Perfect Strategy: RPSC RAS/RTS Mains Exam Preparation : The secret to nailing any competitive examination, especially RPSC RAS state services is to acquaint yourself with the pattern and syllabus of the examination.
In this article, we will explain the exam pattern, syllabus and strategy for Rajasthan Administrative Services Mains Examination.
RAS Mains Exam Pattern
The Main examination comprises of four papers, three of general studies and one for General Hindi and General English, each comprising 200 marks and 3 hours duration.
With the recent change in exam pattern since 2013, RPSC has made great strides to make the paper in consonance with the UPSC pattern. The new pattern includes papers such as ethics, governance etc. and removes optional subjects from the syllabus.
|Paper 1||General Studies||200||3 hours|
|Paper 2||General Studies||200||3 hours|
|Paper 3||General Studies||200||3 hours|
|Paper 4||General Hindi and General English||200||3 hours|
Additionally, the type of questions is different when compared to UPSC, both in terms of marks allotted and the types of answers needed in RPSC RAS exam. According to the marks allotted, the questions can be divided into three category i.e 2, 5 and 10 marks questions. While, according to the types of answers required, RPSC gives a healthy mix of factual and analytical questions in the exam.
Deconstructing the Syllabus of RAS Mains Exam
The syllabus can be broadly divided into the following categories, keeping in mind the diversity of our audiences:
- Syllabus overlapping with UPSC mains syllabus or India part.
- Exclusive Rajasthan specific syllabus or Rajasthan part.
- Accounting and Auditing
- Public Administration and Management, Ethics
- Sports and Yoga
- Management and Behaviour
- Science and Technology
- Government Schemes.
- Current Affairs.
- General English and General Hindi (Yes, these are to be prepared separately, marks are included for the purposes of calculating merit!).
Preparation Strategy- RAS Mains
In an exam like Rajasthan Administrative Service or UPSC – IAS for that matter, the number of subjects and area of study is vast. So as an aspirant, you have three variables: Number of subjects, Depth of study required in each subject and Time available. Your job is to maximize the product of these three variables. For instance, if you study History in depth but fail to cover even the basics of geography or current affairs your chances of passing the exam are not great. Thus, it is always better to have a sufficient understanding of all subjects, so that you can attempt maximum questions in the exam.
The summary of the above paragraph would be to prepare for the subjects on the basis of yield/effort ratio, i.e. invest your time such that you can attempt more questions with the most basic coverage and understanding. For this, you should also look at the previous year’s question papers.
The first part of the deconstructed syllabus should be easy to tackle, in just one revision for candidates who are preparing for RAS, along with UPSC CSE but candidates who are preparing exclusively for RAS exam, they must go through the basic of Modern India, World History, Indian & World Geography and Indian & World Economy. Our advice to all aspirants would be to only revise these subjects before the exam once, and not be tempted by any new books/material.
For the second part of the deconstructed syllabus, i.e. the Rajasthan specific part, the preparation done during prelims should suffice and no extra effort is required. The important book recommended is General Studies of Rajasthan by Rajendra Prasad for Rajasthan specific topics. Again, we would advise to only revise the mains specific portion with special emphasis on Rajasthani culture, History and Geography. For Rajasthan Economy, the given year’s economic review must be prepared thoroughly.
For the Sociology part, the IGNOU material could be referred. It is simple, concise and relevant. Indian society and its problems such as casteism, communalism, regionalism, urbanization etc. can be covered from Sociology NCERTs of class 11th and 12th. For the tribes of Rajasthan one can refer Rajendra Prasad or bhalla.
For Accounting and auditing part, the relevant chapters of class 11th and 12th Commerce NCERTs books must be referred. No need to go for complex numerical problems or anything of that sort, just the theory would suffice. You can also refer – Click here for this section of the syllabus.
Coming to the Public Administration & Management and Administrative Ethics, books such as Laxmikanth (the Public administration one, not the Polity one), G. Subba Rao can be referred along with Class 11th and 12th NCERTs and T.N Chhabra. Aspirants must take into account the overlap between the two sections and the two papers.
For Behaviour part, Psychology NCERT books for class 11th and 12th (only the relevant chapters) must be referred that will suffice for the exam. Laxmikanth for topics such as motivation and Leadership can be referred.
For the Law part, prepare the basic definitions from the IGNOU material. For the legal issues such as RTI, sexual harassment at the workplace Act, POCSO etc, you only need to know the basic provisions, recent amendments, if any, and the analysis in terms of their effectiveness, relevance and the challenges in their implementation. For the Rajasthan laws, you must know the gist, definitions and the working, in terms of officials, rules, appellate mechanism and grievance redressal.
Science and Technology can be prepared with the help of NCERTs books from class 6th to 12th, restrict yourself to the relevant topics only. Additional emphasis must be given to current affairs and relevant policies. For example, Mission Chandrayaan 2, IPR policy 2016 etc.
For Sports and Yoga, you should be thorough with the recent awardees, important games, for example, commonwealth games, Gold Coast etc., the Awards instituted in India and their significance, Sports Policies, Yoga- its importance, basic poses, and yoga as India’s soft power.
Refer, Economic Review of Government of Rajasthan for Government Schemes, Economic Survey for GoI Schemes and current National and Local Daily for current affairs. Make sure to note down important events in your notes for the exam.
Lastly, do not ignore Hindi and English, you can get good scores easily if you prepare well, especially the grammar portion. Practise the formats for notification, formal letters, government circulars, communiques etc.
RAS Mains-Answer Writing
Coming to the previous point of yield/effort ratio, the parts of the deconstructed syllabus like sociology, law, behaviour, yoga and sports along with General English and General Hindi should be prepared at the earliest. Integrated approach should be applied for topics for Management, Public Administration, Administrative ethics, Accounting and auditing.
Additionally, answer writing for various types of questions i.e. separately for 2 markers, 5 markers and 10 markers should be continued along with the preparation, keeping in mind the word limits. One can join MYUPSC Test Series for Mains exam to regularly check the level of your own preparation.