We have received hundreds of emails, messages and calls this year after Prelims-2020 regarding how our initiatives(most of them free of cost) were instrumental in helping thousands of aspirants do well in Prelims-2020. This year was special as many aspirants have been vocal about their support unlike previous years. May be the pandemic has made all of us more empathetic towards each other!
This post is not about claiming how many questions got repeated from our tests. This post is written by our follower who wants to remain anonymous for time being. We are posting this as it clearly reflects our philosophy and intention behind what we do on daily basis on this website. We are overwhelmed that an aspirant goes to this extent of sharing their experience in such a detailed post!
Please do read it fully. And carefully. Please share your thoughts too in the comments section.
(This is my honest and personal experience about InsightsIAS Open mock tests for prelims and other things. I strongly believe majority of aspirants would have similar experiences. I am lucky that I am able to share it with Vinay sir and team Insights)
Respected Vinay sir,
First of all let me thank you and Insights team for the efforts that you all took to make prelims exam easy and *familiar to aspirants.
I am stressing on the word *familiar as for the one who constantly referred to Insights sources and material, which was readily available freely on website, the prelims paper was not something coming out of the blue.
It may be the INSTA current affairs magazine, 75 days revision plan or any other initiative…the crux is.. all of it helped to broaden the horizon of preparation. Though it was extensive to cover them, but that’s what was needed for the kind of paper UPSC is setting these years.
I would really like to point out three specific things which stood out and helped not only to me but my other friends as well who were preparing. These 3 were very unique things provided by Insights which no other institute or telegram channel or any mentor could provide.
The 2019 analysis post by Insights clearly showed the trend, the themes of UPSC prelims and the way about how one should go ahead for UPSC prelims 2020. After reading the post I literally rearranged my prelims preparation and tried to make it aligned with what is needed.
I had not joined any test series for prelims but I had attempted few open mocks from multiple institutes and my score was in decent range but I never felt like the tests were challenging the mind to think. Majority of mocks were purely memory based. The calculation was simple; if you have read that particular institutes reading or current affairs material you will get good score. This is a general observation which majority of aspirants would have come across.
It was Insights open mock test 1 that opened my eyes. I would really like to share that experience here. The learning from these mock tests played vital role in getting decent score in final UPSC prelims 2020.
I started the test as usual but I observed there was a lot of unfamiliarity. I felt like this test is not in my *comfort zone. The questions were challenging the mind to think for each Q and their each option. With all the study and my tricks, I was able to eliminate 2 options and was facing a serious challenge about what to choose between the remaining two options as both were feeling equally right. No trick was helping here to get the final right option and the helplessness in almost every question was making me nervous about how many questions will go right and how many will go wrong. The mind started calculating about how much I will score rather than focusing on solving the test. With each Q the discomfort was increasing and the feeling was same as if I am attempting my final UPSC prelims paper. I have attempted UPSC prelims so I could correlate the actual examination feel here.
Till the 100th Q I had to fight to make sure I am solving questions correctly without losing my patience, temperament and most importantly without doubting my preparation. There were some easy questions as well but also the difficult, tricky one. I had only one option…trust the logic I am applying, believe in the hard work done and optimistically attempt at least 90-95 questions so that my score won’t fall below average.
After the test till the result was displayed the feeling was like I have ruined it. I felt like I didn’t read this, didn’t prepare that, I could have revised this etc. I scored around 105 in that test and it was unbelievable. I am highlighting here not the score or how many questions I got were correct but the *process. I realised that the test was set deliberately in that manner.
The questions were set as if to test candidate’s temperament, psychological aspects of dealing with uncomfortable questions rather than just the memory based learning done by aspirant. The options were beautifully designed so that one with logic can eliminate them and reach to correct answer if sows presence of mind. The score made me believe that whatever may be the question, we need to apply elimination tricks and arrive at the most appropriate answer rather than just looking for the known areas and what can be the exact answer.
If one can observe, this is the exact feeling that many aspirants have gone through in their actual prelims 2020. To be very honest I couldn’t have performed decent in final exam if I had not solved these tests. I was luckiest to solve Insights open mock test and get myself mentally prepared for another such test as my final UPSC prelims. Many of my friends are also benefitted from the same and I am happy to share that I am scoring 107.33 and my all friends are also scoring 105 to 113 in UPSC 2020 prelims by Insights answer key.
I remember Vinay sir’s one sentence which I had read in one of Insights prelims related post “It’s better to make ourselves uncomfortable now by solving such mock tests, learn from them and improve before actual prelims rather than playing in our comfort zones while practicing mocks and getting a shocking unfamiliar, unknown experience directly in final exam”. 100% true.
Last but not least, the kind of motivation provided by Insights is really unique. On 3rd October when the social media was flooded with so many motivational posts, I was eagerly waiting for the Insights motivational post. And it was magical, as always!
Thank you so much Vinay sir and team Insights for everything that you do for aspirants from bottom of my heart. May you stay blessed and keep growing. May team Insights keep helping aspirants to realise their dreams.
An ardent InsightsIAS follower
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