IFS Officer’s Strategy to Clear Compulsory Language Paper In UPSC CSE

Anupam Sharma IFS

The two language papers are among the compulsory ones in the UPSC CSE examinations and make up for about 25 per cent of the total marks. Needless to say, they are among the most important sections of the exam. 

Anupam Sharma, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) and AIR 2 holder in the 2017-18 IFS examination shared a Tweet detailing his strategy to crack language papers easily. He says that by following the method, a candidate can complete the exam easily in approximately 1-2 hours. 

He suggests attempting the questions in an order — grammar, passage, précis, and essay.

He says that under the grammar sections, ‘error correction’, ‘fill in the blanks’, ‘antonyms’ and ‘word meanings’ do not require too much of the candidate’s time. On the other hand, ‘homophones’, ‘verbs’, and ‘idioms/phrases’ will take some time. 

For the passage, glance through the content quickly and underline keywords in less than a minute. Take 10 minutes to read the passage again and find the answers. In another 25 minutes, write down the answers. 

For précis, remember to adhere to the word limit. “Do not give titles and write in your own words,” he suggests.

Anupam Sharma IFS
Anupam Sharma IFS.

There will be four choices in the essay section. The word limit is 600 and takes approximately one hour to complete it. Attempt it towards the end, the IFS officer opines. 

He also shared tips for regional language papers. 

Even though the total marks for this paper are the same as English, it takes 4-5 hours to complete this section. 

“The order of attempting questions during the exam should be — grammar, passage, Hindi to English, précis, essay, and English to Hindi.”

Allot 40 minutes for essay, 30 minutes for passage, 40 minutes for précis, 50 minutes for both translations, and 30 minutes for grammar, he says. 

Out of all the sections, the translation from English to Hindi is the most time-consuming and one needs to take extra care here, says the officer. Thus, attempt this part towards the end.

Edited by Divya Sethu

Author: Aaron Ryan