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Do's and Don'ts Checklist for the UPSC Prelims

The UPSC Prelims is the first step towards achieving your dreams of becoming a Civil Servant. In the prelims exam, there are two papers namely, the General Studies I and General Studies II (CSAT), both are objective papers with negative marks for incorrect answers. Both the papers will be conducted on the same day in two sessions, one in the morning and the second in the afternoon, separated by a break. This article gives you a checklist of do’s like carrying your admit card, pen, wristwatch and arriving early. This article also shares instructions on what must be avoided in the examination.

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

Aspirants can start their UPSC 2023 preparation now!!

To complement your preparation for the upcoming exam, check the following links:

 UPSC Prelims – Instructions

The instructions are divided into 2 types, one that must be followed without fail and other sets of instructions on what must be avoided without fail.


The following instructions must be followed by the candidates while appearing for the exams.

Take a copy of the admit card

Candidates should remember to take a printout of the admit card from the official website of the UPSC. Make sure your photograph is clearly visible on it. Otherwise, please carry a valid photo ID card such as Aadhar card, PAN card, passport, driving license, etc. along with the e-Admit card.

Carry a black ballpoint pen

Ensure you have adequate stationery for the prelims exam. Remember that the commission allows only black ballpoint pens to be used on the OMR sheet. Pencils and other coloured pens are not allowed. Always keep spare pens and refills with you.

Arrive early

It is better to plan to arrive 30 minutes earlier than the time you are expected to arrive rather than make a last minute entry or worse, be late and not be allowed to take the exam. Always anticipate traffic jams or some other emergency and be prepared for them. You should have some time extra so that you can find your room and seat number at ease. You should also have a few minutes to calm down and collect your thoughts before you start the UPSC exam.

Wear a wrist watch

The UPSC allows analog watches for candidates. It is advisable to wear one so that you can always be aware of how much time has passed and how much is left. There is no need to depend on the invigilator for it. Please remember smartwatches or digital ones are not allowed.


These are the instructions that gives details on the prohibited actions.

Do not carry gadgets or mobile phones

You are not allowed to carry any electronic gadgets into the exam hall as specifically mentioned by the commission in the exam rules. So, refrain from carrying them. Your mobile phones have to be submitted to them before entering the hall, so make sure you carry a bag in which to safe-keep it.

Do not panic

It is extremely important to take the exam with a calm and composed mind. If you panic, you will not be able to recollect what you have learned. You will also not be able to think properly and logically, which is necessary to do well in the exam. In case you feel the exam is not going your way, focus on the positives and see what all questions you know and can answer. If it is difficult for you, it might be so for most others. So, do not fret over it.

Candidates can check the UPSC 2023 Calendar at the linked article.

Related Links

IAS Salary IAS Eligibility
UPSC Books Static GK
Civil Service Exam UPSC Syllabus
Best Optional Subjects for UPSC 10 Must Read Books for IAS Aspirants


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