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 Positioning yourself for battle ground
With the Combined Services Examination (KAS) scheduled for 28th of this month, the adrenaline levels of the aspirants must be definitely running abnormal. The aspirants usually get nervous at the day of deliverance. But I don’t think there is any reason for panic. The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure. You must believe that success and failure are part of the process. I am sure at this juncture, a lot of haunting questions must be going in your mind, and there may be a lot of myths floating out there in which most of you may believe but it should be avoided at all costs. Your strategy at this time should be to embrace all that is positive and throw all the negatives.
The aim at this time should be to attain vantage point, so that rest of battle can be won easily. Without having confidence in yourself, getting through is difficult. With whatever little preparation you have, you must be confident enough that yes I will be one among those who will be called to write the Mains examination. With the number of posts advertised by the commission (189) and the number of candidates to be screened off for the second stage of the battle as per new scheme must make you doubly confident. Some 40,000 applications are expected out of which more than 13,300 applicants are to be called for mains examination as per the new criteria.
So I personally believe, even a candidate who has been reasonably serious in studies after having decided to take examination may be a few months earlier will be among those 13,000 odd candidates. So if you have been doing some serious business with paper planning for last couple of months, you must be reasonably sure about making through the preliminary examination.
The combined services examination is basically inclusive of weeding out the incompetent at Preliminary examination and recruiting the talented in Mains. The aim of the preliminary examination is to eliminate non- serious candidates and make the number more manageable taking up the civil services Main examination. Preliminary exams is kept multiple choices to make it more objective and less time consuming.
So just relax a little at this point; don’t go for studying a fresh topic which you have not gone through earlier. Just revise whatever you have studied so far and consolidate on the same. Rest is destined. Particularly revise your Optional subject for its weightage is more, 300 marks as compared to 150 in general studies but still not to take risk. General studies should be equally concentrated upon, particularly the Geography, History, and Constitution and Economy proportion. Make sure that you go through the solved previous years IAS question papers of both General Studies and your Optional Subjects.
And on the 28th, reach the examination hall half an hour before, relax and be confident. Get a HB pencil, eraser sharpener with you as it is needed to darken the oval circles on the response sheets. Once you receive the question paper, go through the instructions written there on the first page and seriously follow them. At the examination hall take due note of the following tips:
1. Ensure to fill in all the relevant information such as your subject code, Roll number, paper series etc in the space provided in the response sheet.
2. You may straight away proceed for solving your paper from Q. No.1 as per your discretion. But try to go through the whole paper and then start answering the questions from first to last.
3. Understand the question properly read it twice and make sure to understand what is being asked. Without looking to your options for answer, frame answer in your mind and then see if it is a choice in the four given options.
4. Do not rush to an answer, go through all the four options , you may at times feel choice ‘C’ is the correct answer and stop there itself. Whereas, choice ‘D’ could be the most appropriate answer. Take a moment to frame your answer.
5. Carefully see what the examiner asks for. At times questions like ‘which of the following statements is not correct? Which is not incorrect?’ may confuse you. Underline the word ‘NOT’ everywhere in question and it options and then properly understand the question before you mark its answer.
6. Make sure you are darkening the appropriate circle against appropriate question number. At times it happens so that you were responding to Q. No.32 but you are darkening the circle against Q No. 33. In the process, you may have a chain of questions wrong though you know the answer.
7. Do not get stuck when you find a question difficult. Move on to the next question.
8. Now come to the next round and begin tackling the difficult questions. It is quite likely that with a cool headed thinking you are able to solve even difficult questions correctly; at least most of them. And leave the most difficult ones.
9. In the third round, you may try solving some of the most difficult questions about which you have heard at least sometime by using various techniques as elimination, association, partial recall etc.
10. Do not take risk in solving those questions which are either completely unknown or about which you feel you are not in position to make even an intelligent guess.
11. When you are left by 5-7 minutes come to the final round and answer (darken all ovals) all the questions by choosing just one of four options of A, B, C or D. Since there is no negative marking, please don’t leave any question unattempted. By darkening only A,B,C or D circle against highly alien question, you have at least a probability of getting 25% of them right. If you vary your choice for such questions you may not get even a single question right.
12. At the end of your examination, again check if you have marked your Roll no, subject code, series code etc right.
Once you have finished your examination on 24th, honestly evaluate yourself. If you are an open merit candidate and have given above 60% performance i.e. if you have got some 75 questions correct in your optional plus 65 questions correct in your general studies, don’t wait for your PT result. For category students the above figures may be lower by 5 – 10 %. Take a couple of days off and start preparing for your Mains examination. The gap between the Preliminary exam and results is very crucial and should not be wasted at all. It helps in reducing the pressure and the last time mistakes can be avoided. To conclude, I must reiterate that confidence is the key, see off the anxiety and don’t feel depressed. Best of luck!!!
An Appropriate Approach to Preparation of Civil Services Mains Examination
CONGRATULATIONS for having cleared your KAS preliminary examination and welcome to yet another phase of this competitive examination, the decisive one. You will see all the high voltage drama from failure to success, moment of and annuity, disappointment, ecstasy and much more. If you have to be one amongst successful candidate, be ready to face all these challenges. After all successful candidates are common human beings like all of us, but with a difference. The difference is adoption of the right strategy and the correct approach for the preparation of the examination.
What is the right strategy and correct approach for the preparation of Mains examination? Is it different from the general approach followed by majority of the aspirants? Is it really difficult to adopt such an approach? All these and many more questions will naturally crop up in your mind. But ironically the basic question of choice of optional subjects’ haunts many aspirants even at this stage of the examination. Please choose a subject as soon as possible. The choice should not only be with regard to your interests and attitude but also with regard to the study material and guidance available and should in no case be impelled upon you by the coaching institutes/ so called counsellors. There is nothing like “scoring” and “non scoring’ subjects. 
The ideal situation to begin the preparation for Mains examination would have been form the next day or at the most from the next week of your preliminary examination, as I had emphasised in my previous write up. But for most of the aspirants, may be 90 percent in case of valley based, it is not the case. Therefore, the best alternative to begin the preparation of examination is NOW.
“Well begin is half done”, strategy must be followed. You must not follow the general approach of first read general studies, then one of your optional followed by another. This is not an appropriate approach to follow, because this approach is disintegrated whereas the preparation of Mains must be done in integrated manner. The objective of the preparation is to qualify for KAS and nothing else. You must prepare by keeping this objective as goal. Therefore, aim should not be of qualifying mains or getting selected, but to achieve a rank.
You must begin with the study of syllabi of both the subjects, which rarely happens. Generally the reading of syllabi takes places, and not the study of it. This is the first major mistake committed by aspirants. The study of syllabi is an integral part of the preparation of civil service, which may be neglected at the cost of dire consequences of not getting selected.
The next step is crucial, which will determine your success or failure to a greater degree. Immediately after studying syllabi, aspirants start collecting the list books to be referred and start reading those books. Aspirants read number of books and are happy for doing so after reading books on many occasions, aspirant feels that he is prepared for writing the examination, which is actually an illusion.
After studying syllabi, the next logical step is to study (not read) question papers. One may take time of about twenty days for studying question papers. This is very essential because one gets idea about the nature and types of questions asked on different topics. One can also realize, how the question are framed on different topics how to go about the preparation. This is actually the beginning of the preparation for mains examination, which is either neglected or skipped by the majority of aspirants.
After studying the question papers, one must go for basic reading. The basic reading means the reading of essential books like NCERT, subject wise standard text books. Majority of the aspirants will think only this as the preparation, which is wrong impression. This is just another step towards preparation.
After reading the basic books, aspirant must study the question papers topic and subtopic wise, listing of question on topic and subtopic wise, Furthermore, one must frame the possible questions which can be asked topic / subtopic wise. This will make you understand the scope of the topic. This helps in preparation of answers for those questions, not leaving any area of the topic / subtopic. The nature, type and number of question asked on every topic must be analyzed. Your preparation must progress along these lines. So solving of past question papers is essential aspect of preparation of the mains examination.
Once this analysis is done, next step is to write the answers of those questions writing of complete answer is the key to success. Therefore, while preparing for examination, writing of answers is most important and most crucial task writing answer of each and every question, topic / subtopic wise, is itself preparation of notes.
What do I mean by complete answers? It means writing a well structured answer which well encompasses all the components, which are asked for in the questions. The general tendency is to write complete information and consider it as a complete answer, which is wrong in itself. It is a partial or incomplete answer. Writing of complete information is just one part of the answer among many parts. Naturally one gets the marks which are allocated to information part. Therefore writing of complete answers is crucial for obtaining complete marks.
For writing complete answers one must know what the parts of answers are. Parts of answers range from minimum of three to maximum of seven. The simple straight forward question will have three parts and most critical question will have seven parts of the answer. If one writes all the parts, one obtains very good marks. Therefore, strategy must be to write best answer for best marks. Best answer means the complete answer. Once answers are written, on every topic and subtopic, revising those is very essential. 
Many candidates, particularly those with a professional degree in science, often ignore serious preparation of GS and focus mainly on their optional subjects. Such attitude is more like a bad gamble. Economy, Science & Technology and Statistical Analysis are the areas that can pose problems in scoring. If you have prepared economy for your Prelims, doing it for the mains must not be difficult. Statistical analysis has to be practised with the help of previous years' solved questions given in all the guides as also the NCERT Statistical Analysis. Scoring in GS is mathematical and any additional score gained through serious preparations must be tried.
Ones aptitude for current affairs plays a decisive role in your success. Why is it decisive? Because, if you are good in current affairs, you can write better answer of Polity, Economy, Science, Geography questions in GS. Beside these it helps you in the Optionals like Political Science, Public Administration, Sociology, Anthropology and others Optionals. Do not forget that it also may become a decisive factor in essay writing and in the personality test. Preparing current affairs is very tedious job, so during the whole preparation, you must develop your own methodology. But there is some common approach which one must not forget, that is to be good at the current affairs. To study current affairs, it is essential to read one national newspaper, Mainstream, Frontline, and one from any competitive magazine and preferably the monthly journal Yojana. When you are studying the round up of national and international affairs, efforts should not be merely taking up the information but also to understand the issues involved. Go into the background of events. For example, the recent Swine Flu, Direct Tax Code, Right to Education Bill, conditional resignation by the Chief Minister of our state threw up many issues. Get to know these issues and be clear about them so that you can answer questions on them.
Where each number is important to give the shape to your future, how can you mismanage Essay, which carries 150 marks. Writing an essay is an art and if you are not naturally inclined to write that way, you will have to spend at least some time in practising; more so because many of the issues asked in the form of essay are the ones that you generally prepare for your GS where you limit your preparation up to about 250 words. Candidates are advised to keep a thorough eye on all the happenings of the last one year with critical evaluation of those which could be asked in the form of an essay.
Though, General English Paper is of qualifying nature only, one should also give it some time. Take the last years papers and solve them, later either check yourself or ask to do so to a teacher or any friend. If you get more than 50 percent marks, then I think no reason to worry. But if you get less than 40 percent marks, you should give some time. For this, reading news papers and any grammar book is sufficient. If one is very poor, he or she must prepare well on regular basis.
Your writing skills are going to play an important role in the Mains examination. Most of the candidates appearing for the Mains examination have a lot of knowledge, but lack writing skills. You should be able to present all the information/knowledge in a coherent and logical manner, as expected by the examiner. For example, quoting with facts and substantiating your answer with related concepts and emphasizing your point of view. In order to improve your writing skills, prepare standard answers to the question papers of the previous years. This will also make your task easy in examination hall.
The strategy during the preparation is to keep cool, avoiding both anxiety and distress. Robert Collier says ‘Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself.’ Yes self confidence plays most important role in success of a person.
If your preparation is rigorous and on the scientific lines as enplaned, nothing in this world will prevent you from achieving your goal of becoming KAS/KPS, a civil servant. Civil Services provide you not only the job for earning and surviving, but a power seat from where you can contribute your bit for the betterment of the society. In this service you execute decisions and also participate in decision making and contribute in making law. After being successful at this exam, your fate is changed and the same time you can change others fate. So be ready to face one of the toughest hurdle and if you cross it, you are the king.
To become a king, you should have a winning strategy, doing hard work systematically and good guidance. Here, through this article, and in the forthcoming ones, I am trying to make easy the toughest examination. Preliminary examination was only gateway to Mains, nothing more, but Main exam is a real test and here each mark not only decides your success but also your ranking. A good ranking means the more chance for you to get your dream job. Looking forward to you as my would be colleagues!
How to write a good Essay in KAS (Main) Examination:
In the Civil Services examination for KAS, where each number is important to give the shape of your future, how can you mismanage the Essay Paper, which carries 150 marks? Writing an essay is an art and if you are not naturally inclined to write that way, you will have to spend at least some time in practicing, more so because many of the issues asked in the form of essay are the ones that you generally prepare for your General Studies where you limit your preparation up to about 250 words. Candidates are advised to keep a thorough eye on all the happenings of the last one year with critical evaluation of those which could be asked in the form of an essay.
As you all are aware, there is an Essay paper in KAS (Main) Exam of 150 marks. This paper is very important as it is possible to score 120 or more marks in essay and thus, essay can act as a buffer to your performance in General Studies and Optional. Candidates, who have appeared in KAS (Main) Exam once or more and could not finally make it, very often complain that in spite of writing very good essay to the best of their ability, they got poor scores in range of 40-65/150. It clearly shows that they hold essay as a culprit for their poor overall scores.For the benefit of all, once again, I am hereby reproducing the title from KAS (Main) Exam Essay Question Paper, which reads as under:-
“Examiner will pay special attention to:
1.      Candidate’s grip of his material;
2.      Its relevance to the topic chosen;
3.      His ability to think constructively;
4.      His ability to present his ideas precisely, logically and constructively.
These points are self explanatory and therefore require no discussion here. Now, before proceeding further, if I may put a question to readers “How many of aspirants have actually read this title with some understanding of what the examiner looks for in an essay in KAS examination”? And I can tell from my personal experience that very few would have an answer in affirmative.
World Limit and Time Management:-
There is no prescribed word limit for essay paper. Going by the 150 marks allotted to essay, it can be presumed that 2000 words should be the word limit. But I recommend and strongly so, that ideal word limit for a quality essay should be 1200 +/- 300 words i.e., 900-1500 words. Not less than 900, as you would not be able to cover many aspects of topic and not more than 1500, as it becomes more and more difficult to retain quality after 1500 words.
Now, coming to time-management, PSC gives 3 hours i. e., 180 minutes for essay paper. Going by the recommended word limit ( 1200 +/- 300 words), I recommend that you devote 90-100 minutes to develop the essay on 3-4 rough pages at the back of your answer booklet and roughly 80-90 minutes to actually write down a neat 900-1500 worded essay. And believe me, in 100 minutes, you can develop a very high quality essay on virtually any topic, provided you stop thinking in a narrow, constricted and skewed manner.
What are the steps in essay-writing in KAS examination?
1.      Selecting the topic.
2.       Enumerating various aspects of the topic.
3.      Finding out supporting illustrations, examples, statements etc. for all these aspects.
4.       Integrating various aspects organically and logically.
5.      Winding up.
Now, let us deal with each of these steps in the backdrop of above statement “Examiner will pay special attention to ……….”
Step I: - Selecting the topic
I am not for a divide between general topics and philosophical topics. What I suggest is that:
1.      Spend 5-7 minutes on each topic of which you have some knowledge in the process of developing steps II and III below.
2.      Choose the topic for which you can think of maximum aspects and maximum supporting illustrations, facts, examples and statements etc.
This whole exercise should be completed in about 35 minutes. At the end of this exercise, you will naturally be left with only one topic to write essay on, whether it be a philosophical topic or technical topic or any other general topic.
Step II and III :- Enumerating various aspect of the topic along with supporting statements
Once you decide your essay topic in 35 minutes, the steps II and III should be completed in 25 more minutes, bringing the total time consumed to 35 minutes ( for step I) + 20 minutes ( for steps II and III) = 60 minutes.
Steps II and III are to be undertaken simultaneously and not separately, as aspect without supporting example does not impress the examiner and examples without relevant aspect do not actually make sense. While you were choosing your topic (Step-I) in initial 35 minutes, you must have written down some aspect and examples of chosen topic. Now in these 25 minutes, write down as many aspect and supporting illustrations as you can. A good quality essay must have at least 5-8 aspects and 10-15 illustrations to support these aspects.
Examiner will definitely look at these pages to get an idea of how you have developed your essay and this will affect your total essay score also.
Step IV: - Integrating various aspects and supporting illustrations organically and logically
If qualitative 60 minutes have been spent by you up to step III, then this step IV should not consume more than 10-15 minutes of yours. Take care to write the essay in such a manner that all aspects and supporting illustrations of the topic flow out naturally and effortlessly, one after the other and not in a discord or broken manner. Up to step IV, you have thus consumed 75 minutes.
Step V: - Winding - Up
Winding-up requires 10 minutes of careful thinking and a 100-150 words write-up, which is a part of overall word limit of 900-1500 words and not separate. Whatever be the topic, winding-up must be on an optimistic note with certain novel suggestions from your side, if you can think of some.
Thus in 85 minutes, your essay should be ready.
What now after steps I to V are complete:-
Don’t jump start at writing essay now. Take a break, have a glass of water, take a walk to the toilet, see here and there, relax. Spend at least 5 minutes on this. That takes total time consumed to 90 minutes i.e., the half time
Review of what you have done so far:-
After this 5 minutes break, start thinking again. See what you have written. You might recall another aspect of the topic or some other illustrations to support existing or newer aspects of the topic. Include that too in your draft. Read your draft essay once more.
This review exercise should take at least 10 minutes, taking total time consumed to 100 minutes.
Actual writing of essay:-
Now you start writing essay in neat handwriting and for this, you have 80 minutes, which are fairly sufficient to write 1500 words. While actually writing, you can add more aspects or illustrations, if you recall, but do not disturb the draft much. If you confine to 1500 words’ limit, you should usually not require a supplementary answer book, but if required, go for one and securely attach to main answer book in last 2 minutes.
This finishes the crux of our discussion here. Before I wind-up, here are some “do nots” in essay:-
1.      Condemn Constitution, Government Policies and Court decisions, unless you have an authentic source for this to draw from.
2.      Give regional / religious / communal fervours to your essay. The examiner should not be able to judge after reading your essay that which part of India you come from and which religion / community you belong to.
3.      Exceed word limit of 1500 words, as far as possible.
4.      End essay on pessimistic note.
5.      Fill your essay with technical facts, jargon and technical knowledge.
Before concluding, I must provide you a list of favourite Essays which have been either asked in the past or may probably be asked in coming times:
1.      Biotechnology, Bane or Bone
2.      Child Labour
3.      Composite Culture of India
4.      Corruption in Public Life
6.      Disaster Management
7.      E Governance
8.      Ecotourism
9.      Gender Inequality
10. Global Climate Change
11. Global Financial Crisis
12. Globalisation, Challenges and Opportunities
13. Higher Education in India
14. India as a Soft Power
15. India as an emerging Economy
16. Judicial Activism in India
17. Need for a new World Order
18. Need for Electoral Reforms in India
19. Problem of Internal Security in India
20. Relevance of UNO and Need for Reforms
21. Religion and Politics
22. Role of IT in Development
23. Sustainable Development
24. Water crisis and Need for proper management
25. Woman Empowerment
I wish all the reader of this article a very happy essay writing experience and good score in Essay paper in KAS (Main) Exam.
KAS (Mains) - Strategize your preparation.
With the KAS examination three or four months away, preparation process of the aspirants must be at its zenith. And most of them must be feeling overburdened with the syllabi of the two optionals and the compulsory General Studies, all having equal weightage of marks. While the aspirants are advised to prioritize atleast one of the optional subjects and target some 400 plus marks in it, but it is seriously impressed upon one and all that given the uncertain syllabus of the General Studies, a strong grasp and full command must be acquired over it. No candidate even of a class of high repute can draw a boundary for General Studies, not even a loose boundary can be uttered confidently. Over the years, candidates have commonly expressed unsatisfactory tone over preparation and the result in General Studies papers. Those who ignore General Studies, with the fallacy that they are going to get their selection by performing in optionals are actually writing a dooms day for them.
Where as it is easy and infact routine to get around 250 marks in General Studies, it is really difficult to get 300 plus marks in General Studies and this difference of 50 marks is very crucial with regard to your selection (or rejection) in this examination. But if you understand these two papers properly and acquire a good command, atleast, to be relieved of the tension, develop a perfect strategy to prepare GS very methodically, it may be possible for you to do very well in the examination. Here are some quite inevitable aspects that you must know and tackle and I am sure, if you model your preparation on these lines, it must be easy for you to fetch 350+ marks and I would say 400 marks in GS must be in your reach.
The subject of GS comprising of Indian National Movement, Current National and International Affairs and Bilateral Relations, Statistics in Paper-I and Indian Polity and Constitution, Indian Geography, Economy and Science and Technology in Paper-II, is quite uncertain and widely unspecified. Yet Public Service Commission declares it be acknowledged by every good educated person without having studied the topic specifically. Going through papers and questions, it comes in mind that even after studying specifically in a branch, one cannot answer some questions perfectly. Thus, it is really a deep understanding of general topics that is required.
When involved in preparation, each topic should be evaluated in the context of its probability of being asked in the examination, it’s probable weightage and importance on the following lines:
·         How much influence does it creates upon the society, politics or nature, is to be taken into account.
·         Whether the topic has relevant facts and figures which are important from the examination point of view.
·         If the topic is view based, different types of views, for and against must be acquired by the candidate.
·         One cannot be biased to be one sided about it, one must learn to be neutral while understanding the topic, only then candidate can balance an answer in the examination hall.
Some topics can be asked in the context of its contribution on particular or various fields, some can be for implications and some for discussion. While learning a topic, according to its nature, a candidate must evaluate its purpose and perspectives. It can be directed to discussion, justification, examination, elucidation, arguments and comments, etc; all or any of these possible manners.
You must read the “wording” of the question carefully and answer it in accordance with the terms specified in the question. Some of the terms and their interpretation are as under:
1.         Account for: Give reasons
2.         Account of: Focus on description
3.         Assess: Establish the strengths and weaknesses of the features mentioned
4.         Comment: Write your view point or description based on your observation
5.         Compare: Present the similarities and differences between the features mentioned
6.         Discuss: Present a thorough analysis of the question by examining all sides of argument
7.         Distinguish between: draw clear distinction
8.         Elucidate: Clarify/explain probably what is obscure or different
9.         Evaluate/Critically evaluate / Review: Present a judgment as to the relative value of the features mentioned.
10.     Examine/Critically examine: State clearly the pros and cons of the issue raised. Your final decision must be supported by evidence and the reasons why you have rejected the alternatives explained.
11.     Explain: Give reasons
12.     Highlight: Focus on important features/ points
13.     Illustrate: Focus on examples including the data
14.     Interpret: Present an explanation of the facts. Facts are mere inputs and can be comprehended differently. And marks depend on how differently you comprehend.
15.     Role: Focus on the contribution and conclude with your analytical view point
16.     Significance/Importance: Focus on the importance, contribution and consequences with greater focus on positive aspects.
17.     To what extent: weigh up the arguments and state the relative importance of the feature mentioned.
18.      Trace: An outline of what has been asked in the given question with focus on its evolution.
Remember that examiners are looking for an answer to their questions which follows logical arguments. Relevant facts, statistics and other authorities to support your line of analysis are always useful, but reference to authors and their books may not be essential to your success. It is crucial to show an understanding of the question and your answer should be analytical, precise and yet comprehensive. 
Your answer should definitely be different from the answers of other candidates and have an imprint of your individuality. You are expected to write the way 10+2 students are expected to write. Do not try to prove yourself to be a scholar. Be straight forward, be a transcendental being. While answering sensitive issues, follow the spirit of the Indian Constitution. Never put much focus on the facts, make only casual references to them, that too to be more analytical and responding to the words given in the question. This examination is not the examination to test your knowledge, it is an examination of how you analyze your inputs to communicate and present your views articulately, as to reflect whether you have the attributes that befit an administrator. You are not judged or assessed for detailed or lengthy answers, but for very brief and analytical answer with holistic approach. In simple words you are required to maintain the quality of your answer with the following characteristics:
·         Simplicity of language
·         Logical flow of language
·         Maintaining word limit
·         Clarity of thoughts
·         Information and data
·         Proper structure of answer
·         Precise and brief writing
·         Appropriate figures, graphs or diagrams can be drawn
Topics possible to be asked in two marks only, ten or thirty marks, etc. can be decided or atleast expected by you and the preparation can be directed to that track.
In GS some candidates cannot attempt all the questions in the examination hall, while some others cannot provide due justification according to their ability or knowledge, just because of the shortage of time. Yes, problem of shortage of time is always towering overhead, to all candidates commonly. Many talented students cannot score, not because they don’t know but because they cannot make the examiner know, what they know. They cannot answer some questions, even though answers are quite known to them. The only trick that can be used by candidates is that they should be aware of the nature, length and variety of questions. If a candidate from the beginning of his preparation knows these things, he can practice for that.
An analysis, in depth, of this phenomenon is presented here. I am sure it will help the aspirants to overcome this problem, atleast to a large extent.
Section-1 (Indian National Movement and Culture)
Q. No/ (Parts)
1/ (2)
1/ 2
30 to 35×1
=30 to 35
2/ (4)
2/ 4
3/ (4)
3/ 4
15×2 to 3
=30 to 45
Total Words = 1075; Total Marks = 135-140
Note- Questions on Indian Culture are asked in Q4, Part (C) comprises of five sub-parts on Indian Culture, having total weightage of 10-15 marks only.
Section-II Current National/International Affairs, Bilateral Relations, National/International Institutions
5/ (2)
1/ 2
25 to 35×1
=25 to 35
6/ (5)
7/ (6 or 7)
5/6 or 7
8/ (3)(5)
Total Words =1100; Total Marks = 110-120
Note- Q8, Part (C) comprises of five sub-parts on Personalities recently in News
Section-III (Statistics) Comprising of total 4 questions based on many parts Total Marks= 50
Section -1 (Indian Polity and Constitution)
Q. No/ (Parts)
1/ (2)
1/ 2
2/ (2)
1/ 2
3/ (2)
1/ 2
4/ (4)
Total Words =1050; Total Marks = 135
Section –II (Indian Economy/Polity/Geography)
5/ (4)
6/ (4)
7/ (4)
Total Words=900; Total Marks= 110
(Note: Q5 has questions on Indain Economy, Q6 on Indain Economy, Geography and Polity and Q7 on Indian Geography)
Section –III (Science and Technology)
8/ (4)
9/ (5 or 6)
3/5 or 6
10/ (4)
Total Words = 370; Total Marks = 55
In Paper-I, you are required to write about 2175 words, apart from statistics portion in three hours, averaging about 1000 words per hour, if we take the normal time required for Statistics as 45 minutes (that is the minimum time required for Statistics only if you really KNOW it). So a candidate must acquire speed to handle these requirements tactfully in the examination hall. Apart from it, in this paper one has to answer some 54 questions and so one has to think over them. Similar tough task in Paper-II, where in three hours 2320 words put down. It requires studying some 36 questions. Isn’t it really tough? Yes it is. But good practice will give result really. And in this scenario, can you imagine to exceed the prescribed word limit? Certainly not.
I hope no need to suggest now in clear words that a candidate must not and never unnecessarily try to write whatever he knows unless asked for and to pull the answer in the direction, which he has knowledge in.
And, I hope that the aspirants on this part of the world take this examination as an opportunity to utilize their inherent potential to transform their dreams, goals, vision, and infact of the whole society into reality. The truth is that opportunities are never lost; someone will take the one if you miss them. Therefore, I have only massage- avail opportunities, work hard, one character is one’s destiny, hence try to be Destiny’s Darling.


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