Analysis Of Past Year’s PRELIMS PATTERN
UPSC/IAS exam in general and Preliminary exam in particular, over the years has seen fluctuations similar to Sine Curve. Right from the pattern of 150 questions and No negative marking to 100 questions with negative marking making it a real scrutiny. Not only this, the nature of GS paper has seen a move from Factual to Logical and Conceptual to Factual again in 2016. Hence, upholding is truly unpredictable nature.
Let’s take a look on number of questions asked from different areas/topics in UPSC Prelims in last 5 years:
Is there a ‘Trend’ that emerges from the above tabulation:
The number of questions from History & Culture has somewhat been similar each year.
The number of questions from Environment has somewhat been similar each year.
The number of questions from Polity has been somewhat similar from 2012-15, but it got reduced to just half in 2016.
The number of questions from Geography has been somewhat similar from 2012-15, but it got reduced to just half in 2016.
The number of questions from S & T has never been similar except in 2013 and 2014.
The number of questions from Economy has never been consistent.
The number of questions from Current Affairs has been on rise. In 2016, it was thrice of 2015, and 15 times that of 2013.
In the last 5 years, except History& Culture and Environment, UPSC has not followed any trend. So, if we base our preparation on so-called ‘hypothetical trend’, then we are committing a grave mistake. What is actually needed is a ‘comprehensive preparation’ of all the areas so that we don’t get any surprises or shocks on the exam day. We must be prepared for the whole syllabus rather than running after some particular trend if one really want to succeed.
And perhaps that's the reason behind the saying - " When it come to Success, there are no Shortcuts".