The UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) is one of the toughest and most prestigious competitive exams in India. However, cracking the UPSC CSE requires a systematic and disciplined approach to preparation. Aspirants should not only focus on building a strong foundation of knowledge but also avoid errors that can hinder their chances of success. Read along to find a CSE checklist with the do’s and don’ts for UPSC CSE preparation play a crucial role in guiding aspirants toward the right path and helping them avoid common mistakes. You can refer to the checklist for CSE to know the do’s and don’ts that can make or break an aspirant’s chances of clearing the UPSC CSE.
CSE checklist Dos for UPSC preparation
Checklist # 1 Revision
The importance of revision cannot be overstated. It is essential to revise whatever subject and topic you are studying to ensure that you remember the information you have learned. Without proper revision, you may forget important details and end up losing marks in those topics. Make sure to revise regularly so that you do not carry confusion into the exam hall, which could result in a higher negative score.
Checklist # 2 Make assessment on Facts vs Concepts
The UPSC Prelims over the last few years have become quite conceptual, so it is essential to look at the last 4-5 year’s question papers and make an assessment of the type of questions that are asked on each subject. For example, in Polity, you do not need to rote learn names of past Presidents, Election Commissioners, etc. anymore. The Economy paper is now highly conceptual and highly scoring, so concentrate on understanding the basics. Make an assessment of all subjects and ensure that your preparation matches the exam pattern.
CSE checklist # 3 Current affairs preparation
Many students make the mistake of picking up current affairs booklets in the last few weeks before the exam, hoping to finish quickly. However, this can lead to an overload of information, and your memory may not be able to cope up with the sudden load. It is best to spend a few hours every day from now on to prepare for current affairs and revise regularly. Even if you are unable to finish all current affairs, do not worry. Study and revise what you can. The same applies to map work – allocate a small time slot for it daily and keep revising.
CSE checklist # 4 Practice Test papers
Practicing test papers is an essential aspect of UPSC preparation. It helps you assess the level of your preparation, your ability to finish on time, and the kind of basic errors you commit, such as improper reading of the questions or options, etc. Make sure to pick up some test series booklets and attempt them, regardless of the level of your preparation.
CSE checklist # 5 Stick to routine to be active in exam
During the last weeks leading up to the exam, it is important to make sure you are studying or practicing with intense concentration in the two slots of 9 am-12 pm and 2 pm-5 pm. Your brain will get accustomed to being most active during those hours, and you will be better prepared for the exam.
CSE checklist # 6 Visit venue before the exam day
It is advisable to physically visit the exam venue at least once before the exam day so that there are no surprises. You will also understand the best mode of transportation. If you plan on going in a cab, remember that there will be a huge demand for cabs, so you should keep a buffer of 10-15 minutes.
CSE checklist # 7 Reach the venue well on time
It is crucial to reach the venue 45 minutes to 1 hour before the scheduled time. Last-minute rush and anxiety to reach the venue could negatively impact your concentration.
Don’ts for UPSC CSE
Do not be afraid
The UPSC exam is the same for everyone, and you should trust your preparation and give your best. Any anxiety before or during the exam will hurt your performance. If you feel nervous, take a deep breath and calm yourself down. Even if at first glance, the paper looks tough and you feel like you know nothing, do not get scared. Keep calm and go through the paper question by question, and you will find ample questions that you can answer.
Do not doubt
Once you decide to give the paper, do not let thoughts of your preparation enter your mind. Focus only on what you
Don’t lose momentum
Keep studying and maintaining your concentration even as the exam approaches. Don’t let distractions or procrastination affect your performance.
Never leave OMR sheet until the end
Fill in the OMR sheet regularly to avoid losing out on marks.
Pay attention to attendance sheets
Be careful while filling in your attendance sheet. Even a small mistake here could cause unnecessary anxiety and waste time.
Don’t skip questions in a hurry
Read all questions and options carefully before attempting any questions.
Be strategic in the questions you attempt. Evaluate the difficulty of the paper before attempting a certain number of questions. Don’t over-attempt and waste time on difficult questions.
The UPSC exam is a highly competitive and challenging examination. Also, it requires rigorous preparation and consistent effort. Aspirants should adhere to certain do’s and don’ts to maximize their chances of success in this examination.
The do’s include developing a strong foundation of knowledge, focusing on the syllabus, practicing answer writing, and maintaining a disciplined study schedule. Additionally, aspirants should also stay updated with current affairs and read relevant newspapers and magazines.
On the other hand, the don’ts include procrastination, relying on shortcuts or guesswork, neglecting health, and being overly anxious or stressed. Aspirants should avoid these pitfalls and focus on developing a holistic and sustainable approach to their preparation.
Therefore, success in the UPSC exam requires a combination of hard work, discipline, and perseverance. By following the do’s and avoiding the don’ts, aspirants can significantly enhance their chances of achieving their goal of cracking this prestigious examination.