A week before UPSC Civil Services Prelims exam

With just a week left for the UPSC Civil Services Prelims exam, you may follow the three basic rules –

1. Reduce the intake of new stuff
In the last days of preparation, students are bombarded with too many coaching materials in the form of compilations, important current affairs, short notes etc. Now is not the time to read them. The more and more new stuff you read now, the less you will be able to retrieve it during the exam. Too much information in a very short duration clogs the pathways for recall. Further, these information will hardly help you. UPSC is not like a semester exam where last minute cramming will pass you. Whatever knowledge you have internalized in last few months will only be helpful.

Do not worry that you have so many things left or syllabus is still incomplete. Take my words for it, syllabus completion in UPSC is a myth, you will never be able to achieve it. The below quote describes the situation aptly.

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” — Ernest Hemingway



2. Revise each and everything you have read
Revision means study of information that was studied before. It is a set of changes that corrects or improves something (in this case your knowledge). It helps you in organizing the information you already have . This will make recalling easier in the exam. The last week must be mostly devoted for revision. I have already written about how to practice MCQs. If you have followed it, and have made short sentences describing the essence of the question, you will have no problem in revising them now.

Elie Wiesel says “There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don’t see them.”



3. Stay healthy : Anxiety management
It’s quite normal to be a bit anxious just before the exam. Everyone feels that way. The quality that will make you successful is how well are you able to manage it. So, its essential that you relax now and do not worry about what will happen. If you are a late night learner, its time to switch to day mode. You don’t want to feel sleepy during the exam. Eating fruits, taking walks and having some light entertainment is what you need now.


You may think that these are simple rules which everyone is aware of. How is it going to make a difference? The difference, my friend , lies in application. All the best!

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” — Johann Wolfgang


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