Irrespective of the fact that you are self-studying or taking coaching from a renowned institute for UPSC preparation, you are likely to make some common mistakes. As it is said it is better to be safe than sorry, have a look at the below-mentioned list of commonly made mistakes in UPSC prelims to avoid them to every possible extent. Remember when it comes to UPSC preparation, the aspirants should be hopeful for the best but prepared for the worst. 10 commonly made mistakes by candidates preparing for UPSC prelims are mentioned below:

1. Not having a mentor

There is a famous quote by Benjamin Franklin “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn”. Mentors do the same in an aspirant’s life by involving them in learning and helping them achieve their goals at a higher level. Mentors help provide unparallel insights to push the aspirants to their limits by being their idols. You look up to them to become like them and this thought keeps you focused. Their constant motivation and guidance help you prepare in a better manner.

2. No time management

This is probably the worst mistake, and if not made, the most effective tool in the UPSC exam preparation. Creating a productive time table and sticking to it, by all means, is of utmost importance. Candidates do not divide their time among various subjects and end up concentrating on one subject. It is crucial that all the subjects and topics are scheduled for studying and evenly spread across your preparation time. The preparation would fall apart without proper time management. Constant, quality study-time must be invested to crack the UPSC exam and make it to the UPSC selection list. Refer to our subject strategy to help you distribute your time.

3. Piling up multiple books

One must understand that collecting multiple books for a single subject is not going to help them in any way. The objective is not just to read the books rather imbibe and memorise the knowledge imparted therein. The correct approach is to do multiple revisions of a single book, which covers all the topics for a single subject. There is no need to waste money over buying multiple study materials/books and surround yourself with its pile. Usually, aspirants buy loads of materials and end up being confused in their studying approach. Please remember, in the UPSC exam, quality weighs more than quantity. Here is a list of books, apart from NCERTs that you can look for. Remember, you don’t need all, choose wisely. Book List.

4. Not checking the syllabus thoroughly

The UPSC syllabus is humongous, which is why the candidate must check the syllabus thoroughly to cover each and every aspect of it. Not only the subjects and topics, one must be aware of the UPSC Exam pattern. The syllabus is updated each year so you must keep your eyes open to get the latest information from a reliable source.

5. Juggling multiple things

Most candidates often end up grasping at straws when it comes to clearing IAS. The utmost focus of the aspirant should be on the UPSC exam preparation. The level of the exam is towering so one really needs to be focused and one-pointed while preparing for the exam. You may carry on with your hobbies for relaxation, however, don’t lose focus.

6. Not revising

You really need to be thorough with the syllabus and the right technique to do well in the UPSC exam. Memorising is not sufficient, you need to instil the concepts in your brain as only then you would be able to reproduce them in the exams. Multiple revisions are crucial to inscribe the concepts and to be able to apply them in the exam. UPSC exam is a test of knowledge, memory, application and presence of mind. You slip a little here or there and there goes your Civil Services seat. You cannot afford to do that so revise. Taking tests on SprintUPSC platform while revising topics, subjects or books is not only a great way of testing your knowledge, but you also get real-time feedback from the state-of-the-art, metrics-driven tech-engine. This will help you guide where you lag and where you need to put in that extra ounce of effort.

7. Not taking mock tests

Studying alone for hours would not give you the correct insight into your preparation unless you test it. Mock tests give you simulation of the exam environment and also helps you gauge your knowledge. SprintUPSC has made amazing mock test modules as per the subject book chapter-wise and topic-wise. No need to wait for the syllabus to finish, practice as you learn, and when you want.

8. Lack of constructive group studies

Studying alone is preferable as everyone has their own learning curve, however, a constructive group for studies can boost your morale and keep monotony at bay. Not only that but it also helps you test the waters and gives you an idea where you stand with respect to your peers. However, ensure that the groups are meant for learning and not wasting time; destructive groups can mess up your time management and would do more harm than good. Surround yourself with uplifting and inspiring aspirants, and collectively create a healthy and competitive learning and practice environment in your study groups on SprintUPSC.

9. Choosing irrelevant optional subjects

Do not be a part of the flock while selecting optional subjects. Do a thorough analysis of the syllabus and select the subject you are most comfortable with. The candidates make the mistake of selecting the most opted subject or the one selected by previous year’s toppers. Remember, what others find easy, you might find it difficult and vice-versa. Explore your strong subjects and choose accordingly.

10. Reading irrelevant news in the newspaper

Reading newspaper is probably the first advice you would get if you aspire to become an IAS, IPS or IFS officer. However, very few sources would tell you how to effectively read a newspaper and not waste your time. The candidates must be smart enough to find the right topics from current affairs, as well as those related to subjects to gather relevant information. Reading appropriate articles and news would set your bar higher than the other candidates as the question papers are usually curated around the current topics.