How can candidates tackle questions they’re unfamiliar with?

Facing unfamiliar questions is common in competitive exams like the UPSC. To address this
challenge, employ a systematic approach. Begin by reading the question carefully, breaking it
down into essential components. Identify keywords that provide clues about the topic’s context.
Even if you lack specific knowledge, you can attempt to answer using logic and general
awareness. Analyze the question from different angles and perspectives to present a well-rounded
response. Avoid guessing without any basis, as incorrect answers can affect your overall
accuracy. Remember, the UPSC values rational thinking and holistic understanding. If time
permits, move on to other questions and return to the unfamiliar one later. Often, attempting other
questions can trigger your memory or provide insights that assist with the difficult question. Keep
a calm and composed demeanor, focusing on leveraging your existing knowledge and analytical
abilities. While the UPSC exam assesses subject knowledge, it also values your capacity to apply
critical thinking to unfamiliar scenarios. Practice tackling diverse questions during your
preparation to build your confidence and refine your approach to handling the unexpected.

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