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How to Nail the Compulsory Language Paper in IAS Mains Exam

Last Updated - December 02, 2016

The IAS Exam is one of the most competitive examinations in India directed by the Union Public Service Commission for enlistment to different Civil Services of the Government of India, including the IAS, IFS, IPS AND IRS.  It is directed in two phases – a preliminary examination consisting of two objective type papers (general studies & aptitude test), and a main examination consisting of nine papers of conventional (essay) type followed by a personality test (interview). 

After cracking the IAS Prelims, next stage is IAS Mains in IAS Exam which is even more difficult. Candidates have to prepare efficiently keeping all the papers in Mind.

There is a compulsory language paper which should be taken seriously. Failing the compulsory language paper can strip you of your chances to crack this prestigious exam. Here in this article we are going to provide some techniques and preparation tips to cope with the compulsory examination easily.

    How To Nail Compulsory Language Paper

    UPSC also focuses on testing the language skills of the candidate. Candidates have to take two compulsory language papers – one is English and the other is chosen by the candidates. Candidates have to score 25% marks in both the papers to clear the language exam. It is just a qualify exam and it’s score is not include in the final marks sheet. But qualify these papers is compulsory. If you fail, you cannot advance to the next level.

    The language papers are of matriculation level or equivalent. But the candidates who are appearing for the first time may find it difficult. So, candidates must get a fair idea of the level of the exam and types of questions asked in the paper.

    Following topics are generally asked in the language papers :-

    • Grammar
    • Short essays
    • Vocabulary
    • Comprehension of given passages
    • Precise writing
    • Translation from English to the Indian language and vice-versa

    You must devise an efficient strategy for the language papers of your choice because you have to focus on other core subjects. As language paper is of qualifying nature, you should not spend too much time on its preparation.  We are providing some preparation tips which could be of much help to the aspirants.

    Read More:IAS Exam Pattern

    Preparation Tips to Crack Compulsory Language Paper

    Usually, you have grip over one language because you study the syllabus in one language. If you are an English medium candidate you would find Hindi paper a tedious one and if you are a Hindi medium student you would find English paper a tedious task. Hence, you must take help from the following tips :-

    • Read the newspaper in both the languages. Your focus should be on learning the vocabulary, usage, grammar, construction, spellings etc. Read one newspaper in vernacular for 10-15 mins. daily.
    • Practice the previous year papers of 5-10 years to know of the exam pattern. Try to find your weak areas and work on them. Do 1-2 language paper in a month till you become confident.
    • Read basic grammar books to hone that language. Practice things like active to passive, direct to indirect, compound to complex, etc. and vice versa.
    • Brush up on preposition and punctuation rules and all other basic grammar rules.
    • For vernacular paper, practice translation.
    • Practice precise and essay writing.
    • Do writing practice to improve your writing skill and writing speed.

    Apart from learning basics you should keep in mind that marks will depend on answer writing. We are also providing tips for writing effective answers.

    Answer Writing Tips for Compulsory Language Paper

    Effective answer writing fetches you good marks. While writing essays or letters, keep following points in mind:-

    • Go through the paper and start from the question which you find easy.
    • Try to maintain proper structure while writing so that examiner reads in a flow. This will ensure better marks.  Practice writing answers as it will play a crucial role in getting through.
    • Do not attempt lengthy questions which offer paltry marks. Such questions should be attempted at the last, if time permits.
    • Cite examples while writing answers. It helps to make your answer effective.
    • For precise and essay writing, mention only the essential points.
    • Learn to write the example in time frame. For example, a 10 marks question should not be given more than 6-7 mins.
    • Keep calm and think before writing.

    Read More:12 Techniques for writing impactful answers in IAS Mains Exam



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