How many Mock Tests before UPSC Prelims should you take?

how many mock tests before upsc prelims

Many aspirants get stuck with the thought “How many mock tests before UPSC Prelims should you take”? As UPSC Prelims is the first phase of the UPSC exam, it’s important to practice as many mock tests as you can.

Ideally, you should take 1-2 mock tests per week or even more if time permits.

UPSC is one of the most reputed and difficult examinations held in our country. The best way to prepare for the UPSC exam is to take as many mock tests as possible so that you can gauge your preparation level. Finding out your strengths and weaknesses is an essential parameter to crack the UPSC exam.

This article will help you understand how many mock tests before UPSC Prelims are required to crack IAS prelims.

The point of attempting and analyzing the UPSC Prelims mock test series is to make the most of your UPSC Preparation and get better with each successive test to perform best even in weak subjects. Hence, it will aid in planning subject-wise preparation strategy.

In this blog, several preparation tips given by toppers are listed, through which you will learn:

  • the reasons as well as the number of mock exams you should attempt before UPSC Prelims,
  • the steps you should follow to evaluate your mock exam performance and the need for it, and
  • some common mistakes you should avoid in the UPSC Prelims exam.

Mock Series in UPSC CSE

Mock tests are a crucial step for any competitive exam preparation strategy. These are the imitation of actual exams to scale out the actual potential of the candidates. Such mock exams of UPSC Prelims are the mirror image of your current level of preparation and not the mirror of the actual exam, which is quite tough to crack.

Mock test papers will give you an idea of your preparation. It will help you to evaluate various aspects such as:

  1. Are you able to apply what you have studied so far?
  2. Is there any specific subject or topic where your attention is required?
  3. Are you accurate enough in giving detailed answers to questions?
  4. Are you able to eliminate the incorrect options and avoid negative marks by the elimination method?
  5. Are you able to avoid mistakes that you have committed in previous model tests?

How are Mock Papers Useful in the Preparation for the UPSC Civil Services Exam?

A Mock test is the best way to get accustomed to the Prelims Exam examination pattern and will give you an idea of what to expect on the big day. Quality mock tests help you in many ways. Some of them are mentioned below:

  1. It helps you identify areas you struggle with and work out solutions to difficult questions. It will help you in assessing the level of difficulty of different types of questions.
  2. They make you realize your capability in Time Management For UPSC Preparation and help you turn your weaknesses into strengths. This is particularly helpful when it comes to taking exams. Missing out on an entire portion or even parts of the syllabus is not recommended.
  3. Mock tests allow you to try out your study skills and make a plan for the test in a limited time. It can reflect your level of competency which decides how many hours of study to put in.
  4. The full-length mock tests will help you figure out the best way to use your effort and time wisely. This will give you enough time to complete all questions on the actual exam day.
  5. If you are someone who is preparing for the UPSC exam without coaching, mock tests will help you understand which sections you need to focus on and which parts are easy.
  6. The more quality practice you have, the more confident you will be when attempting questions in the actual exam hall. The more question paper you take, the more speed you will develop. This is especially useful in competitive exams, where you’ll be asked to interpret multiple questions.

These tips can yield wonderful results even for average students and working professionals. It is essential to practice in a realistic environment before D-day, which can make all the difference in your overall exam score.

How Many Mock Tests Before UPSC Prelims are Enough to Succeed?

“How many mock tests should I take to prepare for the UPSC Prelims paper?” is a common question that candidates ask. A mock test is a sample of the exam paper.

Every aspirant must start preparing for the UPSC exam about 3 months before the actual exam. To prepare effectively, a candidate should try to answer each question in a given time. A strict time limit will help a candidate track the questions they attempt.

The date and number of attempts should be written down so that candidates can analyze their mock exam performance. It will also give you an idea of the pattern of questions asked.

A good mock test series will provide multiple revisions and personalized feedback. The program should include at least seven to fifteen mock tests. This will enable the candidate to keep up the momentum and assess their weaknesses.

A high score in General Studies Paper 1 is crucial for clearing the UPSC Preliminary exam and building confidence in the main exam. Strategic planning will help in clearing both, UPSC Prelims and Mains examination. The mock test with a higher difficulty level increases confidence during the actual examination.

If a student does not understand a concept, a refresher quiz will help them understand the subject. This type of question will allow the aspirant to recall the concept quickly.

As an aspirant, it’s important to stay motivated, calm and focused during the preparation process and explore all the study material that is available, both online as well as offline. It’s also important to practice for the exam. It’s a great way to get used to the exam pattern and the questions.

The answer to the question “How many mock tests before UPSC Prelims should you take?” depends on various factors, such as:

  1. How much preparation time do you have for the IAS exam?
  2. What level of preparation do you have at this point?
  3. Are you going to evaluate and analyze your answer booklets/keys?
  4. What are your strong and weak points?

Related Reading: The Secret Of Successful Last Month Strategy For UPSC Prelims

How to Evaluate Your Level Based on Your Mock Test Performance?

Analyzing UPSC Prelims mock tests doesn’t mean checking out your score and aiming for better in the successive tests. By analysis, we mean, which section needs your focus, where you have taken much time (in guessing or decoding the question ), or in which section you have to gear up a bit so that you are able to attempt the actual UPSC Prelims Exam with more accuracy.

Evaluating the UPSC Prelims mock series in the right manner is important to make the most of it. For the Civil Service Exam Pattern evaluation of mock exams or tests, follow the procedure listed below:

  1. First of all, solve the mock tests of 100 questions in one sitting just like in an actual exam. Then start evaluating which will take another 1.5 to 2 hours approximately.
  2. While attempting the mock tests, mark those questions where you are confused between 2 or 3 options and you might have solved it by an elimination technique along with intelligent guesswork. After the test is over, verify if your method (of marking such responses) yields the correct answer or not.

    By evaluating such questions, you will learn whether you are able to land on the correct choice or not, via the elimination method. Evaluation will increase your accuracy also.
  3. Go through the solution to those questions which you are unable to attempt as it is out of your knowledge. Keep this solution in the revision book so that you will remember to give it a look while revising your syllabus of UPSC.
  4. Give special attention to those questions which you have marked wrong. Identify why you have marked an incorrect answer. Maybe you have misread (the question or options), are unable to think in an appropriate direction, are unable to put your knowledge, or have just taken a guess (either pure guesswork or intelligent guesswork). Try to identify and learn to avoid such mistakes in the UPSC Prelims.
  5. Also, make sure to check if the mistakes you have made while solving UPSC Prelims mock tests are fact-based, or concept based or if you are unable to strike the options to choose the correct one.

Importance of Evaluation of UPSC Prelims Mock Tests

Analyzing your performance is equally important as giving mock tests because it creates a real difference. Analyzing UPSC Prelims mock tests has several benefits. These:

  1. Help you to identify your weak areas so that you can work on that respective section. This way, you can convert them into your strengths.
  2. Enable you to know whether you are accurate enough in making choices or not (i.e. how efficient you are in striking the wrong option by putting your knowledge or doing guesswork).
  3. Help you to know in which section you are lacking, whether in the conceptual part or in the factual part or both.
  4. Identify the loopholes (if any) in your preparation.

The mock test series will surely not predict whether you are able to clear UPSC Prelims or not but it will improve the consistency of your performance in a diverse set of questions of different streams and portray a complete idea of where you stand with respect to your UPSC Preparation.

Such mock tests are more about the preparation strategy and level of questions. So attempting and analyzing will enable you to know which exam strategies work for you and observe how you perform in various mock test practices when applying different strategies.

Hence, it will improve the level of your accuracy in making choices and ultimately improve your score even in partial marks.

Related Article: 5 Effectual Cue To Avoid Negative Marking In UPSC Prelims

Mistakes to Avoid While Preparing for UPSC Mock Tests

  1. Not giving mock tests regularly: Regular mock tests are essential to assess your preparation level, improve time management skills and identify areas that need improvement. Avoid skipping mock tests as they provide valuable feedback and help you to stay on track.
  2. Ignoring the analysis of mock test results: Giving mock tests is only half the battle; the other half is analyzing the results. Make sure to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and work on improving the areas that need improvement.
  3. Not following a strict time limit: UPSC exams have strict time limits, so it’s important to practice under similar conditions. Avoid taking mock tests without a strict time limit, as this won’t help you prepare for the real exam.
  4. Not using previous year’s question papers: Previous year’s question papers provide insight into the type of questions that can be asked in the exam. Avoid preparing for mock tests without using the previous year’s question papers, as this limits your preparation.
  5. Not seeking help when required: If you’re struggling with a particular topic, don’t hesitate to seek help. Avoid trying to prepare for mock tests on your own when you’re struggling, as this will only slow down your progress.
  6. Not taking mock tests seriously: Treat each mock test as if it were the actual exam. Avoid taking mock tests casually, as this will not help you prepare adequately.
  7. Not having a clear understanding of the syllabus: Before giving a mock test, make sure you have a clear understanding of the syllabus. Avoid giving mock tests without a clear understanding of the syllabus, as this will only lead to confusion and poor results.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your mock test preparation is effective and will help you perform better in the actual UPSC exams.

You Might Also Like: UPSC Preparation Tips From Toppers: 10 Effective Tips


It will be fair to say, by now you have an idea of how many mock tests before UPSC Prelims are required for effective UPSC preparation.

If you follow the tips related to mock exams mentioned in this blog, have a good grasp of the entire syllabus and stay updated with current affairs, you can go to the examination hall with full confidence, a great chance of success, and without exam phobia and exam anxiety.

With Examarly, you are able to give multiple mock tests, quizzes, and chapter-based tests also. It not only provides the test series but also evaluates and analyzes your performance in each test. It provides you with your own personalized strategy on the basis of your performance in such tests.

FAQs on how many mock tests before UPSC Prelims should you take

How many mock exams should I give in a day?

It depends on your schedule and preparation level, but generally, it’s recommended to give at least 1-2 mock exams per week.

How to give mocks for UPSC Prelims?

You can give mock exams by simulating the actual UPSC Prelims exam conditions, using previous years’ question papers, and timing yourself strictly.

How many mock tests should I take before the UPSC interview?

It is recommended to take at least 10-15 mock tests before the UPSC interview.

What is the best time to give a mock test for UPSC Prelims?

The best time to give mock tests for the UPSC Prelims paper is around 2-3 months before the actual exam so that you have enough time to analyze your performance and work on your weaknesses.

Is it okay to miss a mock exam for UPSC Prelims?

Missing a mock exam is not ideal, but it’s better to miss one than to sacrifice your overall health and well-being.

How can I get 120 marks in UPSC Prelims?

To get 120 marks in UPSC Prelims, you need to have a strong grasp of the entire syllabus, regularly revise important topics, solve previous year’s papers, and give mock exams to track your progress.

Does UPSC repeat questions in the Prelims exam?

UPSC may repeat questions from previous years’ exams, but the chances are low, so it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of the exam syllabus rather than relying on memory.

Should you give mock tests daily for UPSC Prelims?

It is recommended to give mock tests regularly for UPSC Prelims to improve your time management skills, assess your preparation level, get regular feedback and identify areas that need improvement.

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