What Is the Best Way to Finish the UPSC Prelims Exam On Time?

What Is the Best Way to Finish the UPSC Prelims Exam On Time?

The UPSC CSE Paper Pattern is designed to examine your accuracy and attention to detail. As a candidate, your goal is to answer as many questions as possible, not all of them. A review of the last five years’ cut-offs suggests that correctly completing 55 to 60 questions is sufficient to qualify. Each applicant’s primary goal should be to provide as few incorrect answers as possible.

Recall that the UPSC Prelims Paper 1 provides ample time for applicants to complete the questions. In this test, accuracy is more crucial than time management.

Table of Content

  • Steps to Attempt UPSC Prelims to Finish On Time
    • Read the Questions
    • Answer the Easy Questions
    • Attempt Questions Need Little Consideration
    • Recheck Your Answers
    • Consider the Questions You Left in Previous Steps
  • Few Tips to Make Attempting Prelims Easier
    • Revise
    • Practice Test Papers
    • Do Not Panic
    • Do Not Wait Until the Last to Fill OMR
    • Do Not Leave Questions Unanswered Before Reviewing the Possibilities
    • Do Not Over Attempt
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

Steps to Attempt UPSC Prelims to Finish On Time


The following is a simple five-step procedure for passing the UPSC Prelims:

Step 1: Read the Questions

Before answering any questions, scan and read the paper. The first time you attempt the UPSC exams, it can be frightening and panic-inducing, so review the paper once to analyze and understand the questions. This step should take at most 5 minutes.

Step 2: Answer the Easy Questions

Go over the questions on the paper and respond to whatever you like. You will not need to consider the appropriate response to these questions. Most of these simple questions can be answered in under a minute. These questions have a 50% chance of being correct, so use deduction to answer them correctly. Try answering 45-50 questions this way.

Step 3: Attempt Questions Require Less Consideration

Look for questions that can be answered with some thought in this step. As these are frequently statement-based questions, you must consider them before determining the answer. Remember to be absolutely certain of each question’s answer before marking it. Using background knowledge and common knowledge, try to eliminate options. This method allows you to complete 25-35 questions. Using these steps, you should have completed 80 questions by now.


Before moving on to step 4, keep track of how many questions you’ve attempted. Remember that some may need to be corrected regardless of your confidence in your responses. Consider adding at least 4-5 questions that you may have answered incorrectly in the past.

Step 4: Recheck Your Answers

Give this step careful consideration. Look back in your memory. Try eliminating ways to narrow down your options. The correct response will then necessitate an educated assumption on your behalf. Most serious candidates can answer 75-80 questions in 90 minutes using the first three options, which is generally sufficient to get you the cutoff. If you need clarification and may require a few more inquiries, move to the following level. Do not be concerned; you still have roughly 30 minutes.


Step 5: Consider the Questions You Left in Previous Steps

Only attempt this step if you have not correctly answered enough questions to reach the cutoffs. You need to learn how to answer these questions, so you have a 75% chance of getting it wrong. Only a few questions should be chosen in this round due to negative marking in the Prelims.

Few Tips to Make Attempting Prelims Easier

1. Revise

Ensure you have detailed notes on all the courses you must study for and frequently revise the UPSC ESE Exam Pattern Details before the test.

2. Practice Test Papers

Constantly practice test papers, mock tests, and previous years’ question papers to understand how questions are asked, which topics are most repeated, and how to answer them.

3. Do Not Panic

the paper is the same for everyone. Do not wait until the last minute to worry about whether you have adequately prepared to respond confidently.

4. Do Not Wait Until the Last Minute to Complete the OMR Sheet

Be careful to fill out the OMR Form after each question, if not every 45 minutes. It is the most crucial portion of the Prelims, so fill it out before you run out of time.

5. Do Not Leave Questions Unanswered Before Reviewing the Possibilities

Even if some questions are unknown to you, the options can be offered so that the solution is readily guessed, so be sure you consider all of the options for a question before opting to omit it.

6. Do Not Over-Attempt

Refrain from overcompensating and attempting to answer all the questions regardless of whether you know the answers. Negative marking is involved, so ensure you only attempt questions you know until you reach the cutoff marks.


The crucial thing is UPSC CSE Paper Pattern contain negative marking. So answer the question carefully. If you are unsure of any answer, do not try to attempt it because the probability of choosing the wrong answer is 75%. These tips will help you to finish your Prelims paper on time. If you are the first attempter of UPSC Prelims and need complete guidance, you can contact the mentors at Physics Wallah.



How many hours should I study for UPSC Prelims?

The UPSC civil services test is regarded as one of the most difficult in the country. As a result, many people advise studying for roughly 15 hours every day during the IAS exam preparation period.


How much time is required to prepare for UPSC?

As you can see, there is much to accomplish when studying for the UPSC exam. On average, people require at least 10-12 months to prepare thoroughly for this challenging exam. Nonetheless, some candidates may have completed the task in six months.


Can I clear the Prelims in 30 days?

It is difficult, but possible, to pass the UPSC Prelims in one month. UPSC Prelims can be completed in a month if the appropriate strategy is used, a disciplined plan is followed, and the candidate is committed to succeeding.



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