UPSC Prelims result 2020 declared: What should I do now?

The UPSC Prelims result 2020 has been delcared by the UPSC.For all aspirants, the UPSC prelims results is a much anticipated and dreaded event. This is because of the ambiguity and tight competition of the exam.

This year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic is no different. The mains exam is set to be held from 8th January, 2021.

Here is a link to the official UPSC website to access the qualifying list.

As an aspirant, you probably fall under one of three categories-

  1. Did not attempt the Prelims and plan to do so next year
  2. Attempted the UPSC prelims exam but did not qualify.
  3. Cleared the Prelims and are looking at the Mains monster Exam.

Here’s what you need to do now for all three types.

Did not attempt the UPSC Prelims and plan to do so in 2021

Use it as a wake-up call

You will find yourself facing the same day soon enough where the UPSC result is declared one day without warning, turning your life upside down regardless of the result. But that day is not today.

Understand that today is a wake-up call. It is the moment of truth which you will experience yourself and make sure you find yourself on the qualifying list.

Calculate the days remaining for the next Prelims

You are at a disadvantage because the Prelims was delayed this year owing to the Pandemic. If you haven’t been using your time well during the lockdown, you will find less time than usual to prepare for the next Prelims.

Assume that the next Prelims will be held in the usual time and calculate the number of days remaining.

Build your preparation strategy along these lines.

upsc result

Start Essay and Answer-writing practice ASAP

Observe that the Mains exam is set for January 2021. This means that there are only about 60-70 days left for those who have qualified Prelims this year. This is a very short amount of time to prepare yourself for 27 hours worth of written examination. You will find yourself in a similar situation next year when the UPSC result is declared.

Writing skill and speed are skills which must be developed through sustained practice.

This means that you should have a handle on writing answers and Essays BEFORE Prelims result is declared next year. You can become excellent at this by using the tools in the Ultimate Cheatbook of Essay and Answer-writing™

the ultimate cheatbook
You can click on the image to learn more about the Ultimate Cheatbook ©

The book has been designed to impart good writing skills in a short amount of time and is full of Essay and answer-writing hacks. Use it or any other medium to practice to the hilt so that next year you find yourself in a comfortable situation before the Mains exam.

Focus on GS which is overlapping with Mains and Prelims syllabi

You will find many areas of overlap between Mains and Prelims. A detailed analysis can be found on this article-

You attempted the UPSC prelims exam but did not qualify in the result

Congratulate yourself

You have done something remarkable. By attempting the UPSC prelims, you have taken the first concrete step towards a dream that a thousand others only dream about, but never undertake and therefore, will never achieve. You are truly, statistically and mathematically one in millions to have attempted this elite exam. Congratulate yourself and know that you are meant for great things.

Do not obsess about the UPSC Prelims result

It is completely ok not to qualify the UPSC Prelims exam. The prelims exam is a necessary disqualification round to bring the number of candidates for the Mains exam down to a manageable level according to the number of vacancies each year.

upsc prelims

Do not judge yourself harshly and know that the UPSC result does not reflect your ability as a human being OR your suitability for a career in the Civil Services.

Use your preparation and attempt other Government Exams

As of now, all the information is fresh in your mind and your preparation is probably better than most other human beings on this planet. Use this to your advantage to attempt other government exams like PCS or any exams which fit the pattern of the UPSC Civil Services Exam.

This will not only keep you practicing and sharp, it increases your chances of securing a government job tremendously. But for this, you must control feelings of despair and disappointment. Look ahead, get up from your slouch and get to work.

Prepare for Mains and polish your answer-writing skills

You will be at an advantage the next year because of your experience and the increased level of knowledge. But don’t forget that Prelims is only the qualifying round. You will become an IAS/IPS officer only if you score well in the Mains exam.

The Mains exam is where you can truly excel from the competition and explore your intellectual capabilities. Specifically, the Essay paper is the lowest hanging fruit among all the papers which gives you the opportunity to score extremely high.

Cleared the UPSC Prelims and are facing the upcoming Mains Monster exam

Clap for yourself on the UPSC result and get to work straight away

As mentioned above, there is little time remaining for the Mains exam which is a marathon exam of 9 papers which are to be hand-written. This is a physically and mentally exhausting challenge of an exam and most people are not prepared for it all all. Don’t be among them.

Having cleared Prelims, it is clear that you have plenty of knowledge. But do you know how to present that knowledge effectively in the form of answers in the MAINS exam?

Focus on GS and prepare Paper1, 2 and 3 but remember that the biggest opportunity for scoring VERY high marks is the Essay paper which does not require a lot of knowledge or study. But you do need to know how to write brilliant essays.

Educate yourself about Exam-traps

While you prepare yourself with knowledge do not forget that you must also become a good exam-taker. And this involves navigating exam-traps.

You can read about exam-traps and one of the biggest blunders I ever committed in the Essay paper in the article below-

Find overlaps with UPSC prelims syllabus and play on your strengths

GS is going to be the bulk of your preparation and also something you have experience with. Nonetheless, you will find the following article quite helpful in organising and covering GS syllabus-

I hope this was helpful to all aspirants.

Tc and stay healthy!

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