UPSC IAS Prelims 2018 Question Paper Analysis

The Union Public Service Commission had conducted the Civil Services Prelims Exam 2018 on 3rd June, 2018. The questions were well above the difficulty level of the common IAS aspirants. One important noticeable change which was seen in the paper was the increased number of applied questions.

IAS Prelims Exam 2018 Question Paper Analysis
IAS Prelims Exam 2018 Question Paper Analysis

The Union Public Service Commission had conducted the Civil Services Prelims Exam 2018 on 3rd June, 2018. Its popular name is IAS Prelims Exam. The Union Public Service Commission had conducted the Civil Services Prelims Exam 2018 on 3rd June, 2018. The IAS Prelims question paper was well on the lines of expectations. The questions were well above the difficulty level of the common IAS aspirants. One important noticeable change which was seen in the paper was the increased number of applied questions.

The paper asked a variety of questions and the options made the questions more tricky. The habit of UPSC to play with the mind of the IAS aspirants in not new. This psychological designing of the options was started in the year 2010. The IAS Prelims papers prior to the year 2010, the answer options were simpler in  nature, but after 2010, the answer options are so designed so that only a complete information can help and partial information regarding the topic won’t help.

This year the interdisciplinary nature of the questions become more prominent. The IAS prelims Exam 2018 questions were the perfect blend of traditional topics with the evolving research on those topics. The questions were not exclusively belonged to a subject category, but were a real mix of two or more of them.

Here we have analysed the IAS Prelims Exam 2018 Question Paper on the basis of direct and indirect nature of the question, Difficulty level of the question, research required for answering the question and the likes. Another basis of defining the questions were there factual orientation and the analysis and application required to solve the question.

The difficulty level is defined as per the available study material in the market, readings available to the average student  the research and comparative analysis required for the questions, the depth of the question and the given options in the questions. Some time multiple information were asked and the available options were a real mix which aggravated the difficulty level.

On the above basis, we can say that there were 12 questions which were easy, 54 questions having medium difficulty level and rest 34 questions were really difficult in nature. The easy questions were direct in nature and were very common in their orientation. It is expected that the common IAS aspirants must have read the topics in the commonly available study materials. For example the questions which asked about Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary, Bani Thani, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), Champaran Movement , Residuary Powers under the Government of India 1935 Act and the likes. The given question can be done through the elimination process very easily.

Difficulty level of IAS Prelims 2018 Questions

Consider the following statements :

1. Aadhaar card can be used as a proof of citizenship or domicile.
2. Once issued, Aadhaar number cannot be deactivated or omitted by the Issuing Authority.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Current Affairs played a decisive role in the IAS Prelims Exam 2018. The number of direct and indirect questions asked from the Current affairs is around 35. But there is overlapping with other subjects, hence we cannot say that these questions were excluded from the Current Affairs.  From the Current Affairs perspective, some of the questions were easy for example the questions related to town in the news and their related countries were easy for all the average students because the whole year newspapers were flooded with the news regarding those regions.

Indian Polity is the forte of the UPSC. The questions related to Indian Polity are so framed, that even the best students get confused. There were around 18 questions which can be marked as Indian Polity questions, but some of the questions were the blended with  Current Affairs, Law and Indian Economy. There were 7 questions which can be considered as highly Difficult for example the question related to Liberty and Law, Rule of Law. These questions were applied in nature. The questions compel the candidates to think deeply and answer.  The question asked about the relationship between Law and Liberty. These types of questions are generally not taught in the coaching centres.

The questions related to the Indian Economy were difficult in nature because of their implied nature. Around 13 questions which are directly or indirectly asked from the Indian Economy topics. Indian Banking System acquired prominence this year and four questions were asked from this area. These questions were also not easy in their orientation. The question related to Merchant discount rate,Definition of legal tender Money and the likes were difficult in nature. In general, the IAS aspirants do not go into that depth and hence find the questions difficult this year. The question related to the opportunity cost was a surprise because its familiarity with the business students.

Geography and the Environment took the back seat this year and only 14 questions appeared from these two subjects. 5 questions had the overlapping with the Current Affairs section. So for the geography the questions were of a mixed nature. Most of the questions were of medium difficulty level and one question related to the Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary was very easy. Environment and ecology questions were not so prominent in the paper. It is a clear departure from the previous year paper formats.

History of India and Indian National Movement again took prominence this year. Around 17 questions were directly asked from this subject topic. The nature of the questions were direct but the comparison of the information made the questions difficult in nature. 2 questions were easy for example Champaran and Hind Mazdoor Sabha questions. The reason why we categorise these as easy because the Champaran and Hind Mazdoor Sabha are the prominent topic in the Modern History and Indian National Movement. The candidates just have to read the study material as well. The Question related to the Foreign Travller Jean-Baptiste Tavernier was really difficult and one should not expect the IAS aspirant to research for each traveller.

This year there was a comprehension based Technology question which ask about the Internet of Things. The comprehension based question is not new as we had a comprehension based question on geography in the previous year papers. There were a lot of Technology related questions which can be covered with the good understanding of Current Affairs.

This year too, UPSC lived up to its reputation among students of being the 'Unpredictable service commission'. In GS Paper-I, the areas from which questions are usually asked was different for many questions. Traditional topics like polity, which were asked conceptually in 2017, were this around asked with a much different focus in mind. Some questions such as the one on National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) also tested allied knowledge of students. Conceptual questions types too saw an innovation in the form of a paragraph based question on Internet-of-things. The dominance of environment based questions ebbed as this year we saw around 14 environment based questions, the same as polity, which stood at 24! So, the questions were more well distributed across topics and subtopics this time around. This played a positive role as candidates were not rewarded or punished based on his/her individual strength or weaknesses.

There were several changes in GS Paper-II. Candidates are expected to clear this hump before their scores in Paper-I are checked and some who went in fully unprepared were in for a surprise. There were no Verbal Logic questions and only 26 Reading Comprehension based questions were asked. Data interpretation and Analytical Reasoning had 11 questions each. Those candidates who could use question selection strategies could significantly ease the solving process.
” said Aditya Jagtap, mentor, Career Launcher.

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