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UPSC Prelims 2018 paper analysis: What students across India and experts said after the exam

UPSC prelims 2018: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducted the civil services preliminary examination across the country on Sunday. Here’s what students and experts said after the paper.

education Updated: Jun 03, 2018 21:16 IST
HT Correspondents
Aspirants going through the general studies question paper after appearing in first paper of UPSC civil services preliminary examination at School of Excellence in Bhopal on Sunday.
Aspirants going through the general studies question paper after appearing in first paper of UPSC civil services preliminary examination at School of Excellence in Bhopal on Sunday. (Mujeeb Faruqui/HT Photo)

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducted the civil services preliminary examination across the country on Sunday.

A large number of candidates who appeared in the examination found the paper tougher than the last year. Even the experts felt the same way.

UPSC CSE prelims 2018: Here’s what students and experts told Hindustan Times after the examination:-

Purshottam Mishra who appeared for the examination in Patna said, “There were many applied questions and the questions were a bit tricky.” Another Patna student Shashikant Kumar said, “Most of the questions were form environmental science and economics. The questions were time consuming.”

“CSAT questions were tougher than last year. But the language was direct and simple enough and an average student who would have covered the syllabus can qualify,” said Guru Rahman, a teacher of Patna’s Rahman coaching institute from which every year many students qualify in the examination.

Sunil Murmu, who travelled almost 400km from Sahibganj to Ranchi in Jharkhand for the examination at Ursline Convent School said, “It was my second attempt and overall the examination was good. The paper of general studies was easy but reasoning was partially tough.”

Similarly, Abhijit Bilung from Ranchi’s Hatia area, said, “Both the papers were average. But the paper of general studies was comparatively easy.”

Sashwat Guha, a law graduate from Calcutta University, who appeared for examination found the first paper (general studies) quite complicated. “This year the pattern of the first paper was totally different from what it used to be in previous years. The second paper which is on civil services aptitude test was comparatively easier. This is for the first time that I have appeared for the examination and I am keeping my fingers crossed.”

Vaidehi Shaw, a graduate in sociology from Calcutta University found both the paper quite tough and totally different from those during the previous years. “So suggestions and being a bookworm really did not work. Science students might be comfortable with the questions. But for students coming from other streams like arts or commerce, the questions are quite difficult,” Vaidehi said. Both Sashwat and Vaidehi coached at Kolkata’s Vinson IAS which specializes in preparing candidates for UPSC examinations.

A number of students who appeared in the UPSC prelims exam from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh found the first paper (general studies) a bit tough.

Abhishek Tiwari from Chhatarpur in Bundelkhand region said, “Usually the first paper is not so tough in UPSC’s prelims examination but this year proved to be an exception.”

Ashita Saini from Bhopal said, “There was much focus on history related questions in the first paper which was quite unusual. There was a change in the pattern too.”

Premnath Sherke said, “The questions were ok but asked in a roundabout manner particularly in the section related to environmental science in the first paper.”

Sriram Srirangam, Director of SRIRAM’S IAS, a coaching institute for IAS aspirants in New Delhi said Paper 1 is widely seen to be difficult compared to last many years for many reasons.

“History questions are of very high standard and above optional level and so are the questions from Geography,” Srirangam said.

He also said that questions from Indian Constitution and polity were straight from current developments like last year but the number of questions was less.

“International issues are of same standard as last year- topical and headline-based, and very well formulated,” Srirangam said. He also felt that questions on the Indian economy and general economic concepts were of very good standard and analytical while the ecology and environment section was extensively covered and some questions were unusually tough.

In Paper 2, Srirangam said CSAT paper was tougher than last year while English component (reading and comprehension) was of Class 12 standard.

“Cut off could be about 10 marks less than last year - about 105,” he said.

The civil services examination is conducted by the UPSC annually in three stages - preliminary, main and interview - to select officers for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) among others. The examination is being held to fill approximately 782 vacancies.

(With inputs from Nandini in Patna, Sanjoy Kumar Dey in Jharkhand, Sumanta Ray in Kolkata, Abdul Mujeeb Faruqui in Bhopal )