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‘Competitive exam papers changing’


‘Now, they are being designed to understand a person’s capabilities’

The paper patterns for competitive exams is changing and is now designed to understand a person’s capabilities instead of testing the student’s ability to memorise or replicate, said Byju Raveendran, founder of Byju Classes, here on Sunday.

He was addressing over a thousand students after they took the All India Mock UPSC test jointly conducted by The Hindu EducationPlus and Byju’s Classes. He said, “Students are no longer expected to simply memorise facts and figures. They need to understand and analyse the issue and also learn to ask questions.”

Urging UPSC aspirants to shift from the conventional approach of preparation, he said that Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), the second part of the prelims paper in the UPSC prelims, required minimum preparation. Mr. Byju said, “Instead of preparing questions from textbooks, try and frame your own permutations and combinations of the questions that were likely to appear in the paper.”

He, however, pointed out that General Studies, the first paper of the prelims, had a vast syllabus and required thorough preparation for which reading newspapers was essential. Mr. Raveendran said that merely reading newspapers on a day-to-day basis would not help; he asked the students to pay attention to details and come up with questions while reading newspapers.

Pravin Prakash, a faculty member at BYJU’s Classes, stressed the need to read editorials and articles that are analytical. He said, “Students preparing for the UPSC test need to spend at least one hour reading newspapers. After that, they need to spot keywords and concepts in newspapers and research them further.”

Mr. Prakash also said that students should not only be familiar with topics not only from their States but also take a keen interest in national issues.

Meanwhile, some of the students that The Hindu spoke to said that the mock test was a good preparation ground especially for those taking up the test for the first time.

Sachin G., an engineer said, “The quality of the paper was similar to the main paper. Mock tests like these help us realise what our focus should be and helps us look at certain details.”

Shantanu Khandelwal, an IT professional, said that taking up mock tests like these was an important step in preparation. Apart from that, he said that having a network of students who were preparing for the test would also help in providing direction.

Seenu Sharma, who is aspiring to take up the UPSC test in 2014, said, “The workshop was extremely useful. It urged us to think in a simple manner to crack the test in less time.”

Students who have taken up the mock test will be provided a section-wise analysis of their performance, which can be accessed on the BYJU’s Classes website by typing in their hall ticket number after November 15.





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