Analysis of UPSC Preliminary Examination pattern established that PT has become a different game altogether. A tough examination has become tougher as concepts are being asked indirectly linked through current issues, complexity has increased and number of erratic questions is increasing. In this light there are two pertinent questions which demand immediate answer:
1. What should be the right strategy to minimize the risk and maximize the possibility of qualifying the first stage?
2. How to manage time as one can’t leave PT preparation for the last minute and also can’t put all efforts for PT at the cost of GS Mains, optional and gradual improvement of writing ability?
In light of the above questions one needs to understand that demand for PT is much different from GS Mains.
PT is more about range of information. But the point of issue is that there is no specific syllabus and demarcation line. This requires widespread knowledge both conceptually and factually. The whole process of content procurement for this stage has to be gradual even if one candidate is preparing from last 1, 2 or 3 years. Along with it there is a misconception that in G.S aspirant has to just mug up the facts but unfortunately this mugging up can hardly help in clearing the exam. We have analysed the new pattern and realized thatpreparation should be in much deep and micro level. Developing micro topic listing helps a lot in demarcating the possible boundary. We are also trying to do the same in GSSCORE PT test series.
GS for PT is tough; most of the students are worried about it, as there is no fixed length and breath. However, at the same time they also show trait of careless attitude by carrying loose mode of preparation. UPSC aspirants generally go through N.C.E.R.T. books and some crash materials. N.C.E.R.T. books are certainly important, but only to begin with to have conceptual clarity. You cannot depend solely on these books. In the changing scenario one needs to walk extra miles. Figure out the areas and keep attempting question to know the level of preparation.
Another tough question for Prelim is – what is likely to be the cut-off? This theme always has been a subject of high speculation and gossip. A frequent question, is – what would be safe marks in the PT exam. Well, if we look at the previous years’ cut-off than it was 107.34 in 2015, 116 in 2016, 105.34 in 2017 and 98 in 2018. So there is quite a variation depending on nature of paper. However to play on safer side 125+ should be the number you should target. So discussing PT cut-off is going to be only a psychological rubbing to our imagination for the future cut-off.
So my suggestion is simple just kick start your preparation of prelims along with mains and gradually bring PT on the main track three months before the ‘D’ day.