Irrespective of the fact that an aspirant is self-studying or taking coaching from a renowned institute for UPSC preparation, they are likely to make some common mistakes. As it is said – it is better to be safe than sorry, have a look at the below-mentioned list of ten commonly made mistakes in UPSC prelims as identified and solved by SprintUPSC, a popular, upcoming and unique UPSC Prelims Practice Test platform which solves aspirants’ practice woes by providing them a platform available right on their fingertips on their phones helping them practice book-chapter and topic wise from over 17000+ questions prepared in-house from 35+ UPSC standard books (including NCERTs), along with Previous years, daily challenges and much more:
1. Not having a mentor
There is a famous quote by Benjamin Franklin, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn”. Mentors do the same in an aspirant’s life by involving them in learning and helping them achieve their goals at a higher level. Mentors help provide unparalleled insights to push the aspirants to their limits by being their idols. Their constant motivation and guidance help you prepare in a better manner. SprintUPSC does exactly this by engaging IAS aspirants in taking an unlimited number of tests – a first in this category. So be it 1 test, 10, 100 or even 1000, there is no limit how much a UPSC aspirant can practice on this visionary SprintUPSC platform.
2. No time management
This is probably the worst mistake, and if not made, the most effective tool in the UPSC Civil Services exam preparation, or for that matter, any exam preparation journey. Creating a productive time table and sticking to it, by all means, is of utmost importance. Candidates who do not divide their time among various subjects end up concentrating on limited subjects. It is crucial that all the syllabus subjects and topics are scheduled for studying and evenly spread across the preparation time. Constant, quality study-time must be invested to crack the UPSC exam and make it to the Civil Services selection list prepared by the Union Public Service Commission of India at the end of this whole exercise of UPSC examination.
3. Piling up multiple books
An IAS candidate must understand that collecting multiple books for a single subject is not going to help, rather it will only lead to a confused studying approach and improper time management. The objective is not just to read the books rather imbibe and memorise the knowledge imparted therein, understanding the underlying concepts. The correct approach is to do multiple revisions of carefully selected recommended books, which cover all the topics for a single subject. In the UPSC exam, quality weighs more than quantity.
4. Not checking the syllabus thoroughly
The UPSC syllabus is humongous, which is why the candidate must check the UPSC Exam syllabus thoroughly to cover each and every aspect of it. Not only the subjects and topics, one must be aware of the UPSC Exam pattern. The syllabus is updated each year so you must keep your eyes open to get the latest information from a reliable source.
5. Juggling multiple things
Most candidates often end up grasping at straws when it comes to clearing IAS. The utmost focus of the aspirant should be on the UPSC exam preparation. The level of the exam is towering so one really needs to be focused and one-pointed while preparing for the exam. Having a Plan B is alright, but the primary focus and dedication should remain on this one goal.
6. Not revising
IAS aspirants really need to be thorough with the syllabus and the right technique to do well in the UPSC exam. Memorising is not sufficient, they need to instil the concepts in the brain as only then they would be able to reproduce them in the UPSC exam. Multiple revisions are crucial to inscribe the concepts and to be able to apply them in the exam. UPSC exam is a test of knowledge, memory, application and presence of mind. A little slip here or there could cost the aspirant his/her Civil Services seat. Taking tests on the SprintUPSC platform while revising topics, subjects or books is not only a great way of testing one’s knowledge and preparation, but one also gets real-time feedback from the state-of-the-art, metrics-driven tech-engine. This will help aspirants analyse where they lag and where they need to put in that extra ounce of effort.
7. Not taking mock tests
Studying alone for hours would not give an IAS candidate the correct insight into their preparation unless they test it. Mock tests give the aspirants a simulation of the exam environment and also help them gauge their knowledge. SprintUPSC has made amazing mock test modules as per the subject book chapter-wise and topic-wise. No need to wait for the syllabus to finish, UPSC aspirants can now practice as they learn, and when they want, sitting in the comfort of their home.
8. Lack of constructive group studies
Studying alone is preferable as everyone has their own learning curve, however, a constructive group for studies can boost aspirants morale and keep monotony at bay. Not only that but it also helps them test the waters and gives them an idea where they stand with respect to their peers. However, ensure that the groups are meant for learning and not wasting time; destructive groups can mess up time management and would do more harm than good. IAS aspirants should surround themselves with other uplifting and inspiring aspirants, and collectively create a healthy and competitive learning and practice environment in their study groups like the one on SprintUPSC Free Telegram Channel.
9. Choosing irrelevant optional subjects
UPSC aspirants should not be a part of the flock while selecting optional subjects. They need to do a thorough analysis of the syllabus and select the subject they are most comfortable with. The candidates make the mistake of selecting the most opted subject or the one selected by previous year’s toppers. Remember, what some find easy, others might find it difficult and vice-versa. A candidate must explore his/her strong subjects and choose accordingly.
10. Reading irrelevant news in the newspaper
Reading newspapers is probably the first advice an aspirant would get if they aspire to become an IAS, IPS or IFS officer. However, very few sources would tell them how to effectively read a newspaper and not waste time. The candidates must be smart enough to find the right topics from current affairs, as well as those related to subjects to gather relevant information. Reading appropriate articles and news would set your bar higher than the other candidates as the question papers are usually curated around the current topics.
On SprintUPSC UPSC/IAS Practice Test Platform, aspirants can –
– Create unlimited tests Book-Chapter/Topic Wise
– Create Current Affairs tests Month-wise
– Schedule Tests as per their personal study timetable
– Attempt free previous years papers
– Take Free Daily Challenge
– See All India Ranking on the Leaderboard
– Analyse Subject-wise & Overall Performance Score
– Raise support tickets to get doubts resolved by a team of expert faculty