Talking on toughness level – it gives an impression that UPSC has preferred to keep it more or less same as was last year. To some it appeared comparatively easy; for others it was on identical lines.
My admiration for UPSC is amplifying with each passing year and at the first look; Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2012 - Paper I again makes a lasting impression.
Whatever people say, UPSC knows how to deliver and a glance at the Paper I gives a feel of the craft and how best you can expect simple things asked in a way that is creative as well as innovative.
My observation – it is a tad below the last years’ toughness level.
The first satisfying thing is that it contains only 100 questions same as last year.
A little peep of traditional areas from History, Polity and Geography brought cheers on the faces of candidates which is a must while attempting timed objective type tests. Although, for some, the smiles may not last till evening as the questions depicts the class since at least two options are very close.
Everything you observed, seems worthwhile
Talking of different constituents, Polity/constitution related questions have seen ascending trend. A good number of questions from Geography, environment and ecology related questions are straightforward and clear.
Questions from History and India’s freedom struggle are in plenty; but, present no major threat. No major surprise from the Economy section either as almost all questions are clear and straight.
A lot of questions relating to new government initiatives/policies and many such observation based questions would have been easy for those who are avid reader of newspapers, magazines and contemporary issues. Such candidates must have found these easier to comprehend.
What does Paper I indicate?
Each question reflects all that has gone before to create such balanced question paper. This is a classic example of merging two approaches – traditional and contemporary; leveraging the best from each to create a strong point of distinction.
It goes on to strengthen the concept of adopting integrated approach as most of the questions are conceptual or application based. As the Main Examination oriented preparation requires analytical approach, it must have proved to be handy for candidates adopting such approach.
It is all about awareness and understanding and I feel that it should not favour any particular type of candidates and even the Hindi medium candidates also would have found it fairly manageable.
What it needed?
This paper is such where common sense and rational approach would have been the best tool and process of eliminating wrong answers would have been the best strategy.
Truly a striking piece of work UPSC has brought and the paper matches the UPSC benchmark matching the level of Civil Services Examination.
Now, I am eagerly waiting to see the Prelims Paper II (Aptitude Test) and would come back soon with analysis.
Wishing all luck and success.