## What is Tickmaster-giri?

• 1979 to 2006: Candidates would tick all the MCQs in the UPSC preliminary exam, because there was no negative marking.
• 2007: UPSC introduced the 33% penalty for wrong answer for the first time in prelims.
• Each Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) has four options. If you can confidently eliminate 2 out of 4 options, then you’re left with only two options.
• Then, your probability of ticking right answer is 50% (right answer fetches you two marks in GS paper1). and your probably of ticking wrong answer is also 50% (wrong answer fetches you -0.66 marks in GS Paper-1).
• So, by law of averages, if you do like above for 1012 MCQs, you’ll gain a positive score.
• But the prerequisite is you must eliminate two out of four options first- that is the “pregambling stage”.
• In real UPSC, 40-60 MCQs are usually easy to medium, and rest are tough and asked outside the regular reading material.
• So, ever since UPSC implemented negative marking system, some players would tick 40-60 based on their knowledge, and another 20-30 by their gut-feeling. I call them Tickmasters.

## Then What is Guessmaster-giri?

• Whereas Tickmastergiri has its roots in the fundamentals of statistics and probability, Guessmastergiri is a different thing altogether.
• Guessmastergiriâs roots are in the incompetency of the UPSC examiner in framing MCQs with cliched structure.
• Basically you look for certain keywords / structure in the MCQ, and accordingly eliminate the wrong options and in most cases you can do it without having studied anything. OBSERVE:

### GM-Rule#1: Extreme statement is ALWAYS wrong

If a statement contains extreme words like “all, must, none, cannot, always” then it’s wrong statement. Hence you can guess the right answer, even if you don’t know the topic.

Rule is valid and helps to reach correct answer Rule is not always valid, often give you wrong answer
(Prelim 2016) 16. With reference to the ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership’, consider the following statements :

1. It is an agreement among all the Pacific Rim countries except China and Russia.
2. It is a strategic alliance for the purpose of maritime security only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

1. 1 only
2. 2 only
3. Both 1 and 2
4. Neither 1 nor 2

Since both statements have extreme words, answer will be “D”.

(Prelim-2016) 41. With reference to âBitcoinsâ, sometimes seen in the news, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. Bitcoins are tracked by the Central Banks of the countries.
2. Anyone with a Bitcoin address can send and receive Bitcoins from anyone else with a Bitcoin address.
3. Online payments can be sent without either side knowing the identity of the other.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

1. 1 and 2 only
2. 2 and 3 only
3. 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3

Second and third statements have extreme words so both should be wrong! But in fact both are right!

(Prelim 2016) 15. With reference to the ‘Gram Nyayalaya Act’, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. As per the Act, Gram Nyayalayas can hear only civil cases and not criminal cases.
2. The Act allows local social activists as mediators/reconciliators.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

1. 1 only
2. 2 only
3. Both 1 and 2
4. Neither 1 nor 2

First statement has extreme word “only” so it should be wrong. Second statement has no extreme word, so it should be right. So answer will be “B”.

(Prelim-2017) 27. Which of the following has/have occurred in India after its liberalization of economic policies in 1991?

1. Share of agriculture in GDP increased enormously.
2. Share of Indiaâs exports in world trade increased.
3. FDI inflows increased.
4. Indiaâs foreign exchange reserves increased enormously.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

1. 1 and 4 only
2. 2, 3 and 4 only
3. 2 and 3 only
4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Fourth statement should be wrong, but it isn’t, as per economic survey data!

(Prelim-2017) 31. What is/are the most likely advantages of implementing âGoods and Services Tax (GST)â?

1. It will replace multiple taxes collected by multiple authorities and will thus create a single market in India.
2. It will drastically reduce the âCurrent Account Deficitâ of India and will enable it to increase its foreign exchange reserves.
3. It will enormously increase the growth and size of economy of India and will enable it to overtake China in the near future.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

1. 1 only
2. 2 and 3 only
3. 1 and 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3

Second and third statements have extreme words “drastically” and “enormously” so they’ll be wrong.

### GM-Rule#2: Dates, Years & figures are always wrong in statement

If an MCQ-statement has name of some date or figure, then it’s definitely wrong. And if it has two-three statements, then remaining statements are always right- unless they violate the first law (Extreme word).

The rule is valid and helps The rule is invalid, often gives you wrong answers
(Prelims-2016) 32. With reference to ‘Agenda 21’, sometimes seen in the news, consider the following statements :

1. It is a global action plan for sustainable development
2. It originated in the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

1. 1 only
2. 2 only
3. Both 1 and 2
4. Neither 1 nor 2

Second statement has date (year) so it ought to be wrong, and itâs indeed wrong.

Will update this side of table, when I find the official UPSC MCQs violating this rule.
(Prelims 2014) With reference to a grouping of countries known as BRICS, consider the following statements:

1. The First Summit of BRICS was held in Rio de Janeiro in 2009.
2. South Africa was the last to join the BRICS grouping.

Which of the statements given above is / are correct?

1. 1 only
2. 2 only
3. Both 1 and 2
4. Neither 1 nor 2

First statement wrong because it has year (correct year was 2009). Second is right.

With reference to ‘Eco-Sensitive Zones’, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. Eco-Sensitive Zones are the areas that are declared under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
2. The purpose of the declaration of Eco-Sensitive Zones is to prohibit all kinds of human activities, in those zones except agriculture.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

1. 1 only
2. 2 only
3. Both 1 and 2
4. Neither 1 nor 2

First statement is wrong by GM-rule#2 (wrong date), and second statement by default should be right but it violates the GM-rule#1 (extreme word âall types). So both are wrong.

(Prelim 2014) Which reference to Agni-IV Missile, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. It is a surface-to-surface missile.
2. It is fuelled by liquid propellant only.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

1. 1 only
2. 2 and 3 only
3. 1 and 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3

Third statement wrong, because it has figure (correct figure is 4000 kms), second statement wrong because rule#1 (extreme word âonly)

### GM-Rule#3: Parent Org / Dept is always wrong in statement

If an MCQ-statement has name of parent organization, then itâs definitely wrong. And if it has two-three statements, then remaining statements are always right.

The rule is valid and helps The rule is invalid, often gives you wrong answers
31. (Prelim-2016) With reference to ‘Financial Stability and Development Council’, consider the following statements :

1. It is an organ of NITI Aayog. (PARENT DEPARTMENT will be wrong)
2. It is headed by the Union Finance Minister.
3. It monitors macroprudential supervision of the economy.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

1. 1 and 2 only
2. 3 only
3. 2 and 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3
(Prelim-2014) 60. Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding National Innovation Foundation-India (NIF)?

1. NIF is an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology under the Central Government. (PARENT DEPARTMENT should be WRONG)
2. NIF is an initiative to strengthen the highly advanced scientific research in India’s premier scientific institutions in collaboration with highly advanced foreign scientific institutions.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

1. 1 only
2. 2 only
3. Both 1 and 2
4. Neither 1 nor 2

1st statement is right. But 2nd is wrong because it’s meant for grassroot level innovators. Hence answer “A” only 1 correct. http://www.nif.org.in/ So here, if you use rule#4 then you’ll get wrong answer.

95. (Prelim-2016) With reference to ‘Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)’, consider the following statements :

1. It is an organization of European Union in working relation with NATO and WHO. (parent department will be wrong)
2. It monitors chemical industry to prevent new weapons from emerging.
3. It provides assistance and protection to States (Parties) against chemical weapons threats.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

1. 1 only
2. 2 and 3 only
3. 1 and 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3
(Prelim-2017) 59. With reference to the âNational Intellectual Property Rights Policyâ, consider the following statements:

1. It reiterates Indiaâs commitment to the Doha Development Agenda and the TRIPS Agreement.
2. Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion is the nodal agency for regulating intellectual property rights in India. (PARENT DEPARTMENT should be wrong, but it’s right in this case)

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

1. 1 only
2. 2 only
3. Both 1 and 2
4. Neither 1 nor 2

So here, if you use rule#4 then you’ll get wrong answer.

(Prelim-2013) 1. Consider the following statements:

1. National Development Council is an organ of the Planning Commission. (PARENT organization will be wrong)
2. The Economic and Social Planning is kept in the Concurrent List in the Constitution of India.
3. The Constitution of India prescribes that Panchayats should be assigned the task of preparation of plans for economic development and social justice.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

1. 1 only
2. 2 and 3 only
3. 1 and 3 only
4. 1,2 and 3
10. With reference to the role of UN-Habitat in the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future, which of the statements is/are correct?

1. UN-Habitat has been mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities to provide adequate shelter for all.
2. Its partners are either governments or local urban authorities only.
3. UN-Habitat contributes to the overall objective of the United Nations system to reduce poverty and to promote access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

1. 1, 2 and 3
2. 1 and 3 only
3. 2 and 3 only
4. 1 only

Here is parent organization is right. Yet, by first rule (Extreme word) you can arrive at the right answer.

(Prelim 2016) 27. With reference to an initiative called âThe Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB)â, which of the following statements is/are correct?

1. It is an initiative hosted by UNEP, IMF and World Economic Forum. (Parents always wrong)
2. It is a global initiative that focuses on drawing attention to the economic benefits of biodiversity.
3. It presents an approach that can help decision-makers recognize, demonstrate and capture the value of ecosystems and biodiversity.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

1. 1 and 2 only
2. 3 only
3. 2 and 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3

### GM-Rule#4: 3TF with 1-2 words= all correct

If a question contains three statements having one or two words only. Then answer is “all correctâ.

The rule is valid and helps The rule is invalid, often gives you wrong answers
(Prelim 2013) 3. Which of the following bodies does not/do not find mention in the Constitution?

1. National Development Council
2. Planning Commission
3. Zonal Councils

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

1. 1 and 2 only
2. 2 only
3. 1 and 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3
(Prelim 2013) 5. Consider the following animals:

1. Sea cow
2. Sea horse
3. Sea lion

Which of the above is/are mammal/mammals?

1. 1 only
2. 1 and 3 only
3. 2 and 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3

By the rule, answer should be “D” because even word association rule would suggest cow, horse, lion all are mammals. But both rules are also invalid. Here, because sea horse not a mammal.

(Prelim 2016) 34. Which of the following statements is/are correct? Viruses can infect

1. bacteria
2. fungi
3. plants

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

1. 1 and 2 only
2. 3 only
3. 1 and 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3

All correct as per Tamilandu Class 11 science text book.

(Prelim 2013) 8. Consider the following historical places:

1. Ajanta Caves
2. Lepakshi Temple
3. Sanchi Stupa

Which of the above places is / are also known for mural paintings?

1. 1 only
2. 1 and 2 only
3. 1, 2 and 3
4. None

Infact word association rule also invalid. Because on that logic both Ajanta and Sanchi having some association with Buddhism, then either both should have painting or none should have.

(Prelim 2016) 77. Which of the following is/are the indicator/indicators used by IFPRI to compute the Global Hunger Index Report?

1. Undernourishment
2. Child stunting
3. Child mortality

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

1. 1 only
2. 2 and 3 only
3. 1 , 2 and 3
4. 1 and 3 only

all three right as per IFRPI official website.

(Prelim 2015) 49. Which of the following has/have been accorded ‘Geographical Indication’ status?

2. Rajasthani Daal-Bati-Churma

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

1. 1 only
2. 2 and 3 only
3. 1 only 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3
(Prelim 2016) 53. On which of the following can you find the Bureau of Energy Efficiency Star Label?

1. Ceiling fans
2. Electric geysers
3. Tubular fluorescent lamps

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

1. 1 and 2 only
2. 3 only
3. 2 and 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3
(Prelim 2015) Consider the following languages:

1. Gujarati
3. Telugu

Which of the above has/have been declared as âClassical Language / Languagesâ by the Government?

1. 1 and 2 only
2. 3 only
3. 2 and 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3
(Prelim 2017) 75. The Parliament of India exercises control over the functions of the Council of Ministers through

2. Question hour
3. Supplementary questions

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

1. 1 only
2. 2 and 3 only
3. 1 and 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3
(Prelim-2016) 61. In the cities of our country, which among the following atmospheric gases are normally considered in calculating the value of Air Quality Index?

1. Carbon dioxide
2. Carbon monoxide
3. Nitrogen dioxide
4. Sulfur dioxide
5. Methane

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

1. 1, 2 and 3 only
2. 2, 3 and 4 only
3. 1, 4 and 5 only
4. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

### GM-Rule#5: Word Association

The rule is valid and helps The rule is invalid, often gives you wrong answers
(Prelim 2017) 30. The term M-STRIPESâ is sometimes seen in the news in the context of

1. Captive breeding of Wild Fauna
2. Maintenance of Tiger Reserves
4. Security of National Highways

âTigersâ have âstripesâ, so associate the words, and voila youâve the right answer.

(Prelim-2017) 84. Which of the following gives âGlobal Gender Gap Indexâ ranking to the countries of the world?

1. World Economic Forum
2. UN Human Rights Council
3. UN Women
4. World Health Organization

Word âGender-gapâ associates with âwomenâ so answer should be âCâ, but in reality itâs A.

(Prelim-2013) 4. Acid rain is caused by the pollution of environment by

1. carbon dioxide and nitrogen
2. carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide
3. ozone and carbon dioxide
4. nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide

Word âAcidâ associates with âSulfuric acidâ , âNitric Acidâ.

(Prelim-2013) 5. Consider the following animals:

1. Sea cow
2. Sea horse
3. Sea lion

Which of the above is/are mammal/mammals?

1. 1 only
2. 1 and 3 only
3. 2 and 3 only
4. 1, 2 and 3

Cow, horse and lion are mammals, so by word association, even those who SEA-Prefix should be mammals. But then youâll be wrong, sea horse is not mammal.

(Prelim 2014) Q2. With reference to the cultural history of India, the term ‘Panchayatan’ refers to

1. an assembly of village elders
2. a religious sect
3. a style of temple construction

Word âpanchayatâ associates with assembly of elders, then youâd think answer should be âAâ, but in reality itâs âCâ.

## GM-Rule#6: Sci-Tech= Blindly Tick “D/All Correct”?

“In science technology MCQs, if you cannot solve the answer, then simply tick “D” option.”

Let’s quickly check the validity of this:

Year No. of Science MCQs were “D” is the right Answer NET GAIN or NET LOSS?
=(correct*2m)-(incorrect*0.66)
2020 7 out of 11 MCQ= 63%* (7*2)-(4*0.66)=+11.36
2019 2 out of 11 MCQs = 19% -1.94
2018 5 out of 13 MCQs = 38% +4.72
2017 2 out of 6 MCQs = 33% +1.36
• *For 2020 exam, the official answer key is yet to be declared. For the remaining exams, I have used the official UPSC answer key.
• Thus, if a candidate is unsure about a particular MCQ in science technology, and gives D as the answer, then overall he may gain a few marks, except the 2019 paper.
• I do not like peddling this type of hacks/cheat codes/shortcuts. But I have mentioned this phenomenon here so that UPSC examiner can take cognizance of this matter and frame better quality of questions next year.
• âand No, I donot make any claims that â
• A) In future exams also this “Science = D Answer” will be equally useful OR that
• B) You should stop studying science technology and engage in this type of shortcuts!

## Epilogue / FAQ ?

Q. Why are you circulating this non-sense? ??
Ans. On a given year, GM-giri works in some cases, and backfires in some cases, as youâve seen from above tables.
However, to gain quick popularity, some toppers and e-learning-wallas only show the left side of the table i.e. Guessmaster-giri always works and you can become IAS #WITHOUT-STUYING-ANYTHING.