10 Basic Tips and Tricks to Prepare for UPSC Exam or any Competitive Exam

Competitive exams are a window through which youngsters can gain employment or entry into academic institutions in the country and even abroad. In India, the competition is generally very high due to the large number of candidates that take up the various exams. Generally, the seats and vacancies are far too few to cater to the large demand. So, it takes a specialised focus on the part of the candidates to crack the various exams. The civil services exam is, according to some, in a different league altogether because of its tough nature and the vast syllabus involved.

Aspirants would find this topic very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

Tips and Tricks for Competitive Exams

Although each competitive exam is different from the next, there are some general tips that are common for all such exams. In this article, you can get a few handy tips and tricks that will help in your exam preparation.

Say Bye to Procrastination

It is important that you chart out a study plan and then stick to it. Do not procrastinate. Time is valuable and generally scarce when it comes to preparing for a competitive exam. Also, remember that time once lost cannot be retrieved. So, avoid putting things off.

Set Goals

Set realistic and achievable goals, and treat yourself when you achieve the goal. This way, the candidates can feel motivated and see improvement in their preparation. The goals needn’t be a long term one, instead, they can also be short, even for a day.

Kickstart your IAS preparation now and complement it with the links given below: 

Stay Updated

Whether it is UPSC or any other competitive government exam, the relevance of current affairs has increased in recent years. The number of questions asked in both objective and descriptive levels of the exam has increased. Therefore, a lot of importance has to be given to the preparation of current affairs. Hence, the aspirants have to develop a regular habit of reading newspapers.

Read BYJU’S Comprehensive News Analysis, to know how to cover daily news comprehensively for competitive exams.

Prepare Notes

Note-making is an art and the aspirants have to master it to save time and be efficient in their preparation. Preparing notes will help the aspirants to remember the facts better, and quick revision is made easy. Handwritten notes are always better, but too much time should not be spent on notes making. Therefore, the aspirants can make use of any note making tool in their own gadgets to note down important information.

To know more about Making Notes For UPSC IAS Exam, check the linked article.

Learn smart ways

Competitive exams demand candidates to answer a lot of questions in a relatively short time. Therefore, it is important that you study a few tricks and short-cuts to solve problems in s shorter time span. In the IAS exam, this is particularly important for the CSAT paper.

Speed up

Picking from where we left off in the previous point, it is essential to work on improving your speed of answering. In objective type papers, you must work on your speed of reading questions, knowing short-cuts, eliminating wrong answers and avoiding negative marks (if there is negative marking). In the IAS mains papers or any other written exam, you must enhance your writing speed by practice alone.

Previous test papers

It is imperative that you solve previous years’ questions papers of the particular exam. This will not only help you understand the demands of the exam, but will also greatly increase your speed of answering the paper. You can also better time your answers if you do this.

To check out the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers, check the linked article.

Attempt Mock Tests

Even though the aspirants are well thorough with the subjects, the student might feel nervous and not have enough time at the exam hall if he/she does not practice enough mock tests. That is primarily because, the aspirants might lose track of time and lack skills in time management. This situation can be avoided by giving mock tests.

To practise IAS Mock Tests, check the linked article.

Be positive

Throughout your preparation time and also while actually taking the exam, you must keep a positive mind. Being negative will hamper your performance. If you are positive, your mind will have clarity and confidence, and this will improve your recall and thinking abilities. You should de-stress and relax once in a while during your preparation. This will help your mind rejuvenate and be sharper.

Inner Motivation

The candidates should always have an inner motivation. Why do I want this job? Every candidate should have a reason for this question. During low times, the aspirants can bring back their focus, thinking of the same reason.

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2021.

UPSC 2021

Related Links

UPSC Calendar 2022 Gist of Yojana
Public Service Commission NCERT Notes For UPSC
10 Must-Read Books for IAS Aspirants IAS Questions & Answers for UPSC 2021-22
Static GK Government Exams
Best Optional Subjects for UPSC IAS Toppers
UPSC Syllabus UPSC Eligibility Criteria


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  1. Pls help for current affairs