How to prepare Main exams? - From TNPSC to UPSC
Main examination special - Topic:1
Some of the more experienced writers of competitive examinations say that completing preliminary examinations is in itself like crossing half a well. When we approach main examinations, our competitions increases, as well as decreases. In terms of sheer numbers, the competitors are much fewer than preliminary examination (in UPSC, from about 6 lakhs, the number goes down to 18 or 20,000). At the same time, since only the most well prepared qualify for mains, competition gets much tougher. In this situation, the easiest strategy to clear prelims is to forget all about competition, and to focus only on our own studies. If the only job in preliminary examination is to “tick” the right answers, in main examinations our job is to frame our answers adhering to the word limit prescribed for each question. The limits we set according to the questions, such as a prescribed number of sentences, paragraphs, pages, etc., is what will give us success.
UPSC main examination consists of 9 papers. Of these two papers - Tamil (or any approved Indian Language), and English - will not be counted for our ranking. Each of these papers, with a maximum score of 300, need to only be cleared with a passing score. Next is Essay paper - this is for 250 marks. We can write this in our mother tongue or English. In coming topics, we can see in detail the method of writing essays as well as strategies for scoring high in this paper.
The most important component of UPSC main examination is General Studies. It has four papers of 250 marks each. The first paper consists of Indian History, Culture, World History, Geography, Sociology, etc. The second paper consists of administration, Polity, social justice, international relations, etc. The third paper comprises of topics like science, technology, economics, economic development, environment, conserving biodiversity, disaster management, etc. The fourth paper seeks to test you on ethics, integrity, aptitude, etc. In total, in UPSC main examinations a total of 250 x 4 = 1000 marks are allotted for General Studies. Of the total 1750 marks, 1000 marks being from GS should give you an idea of the importance of these papers.
The last papers in UPSC main examination are the two optional papers ( 2 x 250).From the list of optional subjects given by UPSC, you can choose the one you prefer. This subject doesn’t necessarily have to be same as the subject of your graduation degree. Combining all these, UPSC main examination is for 1750 marks. Based on the marks scored in this test, approximately one in 10 examinees are called for a personal interview. For example, if 20000 people appear for main examination, about 2000 will qualify for a personal interview. In personal interview the maximum score is 275. Our final ranking will depend on our combined written examination and interview score, out of a total of 2025 maximum marks (1750 + 275).
TNPSC Group 1 main examination comprises of three papers. All three are General Studies papers. The first paper deals with Indian History and Culture, Mental Ability, as well as the Scientific and technological advancements for the development of India and Tamil Nadu. The second paper comprises of Indian Polity, World politics, Indian Geography, Tamil community, its traditions, culture and development, administration in Tamil Nadu as well as governmental set up. The third paper is about current affairs in India, world affairs, economics and economic development, India’s and specially Tamil Nadu’s economical issues, etc. Each paper is for 300 marks and totally the TNPSC main examination is for 900 marks. In these, except for special topics related to Tamil Nadu and Tamil culture, rest are all topics that we have seen for UPSC. Therefore there is no need to study separately for TNPSC main and UPSC main examinations.
In upcoming topics, we shall see how to approach each paper, and strategies for improving our answers to increase our score.