The UPSC CSE consists of two phases. Firstly we have the prelims. Then we have the mains exam. It is crucial to clear these phases. Besides, there is an interview as well. Prelims is an objective type test. Whereas, mains is an essay type exam. Prelims paper pattern follows a negative marking. Hence, scoring in this test is very essential. Therefore, you’ll need a good prelims test series. There are many best test series for UPSC prelims in the market. You can buy an IAS test series book. Or you can get a UPSC test series free on the net.
Prelims are a tool to drop non-serious aspirants. Hence, clearing the prelims is very crucial. It is the first step towards clearing UPSC. The prelims test contains 2 papers. There is a GS Paper I. This paper is based on general studies. Then there is a GS Paper-II. This paper is also called CSAT. CSAT stands for Civil Services Aptitude Test. CSAT is only a qualifying paper. However, GS Paper I is ranked on merit. It is important to score high in both papers. The prelims test series will play a key role in improving your performance.
Prelims and Mains Exam
Unlike in prelims, the mains exam has many papers. However, you can prepare for both the exams together. Most of the content from mains is asked in an MCQ form in prelims. Therefore, aspirants with a detailed study of mains can easily crack prelims. Along with this, you must test your knowledge with the prelims test series. This test series will help you in self-assessment. It will also help with time management. You can begin with solving previous years’ question papers first. Then you can go for the prelims test series. You can check your answers from the solutions. Hence, you can study the weak topics and revise the stronger ones. In this way, you can create your own strategy. Most of the time, aspirants take the IAS test series lightly. But it has been noticed, that toppers regularly solved the IAS test series.
It is important to choose the best test series for UPSC prelims. Further, you can solve one mock mains question every day for practice. We will look at the best test series for UPSC prelims. You can either choose offline or online UPSC free test series.
Online Best Test Series for UPSC prelims
- CSAT UPSC free test series: By Drishti IAS.
- Subject wise test series: By IAS Gateway.
- Daily Current Affairs test: By IAS Parliament.
- Test series for UPSC: Click here.
These are some UPSC test series free on the net. However, various other coaching classes provide prelims test series too. You just have to click on the above links. On redirecting to these sites, you might have to enroll yourself. The mock test chosen starts with a timer. These prelims test series follow a similar pattern as UPSC. Hence, it is advisable to practice here first. These tests often provide a solution at the end. When you submit you can check your answers. Hence, these are some free resources for test series. Certain institutions also schedule a mock UPSC test series free. These test series as full-fledged and hence you can solve them accordingly. Solving UPSC free test series online has many benefits. Firstly, you have a time track set. Next, the solutions are easily accessible after tests. Often there are score charts to check performance as well.
But before you start ias test series, you must understand the syllabus. To check the UPSC syllabus: Click here.
Previous Years Question Papers
Let’s now look at the previous year’s question papers. Apart from the prelims test series, you must solve these papers as well. These papers are a more reliable source of preparation. Hence, along with test series aspirants analyzing these papers is essential. You can get the previous year’s question papers here: Click Now! Solving these papers will help you assess yourself. This marks your level of preparation. You shouldn’t wait to complete the syllabus to solve these papers. Instead, try solving one paper every day.
Try and analyze the questions properly. Each question in prelims must not take more than a minute. In fact, solving papers is a great way to learn time management. This preparedness keeps the anxiety away. Once you have self improvised, you get an edge over other unprepared aspirants. Therefore, this is the most important phase of your study. An aspirant reads a lot about stuff daily.
But how will you test the knowledge? You can do this only by practicing the likely questions in UPSC. In prelims, UPSC follows negative marking. Therefore, it wouldn’t be a good idea to lose out on marks. Strategize your paper solving. Accordingly, you will be able to complete the paper on time. Stress on the topic that you feel is underprepared. This way you will divert your resources wisely.
Books for Prelims Test Series
Some people prefer the online mode of solving tests. Whereas some prefer the traditional method. If you’re one of those who love books, then this is for you. However, there are a few limitations to this method. That is, books provide a limited number of IAS test series. On the contrary, online you can access unlimited test series. Further, books have detailed solutions to refer to and study. Therefore, you must solve tests in combination. That is, you must solve both offline and online tests.
Let us now look at a few best test series books for upsc prelims.
- Vision IAS Test Series 2020 for UPSC Exam.
- Insight IAS Prelims Subject wise test series
- GS Score IAS prelims test series.
- Current Affairs MCQs for prelims: By McGraw Hill.
Further, you can either use compiled test series for prelims or subject wise test series. McGraw Hill publications publish subject wise IAS test series. Therefore, you can focus on the subject and solve the test. General prelims test series include mixed questions from all subjects. However, initially, you must go for subject wise prelims test series. Once you are sure, you can move to the general test series. If you have time, you must prepare subject-wise. However, if you are short of time you must solve the general prelims test series.
Mains IAS Test Series
After clearing prelims, one must continue preparing for mains. Just like prelims, there are test series available for mains. To prepare for mains, one must solve previous years’ papers. Further, you should practice daily answer writing. You can practice daily answer writing from current affairs. Mains is an essay type test. Hence, it is a lengthy affair. It is advisable to solve one mains question in 15 mins. Therefore, a good strategy and preparation are needed.
You can sign up for some good mains test series listed below:
- Mains test series by Vajiram and Ravi.
- Mains test series by IAS baba.
- Manifest test series for IAS: Click here.
- IAS Mains test series: By Drishti IAS.
You can buy any of these mains test series. The tests are then scheduled. These test series are comprehensive. Hence, you must prepare rigorously. It is advisable to take a mains test series before your final exams. This is will help you know your position. It will also help you to prepare better and smart. Moreover, aspirants must not stop practicing from previous years’ papers. Because this is the basic source of paper solving for aspirants. You can figure out the best test series for UPSC prelims, after solving a few tests. Remember, it is always good to test yourself regularly. Hence, staying motivated is very crucial to clear UPSC exams.
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Yes, you can solve both. However, you must have a strong timetable to manage both. You must first focus on prelims and then go for mains test series.
No, test series are just for practice. If you are well prepared, you can smartly solve the test series. Initially, you may face challenges. However, you can overcome them with practice.
No, it is not compulsory to solve test series. However, it is proven that people who practice more papers are the once who clear upsc.
Editor’s Note | Prelims Test Series
In conclusion, we’d like to say that, test series are very important in upsc preparation. One must try and solve as many tests as possible. Every test is unique. Some tests are easy. Some are on the intermediate level. Whereas, some tests are challenging. When you solve a lot of tests, you will be prepared for all sorts of questions in the exam. Consistency in solving papers is important. One must stay true to his ethics and self assess their selves. All this will bear fruit in your final exam. Work hard and hope for the best!