what are prelims

What are Prelims?

Prelims, short for preliminary exams, refer to the initial stage of a competitive examination or selection process. They are typically the first round of examinations that candidates need to clear in order to qualify for further stages of the selection process.

The Purpose of Prelims

The primary purpose of preliminary exams is to screen and shortlist a large number of candidates, allowing only the most qualified individuals to proceed to the next round. These exams serve as a means of evaluating the basic knowledge, aptitude, and skills of candidates to gauge their suitability for the desired position or course.

what are prelims

Prelims in Various Fields

Civil Services

In the context of civil services examinations, prelims act as the first stage of selection for aspiring individuals who wish to join administrative positions in the government. These exams are conducted by the respective government bodies to test the candidates’ knowledge, general awareness, reasoning ability, and aptitude.

Entrance Exams

Preliminary exams are also common in the field of education where they serve as entrance examinations for various courses, such as engineering, medicine, law, management, and more. These exams are designed to assess the candidates’ understanding and proficiency in the respective field and act as a gateway for getting admission to renowned institutes and universities.

Tips for Clearing Prelims

Clearing preliminary exams requires diligent preparation and strategic studying. Here are some tips to enhance your chances of success:

1. Understand the Syllabus:

Thoroughly go through the syllabus and exam pattern to understand the topics and areas you need to focus on. This will help you plan your study schedule effectively.

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2. Refer to Previous Years’ Question Papers:

Take a look at previous years’ question papers to familiarize yourself with the exam pattern and types of questions asked. This will give you an idea of the level of difficulty and the areas/topics that are frequently covered.

3. Create a Study Plan:

Divide your study time based on the weightage of each topic and allocate sufficient time for revision. Following a well-structured study plan will help you cover the entire syllabus systematically.

4. Practice Mock Tests:

Regularly solving mock tests and sample papers will help you become familiar with the exam format, improve your time management skills, and identify your strengths and weaknesses.

5. Stay Updated with Current Affairs:

Stay up-to-date with current affairs by reading newspapers, watching news channels, or following reliable online sources. Current affairs play a crucial role in clearing the prelims of competitive examinations.

6. Seek Guidance:

If possible, enroll in a reputable coaching institute or seek guidance from experienced mentors who can provide valuable insights, study materials, and techniques to excel in the preliminary exams.


Preliminary exams serve as the gateway to numerous opportunities in various fields. They act as a filtering mechanism to identify the most suitable candidates for further stages of the selection process. By understanding the syllabus, practicing mock tests, and staying updated with current affairs, you can increase your chances of clearing prelims and achieving success in your desired field.

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