Saturday, October 13, 2012

Relieved of the burden

Finally relieved of the burden that I have been carrying on my back for the last 5 years. My fourth and last mains is behind me now. From now on I can focus on something else for a change. Feeling a bit strange, afterall I spent 5 years reading for this exam and did nothing else. And suddenly all of that comes to an end and leaves behind a kind of vacuum. Once Adapa Karthik who topped in CS-2007 said that one may hate studying for so long hours everyday, but once attempts are finished one will miss that times badly. I am already feeling that.

So how were the question papers this time? Sciences and other less popular subjects are not finished yet, but most of the popular subjects save Psychology(which is today) are finished. There are quite a few surprises(in a negative sense) and heart breaks for the aspirants this time.

First of the surprises was the statistics part of the General Studies 2. It was tougher this time. I always did well in statistics in my last three attempts, used to leave only around 3-8 marks out of 30-36 marks. But this time I did extremely badly, I attempted only for 10 marks. The questions were different from what used to be asked since 1979. They were asked from different topics which we dont study, which coaching centers dont teach. More over the calculations were lengthy. One question which carried 3 marks required us to draw two ogives and find median! Quite ridiculous. Because of wrong time management as a result of my habit of giving importance to statistics, I had to leave questions worth 25 marks. Other than that I felt GS paper 2 was easy. I just hope other questions which I wrote well, better than last year will fetch me good marks. GS-1 was lot easier than last year. Others too felt the same. I just hope I score very well in that paper.

In Essay, people mostly wrote on Public-Private-Partnership and Working women. There is not much difference between last year and this year in the difficulty levels. After a good 20-25 minutes of dilly dallying on the two, I decided to write on PPP. I wrote well and expect good marks too.

Then came the dreaded part, optionals. Public Administration is fucked severely this time. PA-1 was both lengthy and tough like hell. We had to write 5 sub-questions of 150 words in each of the questions 1 and 5 instead of the usual 3 each of 200 words. So 400 words extra. This came as a surprise for some of us and all the planning into time managment strategies before the exam have gone wasted. Till this time my handwriting was too good in GS, and excellent in Essay. But in PA-1 it was as bad as last year which can cost me dear. I just hope the evaluator reads what I wrote instead of going on face value.

The questions in PA-1were a lot tougher than what used to be asked till last year. I can say with conviction that this paper may be the toughest paper since PA was introduced in late 1980s as an optional. Believe me I am not exaggerating. I attempted all but I feel I wrote good to average answers only for 264 marks. Remaining 36 marks may fetch me not more than 5-7 marks I suppose. I expect average marks in this paper with out scaling. But I think normalisation will benefit us in this paper.

PA-2 is easier and I wrote well. More questions in 1 and 5 was not a surprise as we tasted that in the PA-1. So I manged well from the beginning itself with good pace. My handwriting for most part of the time was good save last 30 minutes or so. I expect good marks.

My other optional History had more surprises in store. I dont know what has bitten the question paper setter in the case of H-1. Boy, he has gone bonkers. Other wise why would he change the pattern of questions on MAP which is flawed and has loopholes. Earlier location names used to be given and we had to mark on the map given to us. But this time locations were already marked on the map and a hint (in only two words). We have to identify the location and write 40 words about eac (not the usual 20 words).

There are two flaws in this scheme. One, the locations were not marked correctly in 2 or 3 cases and they dont match with the hints given. For example, the hint for that site in AP which is located just east of Hyderabad is that it is an art center. We dont know whether he is talking about Nagarjunakonda or Hyderabad itself. But Nagarjunakonda is further south east of Hyderabad and not just east of Hyderabad. Another mistake may be that capital town in Bihar which is located around Gaya. Two, there are some locations on the map for which there are 2 or more candidates equally good. For example, for that prehistoric site in Kashmir, both Burzahom and Gufkral are equally good. And for that port near Mumbai, there are atleast 3 candidates - Sopara, Kalyana, Salsette.

One more change is 5 sub questions in 5th question (each of 150 words) instead of usual 3 of 200 words each. So 400 words extra including map question. There is one 12 marks question on Jaina paintings, Pothi format etc which is compulsory question. I read this topic a long time ago and I couldnt recall anything. Everyone whom I interacted with could not write anything on this. One more question on Acharyas' contribution to Bhakti movement was togher too. Thankfully I got it correct. Other questions were normal. I was disappointed that I couldnt perform to my satisfaction. I am expecting above average marks without scaling.

History-2 was better than H-1. In this too, there are 1 or 2 difficult questions like that one on interlocking management agencies (1.d). Thank God, it carried only 12 marks. My handwriting in H-1 was not good at all., just like last year. But in H-2 it was good enough for most of the time. On the whole, both H-1 and H-2 are very lengthy. I heard from many that they left atleast one 12 marks question in each paper. Overall I am satisfied with my performance in it. I am excpecting good marks in it without scaling.

From what I heard, Sociology paper was very easy. Most of the people wrote well. Even the Literature papers inlcuding Pali are easier it seems. Geography was difficult. This makes it necessary for scaling (normalisation) in all subjects as PA, History, Geography were difficult and Soc, Lit were easier. I hope better sense prevails among those who run UPSC and do this scaling. Otherwise there is no hope for me.

And I hope God doesnt cause me more heartbreaks. Let the worthy get selected, not those stupids who dont even deserve to qualify prelims, and not those perverts whose sole aim is to make my money by getting into the services.


  1. even psychology was very tough .people say the vinci code of pathak is destroyed,at least in paper1.paper 2 was also lengthy and not so easy as i thought in exam ad ,i think was moderately difficult ,which holds true for both papers.but it was very was easy ,but there is a catch-paper 1 25 marker will decide.paper 2 again 25 marker and the trap of stats will decide!essay -ppp was safe.women topic- how many got the topic correctly?only few.

    1. Yep...that is what i heard about psycho. people are saying that paper 1 was difficult.
      regarding other subjects, people are saying that question papers in engineering subjects and maths were normal, neither difficult nor easy. people also said that zoology was difficult particularly paper 1.

      it is very much necessary for normalisation. otherwise we are doomed.