The Importance of English in UPSC Exam

A language is a tool of communication that can be both verbal and written. It is used for efficiently conveying messages and thoughts. Although the UPSC exam spares the aspirants from hard and fast rules regarding language, it has one compulsory English language qualifying paper. Therefore, even though an aspirant is not required to ace the language, they certainly need to know the basics.

In the UPSC exam, English is necessary, keeping in mind certain points:

Firstly, in the MAINS exam, there is one compulsory English Language paper and if an aspirant scores less than 25% in it, the rest of the papers are not checked. Hence, an aspirant must have a basic knowledge of this language to at least clear this paper. One must be able to comprehend and understand the language. The types of questions asked in this paper are- translation, précis writing, comprehension, basic grammar usage, and essay writing. These are quite easy topics, generally covered in school (standards VI to IX). All you need is practice.

Secondly, most of the standard study materials for the UPSC Exam are in English, and to an extent in Hindi. Even, most online resources are in English. Therefore, knowledge of English can definitely be beneficial here. Although, as a pro member of SprintUPSC, you can have full access to the whole site including all practice tests, explanations, and features in Hindi. SprintUPSC is India’s first fully bilingual practice platform for UPSC Prelims.

English however, is a minor hurdle that can be overcome with proper techniques and effort. It is necessary just for one paper, which you inevitably have to clear to qualify. All the other papers can be taken in any language which you are comfortable in. Even for the interview, you can opt for a regional language. The overall UPSC exam is extremely flexible as you get the option to write your MAINS in one language while giving your interview in another. UPSC wants to test your basic English Language skills. This is necessary for your communication in case you are posted at a place where the only possible way to converse is in English. The aspirants come from diverse backgrounds; hence UPSC always encourages them to choose from a vast pool of languages.