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UPSC Civil Services (Prelims) Exam: The End of the Elimination Method or Just a Temporary Shift : Is it the best decision or not ?

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UPSC civil services exam has changed its methodologies. Opinions among experts are divided on this matter. While some believe that there has been a noticeable reduction in the effectiveness of the elimination method traditionally used to solve the prelims, others argue that the inherent unpredictability of this exam leaves little room for anything certain.

On May 28, as thousands of hopeful aspirants sat down to take the Civil Services exam, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) assured that the difficulty level of the prelims lived up to its reputation. Candidates were taken aback as the techniques they had practiced to tackle the preliminary exam seemed futile this year.

Upsc civil services
Upsc civil services

This year, there were some new elements introduced, such as the utilization of the elimination method, an increased difficulty level in the CSAT section, and the inclusion of topics like sports. However, what troubled aspirants the most were the perplexing questions that couldn’t be solved through the commonly used elimination method.

What exactly is the elimination method technique for solving exams in the UPSC civil services ?

The UPSC Civil Services Prelims examination is a multiple-choice paper where each question is accompanied by four options, and candidates must choose the correct answer from the given options.

In the preliminary examination, most of the options closely resemble the correct answer, prompting aspirants to use the elimination method to deduce the right answer. This technique involves systematically eliminating options that are obviously incorrect, thereby improving the chances of arriving at the correct choice.

Sarmad Mehraj, a UPSC teacher at BYJU’S, suggests that aspirants must be certain about all the statements in order to attempt questions based on this pattern.

“In the past, elimination techniques would help when an aspirant was confident about two out of the four statements. However, with this new pattern, a comprehensive study of the entire syllabus is required. The commission has placed significant emphasis on facts that aspirants would typically overlook. This may result in a lower cutoff this year,” Mehraj explained.

Abhishek Kumar, a successful UPSC aspirant who cleared the prelims this year, believes that the change in pattern caught many students off guard and will provide a respite from blindly relying on coaching institutes.

While there is still debate among experts about the long-term implications of the elimination method’s reduced effectiveness, the recent changes in the UPSC Civil Services (Prelims) Exam pattern have certainly disrupted the traditional approach taken by aspirants. Whether this shift will be a lasting one or merely a temporary deviation remains to be seen.

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