UPSC Exam: Why You should Refer to the Previous Year’s Question Papers

3 main reasons why you should be referring to the previous year’s question papers to clear the UPSC in a single attempt

The UPSC or, Union Public Service Commission, conducts a nationwide exam to recruit the best brains as civil servants of the country. This is the Civil Services Examination, which is divided into two rounds- the UPSC answer key, on qualifying which one has to take the Main exam. The Civil Services Examination is one of the toughest competitive examinations in India, with thousands of candidates willing to apply and only a minimal amount making it through. The percentage of people getting through on the first try is even lesser. Clearing the exam is a step forward in a golden career that ensures security and satisfaction, with a future engaged in serving the country.

With the Civil Services Examination this year less than a month away, scheduled for June 3rd, the aspiring candidates have been busy putting the last minute touches to their preparations. In 2017, 7 lakh candidates were known to have taken part in the examination, out of which only 15000 qualified for the mains. They are also in the process of realising how important is the previous years’ question papers, on the basis of which they have structured their preparations.

One of the main things that are a must in the hardcore preparation of the exam is the solving of previous years’ question papers. Here are 3 reasons why you should refer to question banks from previous years.

  1. Familiarity with the question pattern and trends

The question pattern for each paper you are supposed to apply in may be explained in theoretical terms. But going through the papers provides multiple examples, drilling in the pattern of the questionnaire long before your scheduled exam. Multiple choice format may be different from the subjective answers method, but it is no longer unfamiliar and alien. Even so, it is important to be somewhat comfortable with the format of the paper. It is only with practice that you can come to your conclusions about which section in the question paper plays to your strength and which section you should be answering first, to effectively use the limited time accorded in the exam hall. The familiarity works to your advantage for it can shape the way in which you prepare yourself. By looking at the trend of the questions from each of the topics in the UPSC syllabus, you will have a much better idea on how to approach and cover each section. For example, if there have been a lot of questions coming from a particular topic in the previous years, you will know to devote adequately detailed study to said topic. Similarly, you will know which topics don’t require as much attention.

  1. Practice purposes

The main issue that students face with any exam is the time management and the completion of the paper within the given time frame. The only way to get better at this is to solve previous years’ papers, time yourself in the process and improve your performance output. This is an important factor that will habituate yourself with the whole process of taking the exam. Regular practice will not only increase your speed and help instantaneous thinking, but it will also help to build your confidence, and through it a positive attitude. The attitude must be maintained throughout the exam for best results. This boost to the confidence through solving questions is a unique way to get you going for the process of the examination.

  1. Repetitive advantage

It has often been observed that certain questions are repeated in the UPSC exam. For a highly competitive exam like the civil services exam, even the difference of one question could be instrumental in the results. By solving previous years’ papers, you would be prepared for any and all questions which were repeated in the previous years, setting you at an advantage over your competitors. Cast a deep net, solve as many years as possible to properly prepare yourself for the future. Repeated questions and your knowledge about them will prove how extensively you have solved previous years papers. They help significantly in the exam hall when time is in short supply. After all, this is the examination that will dictate which way your life is going to go.

It is usually insisted that a candidate goes back ten years while solving question papers from previous years. Get started today for proper preparation for the upcoming UPSC exam and make sure you have a copy of previous years’ papers right from the very beginning. Ander keys are available on the official UPSC website. A preparation without proper revision is merely incomplete, but a preparation without any reference to previous years’ papers is a fundamentally flawed one. Take care and prepare responsibly from the very beginning.

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