When it comes to preparing for the UPSC CSE, candidates need to focus on numerous aspects in the overall scheme of things. Without a shred of doubt, previous years’ question papers are among the essential reference materials for all aspirants. They serve as the Bible. They are the guiding light. And you can direct your preps with complete authority if you use previous years’ question papers properly. Chinmaya is counted among the best UPSC coaching centre in Chennai and we lay great emphasis on the usage of previous papers as reference.
It would be an exaggeration to say that no successful candidate has cracked the mother of all exams without referring to previous papers, but they sure make your path to success easier. Regardless of how tirelessly you learn and prepare, you don’t always realise the difficulties that await you until you refer to the preceding year’s questions. Trying to practise the previous year’s questions will assist you in comprehending the essence and trends of the UPSC CSE.
In this article, we will try to understand all the ways in which your preparation can get the right direction and boost from previous years’ papers. So, let’s go ahead and read all about it!
Previous Years’ Papers: A Must for UPSC Preparations
All coaching centres, as well as successful candidates, will tell you that solving practice sets to improve answer writing skills is critical for UPSC CSE. The greater the number of answers you write, the more will be your probability of success. Of course, you will have to keep learning from the mistakes you make. You should also keep raising your standards of answer writing while reducing the time you spend on each answer.
The fact is that when it comes to UPSC mains, you will be required to sit for 3 hours straight, twice a day, 4-5 days in a row. So, complete command-over-answer writing can make or break this exam for you. No matter how much you know and how well you have prepared, if you can’t put it on answer sheets with your pen, it means nothing! And this is where the real significance of previous papers comes to the forefront.
Why Is It Important To Include Previous Years’ Papers In UPSC Preparation?
When you spend time writing answers to questions already asked in UPSC CSE, you get the gist of things and understand concepts at a deeper level. More importantly, you will truly understand the practical definition of the much-hyped general awareness & understanding, which doesn’t really seem to be general in any way whatsoever!
Are some aspirants aware of these facets of the UPSC CSE much before they start preparing? Why? Well, because they have kept themselves aware and well-informed about current affairs and the basics of various subjects from an early age. Sometimes it is done by conscious efforts. At other times, it is a result of being a consistent student.
In any case, if you want to bring yourself to par with the candidates with the best chance of cracking the code to the most talked about exam in the nation, you need to have general awareness & understanding.
Previous papers will also help you analyse the array of topics being asked more frequently than others. You can cover the syllabus and the references used in less time and make notes on topics you are less certain about.. You can also optimally understand the structure of the Current Affairs in different GS papers. Applicants should rigorously study the UPSC previous year’s question papers to achieve an understanding of the written exam and the range of the syllabus. This helps boost your overall confidence as you can self assess your progress and prepare based on where you stand.
Previous Years’ Papers Help Maintain Consistency and Timely Completion of Preparation
Another vital advantage that previous years’ question papers will give you is syllabus coverage and consistency. The UPSC CSE syllabus is vast and covers various subjects which are often interrelated. Even the various GS papers contain multiple subjects within their scope. So, you need to prepare consistently. Every single day and all weeks of the year matter.
When you constantly engage with the previous years’ question papers, you are always in touch with the syllabus. This makes your preparation consistent and increases momentum. As a result, you will be able to complete the entire syllabus, dynamic as well as static portions, in less time, giving you sufficient time to revise and be at your best when you finally sit for the mother of all exams.
After you have written the prelims, your focus on previous papers and practice sets should increase even more. Yes, revision is crucial in the time between prelims and mains exams. You will have to keep revising the static portions while updating yourself with the dynamic parts. However, the role of previous papers at this time is to maintain your ability to interrelate concepts, subjects, and topics.
The other essential benefit provided by UPSC CSE’s previous papers concerns essay writing. In the essay paper of mains, you may be required to write essays on 1-2 topics. When you go through previous papers and the essay topics, you can gauge the future trends too. Plus, when you write essays from previous years, your writing skills change as per the expectations of the UPSC. However, it is always good to get your essays corrected by teachers to know your strengths and weaknesses.
Solved Previous Papers
Going through solved previous years’ papers gives your preparation the right direction and allows you to understand the UPSC CSE answer standards. It is always good to purchase solved papers from reputed publishers recommended by your teachers or coaching institute.
Unsolved Previous Papers
Unsolved previous papers allow you to improve answer writing and consistently raise your standards as per UPSC CSE expectations. They reduce the overall time taken to answer particular questions and complete GS sets.
UPSC CSE aspirants stand to gain a lot from previous years’ papers. In the current landscape, where many candidates prepare without joining coaching institutions, previous papers help direct the preparation. However, it is always more practical to join a good coaching institute which definitely makes life easier. Chinmaya- the top UPSC coaching centre in Chennai, will always be an excellent choice for aspirants across India. If you, too, are considering the UPSC CSE, Chinmaya will be the best choice for you. Do not wait any longer. Give them a call right now!