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7 Power Tips for Cracking UPSC Prelims

 #2 Make easy-to-refer notes

With the extensive syllabus and topics to be covered, notes help us to revise everything before the prelims. In spite of studying the whole year, revision in the last two weeks is crucial to pay off the hard work done. To retain all the information, good notes are a mandate. Important questions can be marked and accumulated in one place, for later reference.



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#3 Use memory techniques to retain information


Prelims is a multiple choice question test, this would mean a lot of information to study and remember. The exam is designed to test qualities such as sharp memory and retention power. To enhance these qualities, memory techniques should be used. Memory can be improved by using visual aids such as charts in the form of graphs or tables can be used to avoid confusion when faced with large amounts of facts and figures. These tables can later be used to revise before the examination.

To understand difficult concepts, diagrams can be used and different words can be linked to make it easier to understand and remember the concepts. One more technique to help in retaining information is the use of abbreviations. Abbreviations can help you relate different names and aspects of the concept. To remember dates and facts, the use of pictures can be made, along with breaking up complex names and places into smaller and simpler words.



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#4 Keep taking mock tests

Most candidates wait till the end to take mock tests and then panic. Mock tests should be taken right after completing a particular section in a topic to evaluate yourself better. Not only will this help in constant evaluation, it will also ensure the topics studied have been exhausted and well covered. This will boost your confidence and remove anxiety. Best approach would be to refer to the previous year’s question papers before starting a topic and after completing it. This will give an idea of what to study out of the extensive syllabus. Along with previous year’s question papers, enroll for a good test series to keep up to date with the latest question trends.

#5 Filter out the noise

Many candidates overload themselves with lots of information and ultimately end up remembering very little. Your friend will tell you to refer to Book A, another friend will suggest you to refer to Book B, and someone else to use Book C, because that’s the best one around. And you refer one book after the other hoping to cover every source that’s considered important for that subject. This will only lead to an information overload and you will run out of time to cover the syllabus. Standard books should be referred to for detailed explanation, while addressing other books for information missing in the book. This should be paired up with mock tests to identify what more has to be studied under that topic. A lot more can be extracted by re-reading the few books you have, than running after the next book mentioned by someone.



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#6 Work on your speed and accuracy

Speed and accuracy are equally important as getting the correct answer. Mock tests should be taken regularly by timing yourself and working to improve your speed. A good approach to problem solving should be adopted to help achieve a high speed, such as eliminating the least appropriate answer. In some questions, eliminating the options which look least likely and approaching the correct option, will enhance the speed as well accuracy.

#7 Visualize your room during the examination


Keep calm and study hard. It is vital to keep calm and have a positive outlook. Positivity will enhance your productivity. Do not panic when unable to answer a question, by studying it then, you have ensured you now know the answer. Keep doing that. The more you study, take mock tests and solve previous year’s question papers, the more you will learn. If panicking before the examination, try visualising the room you studied in and imagine yourself in that room while giving the exam. This helps by bringing in a familiar setting and helping you relax.




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