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Learning Effective Examination Techniques for Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination

With a clear understanding of requirements and an effective preparation for facing Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, you need some tips to score better for effectively approaching the aptitude-based timed tests.

While preparing along with covering syllabus you should learn few techniques thus making things more productive.

With focus and practice, you can get away without worrying much about the ‘Negative Marking’.


Smart candidates understand it well that the multiple-choice questions contain the answer.

It is up to you to choose the right option; but, this is possible only if you have covered the syllabus and have prepared it well. 

Effective preparation gives you self-belief; while regular practice reliefs the exam-stress and helps in managing your time well in the examination hall; that in turn will add to your confidence.

You are clear that in given time (2 Hours) you have to answer specific number of questions asked in the paper.

As the trend is in Paper I (General Studies) 100 questions are asked. Similarly, you have 80 questions for Paper II (Aptitude Test).

The number of questions may vary; but, in the examination hall, on the onset, you must recognize how much time you should give to each question in each Paper.

You can adopt a three-stage process with an eye on time

A glance at the question paper in the examination hall gives candidates a confident feeling about some questions which they actually know.

Read all questions full and re-read it to understand it fully; foremost, recognize what is being asked.

In first go, answer all these questions and mark them carefully on OMR sheet.

This gives candidates feel of assertiveness and one gets in full swing.

Many a questions you understand well, you will answer in a shorter time than what you have assigned for a question. Use that time saved there to solve difficult questions later.

In some questions, candidate is not too sure and has partial knowledge that doesn’t help in reaching at any conclusion. These questions should be left for second round and one can do justice with these when there is little easy of pressure.

Some questions seem completely out of this world to you. You can look at these in third and last round; if time permits.

As you have ‘Negative marking’ in Preliminary Examination, don’t take chance. If you feel safe after attempting sure questions, it is better to avoid such questions.

Consequence of exam-stress

Even if you have studied well, when your preparation seems rock-hard, or so you thought; still, many a times exam anxiety or a little confusion blocks your memory and fear of picking a wrong choice makes it difficult to work out the correct answer despite of knowing it correctly. 

Such awkward situations can be manages with advice that attempt Preliminary Examination in a good frame of mind. Be as normal as usually you are in real life.

Being calm and composed will help you concentrate and understand the question paper nicely.

What is the way out if you get stuck?

When you feel stuck at any particular question, leave it and move on to next question.

A few correct answers opens the closed doors of the mind, builds up the confidence and you may find some clue or reference from within which help you solve these questions later or at the end of the exam.

Many a questions you understand well, you will answer in a shorter time than what you have assigned for a question. Use that time saved there to solve difficult questions later.

Do not panic at any point of time during exam and particularly in the end.

Sometimes under stress to answer all questions, candidates commit silly mistakes.

Make a sincere attempt to answer accurately as many questions as possible.

How many questions are enough?

It is a screening test and you should answer as many questions as you feel safe keeping in mind an estimation of safe score that keeps you above the cut-off.

Be clear that those who attempt 100% questions are not safe.

The more risk you take; more chances are you are spoiling your odds of success.

It is not only you; there will be many candidates who find it hard to answer all questions.

If you feel your performance is not up to the mark, time is running out and things are looking unsafe; you may take the risk. May be your guess works and you are rewarded for taking a chance.


Last Update Tuesday 30th April 2019     

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