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Tips to Tackle the Hindi Language Paper in UPSC Mains

Updated On -

May 27, 2020

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Sudeshna Bhar

Exams Prepmaster

UPSC Mains Exam includes 9 papers among which Paper-A is the first and compulsory Indian/regional Language papers. It is mandatory for all candidates to attempt this paper except candidates from the north-eastern states of Mizoram, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Nagaland.

Hindi Language as the Indian language is a very popular choice. Almost 65% of total candidates of UPSC Mains choose the Hindi Language though in Indian only 46% of candidates come from Hindi speaking background or Hindi medium. One has to qualify this paper so that he/she will be able to know the ultimate ranking of other papers of UPSC Mains Exam.

Hindi Language Paper: Highlights

  • Among all candidates, almost 65% of candidates choose Hindi as their Compulsory Language paper.
  • It is a compulsory paper.
  • The minimum qualifying marks of this language paper is mandatory for ranking.
  • This paper will not be counted for Merit ranking.
  • The paper carries 300 marks.
  • Candidates need to complete in the timespan of 2 hours.
  • 90 out of 300 marks(30%) have to be obtained to qualify.
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Why Compulsory Language paper should not be ignored?

Among approx 11.5 Lakhs candidates, only 12000+ candidates successfully qualify for UPSC Mains. Most of the candidates give their full attention to the General Studies Papers and the Optional Subject Papers because both the compulsory papers are not included for the ranking of the Merit list.

No candidates should ignore this paper. Studies say that almost 10% of IAS Mains candidates fail due to neglecting and not securing the minimum qualifying marks in the compulsory Language Papers. If any aspirant does not secure the marks of the language papers, they will not know the marks or ranking of the other 7 papers of IAS Mains.

How much time does the Compulsory Language Paper take to prepare?

There is no specific duration for the preparation of compulsory language due to the variety of Indian languages. On average 11 - 14 hours for 4 - 5 months is necessary to study the Hindi language as the Indian Language Paper.

For those candidates whose mother tongue is not Hindi, it can take a bit more time but if your schooling has been in Hindi, then you will face no such difficulties though you have to improve your writing skills and gain enough potentiality to have a flair of writing.

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Steps to Prepare the Hindi Language Paper in UPSC Main

Candidates need to gain at least 30% or in other words 90 out of 300 marks in this paper to qualify. To prepare yourself for the Compulsory Hindi Language paper, here are _ steps that one easily can follow as a guideline:

  • Know UPSC Hindi Syllabus properly in detail:

Knowing the detailed syllabus will definitely help you divide it according to sections and study only those sections and put stress on important topics you need to understand to qualify:

  • Hindi Essays(Nibandh): Here 2 essays are asked to write in a descriptive manner. Each will have 50 maks making a total of 100 maks. No choices will be provided for these 2 essays.
  • Reading Comprehensions(Gadyansh): In this section, candidates will be required to attempt 12 passages each for 5 marks making a total of 60 marks.
  • Précis writing(Sankshepan): Here each candidate has to compose a piece of prose according to the direction. It is for 60 marks.
  • Questions: Muhavare; Shudhi; Paryayavachi and Yugm - each consists of 10 marks making a total of 40 marks.
  • Choose appropriate reference books for UPSC Hindi:

The primary thing should be remembered that you don’t need to study for Hindi Literature, only prepare for the basic Hindi Language. For the candidates whose 1st language is English, they are not required to read Hindi newspapers to go in depths. All you have to do is qualify.

To save time for other papers of UPSC Mains, minimize the source of study and make it more compact. Here are 2 references :

  • Samanya Hindi Book by Unique Publications
  • UPSC question papers of the past 10 years
  • Newspapers

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  • Tips to Prepare a suitable Study Plan:

While anyone preparing for the compulsory papers, one thing that should be in mind that candidates have no need to research topics or go in depths.

  • Brush ups: When you have chosen Hindi as your compulsory Indian Language, it is assumed that you have read it in your schooling period or as your medium of studies. 1st thing one should do is bush up the basic stuff like vocabulary, grammar, etc.
  • Previous Years’ question papers: The next thing you should do is go through previous years’ question papers. Solving the papers only reduce almost 50% of your workload. In the following paragraphs, you will find a link to download previous years question papers which you can download as well as take a print out copies if needed for practice.
  • Newspaper: It is not very gravely advisable to read newspapers in Hindi for the Hindi candidates, but if anyone wishes to follow Hindi Newspapers, it will definitely increase their potentiality in the handling the language as well as give ideas how to express their mind in fewer words. Apart from the standard newspaper, devote at least 15 minutes in going through the newspaper for your language.
  • News channels: Apart from reading newspapers, candidates also can watch news channels which will help them to pick up certain cliché vocabularies which can be used in answer writing.
  • Essay Preparation: Prepare your essays on current topics. Such topics include the current affairs or contemporary issues like the country, economy, democracy, women empowerment, etc. The chances of facing the current issues as essay topics are pretty high in the Hindi language as well as English compulsory Language Paper.
  • Study Strategies:
    • If you have not touched this language in your schooling days then the first thing you should do is spend 2 hours a day.
    • Get the basics are done in 2 months so that you can practice it later.
    • Do not spend time more than 1.5 hour a day if you have already done basics in school or before.
    • Make a routine that gives language paper near about 12 - 15 hours a week.
    • Give preference to those questions in which you are confident and comfortable enough.
  • Writing strategies:
    • In the later 2 - 3 months wok on your writing skills as well as handwriting.
    • Handwriting needs not be perfect or very remarkable. Rather it should be clear and understandable.
    • While writing an essay, better use simple and lucid language. Remember it’s a language paper, not literature paper.
    • Language competency should be given the utmost importance. Avoid making spelling and grammatical errors.
    • The questions asking for translations should be dealt with cautiously. Keep it as simple as possible.

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  • Collect Previous Year’s Questions of Hindi Language:

Collecting Previous years’ questions can be hard sometimes for those who do not have good opportunities and due to the crisis of cost. Here we are providing links through you can download Question papers very easily as well as practice it as per requirements:

Previous Years’ Questions Link to Download
UPSC CSE 2019 Hindi Compulsory Paper Download
UPSC CSE 2018 Hindi Compulsory Paper Download 
UPSC CSE 2017 Hindi Compulsory Paper Download 
UPSC CSE 2016 Hindi Compulsory Paper Download 
UPSC CSE 2015 Hindi Compulsory Paper Download 

Quick Tips

  • Read and understand the questions first before you start writing answers.
  • Attempt first those questions in which you think you can score.
  • Do Comprehension part of the paper carefully. You can score maximum marks in this section.
  • Ensure that your handwriting is neat and clear.
  • Leave time-consuming questions and attempt them only when you have ample time.
  • Don’t use figurative language and words unnecessarily.
  • Avoid spelling and grammatical mistakes in your writing.
  • Avoid the writing style which is ambiguous.

As we all know that Hindi is very popular as a compulsory paper for candidates of UPSC Mains, so the material will not be hard to find. Do not ignore this paper just because it is a compulsory paper. Keep a constant aim of gaining 110 - 130 marks, so that it would be easy for any aspirant to maintain their study and invest time for other papers too. No matter how hart the time gets, our advice will guide you to maintain your preparation in the Lockdown situation.

FAQs related to the Hindi Language in UPSC IAS Mains 2020

Ques. Is Hindi compulsory for UPSC Mains?

Ans. No, Hindi Language is not compulsory for UPSC Mains unless you choose it as the compulsory paper in UPSC Mains. You also can choose the medium of UPSC Mains and Prelims in Hindi.

Ques. How many options for compulsory subject papers are there in UPSC CSE Exam?

Ans. There are 18 compulsory options including English with is a mandatory option. As for the Indian languages, there will 17 languages from which you can choose as per your comfort such as

  • Assamese Language
  • Bengali Language
  • Dogri Language
  • Gujarati Language
  • Hindi Language
  • Kannada Language
  • Maithili Language
  • Malayalam Language
  • Nepali Language
  • Oriya Language
  • Punjabi Language
  • Sanskrit Language
  • Sindhi Language
  • Tamil Language
  • Telegu Language
  • Urdu Language

Ques. What is Paper A and B in UPSC?

Ans. In UPSC Mains, Paper A and Paper B are on Indian Languages and English. These are qualifying papers. The aim of these papers is to test candidates’ abilities to read and understand prose and to express their ideas correctly through their chosen language and English.

Ques. Is the English necessary for IAS Mains?

Ans. Yes, English Language is compulsory for IAS Mains Exam. The English language speaking is very important for every candidate.

Ques. Can I prepare for UPSC Compulsory paper at home?

Ans. As we all know that UPSC Compulsory paper A and B are qualifying papers. So, self-study is sufficient to prepare these papers. But keep one thing in mind that spending too much time these papers will not help you to rank better but don’t ignore these papers as well.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.