July 16th, 2020       Civil Services Preparation

In the last blog, it was discussed how to calculate the UPSC CSE Prelims marks after accounting for the negative marks penalty. The next question that arises is that how to minimize this negative marking? So in this article we will discuss how to reduce negative marking in UPSC CSE Prelims 2020?

Consider this scenario: A candidate X, attempts 90 questions in the Paper 1. He attempts 68 correctly whereas 22 fall in the negative marking category. His score will be 136-14.66=121.33 marks.

Now consider another scenario, candidate Y attempts 78 questions. He attempts 66 correctly whereas 12 fall in the negative marking category. His score will be 132-8=124 marks.

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Y attempted less number of question correctly than X yet he managed to score higher marks. The difference lies in the penalty marks. X had a penalty of 14.66 marks whereas Y had of 8 marks.

This penalty might be the reason that Y will be writing the UPSC CSE Indian Forest Services Mains and X wouldn’t have cleared the cut-off. Do you want to end up like X? DEFINITELY NOT.

 This article gives you certain tips on how to reduce negative marking. Remember, all aspirants are humans. So, human error is bound to happen. What lies in our hands is how to reduce this error to the minimum.

Tips for paper 1 are as follows

FIRST STEP

  • Attempt the questions in the given order. Simultaneously, mark the answers for the questions whose answers you are 100% sure of in the OMR sheet.
  • At the same time, cross the question number of such questions in the question booklet so that you know that this question is done and dusted.
  • Take extreme care that the answers of these questions are marked correctly in the OMR sheet.

SECOND STEP

  • Now after completing the first step start the question paper again and start attempting the questions which have not been crossed. While attempting you might come across three categories of questions now-
  1. You are able to eliminate two answer choices
  2. You are able to eliminate only one answer choice
  3. You have never read about the topic

For the 1st category questions if suppose you have eliminated choices a) and b) but are unsure about c) and d) choices. Then choose the choice you are more inclined towards. Say that is choice d). Mark a circle on that choice in the question booklet and proceed to the next question. For the 2nd and 3rd  category questions do not waste time and move on.

THIRD STEP

Go through the questions on which you have circled the inclined choices. Analyse again and if still confused over the correct answer, mark the choice which you circled in the OMR sheet and cross the question number in the question booklet. In this case you are not guessing blindly in this case but are taking a calculated risk.

FOURTH STEP

If you still have time left then again go through all the uncrossed questions. If you are able to eliminate two choices now, employ the strategy mentioned in last point. However, if you are not able to brainstorm to the same, the last resort is to make a wild guess.

Please ensure that you do not wild guess a lot of questions. Try to keep the number of such questions in single digits.

Tips for paper 2 are as follows

 CSAT containing 80 questions on aptitude carrying a total of 200 marks

Paper 2 is of qualifying nature and the aspirants need to get a minimum of 33% marks in order to qualify for the evaluation of the GS Paper 1.

FIRST STEP

Attempt the questions in the given order. Simultaneously, mark the answers for the questions whose answers you are 100% sure of in the OMR sheet. At the same time, cross the question number of such questions in the question booklet so that you know that this question is done and dusted.

SECOND STEP 

Now after completing the first step start the question paper again and start attempting the questions which have not been crossed. While attempting you might come across three categories of questions now-

  1. you are able to eliminate two choices(in English based questions),

For this category questions, mark the inclined choice in the OMR sheet and cross the question in the question booklet.

  1. you know the approach but are taking time to solve(mathematics based questions),

Here, if time permits, try to attempt passage based questions over single based questions. However, do not try to take a calculated risk in the passage based questions because they are inter-related.

  • you do not recall the approach/formula, are not able to solve a passage or have no clue of the question.

Here, if time permits and if you feel you are not reaching the 33% qualifying mark in the attempted questions, then you can guess only the English based questions.

     THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

  • Attempt easier and well-known questions first
  • Try to maximize the output
  • Mark with full concentration
  • Avoid wild guesses
  • Avoid answering at the last minute
  • Take calculated risks only

      Prepare diligently

As explained in earlier blog, educated guessing plays an instrumental role in fetching marks in the prelims paper. Every aspirant should go for it rather than abstaining from the same. Further, wild guessing should be avoided to minimum.

Remember the basic mantra of UPSC CSE. It is “to prepare diligently, smartly with the best resources.”

So this article clarifies How to reduce negative marking in UPSC Prelims 2020?

 

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