UPSC Prelims exam date to be announced tomorrow; Check toppers power techniques to prepare and crack in short time

UPSC is expected to issue the official notification for the  Civil Services Preliminary Examination, 2018, on its official website ( on Wednesday (February 7).

Let’s check out some tips from the toppers who have managed to get good scores.

  • List out the resources which need to be covered. Refer to any of the topper blog / mrunal / vision topper videos for the sources to be covered.
  • Due to the paucity of time, refer to only vision current affairs and don’t read newspapers during these two months. You simply won’t have time to do so.
  • Target finishing the course within ~45 days and remaining for revision. Using the schedule of vision test series so as to plan the deadlines.
  • Pick two subjects, only you like and one you don’t. Do them alternatively during the day.
  • Try doing 1 test paper each day irrespective of how much you have covered. See we are in preparation stage only, marks in test papers don’t determine our final score. So use these papers to gain knowledge, eliminate silly mistakes etc.
  • Now the way you do test papers is the most important determinant of success in prelims.

 Power Techniques to Remember Stuff 

  1. Make hand-written notes – Perhaps the most powerful of all techniques to tackle this issue. What happens is when you make proper notes, there is an emotional investment in that exercise. You simply tend to be more attached to it later, rather than something you just read (but did not write about). Caution – do not scribble half-hearted nonsense that you couldn’t decipher later. I am talking of proper, bulleted notes, made with a lot of love, almost scratch-free, and good to look at. Basically, something you’d like to proudly show others.
  2. Read more, from other sources, on the same topic you tend to forget. Diverse perspectives bring reinforcement. If there’s a particular topic – say, Japan’s rapid industrialisation – that you are frightfully forgetful about. Do one thing – once you have made your notes on the topic thoroughly, let some time pass, revise them once, and then look for other authors’ perspectives on the same topic (howsoever concise those alternative articles may be). Once you read something Author # 2 has to say about it, you suddenly start mental benchmarking with what you learnt while making notes from Author # 1. That is magical. Do it later with Author # 3 also. The same thing will happen. Is this not beautiful?
  3. The Rotten Scoundrels sheet – Pick the rotten scoundrels out. Name and shame them. A rotten scoundrel in this context is that particular word / phrase / sentence / concept that always slips from your mind in just a few days. Perhaps it’s the spelling (Tokugawa Shogunate) or it’s the context (The Columbian Exchange) or it’s the sentence (The legal statutes and conventions were not eliminated; they were given a domain and boundary by the Constitution framers within which to act) or the concept (The American Revolution was a patriotic reaction to the mercantilist policies of the Crown). Pick it out. Write it properly on a different sheet of paper (Title this sheet – The Rotten Scoundrels). Mention the topic in brackets next to it. Let this sheet grow, with newer scoundrels adorning it with the passage of time (from different topics). Soon, you will have 8 or 10 or 45 such sheets. Good. These are filled with those words/phrases/concepts that you always forgot. So keep scanning them once every 2 days. Warning – don’t spend more than 10 – 15 minutes ever, in one shot, while scanning. And don’t put the things you remember, on this sheet.
  4. Revision on a Weekly / Fortnightly / Monthly / Bi-monthly basis – Stick to this religiously. It has probably the most magical effect on your ability to recall. Devise your own rules for this – which topic when. But once you’ve devised those rules, stick to them no matter what. By the time a particular topic comes up the third or fourth time in front of your eyes, you’d be very comfortable, and almost sure of what’s written there.