Strategy for Civil Services
As per the decision of Government of India, there shall be change in the
syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary Examination from 2011 in the scheme of
the Civil Services Examination. The Preliminary Examination shall now comprise
of two compulsory Papers of 200 marks each and of two hours duration each.
Detailed below is the new syllabus and pattern of the Preliminary
Examination, which is brought to the notice of the prospective candidates
intending to appear at the Civil Services Examination (CSE) in 2011 onwards:
Paper I - (200 marks) Duration: Two Hours
- Current events of national and international importance
- History of India and Indian National Movement
- Indian and World Geography - Physical, Social, Economic geography of
India and the World.
- Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System,
Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
- Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty,
Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
- General issues on Environ-mental ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate
Change - that do not require subject specialization
- General Science.
Paper II - (200 marks) : CSAT , Duration: Two hours
- Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
- Logical reasoning and analytical ability
- Decision-making and problem solving
- General mental ability
- Basic Numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude etc.)
(Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data
sufficiency etc. -Class X level)
- English Language Comprehension skills (Class X level).
- Questions relating to English Language Comprehension skills of Class X
level (last item in the Syllabus of Paper-II) will be tested through
passages from English language only without providing Hindi translation
thereof in the question paper.
- The questions will be of multiple choice, objective type.
- The prospective candidates are advised to note that no changes are being
introduced at this stage in the Civil Services (Main) Examination and
Personality Test in the scheme of Civil Services Examination (CSE).
What strategy should be adopted?
made to the new syllabus of Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2011 has more
focus on general studies. It requires early preparation and a relaxed approach.
The recent announcement of the new syllabus for Civil Services
Preliminary Examination 2011 by the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public
Grievances and Pensions is likely to create ji0ers among aspirants.
A closer look at the syllabus and pattern of the examination mentioned in the
text only stresses the need for more focus on general studies and revision of
mathematics learned at the secondary school level. Aspirants analyzing recent
question papers of other examinations conducted by the UPSC will have a be0er
understanding of the new pattern and syllabus.
According to Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, the
Civil Services Preliminary examination will consist of two papers with a total
of 400 marks. This is different from the earlier pattern that had one optional
subject paper along with a general studies paper.
Hereafter, the civil services aspirants can be much more relaxed in their
approach as the need for studying an optional subject has been dispensed with
for the preliminary. But they have to complete two optional subjects for the
mains. So balancing the main and prelims in the coming months will be the
challenge before them.
Analysis of the changes in IAS Exams Syllabus
Paper I is worth 200 marks and has been allotted two hours. Earlier the
pattern was 150marks for the general studies. In paper I, candidates will be
tested on their knowledge of current events of national and international
importance. Emphasis will be on Indian history, Indian national movement, ndian
and world geography, including the physical, social and economic geography of
India and the world.
The candidates can start preparation as soon as possible by reading
newspapers and other periodicals to enrich their knowledge of current affairs.
Questions on current affairs are likely to play a key role in scoring the
required marks in the new pattern. Questions will also be asked on Indian Polity
and governance as well as the Constitution, the Political System, Panchayati Raj,
Public Policy and Rights Issues.
Apart from NCERT books, the Union government publications that have
information on latest developments on these subjects are also important. India
2011 year book published by the Publication Division, Ministry of Information
and Broadcasting may continue to be of use to answer a large number of
questions. The new system is going to identify the comprehensive knowledge of an
aspirant and his/her ability to apply it in decision making. The focus will be
more on testing the personality of the candidate.
Candidates will have to prepare for questions on Economic and Social
Development, Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics and
social sector initiatives. NCERT books will provide a chunk of answers to
questions pertaining to general issues on environmental ecology, bio-diversity,
climate change and general science. Candidates are advised to revise the class X
English language books for English language comprehension skills of Paper II.
Appropriate IGNOU study material on Interpersonal Skills, Including
Communication Skills may be useful.
Study material used by aspirants of banking services are enough to tackle
questions on Logical Eeasoning and Analytical Ability, Decision-making and
problem solving as well as General Mental Ability. Class X books of NCERT should
be studied in detail for solving questions on Basic Numeric Skills such as
Numbers and Their Relations, Orders of Magnitude and Data Interpretation.
Solving the paper is likely to be easy for the aspirants who go through the
previous questions asked by the UPSC for other examinations such as NDA,
particularly those conducted recently.
Spending at least six hours a day for solving such questions is crucial.
Analysing the previous questions of examinations conducted by Reserve Bank of
India and other banks is also likely to throw light on the new pattern of
What has not changed in the new syllabus?
Some things which many candidates for the IAS exam were fearing have
fortunately remained untouched. Here is a short list. Age limit remains 30 yrs.
Older candidates can heave a sigh of relief. Number of a0empts have not been
reduced. So those on the 3rd and 4th a0empts can rejoice. IAS mains exam pattern
has not been changed from 2011 but will be changed after a few years most
probably. The name of the exam. This is the biggest joke. Everyone rooting for
CSAT and all those who started web sites on this title might be cursing
themselves now. General Studies paper or Paper 1 is more or less the same. Only
thing is that mental ability has now been included in Paper 2 instead.
Candidates who were against UPSC's scaling system due to variable difficulty
level of optional papers can feel happy now as optionals have been removed from
2011 IAS prelims. As both papers will be common to all, there will be fair play
and equal opportunity to all candidates. From now on what you score is what you
see in terms of final results (whether qualified or not for IAS mains).
Candidates who could not mug up or rote will also cheer the changed IAS syllabus
as now wide studies on different topics is required and second paper will focus
on Decision-making, Logical Reasoning, Mental Ability, English Comprehension.
None of these can be mugged up but have to be practiced, understood, tackled
using common sense and presence of mind but not mugging up. Finally, candidates
who haven't taken coaching can also feel relieved as coaching will make less of
a difference now than in the past where optionals could be cracked simply by
mugging up the coaching class notes. Now paper 2 will require individual efforts
rather than coaching notes.
has always been a tough paper to clear and now candidates will have to clear two
GS papers with more questions in less time (just two hours). So time management
will be the most crucial factor in IAS prelims from now on. Also, the second
paper will be tougher for those who ignored mental ability and were never too
keen on data analysis and logical reasoning.
These cannot be skipped any longer but will need to be a0empted in order to
clear the IAS prelims. Candidates from non-English background will face a tough
challenge as there will be English comprehension passages and no translation
will be provided for the same so they need to be read in English only. Questions
on inter-personal skills and communication skills will test a candidate further
and only those who are good at both can now answer questions confidently.