Question Paper UPSC Preparation Strategy

IFS Mains 2014 GK Question Paper is out. What could be the pattern of CS Mains 2014 GS Paper?

If you have not yet seen the GK Paper of Indian Forest Service Mains 2014 conducted today, click below:

Now some insights that you must be looking forward to, given that ever since the IFS and CSE Prelims has been combined in 2013, the IFS Mains has been seen as the key to what pattern UPSC will follow for CSE Mains Examination – at least for GS Paper.

First, a brief comparison.

Unlike last years paper

2013 IFS Paper 2014 IFS Paper 2013 CSM Paper 2014 CSM Paper
Total No of Questions: 50 Total No of Questions: 20 Total No of Questions: 25 Total No of Questions: ?
Marks : Varied 8,4,2,1 Marks per Question Marks : Uniform 12.5 marks*20 Questions Marks : Uniform 10 Marks* 25 Questions Marks :Hopefully the same/similar


Essentially the paper wasn’t difficult prima facie, and candidates would not have had a tough time answering the questions.

What will matter though is how the examiner awards marks, for similar level of answers. So all it boils down, at least for now is that answer writing will be the key to scoring marks in Mains.

How the UPSC Mains 2014 Paper will be, based on an assessment of IFS Paper

Speculation about how UPSC will throw a surprise to UPSC CSM candidates have been rife, because that is what UPSC has done till now.

However, with the IFS Mains Paper, which should, hopefully throw a clue at what is in UPSC’s mind , one can hope that the Mains question pattern won’t change much. In fact the IFS Mains paper is more like UPSC paper of 2013 with the important difference that CSM Paper had 25 questions with 10 marks each = 250 marks while in IFS the number of questions has been reduced to 20 with higher marks of 12.5 / question.

20 questions in 3 hours. Not bad.

This must have made the paper less lengthy as compares to CSM paper where we had to answer 25 questions in 3 hours time.


 No change in strategy needed after looking at the IFS Paper. GS 1, 2 & 3 will see marks in the same range for most candidates as questions will be general that most people know or not know. Not many people can expect to have an extra advantage with harder work in the these papers. The differentiating factor in Mains Marks  will be due to Ethics, Essay and Optional Paper – as before.

What you need to do now

All of you having sleepless nights over what surprise UPSC will throw in Mains 2014 Paper – just relax, sit back and hope for the best. That is all we can do right now. The IFS Mains paper has no alarming signals for CSM Mains examination.

Keep your optional strong, work a bit on ethics (or make a list of keywords a suggested by Rajit Raj), where variation in marks has been very high. If you are not able to study, try solving / discussing question papers of various coaching institutes. Some of it is freely shared by ForumIAS members – all you need to do is look.

And if you are done reading this, go back and study. But, before that don’t forget to give us a kudos.


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