UPSC Prelims Checklist-Important TIPS for IAS Exam

UPSC prelims checklist

Here I share some very important tips before you going to give UPSC Prelims Exam and upsc prelims checklist that will help you keep cool in the Exam Hall and will avoid any unnecessary happenings in the exam hall. Please check the below list and tips before your exam. It will help for sure.

  • Carry 2 copies of hall ticket. Keep one in the bag and carry one with you. Just in case you lose one, you will have a backup.


  • Carry 3-4 black ball point pens. A pen shouldn’t cause panic in the exam hall. Check if they are working the day before. Gel pens and any other sort of pens are not allowed in the exam hall.


  • Carry a scale(ruler) to use as a guide while bubbling OMR.


  • Carry a couple of bananas, maybe a chocolate and a small water bottle. If you feel drained in the middle eat something.


  • Carry an analog watch, digital watches are not allowed, and it is important to keep time.


  • Carry a whitener, hopefully you won’t need it. But just in case you need it, don’t hesitate to use it. OMR sheet is read by a machine. It only reads the dark part.


  • Use the whitener well and bubble the OMR properly and you won’t have any issues (I have used whitener twice out of my five prelims) Don’t have a heavy breakfast, and don’t skip breakfast as well. 
  • Normal state of the body helps in normal functioning of the mind. Plan to reach your center an hour before the reporting time. 
  • Abundant caution is in order on what could be one of the most important days of your life. 
  • They will not allow your bag inside, they have a counter to keep them, but there is always a long queue in front of it. It is better if you make alternative arrangements to keep your things.
  • In case, you cannot have any alternative, plan for the 15 minutes it will take to keep your bag and another 15 minutes to take it out.
  • Check whether your desk is stable and you are able to sit comfortably. Check if sun is directly going to be in your eyes or your sitting position is a source of any serious discomfort. In such cases, ask the examiner to deal with the issue before the exam itself. 
  • Try not to discuss the question paper immediately post exam. In my experience, the initial reaction about the paper is almost always wrong. 
  • The keys on the initial 3 days are also highly inaccurate. So don’t worry about the exam until after 3-4 days is over. 
  • Plan for the time between GS and CSAT paper. I suggest sleeping for 30 to 45 minutes, it will help replenish energy and focus. 
  • If your center is far away, then hire an air-conditioned cab for 8 hours on the exam day and sleep in the cab. This will keep you fresh. It will also solve the problem of keeping your bag and other things. 
  • CSAT paper needs focus and speed. A heavy lunch acts against this. Make sure you eat light but eat adequately to have energy for the two hours. 
  • Sometimes you don’t get any food in surrounding areas of your center. In case you are not carrying food from home, order from Zomato or Swiggy once you come out of GS paper. 

    I have found having Coffee just before CSAT paper has helped be focus much better. You can see if it works for you. 

    Don’t  overdo it and have redbull etc. Sometimes it causes problems like heart palpitations, inability to focus etc. (unless you already have habit of having them and your body is used to them, in that case you can decide what to do) 

Summary (UPSC Prelims Checklist)

Carry two copies of hall ticket

3-4 black ball point pens

A ruler

Couple of bananas

Analog watch

A whitener

Keep this in mind(UPSC Prelims Checklist)

  • Have light breakfast.
  • Reach an hour before reporting time
  • Plan to keep your belongings
  • Check if desk and chair are stable
  • Don’t discuss question paper once done
  • Sleep for a while after GS paper
  • Eat light lunch before CSAT
  • Have some coffee before CSAT paper
  • You are better than you think you are. Trust yourself. Trust your
  • preparation. Go with unyielding confidence and give your best shot.
  • Do justice to your potential. That’s all that matters.