UPSC mains: marking and your thoughts.

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  • Copying this post from InsightsonIndia, the points raised do seem relevant. Are most of us, if not all of us shooting in the dark ?

    ""At the very outset, let me clarify this. This post is in no way meant to demean someone's effort or success. It's all well deserved and may they put it to best of use towards a better society.
    Now with that being said here's something I wish to share about this whole marking scheme and how I have not been able to make a head or tail of this whole situation in the past 4mains that I have written till now.

    1. My worst mains preparation was in the year 2015 when I wrote my first mains, yet I got some respectable marks in the GS papers but owing to how bad I fared in geography I was held back.
    2. Throughout the last 3 mains if one thing that has been constant are my marks in essay paper, which have been consistently above 140. But this year despite more practice and experience they have tumbled down to a meager 93. This not only baffles me but is beyond my understanding as to why!
    3. Somehow mysteriously the gap between my total mains score and the cutoff has been maintained at a constant 94, across all the four mains. This consistency is really remarkable.
    4. This mains was my most well prepared attempt. Scoring well across the test series of forum and insights. So I really have no clue as to what went wrong and where. I finished all my gs papers and wrote all the answers with at least one flowchart or schematic. Yet No use, I scored the lowest ever marks in essay, gs1 and 2.

    Once you are on the success side whatever it is you say is believed and is taken to be true, despite the fact that you probably may be as clueless as those on the other end. Yes, I am talking of toppers talk. Its just a narrative you have to build to justify your success and often that narrative is taken to be true.

    One thing is for sure(atleast my perspective) after these 4mains that I have written, UPSC is most certainly about hard smart work but it is also certainly is about luck. A factor which most toppers in the days to come will probably deny in their talks. Everyone is as vulnerable as the other in the race, its just some get to the other side and neglect that something like this exists.

    This was my 2cents on this whole topic.
    Also a suggestion: its ok that UPSC does not show us our copies for reasons of transparency and all that. But why can't it simply release the copies of the top10 ranks(without disclosing their names or ranks) in public domain. I see no harm in that. Atleast the us lesser mortals will have an idea as to doing what in paper will fetch marks.

    But it is time to pick up the pieces and be ready to get into another fight.
    My best wishes to you all""

  • @AspirantAnonymous this post is haunting me.. abhi toh darne ka time bhi nahi hai!

  • @Urvashi there's nothing haunting in it, at tleast from the prelims point of view. But yes the points will resonate with a lot of people. I mean how can someone scoring consistently good in a paper for 3 straight attempts do so poorly. But the most haunting bit is the consistent constant difference between the scores and cut off 94. Lol that is mysterious.

  • @AspirantAnonymous I think optional + Essay have been main deciding factors this year. Especially optional played significant role in someone getting a rank and others out of the list.

  • @AspirantAnonymous said in UPSC mains: marking and your thoughts.:

    Copying this post from InsightsonIndia, the points raised do seem relevant. Are most of us, if not all of us shooting in the dark ?

    ""At the very outset, let me clarify this. This post is in no way meant to demean someone's effort or success. It's all well deserved and may they put it to best of use towards a better society.
    Now with that being said here's something I wish to share about this whole marking scheme and how I have not been able to make a head or tail of this whole situation in the past 4mains that I have written till now.

    1. My worst mains preparation was in the year 2015 when I wrote my first mains, yet I got some respectable marks in the GS papers but owing to how bad I fared in geography I was held back.
    2. Throughout the last 3 mains if one thing that has been constant are my marks in essay paper, which have been consistently above 140. But this year despite more practice and experience they have tumbled down to a meager 93. This not only baffles me but is beyond my understanding as to why!
    3. Somehow mysteriously the gap between my total mains score and the cutoff has been maintained at a constant 94, across all the four mains. This consistency is really remarkable.
    4. This mains was my most well prepared attempt. Scoring well across the test series of forum and insights. So I really have no clue as to what went wrong and where. I finished all my gs papers and wrote all the answers with at least one flowchart or schematic. Yet No use, I scored the lowest ever marks in essay, gs1 and 2.

    Once you are on the success side whatever it is you say is believed and is taken to be true, despite the fact that you probably may be as clueless as those on the other end. Yes, I am talking of toppers talk. Its just a narrative you have to build to justify your success and often that narrative is taken to be true.

    One thing is for sure(atleast my perspective) after these 4mains that I have written, UPSC is most certainly about hard smart work but it is also certainly is about luck. A factor which most toppers in the days to come will probably deny in their talks. Everyone is as vulnerable as the other in the race, its just some get to the other side and neglect that something like this exists.

    This was my 2cents on this whole topic.
    Also a suggestion: its ok that UPSC does not show us our copies for reasons of transparency and all that. But why can't it simply release the copies of the top10 ranks(without disclosing their names or ranks) in public domain. I see no harm in that. Atleast the us lesser mortals will have an idea as to doing what in paper will fetch marks.

    But it is time to pick up the pieces and be ready to get into another fight.
    My best wishes to you all""

    Totally relatable im my case.5th mains and worst score.Even in my first attempt I had scored more specially optional.

  • How is a process or a system considered true, fair and correct?
    It is when you get consistent and equatable results all the time, all the place. The principles of Science- say, law of gravity, works on this.

    UPSC doesn't work like that. It's not enough to blame the subjectivity of the exam. The process itself is inherently flawed.
    How can you bring parity between a mathematician and a Native literature student (which, in fact are hotbeds of conflict of interest- where the aspirants and evaluators belong to same small region or creed)?

    I have lost 73 marks in my optional compared to last year. One person in All India Service, I know, has lost 80 marks in optional similarly.

    But, it's nothing new this year or will be, in coming years- unless there is some sweeping reforms undertaken to bring more transparency & consistency in the process. Till then, the process will remain an advanced gamble, by which I mean, you reach a certain level of aptitude in your subject and then, you merely throw a dice to see how it fares. And, repeat the process until you get lucky or get utterly frustrated or run out of attempts.

    That's a secret anyone who's given more than 2-3 attempts certainly knows, but, nonetheless they try to find a pattern in the marks and build a fake veil of trust in the fairness of this exam and process.

    And, as far as 1st timers are considered, I envy those fellows- cuz they are the only bunch who think they got 'x' units of output for their 'x' unit of inputs, and due to their sole intelligence and hard work, they have left behind the fools and laggards and got what they deserved.

    All said, life is like UPSC only. You don't always get the results commensurate to your efforts, or get them at same time when you laboured, or in the same form you desired.

    Moreover, accidents, diseases, cheating, etc can occur any time- totally unfair to you, the individual. But, does it matter in the larger scheme of things on earth? Meh.

  • @AspirantAnonymous said in UPSC mains: marking and your thoughts.:

    maintained

    I am not able to accesss insight on india since last week , has the location of website changed? is it opening at your end? Please help

  • same is the case with me, in previous mains I have never scored less than 145 in essay but this time I got only 115. I don't know what went wrong this time

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