Last minute Hacks and Tips for UPSC Prelims – Mastering MCQs


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The UPSC Prelims Test presents a formidable challenge, requiring aspirants to navigate through a vast syllabus with precision and confidence. With the right approach and strategic thinking, tackling the Multiple Choice Questions can become more manageable, leading to success in this crucial stage of the exam. Let's explore some insightful hacks and tricks to ace the UPSC Prelims MCQs.

  1. Develop a Well-Organized Study Plan: A structured study plan tailored to your strengths and weaknesses is the foundation of success in UPSC Prelims. Allocate time wisely to cover all subjects comprehensively and revise regularly to reinforce your understanding.
  2. Read from Reliable Sources: Choose study materials from trusted sources that cover the UPSC syllabus comprehensively. Referring to standard textbooks and reputable online resources can provide you with accurate and relevant content for effective preparation.
  3. Assess Yourself: Before diving into the exam, evaluate your readiness and set realistic goals. Aim to secure a position among the top 100 candidates by gauging your preparation level and strategizing accordingly.
  4. Adopt a Strategic Approach: Opt for a balanced mix of attempted questions, categorizing them based on your confidence level:
  • Sure-shot questions: Answer confidently, aiming for high accuracy.
  • 50/50 questions: Make educated guesses when unsure, as eliminating options increases the probability of selecting the correct answer.
  • Three-choice dilemma: Attempt strategically, considering the potential gain from correct answers versus the penalty for incorrect ones.
  • Guesswork: Reserve this for situations where all other options are exhausted, minimizing negative marking.
  1. Practice Elimination Technique: When uncertain about an answer, eliminate obviously incorrect options to enhance your chances of selecting the correct one. This technique maximises your probability of scoring positive marks, especially in borderline questions. 

Consider the following statements.

  1. In the first Lok Sabha, the single largest party in the opposition was the Swantara Party. 
  2. In the Lok Sabha, a leader of the opposition party was recognised for the first-ever time in 1969. 
  3. In the Lok Sabha, if a party does not have a minimum of 75 members, its leader cannot be recognised as the LOP. 

The options are: 

  1. 1 & 3 only 
  2. 2 & 3 only 
  3. Only 2 
  4. 1, 2 & 3 

Answer – 

We already know that statement 3 is wrong, saying that if a party does not have a minimum of 75 members in the Lok Sabha, its leader cannot be recognised as the LOP. Whereas in reality, the number is 55 members. 

In options 1,2 and 4, statement 3 is used. It means the correct answer here is option 3. 

Therefore, it said, before going through the questions, go for options. 

  1. Leverage Keyword Analysis: Pay attention to keywords and phrases within questions, as they often provide clues to the correct answer. Focus on interpreting the question accurately and identifying key terms to arrive at the correct response.
  2. Beware of Extreme Language: Statements containing absolute terms like "always," "never," or "extremely" are often misleading. Conversely, qualifiers such as "maybe," "most likely," or "often" tend to indicate more accurate responses.
  3. Stay Vigilant for Inherent Answers: Some questions contain answers within the question itself. Analyze each statement carefully, and if a statement contradicts established facts, consider it a potential answer.
  4. Avoid Common Pitfalls: Be cautious when encountering options like "None of the above," as they often lead to incorrect selections. Additionally, scrutinize statements with overly precise numerical values, as they may be inaccurate.

Mastering the UPSC Prelims MCQs requires a combination of strategic thinking, subject knowledge, and exam-specific skills. By incorporating these hacks and tricks into your preparation strategy, you can enhance your performance and increase your chances of success in this competitive examination. Remember to stay focused, stay disciplined, and stay committed to your goal of becoming a civil servant. Best of luck!