The paper 2 of the UPSC Civil Services preliminary exam will be qualifying in nature, atleast for the 2015 exams. The following is from the Press information bureau report –
The Government has approved the following in respect of Civil Services Examination:
• An Expert Committee would be constituted to comprehensively examine various issues raised from time to time namely, eligibility, syllabus, scheme and pattern of Civil Services Examination.
• Till such time the Government takes decision on the recommendation of the above Committee, the General Studies Paper-II(CSAT) in the Civil Services(Preliminary) Examination will remain a qualifying paper with a minimum qualifying marks fixed at 33%.
• The English Language comprehension skill portion from General Studies Paper-II of Civil Services(Preliminary) Examination will continue to remain excluded.
• The above decisions are incorporated in the CSE Rules-2015.
1. General Studies will now become extremely important. Those who qualified on the basis of huge score in paper 2 can no longer do so. More than 100 days left now, so aspirants must start seriously preparing for prelims paper 1.
2. Qualifying marks has been kept at 33% which amounts to 66 marks out of 200. This must be easily achievable. Nevertheless, those weak in maths or from non-science background must not take it lightly.
What to do now?
1. Stop wasting time over speculations and start practicing questions for paper 1. For a start, you can practice free prelims MCQs here – Free Prelims MCQS . The questions are arranged subject wise like polity, economy, science, environment, history, geography and full syllabus quiz.
2. Proceed with the three step process for UPSC prelims –
a) Base book reading
b) Practicing questions
c) Revision and correlation
This has been outlined in detail here with respect to polity. It can be followed for any subject - The Three Step Process for UPSC Preparation
3. Read fewer books, but read them twice or thrice. At the same time, practice more and more questions. The minimum books and resources required is listed here - Essential Books for UPSC Prelims
4. UPSC has its own distinct way of asking current affairs – by linking it with background conventional knowledge. This has been explained here with many examples – How UPSC asks current affairs in GS Prelims . Try following this rather than mugging up facts from current affairs booklets of coaching institute.
5. Please read these two important articles about UPSC prelims preparation –
Self Study IAS’s 1000 Prelims MCQs with answer & detailed explanation @ Rs 350. Click here for more information.