UPSC Civil Services 2014 Prelims exam analysis
UPSC CSAT 2014: Despite long protests against CSAT exam pattern of UPSC Civil Services Prelims, the exam scheduled on August 24 was held successfully with over 4.5 lakh candidates appearing at different exam centres across the country.
Latest News: UPSC Civil Services 2014 Prelims Result declared
In line with Centre’s decision, after the UPSC announced that English Language Comprehension Skills section questions will not be evaluated for preparing merit list for UPSC Civil Services Mains exam and advised candidates to skip that section, candidates were a bit relieved with more time to solve the remaining questions in Paper II which carried the scrapped questions.
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Likewise 2013 marking scheme, General Studies Paper I consisted of 100 questions of 1 mark each and a total of 100 marks from History, Geography and Science, etc. The General Studies Paper II, however, carried 80 questions only including the 6 questions that candidates were asked to skip during the exam. Each question in paper 2 carried 2.5 marks with a total of 200 marks.
For every wrong answer, one-third of the marks allotted to that question was set to be deducted, according to the selection criteria.
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UPSC Civil Services 2014 Prelims Paper I Analysis
The 100 questions in the paper included 32 Environment questions, 15 History & Culture, 11 Polity, 10 Geography, 9 Agro, 9 Economy, 5 Freedom Struggle, 5 science and 4 IR-DEF questions.
“Most of the questions were from Indian Polity, Environment, Science and Technology. A few questions were from Geography, Economics and Indian History. Questions were moderate and good merit can be expected,” says Mahima, a candidate.
As per experts, History, Art & Culture, Polity, Geography, Economy, Science & Technology, Ecology & Environment, Social Welfare plans, and Current Affairs were the major contributors to the question array in Paper I.
“About one-third of the 100 questions in the paper were from Geography, Culture and Environment & Ecology. Interestingly, the number of questions in Economics came down significantly this year,” says Tanveer Ahmed, Kolkata-based mentor for competitive exam aspirants.
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult
Experts also believe that paper I was a little easier when compared with 2013 question paper. The difficulty level can be placed between moderate and difficult and good merit is expected this year.
“A good chunk of the paper was made up of questions which were matching-pair based or multiple-statement based and few pieces of information were available in related passages to solve these questions. The cutoffs for this year should hover in the range of 105-120 marks,” says Ahmed.
UPSC Civil Services 2014 Prelims Paper II Analysis
Among 80 questions in this paper, there were 6 questions from 2 passages of English comprehension section, which, as per UPSC earlier declaration, had no bearing on the merit list. So, a total of 74 questions bearing 185 marks will be evaluated this year.
Out of the 74 questions, there were 26 English comprehension questions from 8 passages, 30 Analytical and Logical Reasoning and 18 basic Numeracy Questions. There was no question from Decision Making & Problem Solving section.
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Experts and Students both agree that good application of logic and inference was required to solve CSAT paper but there was no need to have a prior knowledge on any specific topic on which questions were based.
According to experts from T.I.M.E. institute, “One does not require any prior knowledge of any particular topic to be able to answer these questions. However, many of these questions demanded good application of logic and inference and hence clearly were more analytical.”
“The questions pertaining to Maths & Reasoning were such that in order to crack them, the candidate needs to be good in reasoning & elementary mathematical skills. Overall, the difficulty level of the paper was moderate. For a well prepared candidate, it would not be difficult to score at least 115 marks (out of a maximum possible 185) from this Paper II alone,” T.I.M.E. further said.
CSAT paper was moderate in difficulty level and more than 60 questions out of 74 were doable by average students. With moderate difficulty level questions, a high score rate is expected from the candidates this year.
According to T.I.M.E., among 26 comprehension questions, 12 were doable by an average student, among 18 basic numeracy questions, 15 were doable and among 30 reasoning questions, 22 were doable.
T.I.M.E. further analyses that out of 74 questions, 51 were easy, 10 were average and 13 were difficult. Even if one does a total of 62 questions, with an overall accuracy of 80%, one can get to a net score of 115 marks, which is considered to be a very good score, it says.
“The questions in CSAT were based on 10 standard level and it was not a nut-biting task for Graduate students to solve them. Further, we got extra time as English comprehension skills section is not going to be evaluated. Cutoffs are going to be higher than last year,” says Akash, a candidate.
High cutoff expected in UPSC Civil Services 2014 Prelims
With the candidates getting more time to solve Paper II thanks to the scrapping of English Language Comprehension Skills, experts believe that the average scoring would go up and this will reflect in the cutoff also going a bit north.
“The cutoff for Main is expected to be higher this year with most of the questions in both the papers being doable by average students and the extra time they get to solve the Paper 2 after UPSC’s decision to remove this English Language Comprehension Skills section from marking scheme,” said an expert.
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