.

One thing to know is that each and every aspirant is going through the same ups and downs. This solidarity should give you the assurance that you are not alone and this phase shall pass too.


Now coming to the D-day. It’s not over until it’s over. To make most of these remaining days following are some tips which may help you in maximising your output.

  1. Last mile is the hardest mile. Set aside your temptations to read anything new. Have faith in whatever you have read. Revise all your basics, test papers, current affairs, UPSC previous years papers.
  2. Focus on factual lists, facts, reports, festivals, dance, heritage sites, national parks, location on maps. Revision of these is a must 2-3 days before exam. It will help you in gaining 6-8 marks extra.
  3. Don’t pay attention to rumours of question paper pattern, cut-off. No-one knows anything. Stay away from last minute tricks to score or any suggestions which you have not applied before. Be confident in your preparation and strategy.
  4. Take care of your physical and mental health. Avoid eating Junk,outside food, overthinking about your performance. Schedule your timetable so that you are at your mental peak from 9.30 to 11.30 by focused study session during this interval.
  5. Plan your commute in advance. Also, travel with one hour margin to the examination centre. It’s better to wait at the centre than hurrying at the last minute to reach the centre and losing your calm.

On Examination Day

  1. Be well rested.
  2. Keep your stationery. Admit card, ID proof, chocolates, water bottle ready one day before to avoid last minute panic.
  3. Enter the examination hall with immense confidence and mindset that you are well prepared. You will score above your expectations.
  4. At first glance, you may feel like you haven’t heard of the question. Read options carefully then. The answer is in front of you. You need to identify it.
  5. Start filling the bubbles after one hour has passed. Leaving it for the last minute may cost you dearly.
  6. Don’t follow pre-set notions that only these number of questions should be attempted. An easy paper like 2016 will require more attempts and one like 2018 will require lesse number. Paper is same for everyone. You have to be above the cut-off. Take measured risks.
  7. If you feel exhausted during exams, consume chocolate or candy. This boosts your energy levels.
  8. Do not discuss Paper 1 before CSAT. Also, do not be overconfident or overly relaxed in CSAT. Attempt whole paper diligently.

On a parting note, have unflinching faith in your abilities and what you deserve. You will be amazed at the results you get.


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3 years ago

Thank you for a motivating article:) And a big shout out to all your efforts for us as well, there were all of immense help:)
Good luck to all the fellow aspirants:)