UPSC Civil Services Prelims 2018: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has conducted the Civil Services Preliminary exam 2018 in many centres across the country. The exam happened in two parts with Paper-I being conducted in the morning and Paper-II conducted in the afternoon. Candidates need to clear the 66 marks cut-off in Paper-II, after which on the basis of their Paper-I scores they are selected for the mains.
“In GS Paper-I, the areas from which questions are usually asked was different for many questions. Traditional topics like polity, which were asked conceptually in 2017, were this around asked with a much different focus in mind. Some questions such as the one on National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) also tested allied knowledge of students,” said Aditya Jagtap, Mentor, Career Launcher.
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“Conceptual questions types too saw an innovation in the form of a paragraph based question on Internet-of-things. The dominance of environment based questions ebbed as this year we saw around 14 environment based questions, the same as polity, which stood at 24! So, the questions were more well distributed across topics and subtopics this time around. This played a positive role as candidates were not rewarded or punished based on his/her individual strength or weaknesses,” the expert said
There were several changes in GS Paper-II. Candidates are expected to clear this hump before their scores in Paper-I are checked and some who went in fully unprepared were in for a surprise. There were no Verbal Logic questions and only 26 Reading Comprehension based questions were asked. Data interpretation and analytical Reasoning had 11 questions each. Those candidates who could use question selection strategies could significantly ease the solving process.
Broadly speaking, the level of difficulty has increased and this will have an effect on the cut-off marks as well. There could be a 2-3 points drop from 105.3 marks, which was the cut-off for Prelims 2017, but it is difficult to say as there are some questions in Paper-I where many answer keys could be wrong.
The most important thing for candidates, especially in a year where the prelims exam was of this nature, is to take a short break and resume studies for Mains 2018 with gusto. Speculation regarding answer keys should lead to ‘analysis paralysis’ for candidates as 28th October, the date of the Mains exam, will be here before we know it!