General Studies Test No. 3 – An Analysis

How do we rate the difficulty level of the test?

As we have already mentioned in the previous test, the Test No. 3 is of difficult standard. In our opinion a score greater than 70 in the previous two tests would be good enough to comfortably clear prelims. This is because the standard of UPSC Question paper is such that there is a balance of easy, moderate and difficult Questions.

We can safely assume that any score above 70 in both the tests(Test No.2 and Test No.3) would indicate consistency in your performance no matter the difficulty level and the unexpected nature of Questions that can be asked in the CSE Prelims Examination.

To our surprise we noticed that a vast majority of aspirants have made a mistake/ have left unattempted the Questions from conventional areas.

Question on Planning- only 25% have got it correct

Please note that every year UPSC asks atleast one Question in Prelims from the different 5 year plans in India.

Hence it is imperative that an aspirant should be clear about all the five year plans, what were the intended targets, how succesful were we in achieving the targets, the background in which the 5 year plans were launched. Any reason why the plan was not succesful. What sectors were given emphasis in the 5 year plans and so on.

Modern India Questions- 3 Questions(Local Government Initiatives under the British, Moderate demands of early INC leaders,Government of India Acts) in which less than 20 % of the aspirants have got it correct.

These again are the areas which can actually be prepared from NCERTS and Spectrum Modern India, unlike the various organizations and movements if at all they happen to be asked in the UPSC prelims exam. Questions on organizations and personalities are a tough nut to crack in the UPSC prelims exam, but these 3 Questions asked in test no. 3 can be managed.

Emphasis should be given to the different provisions of Constitutional Changes under the British, the different organizations that were in existence before the formation of INC, success of the moderates in terms of achieving constitutional changes and concessions from the British. The birth & development of Local Self Government in India under the British is another area to be concentrated upon.

Medieval India -3 Questions (Questions on Udasi, bargis)less than 12 %, Question on Akhbarat (< 25% have got it correct)

Udasis have been asked in the context of Kartarpur corridor being one of the site of Guru Nanak’s Udasis. It is no doubt a question, the answer for which cannot be found in the NCERTs. However it is worth knowing about from this years Prelims point of view.

Bargis is a term found straight forward in Medieval India NCERT by Satish Chandra. Hence there is a scope of getting this answer correct and increasing one’s score by another 2 marks.

The same conclusion applies to the term “Akhbarat” as it is mentioned in the NCERT Themes in India Part 2 text book.

Polity – Question about amendments less than 12% have got it correct

 – Question on PRI less than 12% have got it correct

The Question on amendments were asked only in the context of the significant Constitutional Amendments that have led to the evolution of the Basic Structure of the Constitution. It is necessary to have a working idea about the most significant amendments and the controversies that these amendments have stirred up in India. Even in 2019 CSE Prelims, a question on 1st Constitutional Amendment had been asked.

Around 8 Questions from these four conventional subjects could have pushed individual score by atleast another 20 more marks.

Please note that we have not taken into consideration other Questions from these conventional subjects where many aspirants have gone wrong.

Such Questions include :-

History :-

The Question about Ashvagosha(35% have got it correct), Alamgirnama(30% have got it correct), Land Grants(30%) etc. where the success rate is not very spectacular but nevertheless even these are areas where one can score well by repeated revisions.


Questions that test the understanding of Social Justice ( On reservation for Anglo Indians where only 34% of the aspirants have got the answer correct), Question on different categories of provisions in the Constitution(40% have got it correct).

Be aware of the fact that

These are the areas in our control unlike the Questions from Current Affairs.

From the analysis, we can conclude that there is always a scope for getting atleast 20 marks than what one has scored in Test No.3.

All we do is to keep driving this point into your heart so that you work harder in the last 30 days and succeed in CSE Prelims 2020.

The General Studies Test No. 4 will also be of the same standard after which the two Simulation tests will be modelled on the same standard as that of UPSC CSE Prelims.

We wish you all the best for the upcoming tests.

Corrections and Clarifications in Test No.3

We have been notified about the mistake in the Answer key and Explanation about two Questions.

1.Consider the following statements regarding Atal Bhujal Yojana

1) This scheme is aimed at increasing rain water harvesting through community


2) It is a Panchayat led scheme with focus on behavioural change.

3) This is a Centrally Sector Scheme under Ministry of Jal Shakti.

Which of the statements given above is/are true?

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 1 and 3

(c) 2 and 3

(d) All of the above

2.Which of the following statements is/are true?

1) Most of the active volcanoes on The Ring of Fire are found on its eastern edge.

2) When continental crust meets continental crust, the edges of the two plates are

crumpled to form fold mountains like the Himalayas.

3) When oceanic crust meets ocean crust, a deep-sea trench can form at the plate


4) Destructive plate margins can form Rift Valleys like the East African Rift Valley.

Select the correct answer using following codes

(a) 1 and 4

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 2, 3 and 4

(d) 1, 3 and 4

We sincerely apologize for the errors that had gone unnoticed.

The revised Answer Key and Explanation is available for download in the Downloads Menu in the Test Portal.