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Civils Prelims Preparation Strategy for Paper 2 – Article Part 4

Even though we have a base of reference to predict this paper (i.e., the 2011 Paper ) yet even this year every candidate is bound to be under confident as this paper could take an entirely different form. However, the examination can be tackled by evolving an appropriate strategy and visualizing the situation beforehand. It is this vision that enables one to prepare a hypothetical road map, traveling on which one can reach their destination. The syllabus outlined is as follows:

General Studies - Paper-II

8. Comprehension
9. Inter-Personal Skills including Communication Skills
10. Logical Reasoning and Analytical Ability
11. Decision Making and Problem Solving
12. General Mental Ability
13. Basic Numeracy ( Class X level ), Data Interpretation (Class X level )
14. English Language Comprehension Skills (Class X level)

The Preparation Strategy for Paper 2:

Though this is the second year yet there are areas which were not asked last year like Inter-Personal Skills and Communication. Also, there were very few questions on Logical Reasoning and analytical ability, and Decision Making. This year this is bound to change. Also, the paper may have more number of questions than last year paper.

1. Comprehension : This section will have passages from General areas like Economy and Polity. The appropriate strategy would be to read the entire passage quickly, underline the important areas and then answer the questions.

2. Inter-Personal Skills including Communication : This will not have questions on the theory of Communication. There would be passages given in which you would be asked to identify the meaning of the statement. These statements could also be designed keeping in view the Current affairs and issues. For example when their has been civil unrest or an event where police have resorted to firing recently we could have the following question :

Example for a question on Communication:

Consider the following conversation between a Police Chief & the Chief Minister.

Police Chief : Police functions invariably infringe the rights of wrong doers and occasionally innocent citizens. But, this is permitted by the law in the interest of law and order and protection of life and property. If they are to be looked at by an independent state agency other than a court, policemen will not be able to perform their duties properly.

Chief Minister : ‘Well, your job is to enforce the law powers are given to you for using them to achieve the goals. In the process, if you commit bonafide mistakes, do not worry about it, I am here to defend you. Use violence if you have to. Moderate the force that you use. Do not mix up with criminals. Protect life and property of citizens.

From the above conversation one can draw the following conclusion, namely

a) Chief Minister gave the police license to kill without worrying about consequences.
b) Police Chief wanted to say that human rights protection and law and order are two contradictory things and state can seek only one of the two.
c) Police Chief and chief minister are of the view that within the boundaries of law, policemen are free to use force to curb wrongdoing and if harm results, State will support them even if there is a mistake provided it is done in good faith.
d) Police and criminals are united in perpetrating wrongdoing and the police advance human rights concerns as a shield to avoid acting against their benefactors the criminals.

Example for Inter-Personal Skills:

In the section on Inter-Personal skills one can expect the following type of questions:

1) You are the Superintendent of Police , and have been approached by the local M.L.A along with 50 of his supporters. All of them allege that you are being partisan to their opposition because he belongs to the same Caste as yours. They want to come in to your chamber and confront you and are waiting outside your office . How will you deal with the situation?

a) You will call all of them in to your chambers and try to reason with them.
b) You will refuse to meet them and ask your assistant to order them to leave.
c) You will ask your assistant to escort the M.L.A into your room individually and then explain to him that Police are apolitical and neutral.
d) You will go out and address all of them at the gate.

The answer would be C

A gross misunderstanding has developed between you and your best friend. What can you do to keep the friendship going strong again?

a) Take the advice of other friends
b) Break the friendship since it is not worth keeping
c) Hold free, frank and direct talks with the friend to know his/ her own point of view.
d) Use pressure from elders.
Answer : ‘C’

2. You are chosen as counselor following a family feud. In order to help ease out tensions, what course of action will you select at the best?
a) Provoke one member against the other
b) Talk to each member separately
c) First counsel them individually then hold group discussions
d) Hold a massive group discussion session with all the members together
Answer : ‘C’

3. Logical Reasoning : This would have statements and you would be expected identify the correct or incorrect reasoning.
For example : All big dams involve displacement of people and risk of serious harm to the ecology of the region. The claims of pro-big dam enthusiast cannot be sustained in terms of costs and benefits.
Assuming the truth of the passage, one can conclude from it that :
a) No big dam should ever be constructed whatever be the benefits arising out of it.
b) All big dams from the very nature of its ‘size and height destroy ecology or displace people.
c) Big dams should only be undertaken provided it displaces the minimum number of people causes negligible damage to ecology and provide substantial benefits when completed.
d) There are abundant alternatives to each water in scarcity areas such a way that , what big dams can offer, the alternatives can provide more efficiently at lesser cost.
Answer : ‘C’

4. Decision-Making and Problem Solving : This would comprise questions which will test your personality and your reaction in a situation.
Example -1: You arrive at the site of a road accident that has just occurred. Some persons in the crowd make false accusations and blame you for hurting the victim. What will be your first and foremost duty under the circumstances?
a) To run away
b) to reason out with the people
c) To give first-aid to the victim
d) to inform the police

Example-2: You have been caught red handed in an office looking into a file marked ‘strictly confidential’. What will be your most reasonable action in the situation ?
a) To admit to the crime
b) To feel sheepish and embarrassed
c) To offer a logical alibi
d) To stand rooted to the ground.

In such type of questions you can argue that all the answers are some way are the other correct ? It is here that there could be differential marking i.e., there will be no negative marking but the most appropriate answer will get the highest marks. For example : In the first example that we have given i.e.,

Example -1: You arrive at the site of a road accident that has just occurred. Some persons in the crowd make false accusations and blame you for hurting the victim. What will be your first and foremost duty under the circumstances?
a) To run away
b) to reason out with the people
c) to give first-aid to the victim
d) to inform the police

Alternative ‘C’ would get 2 marks, alternative ‘D’ would get 1.5 marks, alternative ‘B’ would get 1 mark and alternative ‘A’ would get 0.5 mark.

5. General Mental Ability and Basic Numeracy : This would comprise basic questions from Maths. It is here that you can score full marks. Make sure that you learn to the techniques for answering the questions quickly.
6. English Language Comprehension Skills : This could comprise many questions which may test your understanding regarding English, i.e., Sentence correction, Opposites, Meanings of words, etc.

See previous parts of the Article Series:

Civils Preliminary Exam Structure and Syllabus - Part 1
Dealing with Negative Marking in Prelims - Part 2
Preparation Strategy for Prelims Paper 1

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