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Sequence of Mains Papers

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I have received some queries regarding the sequence of Mains Papers. Apparently some people would like to decide on their choice of Optional papers depending upon the sequence of papers. With this in view they have asked me if the sequence stays the same from year to year or if it changes. Well, I cannot say for certain. However, the sequence has not changed for the year 2003 and 2004, two consecutive years. I believe there is no reason, therefore, to suspect that there is any change to this routine. At the same time it would be pertinent to point out that don't base your choice of Optionals on such a non-issue as the sequence of papers. If you cannot prepare well enough throughout the year, it is unlikely that a mere number of days between the papers would be of much help. Rely on the sequence only when you are absolutely stuck between two optionals and don't know which one to choose, they being equally enticing in all other respects. I have said it with more elaboration elsewhere, and I would say it again, that your choice of optionals should be based on:

  1. The syllabus of the subject. Are you comfortable with it? How much of it is already covered?

  2. The previous year's question papers. Sometimes syllabus doesn't give the whole idea. You should always see how the previous years' question papers look. Are you comfortable with them?

  3. Any subject that you have majored in is always to be preferred over other subjects. The reason is that you are already acquainted with it for the most part. 

  4. Don't believe in the fiction of 'Scoring Papers'. All papers are equally scoring. Otherwise Arts students would never be able to compete with Engineering of Science students! What matters is how well you write your answers at the exam hall, and nothing else.

  5. Study material. Some subjects have more study material than others. Do you have sufficient access to study materials?

  6. Coaching. Not an absolute necessity, it does help some people. Not all subjects are available in coaching institutes.

Friends and guardians are always a good influence. If they have successful experience in subject, those subjects usually have a special charm. Choose your subjects based on these parameters, and in that order. Don't let extraneous considerations affect you. And whatever you do, choose your subjects once and for all, and don't shift positions half-way. That is the worst mistake you could commit.

So here is the sequence of papers, based on the sequence of 2003 and 2004:

  1. General Studies

  2. Essay, followed by English Language

  3. Indian Language (1, 2 and 3 are on three consecutive days)

  4. History

  5. Mathematics/Statistics

  6. Sociology/Anthropology

  7. Geography

  8. Civil Engg./Electrical Engg./Mechanical Engg./Medical Science

  9. Political Science and International Relations/Public Administration

  10. Literature (literature in all languages)

  11. Physics

  12. Commerce and Accountancy/Management

  13. Zoology

  14. Economics

  15. Botany

  16. Law

  17. Philosophy

  18. Agriculture/Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

  19. Psychology

  20. Chemistry

  21. Geology

Exams are held on all days, including Sundays. No Durga Puja or Dussehra holidays. Your paper could fall on any day.



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