Your scores in the second stage of the IAS exam, (UPSC Civil Services Mains exam), have a significant impact on your final ranks. The Civil Services Mains Exam is a subjective exam with nine papers and a 27-hour writing time. The two qualifying examinations are the Mandatory Indian Language paper (Paper A) and the English paper (Paper B). You have three hours to write two essays for the essay paper (Paper I). One topic from each part will be available on a list for the candidates to pick from (Sections A & B). Each essay has to be between 1000 and 1100 words in length. Moving onto the GS, there are four General Studies (GS) papers (Paper II through Paper V), each with a maximum of 250 marks.
Click here to watch the video of our student Sivanandham(AIR-87) explaining the scoring strategy for Mains. As he achieved this feat in his very first attempt, he is a shining example of Officers’ IAS Academy coaching methods, making us the best IAS academy in Chennai.
What are the broad areas that you should cover?
- Practicing the Previous Years Papers– This will help you in understanding the nature of the questions asked.
- Following the syllabus– This helps you in analyzing the repeatedly asked topics and make notes that are essential in preparation. Plus, following the syllabus also helps in tracking your progress
How to predict questions in the next UPSC Mains exam?
Even though UPSC strives to ask questions from various areas to ensure the toughness of the papers, current affairs can be used for predicting the questions. Go through the below-given pointers that you may incorporate to develop the art of finding the highly probable questions. At Officers’ IAS Academy, we teach our students to how to acquire this skill and provide our insights on what the important topics for the exam are, which has undoubtedly helped us in giving the best IAS coaching in Chennai.
- Recurring topics in the news- Once a topic gets recurred, it has a high chance of getting asked in the IAS exam. For example- The ongoing Russo-Ukraine conflict has been in news continuously and UPSC may ask how this conflict can affect India’s interests politically, economically, etc. Concerning this, the Officers’ Pulse, our current affairs magazine will help you understand what these topics are and the information that is required for the Mains exam can be found directly in this magazine. Click hereto watch the video of our student Sivanandham(AIR-87), who used ONLY Officers’ Pulse to achieve this feat in his very first attempt.
- Editorials- The editorials that get featured in the Hindu, and Indian Express are a treasure trove of analysis of a specific incident/topic. More often UPSC picks the topic from these editorials and asks questions based on it. Hence, if you regularly cover these editorials, then it will increase the chances of encountering a similar Mains question. Make sure to analyze the editorial from a neutral perspective as the writer could have a specific political motive, but as a UPSC aspirant, you are expected to maintain a neutral one.
- Predicting the static topics– The static topics are conventionally asked at random, but if an incident related to a static topic has happened, then the chances of asking questions related to that topic also rise. For example, torrential rains flooded major Indian cities and UPSC asked the following question: “Account for the huge flooding of million cities in India including the smart ones like Hyderabad and Pune. Suggest lasting remedial measures.” (UPSC GS-1 Mains 2020).
I want to remind my dear aspirants that answer writing is an art, and like every artist who has mastered it, you must not lose faith in yourself and keep working toward it. No matter how challenging it becomes, keep coming up with solutions. Make every effort to complete each response within 7-8 minutes when the timer expires. Our coaching method has produced many civil servants and if you wish to see the video of two such aspirants who got IAS and IPS on their very first attempt, then click here. Our detailed study program brings the best IAS coaching methods and has made our academy one of the top IAS coaching institutes in India. I wish you the best for your IAS exam.