Civil Services Prelims throws up surprises

Hyderabad: The civil services preliminary examination, held at 75 centres in the city on Sunday, sprung up several surprises for candidates. While the newly introduced General Paper II was expected to be an aptitude test to the likes of CAT, the paper set by UPSC, tested mostly the judgment of candidates in understanding issues of economics and polity.

The paper also gave importance to testing English language skills. Even the marking scheme of the examination has changed this year with both the papers carrying 400 marks as against the previous year’s tally of 450.

Out of the 35,000 candidates who registered for the examination from the city, 25,000 appeared for the test at centres located in Hyderabad. There were centres at Vizag and Tirupati also.

Civil service experts from the city said that rote learning of concepts would no longer help students to crack the examination. “Some of the questions could have two of more answers and it is the understanding of the subject that is being tested. It requires a certain amount of maturity to crack the examination,” said V Gopal Krishna, director, Brain Tree, a coaching centre for UPSC.

The examination also tested the candidates’ understanding of civic issues. There were questions that checked the understanding of rural development schemes, fiscal stimulus, inflation and demographic dividend, experts said.

The previous year’s paper laid more emphasis on the optional subject (of the students choice) that carried 300 marks. With the introduction of a new general paper, students who have clear outlook on bureaucratic set up in the country would score better than others, experts opined.

According to some experts, students who are well versed in English would get a better chance at cracking the examination this year. “There were many questions in the comprehension section and these tested in depth understanding of English. Students from Telugu medium background will find this difficult to crack,” said Krishna. According to him, the students who score better in Paper I will be able to crack the preliminary examinations as the paper was tougher than the second.
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