Prelims General Studies Paper I again had 100 questions and current affairs again ruled this paper. Lots of questions from Polity and Ecology and environment.
A well-balanced question paper with innovative approach UPSC has been exhibiting in recent years.
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Before we analyse the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination General Studies Paper I, it is important to understand the purpose and intent of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for such set-up.
In point of fact, UPSC has kept the Preliminary Examination simple and relatively easier and that has been effectively serving the purpose of screening suitable candidates for the next level Main Examination.
An intelligent mix of questions from constituents points towards adopting ‘Integrated Approach’ for an effective preparation as a Main Examination oriented study-plan makes handling Prelims General Studies Paper I unfussy.
How all the constituents stacked up?
The correct strategy for facing today’s question paper would have been just about settling down in initial 2-3 minutes and my view is candidates who would have given equal weightage to conventional part of syllabus with keep eye on current events would demonstrate good results.
Some straightforward questions in the paper like Goods and Services Tax (GST), National Pension Scheme (NPS), Small Finance Banks (SFBs), Unified Payment Interface (UPI), Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), Rupay etc. would have given the candidates some confidence as well as some relief.
Getting your eyes set on the scoring areas makes the best strategy and as anticipated, government’s many new initiatives, schemes and programs found place in this question paper that clearly suggest that avid newspaper readers would have had easy time handling as these were in plenty and many other current affairs question.
As has been the trend, ecology and environment has again had an edge over Geography; moreover, questions from Geography constituents were comparatively simple.
There are 10-odd questions from History and surprisingly, Economy - the area that was expected to have lot many questions this time; not many questions from this constituent found place in General Studies paper. All the questions from Economy were related to decent developments (demonatisation), Benami Properties etc. and Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
It has been a Polity heavy paper with as many as 22-23 questions from this constituent. However these can’t be put in easy category as many of these required conceptual clarity and application.
What would have worked for candidates?
All in all, a well balanced approach at Preliminary Examination level would have worked that has to filter good-quality candidates for next level – Main Examination.
To sum up Prelims General Studies Paper I, no single strategy can work in handling this big examination except excellent preparation and lot of practice.
It is your skill and talent that is at test and how many questions to attempt correctly that helps you stay above the cut-off is crucial.
This paper leaves an impression that it is a pressure game and with preparation, what would have worked in your favour would be grit and resolve.
In the end, I would maintain that with equanimity, worthy candidates would deserve to be in Main Examination.
But, at the same time, I would like to remind you that your aim is career in Civil Services and not just cracking the Prelims and still, Prelims General Studies Paper II is to be tackled that needs attention.
But, as the rule of the game is, your success in Prelims depend on Prelims General Studies Paper I, I want to see you on winning side.