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Common mistakes done while filling OMR Sheet in UPSC Examinations

The journey to becoming an IAS officer is paved with challenges, and the UPSC examinations serve as a crucial checkpoint on this path. While aspirants focus extensively on content and preparation strategies, the seemingly mundane task of filling out OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) sheets is often overlooked. In this blog, we will unravel the intricacies of OMR sheet filling in UPSC examinations, shedding light on common mistakes that candidates inadvertently make. Whether you are seeking IAS coaching in Delhi or IAS coaching for Jammu and Kashmir, understanding these errors can significantly enhance your chances of success.

1. Ignoring Instructions:

One of the most fundamental yet frequently overlooked mistakes is neglecting the instructions provided on the OMR sheet. UPSC provides specific guidelines on how to fill in personal details, roll number, and answers. Skipping these instructions can lead to errors that may cost precious marks. Aspirants attending IAS coaching in Delhi or Jammu and Kashmir should emphasize the importance of meticulous attention to instructions.

2. Incomplete or Inaccurate Personal Details:

Candidates often rush through filling out their personal information, underestimating its significance. Incorrect roll numbers, misspelled names, or missing details can lead to confusion during the evaluation process. IAS coaching centers in Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir should stress the importance of double-checking personal information before moving on to the main examination.

3. Misalignment in Answer Bubbles:

Proper alignment of answer bubbles is critical to accurate evaluation. Filling bubbles haphazardly can result in errors during the scanning process. Aspirants should be taught the technique of neatly filling in the bubbles to ensure clarity and precision.

4. Changing Answers Incorrectly:

Candidates often change their answers during the examination, but this should be done cautiously on the OMR sheet. Erasing completely and darkening the new choice is crucial to avoid confusion during scanning. IAS coaching centers should guide aspirants on the correct method of altering answers to prevent any discrepancies.

5. Overlooking Filling Circles Completely:

In the rush to complete the paper, some candidates forget to fill in the circles corresponding to their selected answers. Even if the answer is written, an unfilled circle may result in the system marking it as incorrect. Consistent practice during IAS coaching can help aspirants develop a habit of verifying their OMR sheets for completeness.

6. Inconsistent Writing Tools:

The use of different pens or pencils while answering questions can lead to varying shades on the OMR sheet. It is essential to stick to a single writing tool to maintain uniformity in the darkness of filled circles. IAS coaching centers should encourage candidates to carry spare pens or pencils to avoid any last-minute complications.

7. Neglecting Time Management:

Effective time management is not just about answering questions but also about allocating sufficient time for OMR sheet filling. Candidates should be trained to pace themselves appropriately, ensuring they have ample time to transfer their responses accurately to the OMR sheet.

8. Failure to Verify OMR Sheets:

After completing the exam, candidates often neglect to review their OMR sheets. Taking a few minutes to cross-verify responses against the OMR sheet can help identify any discrepancies or omissions. IAS coaching in Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir should instill this practice as an integral part of the examination strategy.

9. Marking on Prohibited Areas:

A crucial yet often overlooked mistake is marking answers on prohibited areas of the OMR sheet. UPSC provides specific guidelines on where candidates should mark their responses. Any stray marks outside the designated circles or on the margins may interfere with the scanning process, potentially leading to errors in result computation. Aspirants should be reminded during IAS coaching sessions to confine their markings strictly to the permissible areas on the OMR sheet, avoiding any unintentional disqualification due to markings in prohibited zones. This small yet significant detail can contribute to a smoother evaluation process and enhance the overall accuracy of the examination results.


Filling out OMR sheets is a seemingly straightforward task, yet it plays a pivotal role in determining a candidate's success in UPSC examinations. Whether you are pursuing IAS coaching in Delhi or Jammu and Kashmir, avoiding common mistakes in OMR sheet filling can significantly enhance your chances of success. Aspirants should approach this aspect of the examination with the same level of diligence and preparation as they do with the content itself. By addressing these common errors, candidates can navigate the UPSC maze more effectively and increase their likelihood of achieving the coveted title of IAS officer.

Also, refer to this PDF released by UPSC about common mistakes in filling OMR.