On 26 May 2024, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is expected to conduct the preliminary Civil Service Examination (CSE).

With just a few months left until the prelims, IPS officer Raveena Tyagi reveals key tips to help UPSC CSE aspirants crack the examination with ease.

Don’t be misguided While the market is flooded with resource materials, she suggests it is best to stick to the standard books for each subject.

Raveena adds, “Pick any standard book available in the market and re-read it rather than investing in multiple books.”

Make mock tests your best friend Raveena believes one should not wait until the entire syllabus is completed to start attempting mock tests.

“Once you revise a certain portion of a subject, simultaneously attempt a mock test as well to reinforce all that you have learnt,” says the 2014-batch IPS officer.

It will be prudent for aspirants to attempt between 50 and 80 mock tests before the prelims. “Try and spend every alternate day solving mock tests,” she adds.

Learn to use time judiciously One must set aside close to eight hours to attempt and analyse the mock tests. “Two hours to attempt the mock tests and then another four to five hours to thoroughly study the solutions,” says Raveena.

She also points out, “While attempting the mock tests, your percentage of wrong/negative answers should not exceed 20 percent in total. You also need to mark at least 60 right answers to be able to clear the prelims.”

Aspirants must strive to get the negative answers down with every new attempt. “Look at giving each question no more than six minutes and forty seconds each. Keep this in mind while preparing for the mains.”

Use the power of visualisation Raveena advises aspirants to try using various tools and techniques to remember important data points. “I would often make pictorial representations, flowcharts and even followed the mnemonic technique to remember important points.”