Observations on CSP 2018
• The Paper portrayed a departure from the trend of CSAT era and appears to be on the tougher side.
• While it is a well-known fact that UPSC has shifted its focus to current affairs, yet this year, the questions were asked in an unconventional manner.
• It has been observed that some of the questions like those of Post Independence history (chronological sequence of events) have been inspired directly by the
articles in THE HINDU ( India @70 Midnight to millennium) or Culture (Buland Darwaza and Rumi Darwaza – covered in the ‘The Hindu’ article)
• Questions ranged from both conventional sources like those in economics e.g. CAR, Legal Tender Money to unconventional sources like those in History e.g.
Swarajya Sabha, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, etc
• It is observed that UPSC has raised the bar and it is now expected of aspirants to even read the fine print. Questions like that on GST, Application Programming
Interfaces, Digital India Programme require thorough reading and understanding of on-going projects of the Government.
• Environment questions largely focused on International climate initiatives and bodies. This year there was no focus on animal biodiversity and protected areas
unlike previous years.
• Polity section saw a mix of conceptual as well as factual understanding of basic concepts like in questions on Money Bill, Presidential election, Rule of law etc.
• Map reading and Atlas continue to play an important role in one’s preparation in Geography section. However, locations which have been asked were directly
linked with current news (Allepo, etc) And there was less focus on conventional geography.
• S&T questions were more on technological aspect than on basic science such as biology. Direct relation with news was seen like Wanna Cry, IRNSS, etc. Thus, it saw
a mix of both fundamental and current affairs based question.
• The Current Affairs and schemes questions required deeper insights and understanding and was not restricted to only one year news.
• Admittedly, it was also realized that a few questions in this paper were very difficult and unconventional. Eliminating options were difficult this year.
• Read Basic/standard books, follow one Good News Paper religiously and use the internet as extensively as possible.
• Have keen perception about things going around you and assume less and less. After reading newspaper always clarify key terms from internet. Try to refer to the
official websites as much as possible.
• Read one good book on each traditional subject this will help in prelims, mains and interview i.e. all stages of examination. This will also help in making some
unapproachable question approachable.
• Do not ignore your strong areas to do research in weak areas. You should be able to answer most of the questions from your strong areas.
• An appropriate strategy should be to avoid negative marking in tough questions and maximize your score by first finding the easy ones and completing them.
• Read questions carefully and use elimination technique wherever possible.