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Dos and Don’ts for UPSC Prelims Aspirants

Union Public Service Commission(UPSC) conducts exams for the recruitment of various Civil Services of the Government of India, including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Revenue Service (IRS). It is conducted in two phases – the UPSC Preliminary examination consisting of two objective-type papers (general studies and aptitude test), and the UPSC Mains examination consisting of nine papers of conventional (essay) type followed by a personal interview

Here are some of the dos and don’ts for UPSC Prelims Aspirants:


  1. Take a print out of the e-Admit Card: UPSC Candidates can download the Admit card available on the UPSC official website and take a print out of it before appearing for the UPSC Prelims exam. Candidates should ensure the photo on the e-Admit Card is clear and should carry any other government approved photo ID card like voter ID, Aadhar card, passport, and driving license along with the e-admit card.
  2. Take black ball point pens: Always carry one or two black ball point pens for the UPSC Prelims exam. The answers on the Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheet are marked using only black ball point pen. Pencils are not allowed.
  3. Be punctual: Make sure that you reach the UPSC Exam Centre before 09:00 AM, because you have to find your room and your seat as the notice board will be swarmed with candidates looking for the same.
  4. Carry notes for quick Revision for CSAT Paper 2: There is a gap of 3 hours between the two papers; General Study (GS) paper 1 and Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) paper 2, so always carry notes for a quick revision for CSAT. Ensure that you don’t get in too deep and stress yourself during the break-time revision, just take a glance on what you have prepared and run your eyes on questions related to Decision Making and Mental Ability.
  5. Mark the option on the question paper chosen as answer: It is advisable especially to the first-timers to mark the answer option on the question paper of your UPSC Prelims exam that they have attempted as it would be easy and necessary for checking and tallying your answers later.

Also read: UPSC Prelims Syllabus 2017, UPSC Prelims Previous Papers


  1. Do Not Carry Any Gadgets or Mobile Phones: It is recommended not to carry any gadgets including calculators or mobile phones to the UPSC Prelims examination Even if you are carrying a mobile make sure to carry a bag in which you can place your mobile safely.
  2. Don’t Panic: Do not get involved in any negative emotions before the UPSC Prelims exam. If you cannot achieve your target, do not panic or feel bad, always there is a second chance.
  3. Don’t try all the questions: As each question carries a negative mark, don’t make the mistake of answering all the questions in the UPSC Prelims exam. Choose the questions carefully and attempt the ones you are totally sure about. Then go ahead and attempt those questions which you are almost sure but not completely confident about, as chances are that you would have get them right. It is advised to leave those questions where you have no clue about the options given.