An Overview of the Importance of UPSC Previous Year Paper and UPSC Exam Pattern

This article will give a brief introduction about the importance of studying the UPSC Previous Year Paper and the UPSC Exam Pattern.

Preparing for UPSC is akin to acquiring knowledge as vast as an ocean. Hence, to make sure that candidates do not get overwhelmed with the information that needs to be acquired, analyzed and stored in the memory while appearing for the UPSC Civil Service Examination, it is important that candidates are able to choose and implement the right preparation strategy. The first step in this preparation strategy is to get conversant with the syllabus of the UPSC Civil Service examination. The second most important step would be to thoroughly study the UPSC Previous Year Paper. Without these two steps it would not be possible for the candidates to envisage or anticipate the kind of questions that will be asked either in the UPSC Civil Service Prelims examination and UPSC Civil Service Mains examination. Along with the above mentioned steps it is imperative that aspiring candidates are aware of the UPSC Exam pattern.

The UPSC exam pattern of civil services examination consists of 3 different stages. They are the Preliminary, Mains and Interview stages of the UPSC exam. In the Mains stage of the UPSC exam pattern, there are 9 different papers. Candidates have to choose 1 optional subject. Paper VI and Paper VII deals with the Optional subject chosen by the candidates. Paper I is an Essay paper. Paper A and Paper B are Language papers. Paper B is the English Language paper and Paper A is the compulsory Indian language paper. There are four General Studies papers. Paper II to Paper V are General Studies papers. As per the UPSC exam pattern, the time allotted for all 9 papers are 3 hours each. Two papers are evaluated for a maximum of 300 marks each, they are Paper A and Paper B. Rest of the seven papers are evaluated for a maximum of 250 marks each. Paper A and Paper B are qualifying in nature, which means the marks obtained in these two papers are not used for determining your final rank or qualification score, but candidates will have to score minimum marks in both Paper A and Paper B.

The UPSC exam pattern in the Civil Service Prelims examination is as follows: There are two papers, General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II which is also known as the Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT). The time duration allotted for General Studies Paper – I is 2 hours. The duration of the General Studies Paper – II is also 2 hours. General Studies Paper – I will have 100 questions and General Studies Paper – II will have 80 questions. As per the UPSC exam pattern, the total marks allotted for the both the papers is 200 each. In General Studies Paper – I, 0.66 marks will be deducted for every wrong answer. In General Studies Paper – II, every wrong answer will result in a reduction of 0.83 marks. For both the papers, the negative marking will be 1/3rd of the maximum marks for the question.

In the interview stage of the UPSC Civil Service examination, the interview board will look at the different qualities in a candidate and assess whether there is convergence in the talent, knowledge, integrity, leadership, courage, and wisdom which would be required in a Civil Servant.

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