How to crack & succeed competitive exams: Preparation & test writing tips


The need to win or succeed in competitive exams is a must to have a successful career.

This is more so in developing countries like India.

The competition is intense for exams like upsc, IIT, business management, marketing, medicine (MBBS), engg, mca etc.

Some crack these competitive exams with ease and confidence.

But for many success is not guaranteed even after repeated attempts with hard preparation.

This indicates more emphasis towards the mindset besides hard work required.

we also need a proper approach and strategy in the preparation.

Courtesy: Wikicommons
Courtesy: Wikicommons

Strategy to crack or succeed competitive exams

1) Definite decision to target or achieve the goal; As a foremost thing, set up a desired score (say-99%) or the order of rank (say within-1st to 10th rank) you wish to achieve in the competitive exam. This step brings a clear clarity of what marks or score you need to achieve in the exam. Going through previous competitive exam records indicate the marks scored by toppers. So if wish to achieve the said rank you may need to achieve the previously scored marks or grade and ±10 marks of recent toppers.

2) Definite plan to make up the target; Once the target is set, assess how much of target or score you can make up by your present or current standards. This can be affirmed by solving a previous exams paper of i.e past papers within the stipulated time. Once you solve them, evaluate the answers yourself honestly by referring to previous answers i.e key released after previous exam.

Having known your standards, know the syllabus you need to cover in entirety for the competitive exams. Select appropriate Books to cover the syllabus. Fix up a time to cover the syllabus and maximum possible number of times to revise the covered syllabus (because without revision its useless to cover vast syllabus :-) as you will not remember them during exam instantly).

Boost yourself to success.

Essential Words for the GRE (Barron's GRE)
Essential Words for the GRE (Barron's GRE)

Barron's The Leader in Test Preparation for GRE


3) Amendment of plan to achieve target; Keeping syllabus in view cover the subjects. Some chapter may appear tough and time taking to process, then you cover it as briefly as possible and go to next. The briefly covered chapters become easy for your minds to process next time ;-).

Even it is advisable to make a team of pupil who wish to succeed in the competitive exam and help each other in coverage of syllabus as this can save time (but unnecessary chating can waste your time! so be hold ;-)).

During the preparation be sure to practice thoroughly any mathematical, statistical problems or formulas if any in the syllabus. Even practice the chemical structures present. Try to make short notes of important topics which you need to remember so as to revise easily.

To answer general knowledge type questions, read your daily and weeklies. Have a chat about the topic with your friends during snacks or so, to have more clear idea and memory of the topic.

Revise and Revise-Study Skill

Once syllabus is covered go for revision as many times as possible with constant evaluation of your standard by solving previous question papers after each revision. Habituate even to complete the paper half hour earlier than stipulated time.

If the exams are of multiple choice type it is less strenuous to answer but if it is of essay type writing etc. even practice writing essays as it enhances your writing speed, hand writing, grammar and mental skill required to write. So revision is an important study skill.

Remember that without proper revision it's of no use to cover huge amount of syllabus.

Writing the exam:How to solve the paper ?

If Exam is of Essay type:Like in CIVIL services-IAS, IPS, state service exams etc.

This requires two things. Writing speed with clear readable handwriting and also creative answering . If preparing for civil services or other sort of exams which test your ability of judgement and reasoning, read essays from daily news papers, magazines and other publications. So the emphasis to practice before exams is very essential to enhance both these skills

♣ Once you get the Question paper, read all the questions first and decide which you can answer.

♣ Then while answering, write short questions first and then go for long ones. This is necessary as you can score more for individual short answers than for a single long answer.

♣ Leave proper space in between words and lines. If any diagrams are present, draw and label them clearly to gain notice and more score.

If Exam is of objective type:

For exams like CAT-GMAT, GRE, IIT's- AIEEE & JEE and various scholarship entrances the mode is objective type.

♦ Answer questions as fast as possible. For this you must practice to complete previous exam question papers in the shortest time possible .

♦ If a question is not known or time taking or doubtful better go for the next and return to it after you answer all the known ones.

♦ If a question has 4 choices and if you are in doubt then eliminate two unsuitable ones and of the remaining 2 select the best one.

♦ Be careful with terminology because the meaning of terms can help you sometimes recognize the right answer.

♦ Even then If you are not sure or is out of your knowledge to answer any question, better don’t answer to avoid negative marks.

Complete the question paper quickly and come back from the beginning a couple of times.

This will help you answer more unanswered questions correctly as it gives time for understanding the questions and answers those which sound confusing to you before. And also some questions need calculations or images or structures to do in rough work to think and find the right answer.

But this rechecking has a disadvantage that you may make further mistakes than before and lose score !! bear it in mind.

Have Right Mindset

Take inspiration, support, suggestions from elders and friends; This is very important to derive strength to complete the entire process to succeed competitive exams.

Suggestion from previous achievers can be very helpful. Have coaching sessions or attend some group studies or preparative exams to help you mould your vision and thought towards success.

Visualise your success, frequently and be optimistic, because everyone were like you before they had their success in competitive exams.

Things you should not do:

  1. Don't worry about the level of competition- because the number of people appearing for the exam has nothing to do with the score you wish to achieve. The ladder of success is crowded at the bottom and not at the top.
  2. Don't rely on too many ideas or suggestion you get from others. You try to figure out your own idea and sketch of how to prepare and succeed.
  3. Don't bunk your regular classes or school in order to prepare for the competitive exam- because remember that a busy person can handle extra work but not the free person.

Competitive exams are important in education system but getting educated or studying is not aimed at just succeeding in competitive exams alone....

THANKS & ALL THE BEST FOR YOUR SUCCESS in competitive exams...... ;-)

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Comments 98 comments

chandrashekar.HC 6 years ago

its really very good article.........

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bheem 6 years ago Author

Thanks you :-)

nengroo asif 6 years ago

thanks for above suggestions, it really helps me

UTKARSH SHAKYA 6 years ago

the above suggestions are very good, it really help me a lot for examinations and thank you for giving these helpful tips.

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bheem 6 years ago Author

You are welcome Utkarsh Shakya.

Thanks for your appreciation of the suggestions.

ash 6 years ago

i loved it it gave me lots of confidence

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bheem 6 years ago Author

WIsh you all the best ash...

Raghav Chaturvedi 5 years ago

awesome blossom man.......what an article.... i will follow all these ....and i m sure that i will success in my future......thank you sir for this article..........

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bheem 5 years ago Author

You are welcome Raghav Chaturvedi!

All the best for your future en devours.....:-)

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crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Excellent strategies you shared in here which is the secrets to crack a competitive exams but student's normally neglect them.thanks for this article that is well polished.

kirti jenamoni 5 years ago

nice one.

Gunasekaran Muniandi 5 years ago

These ideas will surely help to achieve their life achievements. Wonderful.............

karishma 5 years ago

its really very useful article!

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bheem 5 years ago Author

Thanks guys......

Surya 5 years ago

really a good job

sumit 5 years ago

thanks sir,..for civil services exam good writing is important?

Akshay 5 years ago

the article is very well written and is very inspiring.

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bheem 5 years ago Author

hi sumit, for civil services i heard that, writing should be clearly readable by the evaluator, i.e it should have sufficient spacing between words and lines.Though the wiritng is not attractive, it should be readable without strain...

Rahul 5 years ago

Excellent article................the best available on internet with a deeper insight into the problems faced by candidates.

Sheenu 5 years ago

How sweet, its sufficient to get deep knowledge...........

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bheem 5 years ago Author

Hmm, thanks guys for ur complements :-)....

aaaaaaaaa 5 years ago

thanks for such a nice info its superb

ananya 5 years ago

this article has given me confidence i really appreciate these types of articles and encourage others to read this. thanks a lot

Jenny 5 years ago

Thanks for such a experiencible article

Arman 5 years ago

dear sir,ur article has added further fuel to my burning desire to achieve success.thanks a lot.but i hav a problem...i am currently studying in a coaching centre at visakhapatnam and there is a complete schedule there to waste our precious time..hence a began bunking to revise and practice recently.kindly guide me through this.

bheem profile image

bheem 5 years ago Author

hi Arman, i had this problem during my 10+2. The institutes assume students to be machines.

I don't know if they are covering some syllabus in the schedule or just making students sit for study.

In either case i think You must rely on your self confidence of how to move on.

If syllabus is covered in the schedule then you may bunk to complete it faster. But have a set of friends because your teacher gives a better idea on the subject because of their experience than you get by reading alone. So having friends will help you clear concepts by discussion as each of you may have different perspective of the topic.

If it is a study time then I think you need to sit there in the institute and do what ever study you want to do by bunking the schedule.

Because bunking may create unnecessary tension on you.

Except your goal I don't think other things must disturb your thoughts. So keep things around smooth but focus towards your goal burning always.

All the beat for your success.....Wish to hear your achievements......

arman 5 years ago

thanks a lot sir.but conditins at the institute r not suitable due to a lot of noise plus now we are forced to study only cbse syllabus is over and i am confident.yet they force us to do only cbse for 12 hours a day.hence i thought sitting at home i can manage around 15 hours of study.whereas it is not possible for me to do so if i attend my institution.the insti. is 1hour journey on one plz advise.ur advise will be my final decision.

pramod singh yadav 5 years ago

excellent and motivating article

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bheem 5 years ago Author

@Arman: Why not you check for yourself for a day or two if you could manage to utilize 15 hours for study from home..

Its not how much time you sit for study but instead it should be how much syllabus you could cover in the given time. For success in competitive exams this is the prime criteria.

Check out if you can cover at-least half of the syllabus you cover at your institute by staying at home. I presume it is difficult for many to do so on a stretch of 3 to 4 days.

Just try once and if you feel you are able to do well at home then go for it or do otherwise.

Hope this helps.......

arman 5 years ago

thanks sir i planned and was able to do 70% of my syllabus to be covered.i cant do anything in college,,,,,there are 90 fellows in my class.... They make phenomenal amount of noise.

Gautam 5 years ago

Hi sir ...I m currently persuing BCA nd I m from non -med background .... I thought BCA is a good course to do as many people guided me so .....but I didn't find it that hard for me..not yet I want to crack the engineering ggsipu exam this year ....I have a very limited time ....kindly guide me through this ..

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bheem 5 years ago Author

Fine arman.. best wishes to u...

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bheem 5 years ago Author

Pramod! glad to know that the article has given you motivation.

komal 5 years ago

sir its very nice n encouraging thoughts... sir i want ur help as i take a lot of time 4r reading 2 clear my concepts is dere any way 2 cover it fastly

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bheem 5 years ago Author

@Gautam! Preperation should be well panned for better scoring and not be done just in a hurry.

But still I think you should brush up your memory and knowledge of the topics which you are familiar at first.

Then try to complete tougher topics which you need more efforts.

But have time for at-least once or for better if possible twice revision.

bheem profile image

bheem 5 years ago Author

Komal! glad that you liked the article.

And as you mentioned about your time delay in clearing and reading the concept, which could be a problem to have success in competitive exams.

Firstly it's a common problem for every one. And it is only possible to be fast in clearing a concept if one has a thorough understanding of the basics..

Secondly, you will also get by practice and also your skill and ability to cover topics faster will improve with further maturity in your mind.

Thirdly, try to have your own idea and perspective of every concept you come across.

Fourthly discussing with your colleagues and friends will help you clear concepts faster.

PRAKASH JOSHI 4 years ago


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bheem 4 years ago Author

Hey prakash! you are welcome again and all the best for your success...

Abid 4 years ago

realy a good guide. thanks.

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bheem 4 years ago Author

Abid, you are welcome.....

Praveen 4 years ago

Clear concept and basics, hard work, goal setting, peeper time management and above all grace of God is come key points to crack the competitive exams

mangal 4 years ago

sir what to do for bank clerk exam i m trying from 2 year. After good start i dont study for many days.

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bheem 4 years ago Author

Hello Mangal!

It seems your mind feels that it already knows the topics that need to be studied and hence there is reluctance for repeat study or further study.

Give it some exercises like trying to solve previous exam paper within the time given. And see how far you will score in that. There are chances you will not answer some questions and hence try to go through that topic (as curiosity rises) In case you have already gone through all the previous paper and no paper is left to check your brains standard for the exam.

Then give it another exercise like trying to teach others who are preparing like you for similar exam. This is a good option because teaching recalls memory and even consolidates it. Frequently you come across some topic while teaching which you don't know and hence you will cover it out of curiosity.

If this option is not possible for you, then sit down take a rough notes and start writing the content of the topic you wish to study. There will be a strong tendency while writing to check back the book you need to study out of doubt or to write further..

And also remember this problem is not specific to you. Almost every person preparing for exams will have come across this problem and they would have found out a way...


Jyoti 4 years ago

Thankyou so much i think it realy helps me....:-q

jyoti tumballi 4 years ago

hello sir ,,, article is really helpful ...before reading this article i am not serious about my studies.... i am lack with the knowledge of presentation skill,, could you help me on this regard . i could not able to focus the topics as much as i have to completethe syllabubs within short period,,,sir can u guide me...? how can i read, that should be retain (remember) longer...pls sir

bheem profile image

bheem 4 years ago Author

Hi Jyoti!presentation skill can be attained by seeing other's skill, by improvement in your way of writing or presenting with diagrams, points, para graphs etc.

Focus on the topic will not be there if you either know the topic before hand or you are not able to understand the topic at all. If it is first case, then you try to write the topic without seeing. If it is second case try to understand by asking your teachers or friends.

Memory depends on seeing, hearing, reading, writing etc. Seeing an image has more memory than hearing a topic. writing has more memory than reading...

Aslam-isgow 4 years ago

Thanks alot 4 ur real supporting, it is da best way that can every competitor achieve his goal as well as posible.

Realy i have get what i am seeking to day.



lupita 4 years ago

Thanks a ton for the ideas!! really inspiring to a planned effort to success!! i made sure i jotted these points in my diary !! thanks again sir!

but like just had a doubt regarding "Complete the question paper quickly and come back from the beginning a couple of times"--with more disadvantage than advantage... i suppose more practice will rule this out or avoid it be on safer side???

bheem profile image

bheem 4 years ago Author

Lupita! glad that the article was useful to you. And the point of come back from beginning couple of times- is really focused at an individual who is in exam with intense desire to succeed. Remember he may not be so cool as he is while practicing at home, in the exam center. But still who knows your point of view may also turn out to be right..


lupita 4 years ago

yes sir i guess your right about it...coz maybe i too could possibly freak out at the exam hall!! i'll sure keep this in mind !!

thanks for the sincere reply sir!!:)


good one

golu 4 years ago

this is good article

ishrat wani 4 years ago

it is realy an excellent provides inspiration and pathway to success.

Damo 4 years ago

This article is mind blowing .and this tips takes man from zero 2 hero

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bheem 4 years ago Author

Hey guys! thanks for your compliments...

Nida khan 4 years ago

Thanks a lot....i just feelng boastup after reading ur article...i m having a loophole that i easily gave up...and have too much negativity in my mind .....

Srijan 4 years ago

Really beneficial article for students planning to crack the competitive exams. Really hope that we get to know much more from you in future. Thanks.

aiswarya das 4 years ago

can u suggest a daily routine for studies...........

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bheem 4 years ago Author

Aiswarya! daily routine for studies varies person to person, length of study syllabus, time for class or job and other factors. It should be decided by yourself as you know better about yourself and your conditions..

Still if you like a suggestion leave a line about your exam you wish to appear, your preparation plan, your syllabus, time you can spend in a day for study in contact form on author profile page..

Good luck..

Prashant Bansal 4 years ago

really good article ,

Really helpfull......

suryakanth shivapur 4 years ago

nice article its really gave me some tips about exam ..thank you

Greesha 4 years ago

Awesome article! it really helps me a lot

NIHA JI 4 years ago


Ashish 3 years ago

Thank you very much for giving inspiration...

ankita 3 years ago

it really made me an optimist

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bheem 3 years ago Author

Ankita! Optimism helps overcome many hurdles...:-)

neha 3 years ago

it ws quite good sir...

i mde an attempt in medical dis didn't perform well, the prblem i face is tht i lose hope very easily and become depressed abt my future....

i wnt to succed in entrance exam nxt year..wt do i do???

Indu 3 years ago

Thank you , it really gave me confidence

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bheem 3 years ago Author

Neha! note what was your score totally and also subject wise. This might give an idea of which subject scored you less and you need to put extra focus. If all subjects are similar in scores then you need to revise them again but with dept of understanding. Try to solve physics and chemistry with your own ideas besides what you might be taught..

Those who gain command over subject with in-depth understanding and revisions will never lose hope easily.

If possible try to read some positive attitude books daily before going to bed...

check if you can find any of the following around your place.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper and Loren Long

Dream Big by Ian Falconer

A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard

He Who Thinks He Can by Orison Swett Marden

The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

Little Gold Book of YES!Attitude by Jeffrey Gitomer

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bheem 3 years ago Author

Indu! you are welcome...

jithu 3 years ago

Sir, thanks for your valuable advises...... actually i can see that i have a lot of time for preparation for competitive exams but most of my days can not wind up with at least 20% of my work, this is the situation when i reach the exam date like that if i had finished at least 90% of work...... when i tried with Q papers i can score only near 45% ... sir kindly help me.. what should be done to improve scoring...

heera 3 years ago




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bheem 3 years ago Author

HI JITHU! this is common issue many students. Those who overcome this issue definitely succeed. If you think your day is going waste why not solve previous question paper. It is a best time during these times.

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bheem 3 years ago Author

Hi heera! welcome..

jithu 3 years ago

Thank you very much sir, for your comment... now i am working as a technician in a pvt firm..&trying to get advanced in my carrier.. will do this & hope this will solve my problem....

molu 3 years ago


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bheem 3 years ago Author

molu! welcome

gurwinder 2 years ago

thanks sir...i m already preaparing for upsc exam and your suggestions for this really cleared my doubts....

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bheem 2 years ago Author

gurwinder !welcome again...

starlet95 2 years ago

i've passed 12th (cbse) last year (64%) after which i've spent a year going for medical entrance coaching in a reputed coaching institute. i've wasted these 3 years of my life. i haven't studied anything. i scored distinction in 10th (icse). i'm going to spend another year in self study for entrance and i just can't afford to waste another year. i choose to join mbbs 'cause i know i have it in me to clear the entrance if i work hard and keep my lazyness at bay. i need to star from the very beginning. i'm clueless. please give me guidance on how to plan my year ahead and how to work in order to clear the entrance. will a year be sufficient 'cause i need to start from the basics. :'(

-desperately waiting for a reply.

vikki 2 years ago

Thanks a lot

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bheem 2 years ago Author

vikki! you are welcome

snehal kunde 2 years ago

after complete bsc which is best for job msc or competative exams which is best tell me answer

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bheem 2 years ago Author

@ snehal kunde! One can prepare for competitive exams perceiving M.Sc. So try to clear any government service competitive exams while perceiving M.Sc. many people follow this strategy.

Vaishnavi 2 years ago

really a nice article it encouraged me a lot.

i am an iit aspirant and my score in coaching institution is going down. I am studying all the concepts but still my marks are not improving. I cannot understand where i am lacking behind.

sud 2 years ago


afrin 24 months ago

sir, first of all i thank you for such a nice article. i am a dropper this year and i am going to repeat the exam, but i think i have not prepared well enough all these days. sir, please suggest me some ways to prepare in shorter time as i have only 3 months left for my exam. thankyou

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bheem 24 months ago Author

Hello afrin! Three months is a big time for any one..Just study... all the best.

puja 21 months ago

Hello sir ,my problem is i start my study with full enthusiasm bt after a week or two i start procasting it and give it less time.also the syllabus seems like very vast.plz help me out this prblm.i want to give my studies at least 6 hours a day but fail to do this.plz help .

bheem profile image

bheem 21 months ago Author

Hi puja! Good to hear you have enthusiasm but unable to carry it for long. It is common that human brain gets bored and tired by same routine works. So make some alterations in study. Instead of just studying all day, keep some other goals or activities like

1. Try to write something (a topic of what you studied) without seeing to test your knowledge from what you already read.

2. Try to answer a previous question paper and evaluate yourself.

3. Try to discus with friends or colleagues about the subject.

Doing these small changes will keep your enthusiasm strong.

Also if you feel syllabus is vast. Then the idea is try to complete the whole syllabus in a week or two.

It may sound impossible but if you just read a glimpse of each topic in each chapter the whole book gets over in few hours. Then do for other subjects. This may not make you feel that you studied in complete but at-least you will know something about every chapter in the book. This on repetition you will feel the syllabus is shorter and lighter to handle.

Just do and see. it works.


puja 21 months ago

Thnk u so much for your help and quick response.

aman 19 months ago

Brilliant work sir, thanks for inspiring me sir i have a problem. I am very much interested in studies but i cannot concentrate on my work..and most of my time gets wasted with very little output..pls sir can you help me......

aman 19 months ago

Sir pls reply i am waiting.,....

abhay gautam 19 months ago

well lets see how much it helps

Mahadev Tondikatti 18 months ago

Thanks for your inspiration............................

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bheem 17 months ago Author

oh Aman! Sorry for delay. By the way, if you can see other comments i have given the tips for that too.Try to discuss with like minded friends about what you want to study. Try to solve some previous exam papers, write any subject what you studied on a paper and recheck. Also remember you can do all the above only by strong determination to score well or achieve a good rank. So fix that goal and memorize it frequently. The stronger the desire, the easier to study and work for it.


vijay 17 months ago

Thank you for Your suggestion

rohan 16 months ago

thank u very much

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