While lakhs of aspirants appear for the UPSC exam every year, several of them miss out on the final list despite months and years of dedication.

Some IAS officers say they make mistakes without realising their impact on the final score. Today, we analyse five common mistakes to avoid during the preparation and the final exam.

Every topic is important Rallapalli Jagat Sai cleared UPSC CSE 2020 in his fifth attempt. He increased his score by 80 marks which led to him securing an All India Rank (AIR) of 32.

He says aspirants neglect certain topics in their General Studies (GS) paper. For example, while preparing for GS2, aspirants might not give enough importance to governance.

“In the GS 3, most aspirants tend to focus on economics and place less emphasis on science and technology and internal security. Give these topics equal time and weightage while preparing,” he says.

Divide your time equally “At the time of attempting the paper, aspirants end up spending more time on questions they are sure about while giving less time to the ones they are unsure of,” says Sai.

He urges aspirants to look at the paper clinically and not get carried away with emotions on seeing topics they know very well.

Analyse every small mistake “There is no better way to learn. This also ensures that the same mistakes are not repeated. Even when you attempt mocks, spend time on analysing the mistakes,” he says.

Do not neglect newspapers Athar Aamir-ul-Shafi Khan, who secured AIR 2 in the 2016 examination, says many aspirants rely only on various exam portals or monthly magazines for current affairs.

“However, from personal experience, I found newspapers to be the best source for current affairs content. It is important that aspirants get into the regime of reading at least one good daily newspaper every day,” he adds.

Not making your own notes He continues to share that one must revise regularly in order to retain information. And that can happen only if aspirants make diligent notes.

“One of the things that helped me was to make my own notes and revise them, before the examination. Device your own method of making notes and start for various subjects as early as you can,” he adds.