Why Mock Tests are a Must for UPSC CSE Preparation

Why Mock Tests are a Must for UPSC CSE Preparation

Mock Tests are one of the most important preparation tools for UPSC CSE preparation. Be it Prelims or Mains, when you practice with high-quality mock tests, you amplify your chances of scoring top marks in your UPSC CSE exam. 

In this blog post, we shall look at:

  • Why Mock Tests are important.
  • Common mistakes every aspirant makes while writing mock tests.
  • How to analyze your mock test results. 

UPSC CSE is not like any other exam. Considered India’s most challenging exam on any level, it takes more than knowledge to clear this exam. 

While selecting mock tests, you have to be careful. Just like you wouldn’t use a low-quality bat to play cricket, you should not use low-quality mock tests to practice, as they will only harm your UPSC Mains preparation. 

The right mock test should be based on the latest exam pattern and help you get comfortable writing the UPSC Mains exam.   

Mock tests are crucial tools you can practice with to fetch marks in the Mains exam. Let us look at why mock tests are important tools in your preparation. 

4 Reasons Why Mock Tests Are Important For UPSC Mains Preparation

The following points will tell you the benefits of attempting mock tests for the UPSC Mains exam. 

But the first step is to become familiar with the UPSC exam pattern. Once you are familiar with it, you will know what to expect and will be able to prepare well for it in advance. 

Now let’s quickly move on to the benefits of attempting mock tests.

1. Boost Confidence  

Since a mock test is a replica of the actual UPSC Mains exam in a simulated environment, attempting it will give you a sense of achievement. 

Another advantage is that as your answer writing improves, you will feel more confident about your preparation. 

2. Eliminate Anxiety

If your preparation is complete and you are thorough with your studies, the only thing that can hold you back from performing well in the UPSC Mains exam is anxiety. 

This can be avoided when you practice mock tests regularly. 

Regular mock test practice gives you a sense of writing the actual exam. After practicing repeatedly, you will know how to manage your time, what to start with and what to skip. 

All of this helps you on the day of the UPSC Mains exam to keep calm and think clearly. 

3. Retain Information Longer

When you write an answer instead of just reading it, it stays with you longer. 

Going by that logic, repeated mock tests will help you absorb concepts more clearly, understand them in depth and remember them for longer. 

4. Increase Chances of Scoring High

In the end, the purpose of all your efforts is to score high. Continued practice with mock tests will help you with that. In addition, it will also help you increase your writing speed, eliminate silly mistakes, and improve your chances of scoring high. 

Most importantly, mock tests will ensure that your preparation is going forward in the right direction. 

While it is undoubtedly important to attempt mock tests regularly, you must also be careful in choosing them.

For your UPSC Mains 2022 preparation, only solving high-quality mock tests based on the latest exam pattern will help you, such as those available on the PrepLadder app. 

There is no denying that mock tests are an important element in your UPSC preparation. At the same, essay writing is another crucial aspect you need to focus on. Moreover, if written well, it can help open the door that leads you to the interview room.

Check out this video on Essay writing Strategy by EX-IRS Officer Dr. Awdhesh Singh.

You will find different mock tests of varying quality, and you must be careful in choosing. 

This is one of the basic mistakes most aspirants committ while selecting a mock test to prepare for UPSC Mains. 

Here are some other common mistakes aspirants committ while attempting mock tests. Go through these and make sure you avoid committing these during your preparation.

5 Common Mistakes While Solving IAS Mock Tests

These are some of the most common mistakes aspirants make while solving mock tests. 

1. Postponing Mock Tests Till the End

Solving mock tests when you are nearing the end of your preparation journey will not help you. To ace your UPSC Mains preparation, you need to start solving mock tests right from the beginning of your UPSC Prelims preparation. 

Only then will you get the full benefit of solving mock tests. 

2. Choosing the Wrong Mock Test Series

If you are worried about attempting mock tests because you think they will be full of tough questions, you are either wrong or have chosen the wrong series. 

Ideally, a high-quality mock test will have a combination of easy, moderate and tough questions, just like the real UPSC Mains exam, and based on the latest exam pattern.  

If your mock test has only tough questions, it is not the ideal test for your preparation. 

In this case, you need to get another high-quality test series that will give you an accurate taste of writing the actual UPSC Mains exam. 

3. Ignoring Post-Mock Test Analysis

With online mock tests, you have the advantage of knowing how you have performed over some time and whether you have improved or not. 

With features like in-app analytics and in-depth analysis available in online mock tests, you can easily find out where your strengths and weaknesses. 

If you ignore this, you are letting go of a big advantage you might have. 

Also read: Importance of Note-making in UPSC preparation

4. Single Attempts

Once you have solved a mock test and found out where you went wrong, revisit the same test after a time gap and see if you can crack it the second time. 

Do this for all the mock tests, and you will be able to remember your concepts better. 

5. Not Timing Yourself

The only way you get any real benefit from solving mock tests is if you attempt them like you would the real exam. This way, you can manage your time effectively and write high-scoring answers. 

Further, when you attempt mock tests like real exams, you will discover the mistakes you might make because of carelessness and nervousness. 

Now you know exactly why mock tests are important for your UPSC Mains exam. In addition, you have an idea of the common mistakes aspirants make while solving mock tests and how you can avoid them in your preparation. 

However, it is not over yet. You still need to do some things after you have solved a mock test. 

Once you have solved a mock test, there are a series of steps you need to follow, after which you will find out where your strengths and weaknesses lie and how you can improve in the next mock test.

Let us have a look at how you can analyze the results of your mock test. 

But before we move on to that, here is something you might be interested in watching.

Check out this video below of our Legends of LBSNAA series where India’s top bureaucrats share useful tips on how to crack UPSC CSE exam and insights on what life looks like after becoming a Civil Servant.

5 Steps To Analyse Mock Test Results

Here are the steps to analyze the results of your mock tests. This will ensure you get the maximum benefit from solving mock tests. 

Step 1 – Go through the Entire Test Once

The first step is to review the entire test once and get an overview of what you have done. Look at everything. 

Try and get a sense of the areas where you are good at and the questions that took up a lot of your time. Read through the answers you wrote and ask yourself how can they be written in a better way. 

Step 2 – Check Mock Test Solutions

The next step is to find the answers to the mock test questions. Remember, the test’s purpose is not to score high; it is to find the correct method of answering the questions and aligning yourself with it. 

Therefore, go through the solutions carefully and thoroughly. When you do that, you will discover how questions are to be attempted and the correct flow of writing that brings out the answer’s core points. 

Step 3 – Review What You Answered Correctly

Match the answers you wrote to the answers given in the solutions booklet for every question. Understand what you did right and find scope for improvement, if there is any. 

Next, identify how much time it took you to complete writing each answer and figure out ways to reduce that time if possible. 

Step 4 – Review What You Got Wrong

This is the part where you review all the questions you did not answer correctly. 

Compare what you wrote with the solution given and try to find out why you made that mistake. 

There can be any number of reasons why you make a mistake. It can be conceptual, logical, or because you made a wrong guess. Whatever it may be, find out how you can correct it. 

Step 5 – Tackle the Un-attempted Questions

If you have attempted every question in the mock test, then good job. You are a little ahead.  

If there are any questions you could not solve, it is time to solve them. Study the theory behind the questions and attempt to solve them again. Better, solve the entire mock test again. It will be good practice. 

As a concluding remark, we would like you to remember that, while mock tests are important to your UPSC Mains preparation, they are not the ultimate indicator of your performance in the real exam. 

In the end, they are merely ‘Mock’ tests. Their only job is to help you improve, not decide how you will perform in the Mains exam. 

So, do not be discouraged if you score low marks on a mock test. It just means you need to analyze what you did wrong and fix it in the next mock test you attempt. 

Also, if you want high-quality mock tests to take your UPSC Mains exam preparation to the next level, Download the PrepLadder App now and enroll in the UPSC-GS Dream Pack. 

Everything you need to crack the IAS exam, you will find in the UPSC-GS Dream Pack. It includes concise, effective, and well-planned video lectures by the Dream Team comprising India’s top UPSC faculties, NCERT Summary,  high-yield QBank, highly competitive PrepTests based on the latest exam pattern, and PYQs in the form of tests, and much more. 

Keep following our articles and Telegram channel to keep yourself updated with the latest information about the exam.  

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Arindam Goswami

Arindam is a Content Writer who covers the UPSC category at PrepLadder. He. He aims to help aspirants crack exams and realize their dreams through his work.