How the UPSC Tries to Outwit Coaching Centres Every Year

“To be prepared is half the victory.” – Miguel de Cervantes

Most IAS aspirants go for some form of coaching or the other – full time, weekend coaching, online coaching, etc. It is said that those with access to coaching, i.e., IAS candidates from metro cities or from other urban areas have an advantage over their rural or semi-urban competitors. Now the UPSC wants to give every candidate equal chance of getting into the civil services. So, it tries to outwit the coaching centres by framing UPSC question papers in such a manner as to offset the ‘coaching’ advantage.

The pattern of IAS question papers has undergone a major change from before. Basically, the UPSC questions can be classified into static and dynamic. The static portions are those which are conceptual, straight out of the UPSC syllabus. These are easier to answer if you have studied properly. You just need to dish out concepts that are already there. But the other kind of questions, called dynamic, are tricky. This is where the UPSC tries to give equal footing to all aspirants. Here, questions are linked to current affairs. For example, if there is an issue in news regarding, say CRR (cash reserve ratio), the UPSC may ask a question on this topic that year in the economy section.

Now, the coaching centres give ready-made current affairs notes to its students. This makes the life of students easier as they can easily mug them up. But, the key is to relate latest happenings to UPSC syllabus. This is possible only if the students apply their minds and internalize the UPSC syllabus. For this, you must regularly read the newspapers and also practice previous year UPSC question papers. You need not attend any coaching classes for this.

The UPSC follows a broad and holistic view of things. This is reflected in their questions also. This is a quality that can be implemented only by the students themselves in their IAS preparation and cannot be forced down their throats.

Take a look at the following question asked by the UPSC in General Studies I in the Prelims 2016:

  1. Q) With reference to ‘LiFi’, recently in the news, which of the following statements is/are correct?
  2. It uses light as the medium for high-speed data transmission.
  3. It is a wireless technology and is several times faster than ‘WiFi’.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 only
  3. c) Both 1 and 2
  4. d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c)

This question was asked because this issue had been in news for the last three years.

It is better to be prepared from all angles if you want to crack the IAS exam. The following quote by Alexander Graham Bell tells us the importance of preparedness.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

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