The most-awaited exams of the year for IAS aspirants -- UPSC Prelims – were held yesterday. While questions on sports caught candidates by surprise, ‘conceptual’ questions in polity kept their annual promise. FPJ spoke to a few of the 10 lakh students who took the exam on Sunday and found that candidates across India had different versions of the difficulty level of the paper. Yash Khade of Akola, for instance, said that the paper was “overall moderate” while Nadeem Pasha of Mumbai found it “difficult”.
Priti Kumari of Delhi said, “For me Paper 1, GS (general studies) was easier than CSAT. Actually, GS was easy this year than that of last year. I found more direct questions in this year’s paper. Previously, there used to be two to three answers for one question. It did not happen this time. Only four options were given and one answer was to be chosen which was less confusing.”
For Khushboo Jain, in Assam’s Dhubri, it was her first attempt and she found it an overall “difficult” paper. “Ancient History in GS and CSAT were overall tough for me,” she told FPJ. For Harsh Maheshwari of Jodhpur, the paper was difficult too.
Students from across the country were surprised to find sports-related questions in the GS. “The UPSC has maintained its status as being an unpredictable public service commission. From last 10 years no question was asked on sports but that convention was broken this year,” said Yahiya Hashmi of Aurangabad.
Another aspirant also expressed a similar opinion about sports. “It shocked most of us, but I had expected it given the flood of Olympics and other sports news in the last few months.” When asked by FPJ about how he utilised the extra two months after the exam was postponed to October 10, from June 27, he said he was already ready for Prelims in June. “The last two months, I prepared for the Mains.”
He is not the only one who prepared for Mains. Nadeem Pasha did it too. However, Priti Kumari found the two extra months a little “exhausting”. When asked about the pattern of the paper compared to the previous years, Nadeem said that there was little change in the pattern this year. “No questions on government schemes and other genres such as national parks, etc were asked,” he said.
Candidates need to clear the UPSC Prelims to move forward to the next stage, which is UPSC Mains, scheduled for January 2022.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)