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Last-Minute Tips to Crack UPSC CSE Prelims

An important exam such as UPSC requires careful preparations. Follow these tips to make sure your exam goes smoothly.

UPSC is one of the toughest and most competitive examinations in India. It can help you secure a place in the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Foreign Service, and so on. It gives you a chance to actively participate in the workings or proceedings of the government and bring about a change in the country. 

The UPSC examination receives a lot of aspirants every year. Aspirants from all over the country appear in large numbers for the examination. However, only a few qualify for it. That can be possible by following a set of tricks and tips that will help you score better. 

Before you appear for the UPSC CSE Prelims, you need to keep certain pointers in mind that will fetch you the desired results. For starters, on the day before the exam, stop studying for a while, take a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds. Relax your mind and body and mentally prepare yourself for the examination that you will write the next day. 

The following are some important pointers that can help you in scoring a good set of marks in UPSC CSE Prelims. 

Last-Minute Tips to Crack UPSC CSE Prelims

Many tricks and tips should be embedded in your mind while preparing for the exam. They are as follows: 

  • Before the day of the examination, make sure to relax your brain. Do not overburden yourself with studying. 

  • Try staying away from social media as much as you can, as it can hinder your mental peace. 

  • Get a good night’s sleep and spend more time with your family members and pets. It will be therapeutic for you.

  • If you think watching a movie or listening to a song will relax your brain, try doing that. 

  • Even if nervousness and anxiety allow you to get only 2-4 hours of sleep, make sure you sleep deeply in that time duration and do not worry about anything else. If not, sleep deprivation can hinder your examination.

  • Make sure to organise your belongings a day before. Ensure that you have everything handy. Keep spare pens in case of an emergency. Keep your mask and sanitiser in place as well. This way, you don’t have to worry about organising your things in the morning.

  • Ensure that you have the information manual and hall ticket with you before you leave the house. 

  • Reach the centre one hour in advance so that you get acquainted with the surroundings and feel relaxed. You’ll have ample time to relax yourself this way.

  • Make sure to find a place to keep your belongings so that you do not have to rush at the last minute.

  • Make sure that you’re sitting in the correct seat number that matches your enrollment number. 

  • Fill in the details on your OMR sheet by looking at the details in your hall ticket. Be very sure not to make any mistakes.

  • If you have any doubts regarding any section while filling in information, ask your invigilator or supervisor and do not fill anything haphazardly.

  • Mark your OMR answer sheet simultaneously as you get the answers. If you do not do that, the chances of committing an error are way more. You can also make a sequencing mistake.

  • Do not use a whitener, chalk, or any other such things to rectify your mistakes. It can result in disqualification of your exam sheet. 

  • Once the papers are distributed to you, do not go through the paper in an unsystematic manner. Do not attempt the questions that you know at once. Rather, clear the first round of questions first and then move on to the next.

  • Divide the questions into the ones that you’re sure about. Keep them in round one. 

  • Round two questions are the ones that you are not entirely sure about and require some thinking and remembering on your part. Do them after you’re done with the questions you are sure about.

  • In the third round of questions, take up the questions that you have no idea about. They will require a lot of your time. Therefore, leave them for the last. 

  • After you are done with the first paper, you may feel overwhelmed with negative or positive emotions depending upon how your exam went.You may hear a lot of unsolicited advice or opinions from fellow aspirants that can take your morale down. Make sure that you don’t let any of it get to you as it can hinder your mental peace.

  • After one paper is done, tell yourself that you’ve given your best and nothing can be changed now. Worrying about the same will cause you more harm than good.

  • Practise mental distancing when you’re in the crowd. If you have earphones or earbuds with you, use them to listen to calming music that will help you relax your mind. The more you listen to the discussion on the paper, the more anxious you will feel.

  • Do not check the answers you have marked immediately.

  • For the CSAT paper, do not attempt as many questions as you want. Instead, focus on the questions that you’re sure about. 

  • The CSAT paper is lengthy and time-consuming. Divide your time well so that you do not waste your time on a question that does not yield any possible results.

  • In the CSAT paper, the options can be very confusing and relevant to each other. In such a case, use your presence of mind and devise an answer that is hidden in clear sight. 

  • Do not be intimidated by the maths or quantitative aptitude that is present in the paper. Rather, try to solve them as much as you can. 

  • For maths, try to attempt the questions that fall under areas that are your strengths and solve them as you proceed in the paper. 

  • For political science, some key points to keep in mind are as follows: 

  1. Make sure to check if the statement reads correct, incorrect, or vice versa. 

  2. There may be some words that you cannot find the meaning of at once. Relax in such a case and think with a clear mind.

  3. Do not overdo the questions in greed for more marks. 

  • Try the elimination method to eliminate the wrong options while attempting a question.

  • Even if the question looks lengthy, do not get intimidated by it. Try to read through it calmly and solve it. 

  • For history, the elimination of questions and options is the best way to solve the questions.

  • For economics, make sure to be updated about all the latest surveys and budgets to solve the questions. 


In this article, we have discussed the tips and tricks that you should keep in mind when you appear for the UPSC CSE Prelims examination. The whole process of the examination takes place in two stages. The entire duration consists of four hours. This can be tiring and very mentally challenging. Therefore, you should keep several things in mind before going for the examination. 

Before you reach the centre, make sure you have a light breakfast that will keep your stomach moderately full and help you think better. Secondly, make sure you have your hall ticket and information manual with you. These are two important components related to the examination. Try to get a good night’s sleep before the exam day. If you stress yourself out the day before, your mind will not be able to relax, and it will create problems for you the day after. The presence of mind is exceedingly necessary when you write the exam. Without that, you’ll not be able to solve the questions as effectively as possible. 

Certain pointers should be kept in mind while solving the various questions related to different subjects. At last, be confident and do not fret over what is already done. Go with a positive mindset for the examination and give it your best effort.

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Frequently asked questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the UPSC Examination Preparation.

What are certain pointers that you should keep in mind for the political science questions?

Ans. These pointers are:  ...Read full

What are some general guidelines before appearing for the examination?

Ans. Get a good sleep before the exam da...Read full

Give some last-minute tips for the UPSC examination.

Ans. Be determined and consistent with y...Read full

What are some tips related to the OMR sheet?

Ans. Do not use whitener or other such t...Read full