Preliminary exam is the ball game 1 of civil services exam. It is the simplest of all three stages of the examination. But also highly risky, because, Preliminary exam is an exam of elimination, not selection. Please remember that about one percent clear preliminary exam and remaining 99% gets eliminated.

In a nutshell, the preliminary exam gives 100 questions and tests you. In every question there are four choices out of which one is the correct answer. So this stage of the examination has 100 GS questions, 400 options out of which only 100 are correct. It means 300 choices are wrong. So we say that in preliminary exam the success depends more on identifying the wrong option.

So the golden rule is that “whether a candidate knows a right answer or not he should know the wrong answer” It means that whatever little he knows he/she should be clear and precise without confusion to clear the examination.

In the preliminary there are two papers general studies (100Q -200 Marks) and CSAT (80Q - 200 marks) please remember CSAT is a qualifying paper only (Candidate has to score only 33% of the marks in CSAT) and the marks in the CSAT are not counted for clearing the preliminary. It is only the General studies marks which help a candidate to clear the prelims.

The nature of the preliminary is such that a person with simple and clear understanding of basic subjects like history geography polity economy S&T and Current affairs should easily clear the examination. Please also remember that the candidate has to be very competitive. The problem with the candidate is that either he knows or he/she is not competitive, or he/she is competitive but doesn’t know the basics. So most of them fail in the Preliminary examination. Competitiveness is your ability to show your excellence at required situation in the required time limit and without error. To be competitive one has to constantly prepare and keep updated.

Other than what is mentioned above there are many Do’s and Don’ts to be followed in the exam. And confusions involving in the aspects like

  • 1. How to arrive at the right answer after elimination only one option or two options in a question.
  • 2. How to decide which is the wrong option( it is the most important skill) etc

These things would be discussed as the candidate evolves with us in the process of preparation.

Please remember the golden rule “It is always best to revise less number of topics maximum number of times than maximum number of topics less number of times”

Candidates are advised to drop all preconceived notions and follow the approach which is very simple. Please remember the golden rule “All great things are achieved by doing things in a simple & clear way than in a complex & complicated manner”

That’s it! You’re all set to write mains!