New exam rules baffle civils aspirants - The New Indian Express

New exam rules baffle civils aspirants

Published: 24th November 2013 10:33 AM

Last Updated: 24th November 2013 10:33 AM

The numerous changes in the conduct of Civil Services’ Mains examination coming into effect from this year has evoked mixed response from aspirants. While some hail these changes as appropriate to present times, others complain that tinkering with the examination pattern is unnecessary. The lack of availability of study material, based on the new pattern and syllabus is a major concern among aspirants. The Mains exam this year is scheduled to be held in the first week of December.

For aspirants who are attempting the examination for the last time, these far-reaching changes come as a major blow since they were promulgated only six months before the exam. One such aspirant, Vamsi Prassana from Vishakapatnam, feels that these changes should be implemented two or three years after the announcement.

“So far we have stuck to a set pattern which was practiced for several years. These changes risk the chances of students, like me, who is taking the exam for the last time. If the changes are made suddenly, with a short notice of six months, how can you expect a student to fall in line with the new provisions immediately?” he questioned.

The major changes that will come into force from this year are: increase in the number of general studies papers from two to four and the reduction in the number of optional papers from two to one.

The possible constituents of the new paper titled ‘Ethics, integrity and aptitude’ under general studies is also much-talked about among aspirants. Though, examiners have prescribed the syllabus for the same, aspirants are on a guess-work as what would constitute this paper.

“Mostly I believe questions in this paper would be based on case studies, decision-making and situation related questions that a potential civil servant is expected to face. But, unless the paper is out one cannot say anything concretely,” says G Ankitha from Hyderabad.

Another major change that students will have to face is to limit their answers to the pre-defined space available below each question. This change is facilitated by a new integrated question paper-cum-answer book, instead of procuring extra answers sheets at the whim of the candidate. “This provision has its own pros and cons. The students who lack the ability to write descriptive answers can benefit from this, as they can write them in a synopsis format. This mainly helps students from sciences’ background. But a major problem is that once you strike down an answer you do not get extra space to accommodate that answer,” says Anand Achuthankutty.

Since the weightage of optional subjects has been reduced greatly, experts believe the new pattern will bring down the scoring of the students. “While the weightage of optionals have been dipped from 1,200 to 500 marks. It will be difficult to expect high scores,” reasons D Arun, an aspirant.

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