In the recent past we have seen a Letter from Civil Service aspirants to Media on possible discrimination in Prelims( you can see that from http://www.itcsa.blogspot.in/2012/08/letter-from-civil-service-aspirants-to.html ). The problem is not only with civil services exam, but with other exams conducted by UPSC, SSC, and defense services exams as well.
Here are some tips to overcome this before UPSC takes some steps to address this:
1. Try to finish maths, logical reasoning and decision making questions(which don't have -ve mark) first. You have to quickly go through paper and find where they are. Don't commit mistake while filling the right answer in answer sheet.
2. The passages seem to be too technical(scientific/finance terms) or philosophical(thought streams). Hence read at least one passage of scientific, financial, or philosophical per week from The Hindu or Yojana. This will be useful for your essay or GS.
3. [Important- While writing exam] There are so many small passages with technical terms, and for each passage only 2-3 questions are asked. The questions are not direct that you can pick a work or a sentence and answer. They ask for gist or thought flow to test your grasping power. The strategy to be followed is:
a. Don't waste time in reading and re-reading the passage. You may end up not even attempting many questions.
b. Quickly read questions first, without reading four options. Then go back to passage and read it only for once. Now read the question again and tick the answer. Believe in your self. Jump back to passage only if you think that is needed. But remember, don't do this too many times.
4. Attempt as many questions as possible, because no one can be 100% sure about answers. If you have attempted 50% of the paper, there are more chances that you will fail. But if you attempt 80-90% your chances of clearing will increase.
5. Attempt a question even if your are less than 50% sure. You decide when to attempt, and believe in yourself.
6. Try to join some institute where reading comprehension is taught and improve your vocabulary. keep a dictionary always with you and refer to it whenever you come across new word.
From MR. NAKIDI SRUJAN KUMAR IRS( Customs & Excise)