Strategy: 8 Rules to follow in your CS Mains Examination

Read the question twice before attempting. Do not just glance through the question, identify the only/single keyword you are familiar with , and go full throttle , centering your answer around that single term which you have are familiar with. There are at least two to three keywords in every question. Identify them

Understand the demand of the question. A good way is to break the question into parts and sub parts. Something that you realise only in your second or third Mains, unless you joined a good test series. In CSM 2013, every question had at least two to three parts. Take a look at the question papers here, and see for yourself. Instead of jumping to the conclusion as to what the question is asking, which you normally form in your mind by just reading the first one line of the question, have patience and identify the parts.

If it looks tough to you, it will be a tough question for many people. Remember, success in upsc Mains won’t depend on who does the most elusive and unique question, but on who doesn’t miss the easiest and most common questions. You succees by answering the simplest and most straightward questions, not by answering the easiest ones.

Draw diagrams. Draw stupid digrams in paper. But draw anything. Draw in pen. Draw rough, or draw well, like this. But try to push diagrams. Having said that, not putting diagrams in not a problem, and people have topped the exam without diagrams as well, but it is always better and safer. Who knows an impressed examiner may just awrd you because of your diagram while not even reading your answer. P.S> don’t over do. Write stuff. Diagrams are supplementary, not substitutive of your answer.

[/su_dropcap] Do not exceed world limit or time limit. You will have 7 minutes to answer a ten marker. Alternatively, if you haven’t done 4 questions in half hour, suit up and start writing faster, like, real fast. So that you do 9 questions in one hour, 17-18 in 2 hours and 25 in three hours.

If all the questions seem difficult in a line, chances are the portion of syllabus which you may be weak at has been asked in a row. Fret not, turn to the last pages, and start attempting from number 25. Even if you are able to answer questions in a row, after 1 hour, I would recommend you to start working from 25 to 1 – backwards. This is one strategy I would recommend even for the Prelims paper. It works! It helps ensure that you don’t leave questions.

Do not judge yourself during the exam. Write me an email if you want to know why. (Don’t actually.) Be confident. But more than that, be quick. Most people with half your knowledge will make it. So all you need is nerves of steel , not more knowledge. Even if you are not able to recall something, its alright. Most people will miss at some questions, and sometimes even those who make it under 100 may just miss 10% worth questions that they knew.

Follow the 7-5-3 rule. That is, give a question not more than 7 minutes. Write about 5 points on it. And mention 3 dimensions – Social, Economic, Political/Geographical OR For / Against / Conclusion or What/Why/How depending on the nature of questions. That’s all folks.

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