Are Mock Tests Essential to clear the UPSC Prelims exams?

UPSC exam is the most important competitive exam not just in India but across the world. It is especially known for the difficulty level of its questions. Therefore, becoming a civil servant is considered to be a cup of tea for brilliant and the most tactful people. As an aspirant who is looking forward to being a part of the esteemed force, it is your duty to be aware of the syllabus and to know the exam pattern from its basic level itself. The best way for this to make it possible is to give mock tests from the first level of the exam that is the UPSC General Studies 1 paper.

As the aspirants coming from different educational backgrounds have their own strategies opinions differ when it comes to how to move forward while preparing for UPSC exams. One of the most debated questions is the necessity of mock tests. As the syllabus is very vast and almost all the paper is descriptive, there often raises a question in everyone’s mind whether mock tests are inevitable or not while preparing for UPSC exams.

The answer is a big YES! Mock tests should be an inevitable part of your preparation for the UPSC prelims exam. They will act as your guide for Mains as well. Mock tests for the UPSC prelims exam are the only way to become familiar with the unique pattern with which they are set up. Therefore, one needs to very careful while choosing the best mock tests available out there.

Why mock tests become essential to clear UPSC prelims exams?

  • To start the preparation
  • To familirailze yourself
  • Gain experience
  • Boost confidence
  • To discover yourself
  • To make you, exam ready

Let’s see into each of them…

To set the ball rolling

UPSC exams are often considered to be the intimidating tests of all. They are difficult and we get to hear the stories of how the achievers have struggled for at least two years or more to reach their goal. From an aspirant’s point of view, these stories can be the boosters of confidence but, at the same time can also have the opposite effect. Even, when you are sure that success is not something that happens overnight, the immense struggle that one needs to put up with to crack the multiple levels of exams can make an aspirant pull himself back in his cave due to fear. This is the exact point where mock tests become important in the initial stage.

UPSC prelims exams consist of two prelims papers: General Studies 1 and General Studies 2. Both these are objective multiple choice question papers. These exams do not carry weight in the final decisions of a candidate’s future as a prospective civil servant, yet carry immense importance as these two papers are the ones that open the door for the real test ahead.

So, the very first thing that a candidate can do to do away with all the inhibitions and doubts is to attempt a mock test for the General Studies 1 paper. The very basic and the very first step to a better and prosperous future can start from this simple step.

To familiarize yourself

UPSC exams are known for their own way of testing the intellectual capacity of the candidates. Questions asked are indirect and are targeted towards those who are capable enough to deal with the unexpected at the unusual time. Unlike other competitive exams where the ‘referring syllabus-studying-answering’ strategy sees success, UPSC prelims and mains exams do not work that way. You need to get into a mode of exam-oriented approach where you see nothing but the question and start to read between the lines to reach the answer. As years pass by, the questions are becoming sophisticated and difficult.

Therefore it is important that you make effort to get yourself familiarized with the way the questions can come. Always start with the basics, so that the journey becomes smoother. Mock tests for General Studies Paper 1 will help you with initiating this process. As you progress with the preparation, you can take up mock tests of higher levels.

Gain Experience

Mock tests irrespective of the exam that you are preparing for are said to be an essential part of preparation mainly due to this reason. Good mock tests are designed in such a way that they give you the exact experience of sitting for the real exam. The questions and the exam pattern would be similar to the real UPSC exam that make you feel that you are indeed at the exam hall. There are numerous coaching centers across the country that train the candidates to face one of the toughest exams ever created, yet unless and until you decide and take up the responsibility of preparing for yourself, you will not see success.

Mock tests are mainly created for this purpose. These tests work wonders in giving you the feel of sitting for the real exam. However, a candidate needs to be vigilant and wise enough to spend the time taking mock tests with utmost care and seriousness in order to get the complete essence of what these tests are meant for.

Boost confidence

Another main idea behind the concept of mock tests is to boost the confidence of candidates. There are a lot of areas in the UPSC exam where a candidate can easily feel defeated. Instances are there where he feels he would not be able to make it. Throughout this difficult journey, mock tests can guide you in your way trying to help you when you falter. The correct approach to attempting these mock tests can help you to improve your readiness to face the exam without your knowledge. As and when the mistakes happen, solutions and suggestions that one gets through the mock tests get registered easily as it is the candidate himself who sees and analyses his areas of weakness and improves. Through constant practice, soon the candidate will feel like he owns the exam. It is a gradual process where with each day you become a better candidate than you were the day before.

To discover yourself

The UPSC exam is known for the dynamic system of how the whole exam is set up. Taking for instance General studies paper 1, an aspirant who graduated in Science will find General Science easy while he will have a difficult time-solving question from History or Geography. The exact opposite will be the case with another person who has a Master’s in Arts. People from different educational backgrounds with different intellectual capabilities give the exam each year. And the syllabus of the exam whether prelims or mains is set in such a way that each student is tested in one way or the other. The aspirants find and identify themselves among the various areas of the exam syllabus.

Thereby, it is a process where each individual discovers oneself; his strengths and weaknesses. Mock tests are the shortest path to this. As the questions are already set, even without preparation, giving a mock test will give you an idea as to where you stand and what your forte is. The mock test for the UPSC general studies prelims paper can give you an idea about the potential areas where you can score. This will further help you in choosing the apt optional subjects for the Mains as well.

Make you, exam ready

This is the result of all the points that we have discussed so far. Together with stress-free, confidence-boosting, understanding oneself, and making oneself gain experience, mock tests make you exam-ready to an extent. Yes, of course, there are numerous other elements that contribute to this readiness that make one the perfect candidate all set to face the exam, yet, the kind of push that mock tests give to a candidate is not insignificant. Mock tests act as the guide throughout the preparation and without a second person’s help, an aspirant can work on his preparation solely based on them.

A point to remember

Mock tests are therefore an inevitable part of the UPSC exam preparation. However, you should not go overboard with the number of mock tests you attempt. Too many mock tests will only eat your time and energy. An aspirant, therefore, should limit the number of mock tests attempted to 7 to 15 rather than going for huge numbers like 40 or 50. Your efficiency will get affected if you push yourself beyond a limit. With the minimum number of mock tests accompanied by quizzes and short subject tests, you can easily make maximum use of your time and learning capacity in the best possible way.

What we have in store for you…

So, now that you know how mock tests will help a candidate in clearing the UPSC exam, let’s see what we have to offer you through our mock test series exclusively prepared for the UPSC prelims General Studies paper 1.

We have spent time and energy in analyzing the UPSC prelims exam syllabus patterns based on the recent trends and have come up with an elaborate set of mock test specially focused on the UPSC General Studies paper 1, that you can access through our app available on various platforms (android, iOS, and web). Through this comprehensive test series, Argutes promise you the following :

  1. Mirror of the UPSC exam: Yes, you heard that right. Our test series is a set of questions that may almost mirror the real exam. The questions are there from throughout the syllabus and are targeted for the sharpest of minds or those who aspire to be. With our solutions and feedback at the right time, preparation will not be a difficult task anymore.
  2. Real-time experience: We offer you the chance to take the test together with thousands of other aspiring candidates at the same time. Often aspirants find themselves stressed before and during the UPSC exam. Lack of preparations and anxiety can give you the jitters. But, with our live tests that happen frequently, you do not have to worry about it anymore. This real-time experience can make you confident to face the real exam in no time.
  3. National ranking: After the mock test you can see your ranking at the national level. This will give you an idea as to where you stand in terms of competition. The percentage and percentile will give you the exact idea of how far you have improved in your journey and how far you need to go.
  4. Subject-wise tests: We know how vexing it can be to sit for a full mock test that takes around two hours to finish. Not every day, you can do a mock test. Well, worry not. With our UPSC prelims test series for General Studies Paper 1, you can divide your time and attempt tests for each subject. This will help you focus on areas that you need to give extra attention to. You do not have to waste your valuable time of preparation on areas that you are already thorough with.
  5. Refresh quizzes: You can now go for short quizzes to make the preparation lively. In this package, we have included interesting quizzes for each topic which you can take when you have a little time to spare or when you feel like taking a break in the monotonous daily routine. These quizzes are meant for recalling concepts in the quickest way possible.
  6. In-depth solutions: After each mock test, you can get an in-depth solution to each question asked. These solutions are designed and presented in such a way that the aspirant can easily understand the concept and idea behind each question. He or she can also get more details related to the topic asked in the particular question along with the solution itself.
  7. Detailed report: A report will be available after the mock tests explaining to you where you are lacking and what your strengths are. These reports can pinpoint those topics that you need to work upon. This helps the candidate to quickly move forward with the preparation without spending time unnecessarily for analysis. Thus our mock tests will act as your tutor during the preparation time.

There is a lot more to these tests.  If you have doubts, you can access the free version and see for yourself. Our premium version has many more, features in store for you, that you can make use of to stay ahead of others throughout the competition and harvest the sure-shot success.

Test packages for other levels of UPSC exams with more and better features will be available on the app soon. Stay tuned!