Career Article To Crack Civil Services Examination, You Need Courage and Intelligence

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Marks of Last Recommended Candidate (CSE 2012)
General OBC SC ST PH-1 PH-2 PH-3

A Glance at the Marks Secured by the First Rank Holders in
Past Five Years
Year of Examination Name of the First Ranker Marks Secured
Written Total Marks-2000 Interview Total Marks-300 Aggregate Total Marks-2300
CSE 2012 Haritha V Kumar 1013 180 1193
CSE 2011 Shena Aggarwal 1128 210 1338
CSE 2010 S Divyadharshini 1109 225 1334
CSE 2009 Shah Faesal 1136 225 1361
CSE 2008 Shubhra Saxena 1161 210 1371

As usual the month of May- proved to be important as it began with big news-Civil Services Exami¬nation 2012 results arid later, the Preliminary Examination 2013 kept the excitement level high for aspiring candidates.
UPSC announced the Civil Services Examination 2012 result on May 3, 2013. A total number of 998 candidates have been recommended for selection.
By now, you must have heard and read a lot about Haritha V Kumar (AIR 1, CSE 2012), Sriram V (AIR 1, CSE 2012), Stuti Charan (AIR 3, CSE 2012), Alby John Varghese (AIR 4, CSE 2012), Ruchika Katyal (AIR 5, CSE 2012) and many other names that have made headlines in past one month.
Once again, I have been on move to meet the new conquerors who have really made it big. It has been pleasure and wonderful experience to know the success strategies of a few of them; whom, I am able to reach out to in last few weeks.
With a grueling exam-plan, Civil Services Examination is tough and emerging successful in the mother of all examinations as it is called is no small feat. For me, it has become a passion to meet the passionate youngsters who are revered for their knowledge and guts.
Once again many-many cong-ratulations to all successful candi¬dates and their parents, family mem¬bers.
CSE 2012 Result : Details of Marks-Too Many Surprises
With prior announcement, the details of marks for Civil Services Examination 2012 were released by UPSC on May 20, 2013.
The stage was set for many disclosures when marks for Main Examination (Written & Interview) were revealed by UPSC a few days back; but, the kind of marks in indivi¬dual subjects that have come in sight are really shocking and exceptional.
The fact comes on fore that cut¬off has been low that does not give confidence to write more about it.
Now, with 936 marks in General category, one has got place in the merit-list whereas a few years’ back with such marks in Main Examination (written), many candidates were not able to have berth in final stage of the examination – Personality Test.
Decline in Marks Originated from the Top Most Rank
The most striking thing about the result is always the marks secured by the topmost candidate and people remain curious to know their marks to ascertain the benchmark.
The list below gives details about the marks secured by the candidates occupying the topmost rank in last five years.
If we look at the total marks secured by the first rank Haritha V Kumar (1193), you could sense that marks secured by the top-most candi-dates have seen a sharp decline. In CSE 2012 result, this trend drifts down from, top to bottom of the merit-list.
The table above clearly indicates that the aggregate Haritha V. Kumar amassed in Main Examination (Written) has been approx. 100 marks lower than past years’ topmost candi¬dates.
Another observation is that Haritha has got 180 marks in Per¬sonality Test while in past years, score of 200+ is common among those who topped this coveted examination in recent years.
I have been analysing such inter-esting facts and figures and contribute regularly at www.iaspassion. com where you can get many more motivating stories that can help you in your preparation.
Now, a little about the Prelims 2013 that was staged on May 26, 2013.
Civil Services (Pre.) Examina-tion 2013 : Analysis of Paper I
The Paper I (General Studies) of Civil Services (Preliminary) Exam¬ination has the similar number of questions 100 that it had on earlier two occasions. This time the General
Studies Paper gives a total traditional feel and a lot of candidates found it relatively easier than previous papers in last two years.
To face Civil Services (Pre.) Exam confidently, hundred thousands of highly energized candidates prepare themselves to undertake an intense grind; but, to their surprise, this time they faced a question paper that is truly traditional in nature.

Yes, Preliminary Examination Paper I (General Studies) is donning a look that gives a feel that it is once again a conventional piece of work that truly evaluates the conceptual knowledge of the candidates.
Paper I is so straightforward that some candidates are feeling upbeat about it and hoping to secure a seat in Main Examination.
It may look uncomplicated but, it is not that simple that one can rejoice as UPSC is known for making simple questions tricky. This intention was clearly visible in last years’ paper as well when at first look candidates termed it ‘easy’.
A Balanced Combination
What most of the candidates perceive and prepare for is that they are going to face some questions that totally stump them; but, to their solace, this time there seems nothing that a serious Civil Services Examina¬tion aspirant is not exposed to. Be it any constituent, there is not a single question that would have created insidious challenges to any well prepared candidate. *
This question paper establishes this fact again that breadth of know-ledge and information is quite essential in handling General Studies paper effectively in Preliminary Examination. All the clever strategies are nowhere near without an effective preparation as your awareness level is measured in such a smart way that one feels that it is quite easy to crack Prelims; yet, it is not that effortless to decode this examination.
Once again, in many questions process of eliminating wrong answers would have helped candidates to work out the correct alternative.
The questions from the most important constituents Polity and History are in plenty and can be simply termed easy. A number of questions relating -to Constitution would have given confidence to a lot of candidates.
The questions from economy section are again without doubt can be termed simple if one is clear about fundamentals and relates familiarity with the current affairs. Most of the questions are practical in nature and really measure the observation and capability to relate the information to what you come across in day-to-day life.
One may call the questions from Geography section and environment/ ecology little complicated but, it would have been easier to handle some of the Geography questions for those who would have made exten¬sive use of Atlas during preparation.
As usual questions from Science as general and application based and would have really tested the range of information candidates possess.
UPSC has maintained its impar-tial approach and this would have helped many to solve this question paper without any prejudice. It is a balanced paper and I don’t think any candidate from a particular back¬ground stands to gain more.
To sum up, I would say that this paper assesses the depth of under-standing of a candidate and sets the stage for talented and deserving can-didates to get berth in Main Exami-nation.
Civil Services (Pre.) Exam 2013 : Analysis of Paper II : Aptitude Test
UPSC has retained same number of questions (80) in Prelims Paper II; the question paper continues to be on the same format except share of some constituents going little up or down.
Now, a trend is set for Preli¬minary Examination Paper II as most of the questions are on expected lines. As happens in Aptitude Tests of this nature, Prelims Paper II is a pure mind game and your intelligence is tested with use of common sense, presence of mind and apt time management.
Yes, UPSC has found a straight-forward way to evaluate the aptitude of aspiring candidates and now, in this third edition clearly depicts in the rhythm it has attained. In the morning shift, Paper I did not show any surprise; likewise, Paper II is on similar lines and has nothing that could send shivers down the spine for any candidate.
The level of difficulty was easy to moderate and the candidates from humanities background even those from Hindi/vernacular languages would have responded very well provided they had done little practice. It is a balanced paper and I don’t think it has given edge to any candi¬date from a particular background. Everybody seems to be on equal foot¬ing.
The question paper shows a balanced dose of questions from Comprehension that has some direct questions. This time questions from Comprehension are less tricky rather more stable which would have given confidence to the candidates. Presence of passages with 2-3 questions and having questions from other sections in between, would have given little respite to candidates who were expecting it to be in abundance.
Mathematics, logical reasoning and analytical ability questions and data interpretation questions are in plenty and their difficulty level is easy to moderate. Even the questions from syllogism are simple and com¬mon candidates would have found these reassuring as these can be answered with little intelligence and common sense.
English Comprehension is just a cinch and simple English with plain questions would have given relief to candidates from Hindi/vernacular languages.
Only a little surprise that has come this year is from questions relating to administrative aptitude as there were only six from this section. In 2011 examination we had 8 ques¬tions from this section whereas in 2012, it had 7 questions. Even these questions have some story narration to establish the landscape that took more time to read. To answer these questions, clear understanding of the situation and analysing things with open mind would have helped. If one is able to think impartially as an administrator, it would not have been difficult for candidates to select the correct answer.
If something one has to complain about this Paper II is only about the length of the paper which continues to be extended and many candidates found it difficult to answer all ques¬tions in the stipulated time.
Looking at the paper one can easily understand that for an out-standing performance in this paper if

one requires anything in addition to the required skills is only ‘practice’ which makes one proficient in working out answers just by reading and understanding questions.
In Paper II, candidates have found a place where they can score much more than Paper I. The capable and well-prepared candidates under¬stand the importance of this oppor¬tunity and I hope they would have taken the full advantage of this paper and would have performed well.
Now, What Next ?
As the Prelims gets over, you need to be back with your study-plan as there is no point in wasting time waiting for Prelims result.
Civil Services Examination pre-paration is full of uncertainties and you should continue your prepara¬tion that requires greater attention this time as the pattern for Main Examination has just been trans¬formed.
New format for Main Exami¬nation has come to life with Civil Services (Main) Examination 2013 that would commence from Decem¬ber 1, 2013. Looking at the needs, you should make a sincere attempt to cover it in stipulated time.
Understand the new format for Main Examination and the related requirements. No doubt, the pattern for Main examination is new that requires a fresh approach and would necessitate constructive use of time.
So, keep preparing and keep moving towards your goal.
Once again, wishing you luck and success !

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