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UPSC Mains 2017 General Studies Papers 1 and 2: Last Minute Tips

UPSC Mains 2017 General Studies Papers 1 and 2

Last Minute Tips


General Studies Paper – 1

You can score very good marks in this paper provided you revise and remember facts very well. You should try to remember important facts related to all topics in the paper – 1 syllabus. If you have concise prelims notes, revise them to remember facts.

Your answers should be more specific in paper – 1. You can not get good marks by writing general answers. You have to extensively use prelims knowledge to write good examples and specific points. 

So, the best thing you can do now is to try to remember as many facts as possible. For each topic in syllabus, try to remember 10-15 important facts. 

If you look at last year’s GS-1 paper, 90 percent of the questions are factual. We have seen that those who wrote good facts have scored 120+ in GS-1. Our student Nandini scored 131 in GS-1. She used her Kannada Literature knowledge to answers 1-2 questions in paper – 1. Likewise, you can use facts from other sources to enrich your answer.

Important tips to be followed in exam hall:

  1. Don’t try to answer all questions with same quality. Instead choose 12-14 questions for which you know very good answer and answer them very well (fill entire space with good  relevant content as demanded by the question). For remaining questions for which you don’t know very good answer, keep them in end and write only as much as you know. 
  2. Write almost all answers in point format. 
  3. If you know 10 points, try to categorise these ten points into 4-5 categories. Underline each category and within each category substantiate each point with an example. Make keywords more visible. 
  4. Unless you absolutely have no clue, never ever leave a question. Force yourself to answer all questions with all determination.
  5. Make your answers look good. Maintain good presentation till the end. 
  6. Write at least four examples(events, names of places, personalities, data, etc)  in each and every answer. 
  7. Write till the end. In case you have extra 5-10 minutes, revisit some of your answers and write examples or underline important facts (wherever there is space)
  8. Avoid too much analysis. Instead focus on writing more relevant points with examples. 


General Studies Paper – 2

Candidates score less in GS paper 2 thanks to the tendency of analysing and generalising information instead of meeting specific demand of questions through presentation of specific statements and facts.

In paper -2 you can score more provided you revise and remember important facts related to each topic in the syllabus: such as important legislations; amendments; landmark judgements; important constitutional provisions; committees and commissions – their important recommendations; government policies, schemes, projects; institutions and their mandate; civil society organisations and their reports…etc (all related to syllabus topics only)

If you can quote 3-4 above facts in each answer, your answer will stand out(use them in right context though). Syllabus must be your guide. Use keywords from syllabus to build structure of your answer. As said above, include key facts in your answer. So, once again remember syllabus well. Revise your notes and try to remember important facts now.

Same tips as in GS-1 apply here when you are in exam hall.

Remember to give equal importance to facts along with analysis. Secret to score good marks in paper – 2 is to balance your answer by not being very specific (candidates with pub ad, PSIR and law optional tend to write too special answers and score less) or being very general. 

Final tip: Stop worrying or rejoicing over essay paper. Immerse completely into GS preparation.