Do you have the courage to apply Tikdams from Day 1?

3 examples of how tikdams is not about guess work but smart work!

We are going to start with our Flagship Prelims TS in 2 days – Click here to enroll.

On 11th September, IAS 2017 aspirants will start their journey of mastering the core concepts and understanding the value of tikdams in their test attempts, right from Day 1.

But some of the first timers wrote back to us that they were unclear as to what these tikdams were all about?

  • Is it just about a guessing technique? If yes, then isn’t it better that I rather complete the course than depend upon guess work?
  • Is this easy for a newbie to understand or only an experienced test taker can develop the hunch for correct options?
  • Should I join the TS now or wait for my coaching to help me finish the coursework before? I don’t want to feel less confident about my testing scores etc etc.

Let’s solve your concerns and assure you that joining the TS right now is the most sensible thing you can do for your test prep.

Read this question from the IAS Prelims 2016. If you are a beginner to IAS Prep, what would be your takeaways from this question?

#1. With reference to ‘Astrosat’, the astronomical observatory launched by India, which of the following statements is/are correct? (IAS Pre 2016)

  1. Other than USA and Russia, India is the only country to have launched a similar observatory into space.
  2. Astrosat is a 2000 kg satellite placed in an orbit at 1650 km above the surface of the Earth via PSLV.

The question asked you to select the correct statement(s) of these two.

Look at this question and think like a beginner. If you just started your IAS Preparation, its likely that you have no idea about Astrosat or even if you do, you might not know the intricate details which this question put forth. Right? Does that mean that as a beginner you will have to mug up on all the factoids of current affairs? Is that even humanly possible to do! Is this what UPSC wants you to become? A ratta machine?

Think again!

As a beginner, when you read about the space missions and related activities in news, you will invariably find mentions of China, EU along with USA, Russia in the strategic missions in space. Now even if you do not know about Astrosat in particular, your tikdami mind should raise a red flag – Is it possible that EU, China etc would not have attempted something that India just did?

During your preparation, you will come across the launchers – PSLV, GSLV etc and you would know about their load taking capacities and learn that PSLV has an upper limit at ~1680 kgs. Now this piece of knowledge becomes wisdom for a sincere student and that becomes a piece of tikdam when he applies it on the second statement! There is no way in hell that 2000 kg of mass can be transported by a PSLV. That’s wrong!

And voilla, you get your answer!

You can easily cross both the statement and attempt the question without the knowledge of Astrosat in particular. That’s what tikdam is. Is this guesswork? NO.

This is the point when knowledge becomes wisdom and a sincere aspirant takes a leap over everyone else!

Now, let’s take another simple question –

#2. Which one of the following is the best description of ‘INS Astradharini’, that was in the news recently?

(a) Amphibious warfare ship

(b) Nuclear-powered submarine

(c) Torpedo launch and recovery vessel

(d) Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

Look at this question like a newbie. You did not by-heart the list of INS in news that year (who would!) and yet you need to apply tikdam into this question. What then?

Astra dharani = Astra ko dharan karne wali

That’s it – the smart hack of breaking that hindi word and matching astra with torpedo will give you the correct option – that is (c)!

Let’s give you another question from the Civilsdaily Flagship Test Series. This is an early bird sneak peek for those who want to understand tikdams better!

#3. Recently, India has joined ‘Hague Code of Conduct’, consider following statements:

  1. It was established in 2002 to prevent the spread of ballistic missiles that can deliver weapons of mass destruction
  2. It is the only normative instrument to verify the spread of ballistic missiles
  3. It is a voluntary legally binding multilateral body

Which of the statements given above is/are Correct?

a)1 only

b)2 and 3 only

c)1 and 2 only

d)1,2 and 3

What do you need to do to solve such CA questions?

  • Stay up to date with daily news – YES. In fact, we recommend that you read from our FREE android app daily to get the top 10-15 news items relevant for UPSC – Click here to download.
  • Knowing the basic terms of Polity – voluntary, legally binding agreements etc etc – YES. You gain this from reading your NCERTs properly
  • And Tikdams! The art of reading the finer details of a question

Red Flags in the option choices – Option 2 & 3 are counter intuitive to each other. If one is the other can’t be. Also, a voluntary body cannot be legally binding! There goes the option 3 down the drain.

That’s it! Knowledge leads to wisdom leads to Tikdam!

Our message to you is very simple.

As test takers and test makers, we know one thing for certain –

You need to work hard on your basics. We will be putting in efforts in our explanation sheets when we pick up titbits and tikdams for you BUT you need to be more forthcoming in your attempts. You need to think beyond the question and discuss other finer aspects of the answer choices.

Tikdam is the state of mind when knowledge becomes wisdom.


So, don’t think that tikdams and smart hacks are for those who haven’t prepared well. NO. They are for those who want to go to the zen level of problem solving! Prelims will be a cakewalk if you attempt the 3200 questions of the Flagship Test Series. You are bound to clear it 100% if you stay true to the time table and think like a PRO.

So, start from the Day 1. Do your NCERTs well and attempt the Indian Polity Test on 11th September.

By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily

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