2013 Mains is going to be a year of surprises, thanks to UPSC. First there was the pattern change, then the changed dates for 2014 prelims and now an altogether unexpected announcement that in this year’s mains exam candidates have to write the answers in the question booklet itself in the space provided for answers.
Point no. 28 of the Detailed Application Form instructions clearly states that:
Candidates should note that instead of separate
Question Paper and answer book, a consolidated
Question Paper-cum-Answer book, having space below
each part/sub part of a question shall be provided to
them for writing the answers. Candidates shall be
required to attempt answer to the part/sub-part of a
question strictly within the pre-defined space. Any
attempt outside the pre-defined space shall not be
So instead of a separate question paper and answer booklet, as was the practice previously, candidates will now have to answer in a consolidated question paper-cum-answer book that has space below each part/sub part of every question.
Implications of these changes to IAS 2013 Mains Exam
- IAS aspirants will no longer know the exact questions of the mains exam and they will need to rely on feedback provided by those who have written the main exam as well other outlets like forum and social media.
- Coaching institutes will not be able to set ‘model’ question papers since everything will become more unpredictable.
- UPSC is moving towards the CAT pattern. Be it negative marking in prelims or single question-answer booklet in mains, these are the features of CAT exam that has implemented in the IAS exam.
- Candidates have to answer strictly within the space provided below each question. Any attempt outside will not be evaluated. This implies you will now need to be judicious with your words and cannot stretch any answer beyond the specified limit. This also means UPSC is helping you manage your time in a better manner by specifying the length of answers required.
But candidates should not really worry about the dreaded topic of Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude. Since it is important to understand the core or essence of questions in this topic and not knowing the exact question verbatim does not matter that much. For this reason candidates who have appeared for the mains exam will be able to pass on the questions on ethics, integrity and aptitude with relative ease to other aspirants.
Your thoughts on these changes?