Which is the best IAS Prelims Test Series? I came across to this question thousands of times in past one month. Before sharing my analysis, research and own experience, I would like to give an insight into what is Test series or Mock test papers. Test Series consists of a series of tests or exams which cover all the aspects of actual examination to help students get familiar with exam pattern, probable questions and to prepare them for the actual quest.
There are hundreds of IAS Prelims Test Series which are being offered currently in the market in all online and classroom format, but choosing the right test series for you is a challenging task. Don’t just enrol in a Test Series, see how the particular Test Series is going to help you, because it’s not just the matter of money but it is the matter of your time, energy which should not go in vain in such a crucial time.
So here I am listing down a few extremely important factors which one must look for while joining IAS Prelims Test Series
- Question pattern, authenticity and past experience
See what kind of questions are being provided in IAS Prelims Test Series by a particular academy. Most of the academies provide easier questions just to keep students involved and boost up their confidence by giving good marking. But it simply makes no sense! I would avoid taking the name of any academy here, but few academies ask questions which are relevant for SSC or Bank exams but not for UPSC. While some of the coaching institutes set very difficult questions to show the authenticity, but again are nowhere related to UPSC. So Before joining a Test Series, see how authentic it is. Pick up previous year question paper and pick up the Test paper of a particular academy, and analyze the similarities of questions.
Here I undoubtedly would like to mention, because I did rigorous research on it; Chanakya IAS Academy’s prelims Test Series in some way or another indeed help students because of its authenticity. If we pick up the result of the previous year, out of around 2800 questions provided in Chanakya IAS Prelims Test Series, over 23 questions were asked in actual UPSC Prelims Exam 2018. So we must appreciate those who are actually good and benefiting the students, and not just making money.
Generally, the beginners have less or no idea about what kind of questions UPSC asks, and many coaching institutes are taking advantage of this; and my motive of being so clear and blunt here is to guide aspirants and save them from such wrong practices.
A good Test Series should be a replica of UPSC Prelims exam. The focus should be on covering all the possible and probable aspects and questions. UPSC does ask both easy and difficult questions, but what matters is the nature of questions. Before joining a Test Series, take a look at previous year question papers and see if the questions in test series are relevant enough or not.
- Experience and feedback of toppers
Before enrolling in UPSC Prelims Test Series, listen to the interview of toppers, know their experience, see what they recommend and then take the final decision. You can also ask the students appeared in a previous year and enrolled for Prelims Test Series, they will also be a good guiding source for you.
- Cost of IAS Prelims Test Series
Most of the coaching institutes provide IAS Prelims Test Series for free, although I respect this decision but what is the point in selling free test series and wasting precious time of students if those Test Series are of no use for them. On the other hand, many academies are offering test series in way too higher prices, which is again not justifiable; and why would you buy something for higher prices if you are getting better quality, answer evaluations by experts, performance report, and a lot more at a decent fee.
- Topics and areas covered in IAS Prelims test Series
To analyze which test Series is better; make sure it covers the following areas:
- Question similar to previous year question papers
- Questions from NCERT books
- Individual test papers for GS & CSAT
- Exact replica of the UPSC exam pattern in terms of options, marking, number of questions, etc
- A good balance of test papers
Whichever Test Series you take, just make sure you are on the right track. Don’t just blindly trust, but make a smart decision.
- See what else is being offered along with Prelims Test Series
I saw many academies are providing current affairs booklet, Answer evaluation by experts, special doubt classes and discussions which would again be helpful for you; but the main point is Test papers should be relevant.
I did research and made this comparative chart which would help you in taking the right decision. For other queries, you can always get in touch with me on Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Nilanshi-Gupta
|S. No.||Comparison Scale||Details||Chanakya IAS Academy||Drishti IAS||Dhyeya IAS|
|2||Number of Tests||30||30||31|
|5||Interaction with Experts||√||√||x|
|Fee||Online||Rs. 5000/-||Rs. 6000/-||Rs. 5000/-|
|Offline||Rs. 10,000/-||Rs. 7000/-||Rs. 7000/-|