What should one do to improve after giving an attempt in the UPSC?

The UPSC, civil services exam, is, without a doubt, the most distinguished exam in the world. Every year, out of the thousands of students who have applied for the exam, only a select handful can accomplish their ultimate goal of passing this renowned exam. But, through this article, we will discuss the tips and tricks on "What should one do to improve after giving an attempt in the UPSC"?

There can be specific reasons for failing the exam on the first attempt, maybe on the second attempt. For instance, assume that:

  • There might be a lack of sufficient content preparation.
  • The questions' criteria were not understood properly. 
  • Managing the time during the exam was poorly done. 
  • Maybe average grades were received in the scoring area like the optional subject. 

Let's comprehend in brief about what can be the possible solutions to all these problems:

1. To execute the plan extensively 

With such a broad curriculum and intense competition, your preparation must be comprehensive and effective. The structure of the exam must be thoroughly understood and managed by you. For instance, one should have a thorough understanding of the syllabus's subtopics, the sort of questions they are asking, and the current situation. Please look over the curriculum and previous years' questions many times to understand and recognize everything. Make notes on each topic specified in the curriculum as part of your study method, and reinforce them with current affairs. For example, in GS-1, you may include short notes on current affairs with notes on ideas such as communalism, regionalism, and secularism.

You must also be able to write one page (150 words) on each topic in the curriculum, having a strong emphasis on recent issues.

2. Beware of the Questions 

Select questions from previous year's papers and read them multiple times to check how well you can identify the questions' requirements. Discuss it with your peers to evaluate if there are any limitations in your ability to identify the major elements of a topic. Many students misunderstand entirely 2-3 questions in their haste to complete the exam. At last, even if you're in a total rush, try to practice as many papers as you can by setting up a certain time limit that will eventually help you improve. 

3. Manage the Timings Adequately 

You might have failed previously due to some reasons. But, this time, make sure

that no stone is left unturned. Try to manage your timings in a better way. If you have studied well for the exam, you should be capable of answering a minimum of 17-18 questions on each GS exam and virtually all of the questions on the optional paper. To accomplish them, you'll have to keep a track record of your time so that you don't forget any questions. This is something that can be easily improved with further practice.

4. Practice the Answer writing activity 

Since you have already attempted the UPSC exam and will appear for the next time, how much is beneficial for you to know the importance of delivering the answers in a proper format. The first stage is to construct your answer using a proper structure that relates to the question's criteria, keeping in mind basic aspects such as (discussion, comment, etc.). To enhance the physical appeal of your answer, each component should be addressed under a separate subheading.

Self-Practice: You can start by creating your summary of newspaper editorials. It will allow you to evaluate your skills in expressing your views and continuously improve. You can also respond to the questions via teachers, previous UPSC papers, or questions from any online source or mock tests. If you were not doing this in your previous attempt, you must start doing it now.

Practice the Test Series: When you've completed practising the answers writing activity, you may enrol in a test series program to receive a wide range of experts on your content and presentation. It will also help in managing your time so that you become very habitual of finishing up writing your paper before the given deadline.