While the Civil Services (main) Examination 2011 is just a few weeks away, as always the examination is continuing giving surprise elements to applicants.
There are some changes which have been made in the pattern of the paper. As every year the importance of General Studies and current affairs is the top most priority.
According to the director of Vajiram and Ravi Institute for IAS Examination, New Delhi, P.S Ravindran, the number of questions in General Studies has been doubled from 30 to 60. He says, “As UPSC covers a large number of areas, General Studies preparation should be comprehensive.” Also, he stresses the need of preparing both the optional subjects well as scoring well in General Studies has become more challenging.
Last year, many students were unable to score more than 270 marks out of 600 marks in General Studies paper. The reason was that many questions of current affairs of the month of October 2010 were unexpected and many students found difficulty in handling the questions. The candidates who were able to read two broadsheet newspapers were able to answer the questions.
Instead of reading several study materials, candidates are advised to select two source materials and concentrate on that with four rounds of quick revision.
Also, students are advised to prepare the subjects of Statistics and Indian Economy thoroughly. The questions would cover Indian economy and issues relating to planning, mobilisation of resources, growth, development and employment.
The issues relating to the social and economic exclusion of larger sections from the benefits of development, issues relating to economy and trade like foreign trade, foreign investment, etc and issues of diplomacy relating to oil, gas and energy flows are important.
To score good marks in General Studies students need not to have any specialization of its subjects. The students who are well versed with the history, geography, polity, economy and statistics of NCERT books stand good chance of scoring well in the paper of General Studies.
This year, over 70 questions in Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) were related to current affairs. The trend is likely to continue in civil services main examination too.
Also, according to Ganesa Subramanian, Director, Ganesh's IAS, “Questions related to the celebration of the 150 years of existence of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, diamond jubilee celebrations of the Election Commission of India, Union Budget, Constituent Assembly and Reserve Bank of India may be of significance.”
Students should be prepared as the chances are there of testing the analytical mindset of the candidates. Reading editorials of newspapers will be helpful for essay paper and answering questions on social issues and polity.