(Getting Started) UPSC Prelims Strategy-By IAS Topper Raunak Agarwal (AIR-13)
Raunak Agarwal, AIR-13, UPSC CSE 2019
Raunak Aggarwal from Kolkata secured a prestigious all India rank of 13 in UPSC Civil Services Examination. Hailing from a family of businessmen, Raunak is a Chartered Accountant by training. He is no stranger to outstanding performances as he even secured a rank of 5 in his CA exam. This was Raunak’s 3rd attempt at Civil Services and he was under pressure to join the family business if it did not work out. Even though shocked by the magnitude of his success, Raunak is relieved that he will now be taking the first step into his dream career.
Raunak’S Strategy For The upsc preliminary Examination
Raunak had failed to qualify both his previous upsc prelims attempts. He realised that objectives were not his strength so he went on to modify his strategy a little here and there to better his chances. For the static portion, he followed the most common sources. It was for current affairs and mock tests where he made amendments.
Understanding The Trend
UPSC’s question patterns and types are ever changing and very hard to predict. However, Raunak has observed that current affairs have been gaining a lot of momentum. And the questions asked are not directly factual, they are usually analytical in their approach or a mixture of current events and related static affairs.
Question Trends In UPSC Prelims
Raunak used to read the Indian Express daily for his dose of current updates. He used to also go through Vision IAS and Insights On India’s monthly current affairs magazines. Rau has a Study Focussed magazine that is released two months before the prelims which Raunak also referred to. He believes that studying current affairs from varied sources allows you to exhaustively complete current affairs.
How To Use Mock Tests
Raunak believes negative marking is one of the main reasons many fail to qualify prelims. The first step should be to minimize it. He suggests noting down on each page which questions you are a 100% certain one, which you have 50% certainty with, and so on. On the first iteration of attempting your paper, answer only the ones you are 100% certain of. Check how short you are from reaching the score you need to clear the cut-off. If you have already reached it, there is no need to answer more. If not, answer the ones where you are 50% sure of the answers and then again repeat the process.
This way, you minimize your negative marking and can score the best you can.
How To Answer
Message For IAS Aspirants
Raunak admits that even though he is from an financially privileged family, his ultimate goal has always been Civil Services. Businesses may fetch in a lot of money, but he sees himself contributing a lot more on the ground than anything else and encourages others to do the same. His message to aspirants is to not give up once they have admitted their passion for civil services and keep working hard towards the end goal.
That is the only way to achieve your UPSC dream.
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