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UPSC Prelims 2017 – the most insightful analysis | Shankar IAS Academy
27 June, 2017 0 534
UPSC Prelims 2017 – the most insightful analysis

Prelims 2017 is considered to be the toughest exam in the last five years. The cut-offs are expected to be lower than that of last year owing to the analytical nature of questions that found place in the exam and the consistent unpredictability that UPSC has managed to maintain every year. CSAT being slightly more difficult compared to last year hasn’t made life easier either.

Going with an analysis on the GS paper, we are able to make a few interesting observations and comparing that to last year presents certain trends.

Dissecting the Prelims 2017 GS paper

  • The first striking thing about the paper is Polity. With quite a huge jump in the the number of questions, this section must have been the saving grace for most of those who appeared for Prelims this time. Our warning about the perils of ignoring Polity in the previous articles proved right.
  • The number of questions asked in History continues to hover around the same number but the same cannot be assured of the difficulty level.
  • Although the number of questions in Geography has increased from last year, they are nowhere close to what they used to be. Next year, you can perhaps expect a Polity-like jump.
  • The number of questions in Economics has increased over the oats two years, but the nature of questions has undergone a huge change. Classifying various social sector schemes and programmes under Economics are primarily responsible for the number as core economics questions (see below) have taken the plunge.
  • Environment was not seen in its usual self both in the number of questions as well as the nature of questions which were quite unconventional.
  • The section that saw the biggest decrease this year is Science and Technology but that doesn’t sound worrying at all. With everything under and above the sky being asked here, the reduction would not add to the agony.

Classifying the questions according to sections tell us that there hasn’t been a huge change from last year except for increase in Polity questions but that doesn’t give us the exact picture. So we dig deep, going to a sub-section based analysis.

Dissecting the dissected

This throws some light on why the question paper seemed difficult to many of them. Economics is thoroughly dominated by Current Affairs and Schemes questions in which are quite factual in nature. Polity also goes out of the conventional way and does not contain questions that could be sourced to any particular book. Many questions in International Relations, Environmental Organisations and Science and Technology clearly fall under the ‘factual’ category leaving little choice for elimination and guessing.

The paper actually does not look as difficult as it may be perceived as one can get a safe score by getting the conventional areas right and then getting a few guesses right. But that’s only one side of the story. How much easy were the conventional areas? Were all the questions in Modern India as direct and easy as in the previous years? An analysis of the nature of the questions and comparing them again to previous years will perhaps give a clearer picture. That could wait for next part of this analysis.

by Mr. Akshy Sridhar IAS (UPSC CSE 2016 AIR 45)

Stay tuned with Shankar IAS Academy Chennai for more…

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