To be successful in civil service exams, the strongest quality you must possess is TRUST. With the Preliminary Examination becoming more complex and challenging, the right approach, determination, and self-belief are the only method that has been tried and tested to prepare aspirants to face the prelims exam with ultimate grit and confidence.
Changing Pattern of Preliminary Examination
The Preliminary Test is by far the most challenging stage of the Civil Services Examinations with nearly 5 to 6, lakhs candidates taking the test each year. After GS paper 2 – CSAT was made qualifying in 2015, the GS paper-1has assumed greater significance in the deciding success of a candidate in the Preliminary Test which seeks to eliminate non-serious students-candidates from entering the Main Examinations. With mere100 questions deciding your entry in the Main Examination, the room for error in this stage is very little. In addition to changes in the pattern of examination, GS paper-1 is subjected to frequent changes in terms of the nature of the questions that appeared in it. While the GS-1 paper from 2010-2014 focused on the concept of jewel understanding in conventional areas, in 2017 and 2018 the emphasis was on factual current events. On the other hand, 2018, 2019, and 2020 papers tested the creative intelligence and problem-solving skills of the candidates. The GS Paper-1 from 2017-20 was an interesting mix of questions ranging from an epistemological understanding of important political underpinnings like liberty, equality et cetera to most contemporary issues like Google tax, AI, blockchain technology, UPI, etc.
With only a few months left for prelims 2021, it is of utmost importance for students to take up mock tests, analyze their performance and improve in the best possible way.
For simplicity, preparation for the UPSC preliminary test can be divided into a number of stages. The initial stage involves concept building and syllabus coverage followed by organizing the study material and thorough revision of the syllabus.
- In the preliminary test, MCQs are a chosen method of evaluation as they maintain consistency, efficiency, transparency, and most importantly objectivity. Every year the preliminary test is conducted by the UPSC on a Sunday in the month of June. This year’s prelim is scheduled to be held on 27 June 2021.
- The examination cell comprises two papers of 200 marks each.
- General Studies – Paper 1
- CSAT – Paper 2
- The question papers will be of objective type i.e. (MCQ).
- The question paper will be set both in Hindi and English.
- In the first paper – General Studies, questions will be asked from Current Affairs, Geography, Polity, History, Economy, Science And Technology, Environment And Ecology.
- In the second paper- CSAT, questions will be asked from aptitude, reasoning, comprehension, decision making (qualifying with 33% marks)
- Every individual is unique, every individual is talented, and every individual has immense potential.
- A lot of us but hard work, but not SMART work. And then due to the lack of resources (to go for coaching, quality material, etc.)and lack of guidance ( multiple booklists, tons of material, etc, ) many aspirants fail to realize their dreams.
- We aspire to bridge this gap for willing and capable individuals. And this is where the right mentor comes into play.
- Clearing the UPSC exam is not rocket science. You can find a lot of information online on what to read, but not how to read.
So Some Basic Strategies Before You Go Through The Preliminary Analysis:
Your Personality requires a Generalists view for serving the highest echelon of Administration in India. A generalist is someone who knows something about everything, but not everything about something called a scientist or researcher.
Your approach while reading should be somewhat like a generalist that is JACK OF ALL TRADES MASTER OF NONE.
- For example, if you are reading about floods, you should focus on understanding their causes, implications, positive and negative – impact on human property and Life, their mitigation and management. You need not read scientific literature about floods river flows Main meandering etAt most, read what they are and how are they related to an earthquake.
- You can clear the civil services prelims in one shot. You don’t even need to know everything under the sky.
- You should read the approach with a generalist Understanding of concepts should be the first priority because mugging up will neither help you in Prelims nor Mains.
- So focus on basic understanding, and wide coverage rather than detailed studies and intensive coverage.
Just remember these few things for Efficient and Effective Studies
- Don’t read a book from cover to cover.
- Don’t make notes in the first reading itself.
- Keep your booklist short and simple. Better to read one book for each topic thoroughly, and then flip another multiple sources.
- Read carefully and between the lines since preliminary questions can be tricky.
- A preliminary exam is all about identifying the correct answer among the four options given. So don’t worry about remembering facts for the exam. It’s all about the elimination of the wrong option and identifying the correct answer. The focus should be more on understanding the
The syllabus has a lot of grey areas consisting of few difficult terms, especially in science and technology, environment, and biodiversity. They have been dealt with in detail with examples, the pattern of the past year UPSC questions (plays a big role in understanding the pattern), and possible questions that have been framed from current affairs. So you need to have a depth in understanding of each topic.
The seller is who is adventurous and risk-taking. We will be the magical compass guiding the sailor to his destination. The journey might not be smooth; there will be ups and downs. Don’t take the journey too seriously. Just enjoy the process.