The Civil Services Examination is a competitive exam in India conducted nationwide every year by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The examination is conducted in three stages, namely the UPSC Preliminary stage, the UPSC Mains exam and the UPSC Interview round, also known as the Personality Test. Each of the stages eliminates candidates who fail to clear the stage and selects a group of candidates who are eligible for the next stage.
Those candidates preparing for the Civil Services Exam should prepare for the Prelims and Mains stage, both very comprehensively and with utmost dedication. The ideal time to start for the preparation would be a year before the commencement of the Prelims exam. A few lakh candidates appear for the UPSC Prelims exam but ultimately only about a total of 1000 people make it to the finals.
Each paper in the UPSC Prelims Exam is for 200 marks which denote that the UPSC prelims carry a total of 400 marks. It is to be noted by all the aspirants that the two constituent papers in the UPSC Prelims Exam carry negative marking as well.
The UPSC Prelims Exam Paper 1 Syllabus
The General Studies I Paper or the UPSC Prelims Paper 1 and is also commonly known as the General Awareness paper. To find and figure out how to secure 100+ marks in the UPSC Prelims GS Paper 1, first of all, an aspirant needs to study the syllabus comprehensively. The syllabus for the IAS Prelims General GS Paper I includes:
- Current events regarding international and national importance.
- Indian History and the Indian National Movement.
- World Geography and Indian Geography
- The Indian Political System and the Indian Governance
- Social and Economic Development
- General issues such as Biodiversity, Environmental Ecology and Climate Change
The passing or qualifying marks for the UPSC Prelims Paper I are the cut-off released by the Union Public Service Commission on the basis of the category of the candidate. The cut-off marks of the UPSC Prelims may vary from year to year and range from an average of 100-125 marks for the General Category and 40-100 marks for various reserved categories.
Some tips and tricks to increase the prelims marks and secure a 100+ are given as follows:
One of the key things an aspirant needs to keep in mind while preparing for the prelims exam is to keep the sources for information limited to a few reliable ones. It is troublesome to look for each and every information sources that are available out there. Instead of reading each and every UPSC preparation book, practising and evaluating your performance to enhance your skills might come in handy.
It is very important to stay calm and focus during the initial stages of preparation. A hurried or panicked preparation planning and strategy might end up doing more harm than good.
- Keeping a target score: Candidates must try to keep a target of maximum marks that they want to secure. A target of at least 130+ should be kept so that after negative marking you must have scored at least a 100 marks. This tip of keeping a target score is to ensure that after the Prelims, you will be able to start the Mains preparation earnestly.
- Proper revision: During school days, we were always taught to do revision after studying before appearing for the class test or the annual school examination. The revision is always required before appearing for an exam to study and brush up whatever you have learnt before, and it also makes sure that you do not forget anything. Revision is must for a competitive exam like the UPSC Prelims if you are in it to secure more than 100 marks.
- Analyzing your mock test scores: The importance which a mock test is not to be ignored. Most aspirants of a competitive exam like UPSC join for at least two or three mock test series. The reason for joining these mock test series is because they think that the more question they will attempt, the more it is going to be useful.
It is important to join if not more then at least one mock test series and give them sufficient time necessary to analyse each one of your tests. Finding out your week zones, all the mistakes and writing it down in somewhere to keep a note of it may help. Trying to clarify all the mistakes before the exam can be proved fruitful for the preparation of the prelims exam.
Scoring high marks in the preliminary exam do not depend only on your acquired knowledge and skills. Apart from that, a lot of factors play very important roles. Factors such as the presence of mind, the ability to handle and work with stress, belief in self and clear and unbiased though the process is necessary for scoring high in such a competitive exam. All of the required qualities develop while the aspirant is still in the preparation stage and that is why with the right planning and strategy, one can grow and develop these qualities and make it through the final cut.