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Focus on new avatar of Civil Services examination

Staff Reporter

Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Allaying apprehensions:(From left) Gurgaon ACP Sumit Jangraj and T.I.M.E. chief knowledge expert Dhrubajyoti Banik during an interaction session with Civil Services aspirants in New Delhi .

NEW DELHI: A number of queries related to the new avatar of the Civil Services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission have been addressed at a seminar on “Civil Services Aptitude Test: Changes and Challenges” organised by The Hindu and Triumphant Institute of Management Education here in the Capital . T.I.M.E. faculty acquainted students with the changes in the Civil Services preliminary examination which consists of two papers.

The well-attended seminar saw students voice their concerns about the CSAT and also pose questions on the manner of preparation. Many aspirants expressed the apprehension that the CSAT is along the lines of a management examination similar to the Common Aptitude Test.

Allaying their apprehensions, T.I.M.E. chief knowledge expert Dhrubajyoti Banik said: “The CSAT is extremely different from the CAT and while a few management students may write the examination, it is the serious Civil Services aspirants who will manage to crack the exam. The main weightage of marks lies in the general studies section. The changes have been introduced to test the candidate's aptitude and decision making skills.”

In place of the optional paper in which students could exercise their choice and answer questions in a favoured subject, aspirants will now be quizzed on comprehension, interpersonal skills including communication skills, logical reasoning and analytical ability, decision making and problem solving, general mental ability, basic numeracy and English language comprehension skills of the Class X level. The first paper will test students on their knowledge of history, geography, current events, polity and governance, economic and social development, environmental ecology and general science. Doubts were also raised regarding the English component of the examination. Students wondered if those who had studied in Hindi medium schools would stand a fair chance in the examination.

Gurgaon Assistant Police Commissioner Sumit Jangraj urged the students to be consistent in their preparations. “Six to eight hours per day should be enough if studying is done with consistency. It is also better to begin preparations for the Civil Services as soon as possible and follow reliable newspapers and magazines. Team work while studying can also help as students can enhance each other's learning outcomes.”

Speaking about the challenges encountered as a civil servant, he said: “Trying to get everyone on board for decisions, dealing with politicians and the dynamic environment are some of the challenges we have to deal with.”

The focus of the seminar was on easing the worries of the students with regard to the difficulty levels of questions in mathematics and English. They were also given a sense of various other sections in the preliminary examination. Sample questions were discussed with students and presentations and interactions were also done.

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