D – Day (7th August, 2016)
By now, you should have programmed yourself with the attitude we want you to.
Now there are 2 tactics here to be followed based on one’s belief and unique characteristics. We would advise that since you know what works or doesn’t work for you, make the choice yourself.
Don’t forget to take a black ball pen to the examination hall. And Admit Card
Most of you would have preconceived notions because of enormous discussions and manipulations based on various read/shared experiences. Leave all that since every individual is unique, be yourself!
You would have thought to attempt 90 questions or 100 for that sake. But in reality, it doesn’t appear like that. Every year, cutoff will be different and it depends on the level of paper and level of competition. Below are the general rules that will work for most of you. We are not counting on exceptions (say you know 100 out of 100 questions, so go for it!)
Never feel bad if you don’t know certain questions. Just because someone has belittled you for not attempting 90 + questions, do not let your ego play the role. Be smart and let intelligence play its part.
Round 1: Go through the whole paper quickly in 10 minutes. Why?
- By this you will know the level of question paper, difficult, moderate or easy.
- Don’t think, it will impact you negatively. Anyway, you will have to encounter them in few minutes.
- This exercise will make you more confident since you will see many familiar key words and concepts at a glance.
Most people, if they don’t answer the first 5 questions, feel so de-motivated that they start doubting their conviction over other answers too.
The purpose of the above exercise is to see some familiar words. You will realise that you will be straight-away knowing few questions. This will do a good lot to your confidence.
Round 2: Answer ONLY those which you are 100% confident. There will be 40-45 such questions despite very difficult paper (if your preparation is decent).
Mark them directly on the OMR sheet. Don’t waste time marking on your sheet and then transferring them on the OMR. (One of the very reasons for failure in Prelims is marking late in OMR and committing mistake)
And if the paper is easy for you
You will definitely mark 50-55 questions with confidence in Round 2
Round 3: You are left with 90 minutes and around 50 questions. Take 50 minutes for this round. (1 minute per question)
Go one by one for these questions. Assess your feeling of risk perception for each question.
Mark 30-40 if the paper is easy
Other-wise mark 20-30 in this round.
There will be questions where your actual intelligence/smartness will come into play. Intelligent guess/process of elimination/contradicting options etc will help you here.
So, How to go about it?
Suppose there is a question regarding some kind of Electronic Waste. AND you have the following options in the question
And you have to choose from the following options:
- 1 and 4
- 2, 3 and 4
- 1, 3 and 4
- 1, 2 and 3
Since Uranium is a Radioactive element and hence least used in e-tech due to health concern, it can’t be the right option. As you see, all the options except 4 can’t be right. Hence, 4 is the answer.
It appears so simple at this stage but in the examination hall, candidates skip such questions due to stress or non application of mind! Avoid such mistakes and give your 100% to all the questions.
Round 4: You are left with 25-35 questions and 40 minutes (Worst case)
There will always be 10-15 questions, which most can’t answer. Don’t spend time on them. Simply leave them. Target the remaining 20-25 in 30 min
Try to get a hit ratio of greater than 50% in the remaining ones.
Avoid mulling over questions like (No idea about or very confusing ones)
Which among the below lay down the foundation stone of social equality and social justice?
- Fundamental Rights
- Directive Principles
- Fundamental Duties
Who is the custodian of Indian Constitution?
- Supreme Court
- President of India
- Vice- President
- Speaker of Lok Sabha
- Such questions are based on various interpretations. Last year many advocated President as got confused with Custodian/Guardian but UPSC answer key gave , SC as the answer.
- In foundation stone question- Lakshmikant explicitly says, Fundamental Rights lay down the foundation stone of social equality and social justice but one may also take Preamble and DPSP as appropriate choices (confusion with the word social justice)
- Unless you are very confident of your choice, never get trapped here.
Questions that have intrinsic details or facts!
There are certain questions which are very factual. You cannot do much about it if have no idea or clarity on those facts. Just leave them. They won’t be constituting more than 2 or 3.
Round 5: Left with 10 minutes. Revise and recheck. Take no risks based on your gut feeling.
Note: Do not re-read the left out ones and become greedy in the hope to score more. Be careful while you re-read, it’s a double edged sword. (Recall your previous attempts and think what you did in last few minutes and how it has pushed you to write this exam again)
Based on your preparation level, you can weigh the toughness of the paper in between. Act smartly and don’t try to stretch your limits in anticipation. This may backfire. Taking risk is wise but when it is just to silent your huge expectation, it is mere foolishness. One incorrect bubble in the OMR sheet can destroy your chances.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, don’t fret over a question too much. If you don’t know, don’t take it to your heart. You’ve to only qualify Prelims, not top. MARKS WON’T COUNT, if you are able to even just clear the Prelims. In 20L4, Topper Ira Singhal scored 206 (The cut-off for GM was 205) So, just chill
At the end of the day, if we have helped you answer even one question extra or if we have contributed in any way to make your preparation better then we feel our lives are worth it.
Finish your exams and you will find us waiting for you on the other side. MAINS journey will be even more exciting. This year TLP 2016 will be much much better
And finally as Jack ma, founder of Alibaba built the most successful enabler for MSME in china on the philosophy:
“Today might be harsh, tomorrow harsher, but day after tomorrow is beautiful”
Source : IASbaba
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