Ask any Civil Services coaching in Chennai, and they will reiterate that the UPSC is a non-corruptible department. There has never been any leakage of question papers in the many years the exam has been conducted. Thinking of bribing a member of the Union Public Service Commission is foolhardy. No one has become an IAS officer just by paving the path with the greenback boogie. The ethos of the commission to stay true to the spirit of civil services is highly commendable. But just because there are no indirect paths to gaining an IAS post, it doesn’t mean that one can’t find loopholes.
Many consider the commission as an irrational body that is riddled with inefficiencies which can be taken advantage of. The process that is used to allocate marks for the mains exam is considered to be the most inefficient. And it is here that people take advantage to become future civil servants. While some of the loopholes that were present in the procedure have been duly addressed by UPSC, some are still unacknowledged. One example of the gap that the commission patched over is the IAS Mains examinations answer sheet evaluation.
There was a time when the answer sheets were mailed to the evaluators who could then check and score them at their convenience. It meant there was no foresight — the lack of supervision allowed for wrong scoring or biased marking. After many years of complaints, the system was overhauled. At present, all main exam answer sheets are checked within the UPSC premise, and the evaluators are under constant supervision. It ensures that fair marks are given to every candidate who sat for the test. There is no mistake or bias made on the part of the assessor.
Yet, there is one loophole that is still to be addressed by the UPSC and which can be used to gain more marks. The trick to getting a higher score in the IAS exam is to choose literature subject for the Mains’ optional paper. Do not select Mathematics, just because you love the subject or pick Electrical engineering as the optional because you have a degree in it. Literature subjects or humanities tend to be extremely scoring papers. They are safe options for a candidate because more often than not the paper has questions which are mentioned explicitly in the curriculum.
It means studying for such subjects is easier and scoring better is very much feasible. Furthermore, a lot of evaluators have soft corners for specific topics, and they award marks liberally to those who pick such subjects. Here, it is the human folly to be biased towards what is known that is being leveraged. Take advantage and select “soft” subjects. If you choose correctly, you might even end up with almost 100 marks. And every IAS aspirant knows that a touching 100 score can make a massive impact on the final merit list. It could be the difference that decides if you are selected for the interview or not.
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