Learn rules and nature of the game before learning to play it:
Before playing a sport or preparing for war, you have to understand rules of the game. There is no better guide to understand the demand of the exam than going thoroughly through the past years questions papers. Questions may vary, may reappear also. The key reason behind analysing past papers is to understand the types of questions, difficulty level, understanding important topics if they are repeated on a continuous basis. The biggest mistakes candidates make is referring question papers a month prior to exam .If they are unable to answer it then it instills anxiety and fear.
This beginning stage is divided into two parts:
1) Go through and analyse the question papers
2) Make synoptic notes section wise so the questions are internalised in your mind and your judgement about questions improve
The game of basics and standard books: No building can stand on a weak foundation
Start with Ncert textbooks and Standard books for every subject. It does not limit to reading the books. But understanding the concepts, finding questions in every line and relocating the past questions in Ncert books and standard will instill confidence.
The dynamic pattern of UPSC Prelims ( 2016 to 2019 )
Follow daily current affairs by means of one newspaper plus a monthly magazine of current affairs of your choice which is precise and relevant. Ensure you don’t give a mere reading but synoptise these booklets as per needs of prelims exam at the end of every month. This will reduce your effort and time for revision when the exam is near.
The more you sweat in practice , the less you bleed in battle
We cannot emphasize how important this aspect of preparation is to succeed with a good margin above the cut off and secure a FINAL RANK. Your practice gives you a picture of not only how well you are prepared but also teaches you the ART of playing the game with a free mind and logical thinking. It exposes you to your own reactions with various types of questions .It is the “ONLY ONLYONLY” way to master the skill of solving questions in a given time during the exam day. It will enable you to analyse your skills and aptitude towards various subjects and understand your limitations, risk taking capabilities.
We would suggest even synoptising your tests so you can revise them during exam days and you are clear of new learnings in every test.