UPSC Prelims is in another 24 hours and everyone must be bit anxious , but remain calm as Preparing well is half the battle. Being calm and in the best mental state in the exam hall is another half. 

  • It’s been a tough year with the pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding the exam. You might have not prepared as well as you would have liked. With all the unpredictability, perhaps you wasted a few days or weeks which you regret now. But remember that you aren’t alone. 
  • No one— not a single aspirant— at this moment is absolutely certain of clearing tomorrow’s exam.  The unsureness, the nervousness and the self-doubt is the case with everyone. 
  • So it’s fine to be nervous, but don’t panic. Just keep the faith. 
  • Now is not the time to doubt your ability.  Now is the time to have that resolute faith in yourself and your ability. 
  • Have the faith that you will remember the facts. Have the faith that you will connect the dots and find the right answer.  Have the faith that you will emerge out of the storm unshaken.  

Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 

  1. Stay calm, half of the battle will be won if you can maintain your cool. An anxious mind becomes forgetful. You might start doubting your own knowledge. Have faith in your hard work and stay calm.
  2. Have a healthy food today, no one wants an upset stomach.
  3. Just the day before the exam, ensure that you get 7-8 hours of quality sleep. A good night’s rest will rejuvenate your senses and ensure that your brain is alert and memory is on point
  4. Do not try anything radically new in exam hall. Attempt the paper in same way you are attempting your mocks. It’s very important to keep doing the way you have been attempting tests in past few weeks. 
  5. As you enter the exam hall, it doesn’t matter what books you may have read, or how many times you may have revised. What matters are those 100 questions. Put your emotions aside and solve those 100 questions with a laser like focus.
  6. Don’t panic if you are not able to solve initial questions. 
  7. Take educated guess and not blind guess. Remember you might end up getting more negative marks. Even 0.33 marks count.
  8. Questions are going to be balanced and will be asked from across the syllabus. So if you are poor in one topic, that’s alright. You can offset it through performing well in your stronger areas. 
  9. There may come a time as you solve the paper when you will find many questions very tough. This might lead to nervousness and anxiety. But stay calm. If the paper is tough for you, it is tough for everyone. Just skip forward to the part you are confident about. Remember cut off for CSE 2019 was 49% only.
  10. Don’t Rush to Write the Answer, Read the Question Carefully. See carefully whether question is asking to choose correct or incorrect / asking ascending or descending orders / only / always etc such kind of trivialities. 
  11. Keep up the Balance Between Speed & Accuracy, Speed and accuracy go side by side. During the examination don’t get nervous and make mistakes. Instead, be careful and keep the right balance between speed and accuracy
  12. Don’t get mired in one question and waste your time. If you are unable to recall, make a side mark on the question paper and move on. Once you come back after solving remaining questions, chances are you’ll recollect.
  13. Do not become lazy during paper 2. There are many aspirants who failed to qualify because of GS2 despite having engineering background. Complete the paper diligently no matter how your first paper went. You don't know the cut off yet.
  14. Do not fall in the trap of answer keys and cut off prediction immediately after the exam. Wait some time for a trustworthy answer key. 

I wish all of you best of luck for your exam on 4th October. Stay motivated, give your best to the last lap.