Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Attempting the Mains Examination (Part II)

I’ll probably be going against popular opinion among serious aspirants when I say this paper is not a no brainer. I agree that innovative thinking and conceptual clarity have a limited role to play in the paper. Memorizing the facts is a must. But utilizing those facts in the paper requires a cool, calm and thinking brain. I’ll illustrate my point:

Let’s take the first question in General Studies Paper 2 (CSE 2007):

Answer in about 150 words
(a) Indo-Russian Defence Co-operation
(b) India’s response to political crisis in Bangladesh
(c) Elaborate on India’s Nuclear Doctrine

Question (a) does not read “Recent Developments in Indo-Russian Defence Co-operation”. So if an examinee just mentions the recent developments the answer is incomplete. What’s required in this answer is, probably, 60-75 words on defence relation between the two countries from 1947-2007 and 75-90 words on recent developments.

Question (b) is quite self-explanatory but examinee must organize the answer into various heads like India’s stand on the issue, political response, diplomatic response, humanitarian aid etc.

Question (c) says “Elaborate on …”. This does not mean just mentioning the points in India’s Nuclear Doctrine. The answer to this question should explain the need for the doctrine, and the reason behind each and every point in it.

So read the question very carefully. Spend time on thinking what the examiner is asking and then bring out the relevant facts and analysis from memory. There is enough time to think. Please don’t start writing the answer straight away. Don’t get carried away thinking you know all the relevant facts and will do well in the question. Chances are that by doing so you’ll end up with much less marks than what you deserve just because you didn’t answer what was asked.

The above is equally true for optional papers. I will try to bring out a similar analysis on Physics paper later.


Ashish said...

Thanks Sir for ur insights..Hope to get more such bites from u.


Shashwat Shukla said...

Thanks for the wonderful inputs! my optional is not physics but still I did benefit from the thought pattern and framework you gave. I would request you that please add some tips on geography and pub ad in your blogs in a similar manner, now that you will be in touch with other toppers or let us know if any of them too is blogging!

Gagan Dhillon said...

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experiences. Out of all the blogs on CSE that i have read, your blog has the most substance and less repitition of information available elsewhere.

Really appreciate the effort.

krishna said...

respected sir,
Thanks u for helping us. god bless you. sir, i have following doubt.
1)we should give answer in point or in paragraph?
2)what should be our thinking process when question start with following words:-

Elucidate, Explain, Comment, Elaborate, Examine ,Critically examine , Discuss , Analyze , Illustrate , Review , Argue , Justify, evaluate, write about, write notes.

for example:-
Q1) write about India’s response to political crisis in Bangladesh ?
Q2) comment on India’s response to political crisis in Bangladesh ?

both question would have same answer or different?

chandrakant said...

in GS science and technology section is quite surprising.Plz suggest what should ine read to cover the section.

Indru said...

A very useful post sir. This is what i wanted searched in many blogs of toppers...
I am very much happy to get these type of very crucial things, which will surely change our performance and ranking in the end.
Please if possible post much like this..

krishna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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