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How to crack UPSC CSE prelims 2024: UPSC rank holder Abhijnan Hazarika shares important tips and his success mantra

The countdown for the UPSC CSE (Preliminary) 2024 already began with the commission releasing the admit cards on June 7. With the release of the admit card, aspirants are now gearing up for the D-Day – June 16, when they will be finally appearing for the prestigious examination after months of preparations. While some candidates will be attempting the examination for the first time, there are others for whom the examination will be nothing more than a make-or-break opportunity, as they give their best to move on to the Mains examination, and subsequently, the interview (personality test) round.

UPSC CSE Prelims 2024: Civil Services rank holder Abhijnan Hazarika who hails from Assam, shares important tips on cracking the exam, managing exam anxiety and more.

Now, as candidates continue their preparations, it is also crucial to understand the nuances of the examinations for the best possible outcome. Are there any specific preparation methods that candidates must follow? What is it like inside the examination hall? Or what are the things that candidates must strictly avoid on the exam day?

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Also read: JEE Advanced Result 2024 declared, here’s the direct link to check scores and other important details

How did you prepare for the UPSC exams? Did you practice any test series of mock tests?

I did not have a particular choice when it came to the test series. It varied in different stages. For instance, when I began preparations for the UPSC CSE Prelims, I had largely focused on the test series by the Vision IAS, which I feel is good overall. During CSE Mains, I found MGP (Forum IAS) helpful. Similarly, for History Optional- I used to rely on self-study history very useful.

According to you, what are the important things that a candidate needs to keep in mind while preparing for the exams?

I truly believe that self-confidence is key. The first and foremost element of cracking the examination is to be self-confident. One should have faith in his/her capabilities. But at the same time, we should acknowledge our mistakes and try to rectify them to keep on improving ourselves. Moreover, it is also vital for candidates to be mentally ready to put in the hard work from the word go, as obviously, there is no shortcut to hard work and dedication for the UPSC exams.

As exam day approaches, candidates will naturally be stressed. Did you also go through the same anxiety? It yes, how did you manage it?

Yes! Like many other aspirants, I too went through sleepless nights, tension, and frustrations. I believe it is a part of the many challenges that the exam poses to the students. As an UPSC aspirant, we should attempt to minimize such anxiety to the longest extent possible. I had a three-way approach to managing anxiety. I used to focus on proper planning to complete the syllabus, and at the same time, improving my level of preparedness for the exam.

I also also took up meditation after facing failure for two years. It had a claiming effect on me, and also improved my concentration. Additionally, proper sleep before exams is necessary to improve the functioning of the brain and reduce anxiety levels.

Also read: UPSC CSE Prelims 2024: Facing exam anxiety? Here are expert tips to boost your mental strength

On the exam day, what are a few things that candidates must keep in mind?

Primarily, it is essential to be on time at the examination center to avoid unnecessary stress. During the preliminary examination, candidates can first attempt the questions that they are more certain of and try to solve others in the second reading. They should not be stuck in a particular question. This helps in keeping yourself composed.

Furthermore, it is advisable to be always ready to adapt to the demands of the situation. For instance, in CSAT, you have to gauge whether to attempt more of the mathematics part or the comprehension portion, looking at the difficulty of the questions. Again, the idea is to be confident.

Can you walk us through your success mantra? How did you prepare for the examination?

I had been preparing for the UPSC for the last three years from my home in Guwahati. I have learnt that the civil services exams are such that everyone must find his/her success mantra. My mantra was a combination of dedication, hard work, consistency, self-confidence, and the ability to spot my mistakes and rectify them in my subsequent attempts. Trying to improve myself every day is what I feel has been a contributing factor in helping me clear the exams.

As I already mentioned, I had focused largely on self-studies. Additionally, I used to go through test series and other study materials from time to time.

My focus has been to finish the syllabus, revise repeatedly, learn from the copies of toppers, and practice answer-writing.

Finally, any tip for the candidates?

Enjoy the journey and stay positive throughout the preparation phase!

Also read: JEE Advanced 2024 Toppers’ list: Delhi zone’s Ved Lahoti gets AIR 1 with 355/360 marks, list here

Worth mentioning here, the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2024 will be conducted on June 16, 2024, across the country at various exam centers. Candidates who are appearing in the examinations can download their hall tickets from the official website of website of UPSC at The hall tickets can also be downloaded from

It may also be mentioned here that the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination will consist of two papers of Objective type (multiple choice questions) and carry a maximum of 400 marks in the subjects set out in subsection (A) of Section II.

There will be a penalty (negative marking) for wrong answers marked by a candidate in the Objective Type Question Papers.

Notably, through the UPSC Civil Services 2024 examination, the commission aims to fill 1056 vacancies in the central government services and departments. This includes the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Police Service (IPS), and the Indian Foreign Service (IFS). Of the total vacancies, 40 are reserved for Persons with Benchmark Disability Category. Follow the blog for the latest updates.

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