If you are worried on how to prepare for the Compulsory Indian Language papers for UPSC Mains, then this is the article for you! We have outlined the language list, exam pattern and tips to prepare you to ace this paper in the UPSC Main exams. The UPSC syllabus states that there are 9 papers out of which two are language: English and another Indian language of your choice from a list of 22 Indian languages. If you do not clear this paper the UPSC will not disclose your marks so keep reading this article to figure out how to write the paper in the best way possible.
We can start by explaining what languages you can pick to write and move on to the exam pattern.
According to the UPSC syllabus, in the paper, you will be tested on your reading, writing, and comprehension skills regarding any one of the official languages listed under the 8th Schedule of the constitution of India. Although there are hundreds of different languages spoken, the list recognizes only 22 languages as official. The UPSC allows all candidates to write the UPSC Mains exam Indian Language Paper in any of these listed languages as per their choice:
|Santhali||Devanagari or Olchiki|
|Sindhi||Devanagari or Arabic|
- The Indian Language Paper is not compulsory for you if you are a candidate from Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, or Sikkim.
- For the Santhali language, the question paper will be in Devanagari script, but you can write your answers in either Devanagari or Olchiki.
- You can choose any language on this list to write the Language paper.
While the other Language Paper is English, both follow the same pattern. A candidate needs 75 marks or 25% out of 300 to qualify for these papers. Since these papers’ difficulty level is equivalent to the Matriculation level, candidates are not expected to prepare heavily for these papers. The entire paper is 3 hours long in duration.
|Grammar and Basic Language||40|
|Translating English to Compulsory Language||20|
|Translating Compulsory Language to English||20|
Tips to ace your Language Paper
Given below are a few tips to help you tackle the Indian Language Paper, no matter which language you choose.
Select a comfortable Language
The questions asked in this paper are of the State board standard or equivalent, so choose the language you are most comfortable in, preferably one you have studied in school. Choosing a language that is your mother tongue or the language you have spoken and learned since childhood is the best option. According to the UPSC syllabus, CBSE-level books up to Class X standard will be enough while preparing for this paper.
Read Local Newspapers/Books
Read a local newspaper or book of your chosen language and add this to your daily routine. This will help you better understand the language. You can also try rewriting an article or chapter immediately after reading the paper/ book for writing practice.
Avoid Translating Word by Word
In the translation section, you will be required to translate from your chosen language to English and vice versa. Avoid literal translations like translating word by word when doing this since it can take away meaning from the text. Instead, try to translate the whole text, comprehend it and translate it on paper sentence by sentence.
If you choose your mother tongue or language you have learnt in school, chances are you are out of touch since everything is either taught in English or it has been a while since you have had the lessons. Try writing every day in your chosen language to learn how to avoid spelling mistakes. Go through the past 3 years’ question papers and solutions to know what to expect and how to answer. Writing practice will also improve your handwriting for the exam. You can ask a friend who is fluent in the language to help you as well.
Practice translating English to the language of your choice and vice versa. It will help you answer the translation questions. Practicing question papers also increases your writing speed. Try to involve it in conversation as well. You can translate every English conversation someone is having with you to the Indian language of your choice and the other way around.
Practice to Qualify
Remember that this paper is only qualifying. You should not compromise on your core subject preparation while studying for the language paper. Ensure you spend an ample amount of time studying for your language exam but make sure it does not disrupt your learning for the other UPSC Main exams.
Your revision becomes more effective when you have notes. Taking notes of important topics can help you remember spellings and grammar. Focus on Important topics and glance through the school textbooks till Class 10.
Go through the Question paper properly before starting to write the exam. First, solve the type of questions you are clear and confident about. This is a language paper; make sure that your grammar skills are strong. You must write essays, passages, translation, and precise writing and you do not want to be stuck in the middle of the paper because you forgot how to spell or forgot how to use the grammar. Your handwriting should be neat and comprehensive while answering the questions and make sure you stick to the word limit wherever asked to avoid penalties.
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