Many aspirants fail in the UPSC Civil Services Exam because they knowingly or unknowingly adopt many wrong approaches to clear the IAS exam. They make many mistakes in their preparation, particularly regarding the IAS mock exams before Prelims.
Is your IAS preparation right on track?
How can you find out that?
The best method to check the level of preparation before the UPSC CSE Preliminary Exam is to take some quality mock exams and evaluate your performance. In test series like that of ClearIAS, you get the option to compare your performance with thousands of candidates who take the same exam. You can also compare your own past performance and analyse the improvement.
Are you in the top 10% of candidates who took the exam?
Initially, your target should be to score at least 90 marks (out of 200) on an average in ClearIAS mock exams. Aim to rank in the top 10% of candidates. Then, work harder for further improvement.
In the last month, if you are scoring comfortably in the 110-130 range on an average, and rank in the top 5% of candidates, congrats, you are right on track!
If your performance is not up to the mark, rectify the following mistakes!
Don’t worry if you fail to reach the top 10% of candidates initially. It might be some mistakes in your overall preparation which is pulling you down. Or it can be a wrong exam-hall strategy. Check if you were adopting any of the below wrong approaches in IAS Mock Exams. If yes, correct it.
1. Reading mock exams from photostats or PDFs and not practising it the right way!
Nowadays, aspirants get a lot of low-quality mock exams in PDF format from the internet. Some shops are also selling pirated versions of mock tests prepared by coaching institutes.
Even if you leave the piracy and ethical issues aside, will this approach help you to clear the IAS exam?
Aspirants who mug up mock questions from the photocopies or PDFs (which are available in plenty these days), without practising them in an efficient mock exam platform, often fail to perform well on the actual exam day.
That’s why we are very serious about the importance of the right practice.
ClearIAS Mock Test Platform has more than 1,00,000 registered users. Toppers trust us for the right guidance. Newcomers, please follow ClearIAS Prelims Test Series Timetable to get an idea of the uploaded and upcoming mock exams.
Are you practising mock exams in a timed-environment with negative marking as in the ClearIAS Mock Exam Platform?
OR are you following the wrong method of reading from photocopies or PDFs, without identifying your mistakes?
Don’t read mock exams using photocopies or PDFs, as they won’t help! Pirated mock exams might help you save some fees, but it will cost you a lot of precious youth years if you fail to clear prelims. Always remember that time is money!
2. Not following the multiple round answering techniques (3-2-1-0-E method)
One of the most important approaches, which we have discussed in a previous post is the 3-2-1-0 E method.
The essence here is to solve the UPSC question paper in 4 stages – based on the number of answer choices you are able to eliminate. Don’t start solving questions at a stretch from 1 to 100, but rather use multiple rounds.
This will increase your marks by a big margin.
3. Less number of questions being attempted
There are many candidates who attempt only 50-60 questions in mock exams out of 100.
If you are serious about IAS exam preparation, you should have a realistic idea of what can be the probable cut off score.
Though the cutoff score can increase or decrease based on the difficulty level of the question paper and the number of vacancies, in the coming years it may peak to 120-130 out of 200.
This means, after deducing negative marks for wrong answers, you should score above 130 marks to prepare confidently for the Main exam.
To achieve this high score, the number of questions attempted should be high (preferably above 85), with good accuracy.
If the probability of getting a question correct is more than 25%, we strongly suggest taking a risk and attempting that question. As per the statistical analysis, you have more probability of ending up with positive marks.
4. Random guessing and carelessness
Never marks answers based on random guessing. There should be enough caution to avoid negative marking.
Some candidates lose marks for being careless and lazy. They don’t think much before answering.
You should apply logic and common sense to eliminate the wrong options.
Test yourself, with the following free mock exams first.
- GS All Topics – UPSC Prelims Free Mini Mock Test (001FT)
- Polity – UPSC Prelims Free Mini Mock Test (002FT)
- Economics – UPSC Prelims Free Mini Mock Test (003FT)
Remember, IAS Prelims is not a tough nut to crack if you follow our guidance and strategies. There are thousands of our students who did it.
If you can correctly answer 3/10 questions of which you have no idea about, you will end up with a positive mark.
Be positive. Eliminate your mistakes. You will clear. All the best!