Amit Essay

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How to prepare for the Civil Services Prelims The syllabus and the pattern of the preliminary examination of the Civil Services Examination have been revised. Here are some guidelines to prepare for the two papers. In 2010, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) notified changes in the syllabus and pattern of the preliminary examination (prelims) for the Civil Services Examination. The long overdue changes were widely welcomed by civil services aspirants. The first examination in the new scheme was held in June 2011. The 2011 examination comprised two papers: General Studies Paper 1 and 2 (popularly known as CSAT). Paper 1 in the new scheme is more or less similar to the Paper 1 of the old scheme with a few but significant changes in the content. General Mental Ability has been shifted from Paper 1 of the old syllabus to Paper 2 of the new syllabus. In the old syllabus, Paper 1 (general studies) was acceptable by and large. It was paper 2 which was a source of concern and discontent and has, therefore, been thoroughly revised. The earlier scheme for Paper 2 offered candidates a long list of 23 subject options from which one had to be chosen. The variety of optional subjects was the chief source of concern, as it was felt that candidates of different subject backgrounds did not get a level playing field. For example, it could be argued that comparing the performance of one candidate in Chemistry with that of another in History might not be completely rational. The statistical procedures used for comparing scores of candidates in various optional subjects led to uncertainty and concern. Secondly, Paper 2 had double weight since it carried 300 marks as compared to 150 of Paper 1. It is for these reasons that Paper 2 in the new scheme, being same for all examinees and having the same weight as paper 1, has been welcomed wholeheartedly. This

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