Education

Strategically Solving UPSC Question Papers for Prelims

The UPSC Question Paper in the Prelims is designed to test your ability to grasp dynamic knowledge as well as your ability to accurately present information.

Considering the trends of the past UPSC Prelims’ Question Papers, time management is also a crucial factor when it comes to solving the UPSC Question Paper

Keeping these factors in mind, this article will give some handy tips on how to solve UPSC Question Papers for the prelims stage.

Simple steps to solve UPSC Prelim Question Papers

Employing the following strategic steps will help in solving the UPSC Prelims Question Papers effectively. The steps are as follows:

Step #1: Go through the question paper and select only those questions that you are absolutely sure of. These questions are usually direct and to the point, and can be solved in less than a minute. This reduces the chances of negative marking to a certain extent.

Step #2: Once the direct questions have been answered, direct your attention to the questions that will need to be answered with some extra thought. These questions are the types that are statement-based and will require some thinking to arrive at the proper solution. The time leftover from solving the direct questions will therefore be useful in this step

Step #3: This step will need some memory jogging and educated guesses to come up with the correct answer. Of course, guesswork is not recommended unless one has covered the syllabus extensively. However, sometimes a little guesswork here and there can work wonders.

Step #4: Since prelims is an options based question paper, the principle of elimination can be employed. This essentially means eliminating the less plausible options. Usually 2 options can be eliminated easily, but you have to be able to correctly guess which answer is right between the other 2 options.

This is the most risky of all the steps and hence must only be taken, once steps 1-3 have been completed.

Using the first three steps, about 75-80 questions can be solved at best. This is usually above the cutoff (depending on the exam pattern every year). Just to be on the safe side, step #4 can always be deployed but rather gingerly, instead of in a wholesale manner.

Steps to Keep in Mind while Solving UPSC Questions

  • If you can correctly answer 3/10 questions of which you have no idea about, you will end up with a positive mark.
  • Employ logic and common sense to remove wrong options. Do not mark answers by randomly guessing. Chances are that they will turn out to be wrong answers and thus you will get a negative mark for your trouble.
  • If the probability of getting an answer correct is more than 25%, It is strongly suggested to take a risk and attempt that question. As per the statistical analysis, you have more probability of ending up with positive marks.
  • Don’t lose time in the extra work of marking additional data.

Practising with yesteryears’ UPSC Question Papers will help you immensely in understanding the pattern of the exam in general. To this extent, referring to the UPSC Answer Keys in the linked article will be a practical step.

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