Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination 2018 staged on June 3, 2018 General Studies Paper I has been on target to serve the objective.
It has been again a very creative and innovative paper and contained 100 Question. It continues to be a pressure game.
It is a paper for survivors only and those who are well prepared with sturdy mindset would have come out smiling.
When I looked at the Prelims Paper 1 question paper, it reminded me of my analysis for Prelims 2017 last year “With equanimity, worthy candidates would move to next level” I imagine it is again could have been a perfect title for this year’s Preliminary Examination Paper 1.
UPSC continue to exhibit an insatiable thirst for quality of candidates for the top most services and their intent is clear.
Besides accumulated knowledge and general awareness, it is candidate’s composure, calmness and self-control would have helped candidates who intelligently use these traits in such tense atmosphere.
UPSC fires another Salvo
It is not at all an easy paper; but, it is a beauty as far as level of this examination is taken into consideration. Such question papers make candidates tense and often nervous.It is a paper for survivors only and those candidates who are well prepared, mentally organized, self-motivated with sturdy mindset would have come out smiling.
You may again call it unpredictability; but, I see it as innovation that is much required so that candidates can’t master a set pattern and every time find something unusual and a diligent work. It is difficult to spot the trend so easily.
I am clear that examiners are interested in knowing about things you may know or probably hazard a guess; but, with a few new dimensions.
Let’s talk about the each constituent
Unlike last year, there are a very few straightforward questions which usually give relief that helps in building up momentum. Still about 20 questions relating to current events and contemporary developments should have been within reach of well prepared candidates.
History had an edge with about 13-14 questions; Economy and Polity questions are stacked up nicely. Questions from Geography, Ecology and Environment have little less contribution. General Science has quite a few questions.
Continuing the trend there are many questions relating to Government initiatives, policies and schemes and some relating to Institutions.
If I talk of strategy most of the smart candidates adopt by securing approx 45-50 questions that are 100 percent sure in first round, this time it was not that easy and even talented candidates would have reworked their strategies sitting in examination hall.
A little on common Preparation strategy candidate’s adopt
Candidates prepare for General Studies from multiple sources of information and inputs.
While talking to lots of aspirants, I have observed that sometimes candidates depend too much on current affairs notes and booklets published by various coaching institutes for current affairs preparation.
UPSC’s approach is multi-dimensional that intrinsically involve conceptualizing and absolute clarity. It requires meticulous and studious approach with insightfulness and attention to details.
After attempting this paper such candidates would have understood clearly the need of comprehensive coverage and complete understanding of the topics/issues is the essential criteria that this examination entails.
What should you do?
Continue preparing for the next level – Main Examination. Don’t think too much. This Prelims paper is just an indication of the things to come; you have to prepare for much stiffer competition at Mains.
You will find peopled divided - indulging in intense criticism regarding the paper or appreciate the UPSC’s approach; I feel their view should converge on the fact that UPSC is doing its job smartly.
It would be futile to chase Answer-Keys as Coaching Institutes, given the high stakes associated with it, they would again show their intellect. Don’t get confused; it will surely leave you on edge.
The fact is that your fate is sealed and now, only result will tell about your performance.
You have done your part; let your luck do the rest.
Wishing you LUCK!