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
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)
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