The Syllabus of the WBCS ( Preliminary) Examination has been set as under:
(i) English Composition 25 marks
(ii) General Science 25 marks
(iii) Current events of National & International Importance 25 marks
(iv) History of India 25 marks
(v) Geography of India with special reference to West Bengal 25 marks
(vi) Indian Polity and Economy 25 marks
(vii) Indian National Movement 25 marks
(viii) General Mental Ability 25 marks
WBCS Preliminary is a multiple choice question paper, it needs a different preparation and a proper strategy. The paper of WBCS (Preliminary) Examination will be of two and half hours duration. The Syllabus thus has three broad divisions: (1) English (2) General Studies and Current Affairs and (3) Mental Ability. The weightage of marks of WBCS (Preliminary) Examination is high on General Studies and Current Affairs – a total of 150 marks. However English Composition and Mental Ability – each one has a wide coverage. Adequate planning, studies and practice is therefore essential for these three sections. Moreover , English is also part of WBCS ( Main) syllabus. The foundation has to be built right at the WBCS (Preliminary) stage.
On an average one gets around 45 seconds for each question. The main constraint is the time one gets to answer questions. A lot of time is wasted in signing attendance sheets etc, therefore there is a lot of need for effective Time Management not only for the exam but in the preparation as well. Speed and Accuracy are important, so solving model question papers on a regular basis would be a great help.
Time Management and strategy for WBCS ( preliminiary):
One should read the entire syllabus by covering each and every aspect. This provides a candidate with loads of self-confidence and knowledge to answer the questions correctly. The first thing a candidate needs to bear in mind is that the examination is designed to evaluate certain qualities like a sharp memory and basic retention power.
Considering the general nature of the examination the tactics must be to focus on greater rather than intensive coverage. One is expected to know history, science, polity, geography, economy and other such disciplines, all at the same time. However, only basics of each of the disciplines is needed. Hence one must concentrate on basics and acquire as much facts about basics as possible but avoiding the element of over-kill in preparations.
Many aspirants prepare General Studies in terms of “reading” (once, twice, thrice etc.) with or without underlining the important facts or memorizing a huge number of questions printed on so called guide books available in market. It results not only in longer time of preparation, but also many important points may skip. Also, even if you underline the highlighting points, most of you have the tendency to read the text in full while going for the subsequent readings. It is, therefore, advisable that texts must be read once and all important points (likely to be forgotten) recorded separately so that you need not study volumious texts again. This would save on your time and should result in greater efficiency. Further, while Prelims is only a screening test, it is on the basis of your performance in Mains, on which mainly depends the final outcome of your efforts. Strategically, therefore, the preparation for the examination should start about one year in advance and you should think about appearing in the Prelims only when you have had a strong grip over the Mains’ subject matter.
As the questions in the Preliminary examination are objective in nature and there is no negative marking in the exam, it is suggested not to leave any questions unanswered and intelligent guesswork may be used to answer questions when you don’t know the precise answer. Do not get stuck at any question. Move on from question to question and attempt the difficult ones at the end. While solving the paper you may take three rounds. In the first round, attempt only the answers which you are sure of. In the next round, try to eliminate as many options as you can and darken the ovals which are the only one left out after elimination. In the next round, try to eliminate as many options as you can and darken the ovals which are the only one left out after elimination. If you are confused between just two options, it is advisable to make an intelligent guess. If you are left with about five to 10 minutes, select one option out of A,B,C or D and go on dealing with the left out questions.
Refference Books for WBCS ( Preliminiary):
The questions asked in the General Studies paper are of 10+2 level . Therefore emphasis has to be on conceptual clarity. Any concept has to be understood with its origin, merits and de-merits, then it needs to be analysed with other relevant topics and lastly it has to be correlated with the events that have taken place during the year. If one wants to have command over General studies , then he has to prepare 7 major area i.e. – History , Geography, Polity, Science, Economy, Current AffairsGeneral Knowledge. For all the above topics, best way to start is from Basics i.e. NCERT Books of Class 6th to Class 12th.
For History – NCERT + Book of Kiron Chowdhury.
Geography – NCERT + Any reference book of secondary standard + a good atlas like Orient Longman /Oxford.
Polity – NCERT + book of Sen, Sen & Mukherjee / Jojo Mathews’s Indian constitution and polity.
Science – NCERT class 6th to class 12th is more than enough.
Economy – NCERT class 11th and 12th + book of Sen, Sen & Mukherjee + Read and make notes of newspaper about current economy.
Current Affairs – one has to be thorough with newspaper readings of at least one year back from the date of exam.General Knowledge – India year book + Manorama year book.
Again remember read thoroughly and underline the relevant portion for further revise or make short notes on each topic of general studies so that the entire syllabus can be revised a day before the exam. The most important technique is doing regular revision. This helps in retaining the maximum information. A separate time slot should be given to doing not only regular but multiple revisions like daily, weekly, monthly etc. Many candidates make a mistake of overloading themselves with lots of information and end up remembering nothing. One should be able to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant information. Since the WBCS (Preliminary) Examination is an elimination round the candidate should also learn to focus only on the information needed and filter out the rest.
For Mental Ability – R.s.Agarwal.
English- P K De Sarkar / Wren and Martin is more than enough.
If one is thorough with the above topics from the above materials, then he/she will definitely crack this exam easily.
TIPS: Dos and Don’ts
Final preparation must start by testing self with the revision-type Model Test Papers.
Emphasis on your weak-spots.
Keep testing yourself at a regular interval.
Make a mental note of areas you have covered and what remains to be covered.
Be analytical in response.
Revise your stuff a number of times.
A calm mental state is most important.
There is negative marking in the exam, it is suggested to leave questions which you do know or you have not correct answer.
Do not get stuck at any question. Move on from question to question and attempt the difficult ones at the end.
In the first round, attempt only the answers which you are sure of.
In the next round, try to eliminate as many options as you can and darken the ovals which are the only one left out after elimination.
If you are confused between just two options, it is advisable to leave that question.