The prelims Test Series, if chosen carefully can and does play a decisive role in equipping you well to qualify the first stage of the IAS Exam. It’s a highly effective tool that must never be under estimated by any of the IAS aspirants. However, care should be taken to choose the Test Series after making a few considerations. It would help you reap the optimum benefits of practicing solving the Test Series.
But, first of all, it would be better if an IAS aspirant really grasps it well that practicing the Test Series is indispensable. Merely making the revisions is not going to help him qualify the Prelims.
Why opt for a Prelims Test Series in the first place itself?
Failure to qualify the Prelims would simply result in shattering your dreams of joining the Indian Administrative Services. No matter howsoever hard you might have prepared for the Mains, UPSC would not allow you to appear for the same unless you qualify the Prelims.
So, it is far from being advisable to take the Prelims lightly. It is the qualifying Exam and the score is not going to be included in the total aggregate. However, if you fail in the Prelims, you simply can’t proceed further with the Mains, the next stage of the Civil Services Exam.
Thus, it does become mandatory for you to qualify the Prelims. And when you look around for the resources to clear the same, the Test Series comes across as one of the most important ones to prepare for the qualifying Exam.
Tips to Choose the Best Prelims Test Series
Solving the Test Series frequently is an indispensable exercise. However, the point to be noted is that UPSC employs the Prelims to distinguish the most capable of the candidates for the Civil Services. Every year witnesses huge numbers of the candidates, and the figure runs into lakhs (with a tremendous increase with each passing year) applying for the CSE. However, it is not very heartening to throw a glance at the total number of candidates who successfully qualify the Prelims.
Thus, it is highly essential that you choose the Test Series carefully. Here are the tips relevant for choosing the best Test Series for the Prelims.
1. How Much Does the Test Series Focus on the NCERT Books?
No sensible IAS aspirant can deny that crystal clear knowledge of all the concepts is highly important when it comes to the preparation for the IAS Exam. And the qualifying Prelims is the first stage for the same.
The NCERT books go a great way to clear the concepts. You may build upon the knowledge further, but the basic concepts should be clear, first of all. So, it’s important to choose the Prelims Test Series that are designed in a manner that pays the due attention to the books by NCERT.
2. A Logical Coverage to All the Important Resources
Almost all would agree that UPSC prescribes a syllabus that seems to be almost endless when an IAS aspirant goes ahead preparing the same. Again, the resources available to prepare for the same also seem to be endless.
But, you are not going to have time enough to read whatever you may lay your hands on. Thus, you would have to be selective concerning the books, magazines, newspapers, websites etc., that you should be reading in order to prepare for the qualifying Prelims.
So, make it a point to opt for the Test Series that provide a logical coverage to most of the important resources including the most widely read books, magazines, newspapers, websites etc., for the preparation of the Prelims.
3. The Prelims Test Series Should Facilitate a Logical Learning Pattern
Opt for the Test Series that are compiled logically in a sequence moving ahead in a progressive manner from the initially simple to the more complex of the topics that follow. The point can best be illustrated with an example. It would not be logical to expect a class Ist student to solve a Test meant for a student of class XIIth. Thus, opting for the Test Series that facilitates a logical learning pattern would equip you better to qualify the Prelims.
4. Proper Coverage To The Current Affairs With A Logical Perspective
Though Current Affairs forms a part of the syllabus for the Prelims, the subject needs to be studied in the right perspective with respect to Polity & Governance, Ecology and Biodiversity, Environment, Economic Development etc. Needless to say, you should be choosing a Test Series that presents the Current Affairs in a manner so that solving them would give the required idea to answer the questions for Current Affairs as co-related to various other subjects/topics for the Current Affairs.
5. It Should Be A Convincing Simulation Of The UPSC Prelims
The level of difficulty for the questions should be such that it equips you to answer the Prelims for the Civil Services Exam with ease and confidence. Otherwise, solving the Test Series would only result in a waste of your time.
Finally, while opting for the Prelims Test Series, it is advisable to consider the depth the UPSC syllabus prescribes for various topics. Besides, keep in mind the competition for the specific subject, you are practicing solving the Test Series for. Also, practice the Test Series more often. The more you practice, the easier you find it to face the Prelims. Thus, choose a Test Series that offers you sufficient numbers of the Tests to practice.
Besides, choose a Test Series that enhances your level of competence at various platforms. That is to say, apart from considering the requirements of the syllabus prescribed by UPSC for the Prelims, the Test Series that you go ahead with should provide you with questions designed in a manner that you get to know where do you lack actually? This self assessment is going to be far more useful than what you might have thought of initially. Once you begin to work on your drawbacks, you would be able to compete better when it actually comes to facing the CSE Prelims.
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