UPSC CSE Mains 2023: Top tips for qualifying the Indian Languages paper – Times of India

The languages exam as part of UPSC Mains 2023 is scheduled to be held on September 23.
For Paper A, Indian languages, the slot is from 9AM to 12 Noon. And for Paper B, English, the exam is slotted for 2PM to 5PM.
UPSC CSE Mains is the second part of the Indian Civil Services Exam. There are nine papers, each worth 250 marks. These papers include topics like General Studies, Essay, Optional Subject (two papers), and language papers.
In the UPSC Mains exam, there are two language papers:
Paper A: Indian Language – Everyone except candidates from specific states (Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim, Manipur, Mizoram, and Meghalaya) must take this paper. Candidates can choose from those 22 languages in schedule 8 of the Indian Constitution. You can pick from 22 modern Indian languages listed in the Indian Constitution’s 8th schedule.
Paper B: English – Every candidate must take this paper.
Question pattern
In the languages paper, the marks division is as follows:

  • Essay Writing: 100 marks
  • Reading Comprehension: 60 marks
  • Precis Writing: 60 marks
  • Translation:
    a) English to Chosen Compulsory Language: 20 marks
    b) Compulsory Indian Language to English: 20 marks
  • Usage of Grammar and Basic Language: 40 marks

Since this is a qualifying paper, the grade received will not be used to determine the final rank. To qualify the Compulsory Indian Language Paper, you must get at least 25%, or 75 points out of 300.
The success matrix
These smart suggestions will help you ease through the exam process.

  • Start with proper reading: as you enter the exam hall, take a moment to read the question paper carefully. Understanding the questions thoroughly is the first step to success.
  • Prioritise confidence: begin by tackling the questions that you feel most confident and comfortable with. If you have strong grammar skills, it’s a good idea to complete the grammar-related questions first. This will give you a confidence boost early on.
  • Comprehension passage strategy: if grammar isn’t your strong suit, consider starting with the comprehension passage. These questions are generally easier because you can often find the answers directly in the passage itself. This approach can help you secure some early marks.
  • Effective essay writing: when it comes to the essay question, simplicity is key. Use clear and straightforward language to convey your thoughts. Reserve the essay for the end, ensuring you have at least forty minutes left. By this point, you’ll have a good “flow” from completing other sections, making it easier to write a well-structured essay.
  • Watch your language: be vigilant about spelling mistakes and grammatical errors throughout the exam. Clear and error-free writing will enhance your overall score.

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