Civil Service Prelims – What to study in the last one week?

What to study for Civil Service Prelims when it is just one week away?

Civil Service exams for the coveted services like IAS, IPS, IFS will be held on May 20, 2012 and doing the count down, it is just 7 days away. Applied by around 5 lakh candidates, this exam has many specialties on its own and needs special strategies to succeed too.

How to clear Civil Service Prelims?

Clearing the prelims is often tougher than clearing the other stages of the exam as you need to be in top 12000-13000 candidates out of the 2 lakh candidates who actually write the exam. This means you need to get around 95 plus percentile to be safe zone, ie to qualify for the main exam.

Pattern of CSAT

Civil Service Prelims since the addition of aptitude paper is often called CSAT. There are instances where only the second paper is termed as CSAT. (The convention CSAT is not used by UPSC).

The pattern is as follows :

  • Paper 1 : General Awareness (GS) -200 Marks
  • Paper 2 : Aptitude /Mental Ability Test -200 Marks

Though the cut-off score for clearing the prelims may vary, a score of 200+ out of 400 can be considered as a good attempt.  If you can score 230+, that will be excellent.

How to maximize CSAT score?

The ideal strategy would be to identify whether your strong area is GS or Mental Ability.

As the mental ability part is normally not that tough, scoring a 100+ in that section is not always a tough job. All you need to make sure is that you don’t waste time on difficult questions. Do your calculations fast, finish all the easy ones in comprehension and calculations.

For 70% of the test takers, the toughest part will be GS – the general awareness section. GS cannot be prepared in a week time, and it requires continous reading.

But there are certain areas in GS, that can be covered in a short time – identify those areas like Maps, Geography, Articles in constitution, environment etc.

Strategy for Civil Service Exam

Glance all topics as per the syllabus at-least once before the exam. Don’t leave out any area completely. For CSAT- Paper 2 be familiar with all maths formulas, DI fast calculations, fast reading of RCs etc.

In GS section, revise what all you have studied till now. Make short notes.

Start solving previous year prelims paper fixing time limit simulating exam conditions.

During the last week, just don’t overload your brain with too many things. Relax  and that can help you a lot.  All the best!