Civil Services Exam (CSE) in India is considered one of the toughest exams in the world as it has only 0.2 per cent success rate, The CSE exam consists of two successive stages; UPSC Civil Services Prelims examination for the selection of candidates for the Main examination and Civil Services Main examination (Written and Interview) for the selection of candidates for the various Services and posts notified every year.
Of all the stages Prelims has emerged recently as most challenging. The UPSC Prelims pattern has undergone tremendous changes from the year 2018 which requires change in the preparation strategy for candidates
What is the New Change in pattern
The pattern before 2018 was rewarding for those candidates who were able to cover the standard reference books multiple times and practice multiple mock tests. However from 2018 the questions are moreover framed to check the “aptitude of candidates” which are most important for public service. The current types of questions are now more unpredictable, uncertain which makes candidates panic in the examination and making more mistakes.
Why UPSC is changing
The new pattern of UPSC prelims ensures parity for candidates from remote areas to clear this coveted exam, unlike the earlier case, where candidates mostly from urban areas used to clear it, also UPSC now need candidates who can think beyond the book
What should be the new strategy to clear Prelims?
Candidates now have to practice more UPSC model questions to get adapted with the new pattern. However currently most of the students follow the old pattern on which questions are directly made from the standard books which are no more effective. The key here is to practice the minimum 10-15 years of previous UPSC prelims paper and practice mock tests which follow the exact UPSC pattern with the same unpredictability and uncertainty in questions.
Every year since 2018, 15-20 questions are based on new dimensions of conventional themes which one studies during preparation and solving these questions correctly actually determines whether you are able to clear the Prelims Cut off
How to change Preparation
- First, use Internet wherever you can while studying since UPSC question sources from 2018 is not based on any specific book or notes it is Open Source now
- Another important aspect is to stick with limited notes rather than reading 4-5 books on the same subject for e.g. Rather than studying Economics from 5 books or notes, please refer to only one and revise it as much as possible.
- Analyze your pros and cons in every Subject, then narrow down your weak aspects and start working on that
- There is no decided fixed pattern for GS prelims when it comes to current Affairs so try to revise current Affairs of previous 2 Years
- Try to explore new dimension as much as you can for example when studying environment also research on state of environmental condition in British India and how they made laws to tackle challenges posed by degrading environment then, similarly when reading history you can explore new dimension such as which were the first community to get benefit of English education in India and how this impacted other community which has been left out.
- Try to Analyze prelims paper from 2018, the better analysis you will be able to do the better you will be prepared for Prelims 2021, try to find the dimensions which UPSC is exploring in every subject