Using MegaExams

UPSC: Helping students prepare more efficiently

Author

Prasanth Parameswaran

Date

September 24, 2019

The UPSC Civil Services exam is conducted each year by the Union Public Service Commission to select future officers in IAS, IFS, and IRS, among others. Only around 10,000 students out of the nearly 5 lakh students who attempt the exam qualify to appear for the mains. 

Even after the mains, a tough interview process separates the successful from those who don’t make it. The vast syllabus means that the successful candidates are those with a strong foundational understanding of the subjects, and this makes efficient preparation a critical factor to predict student success. Various coaching institutes help students navigate the vast syllabus as they prepare for these examinations.

However, the institutes and teachers themselves face challenges in providing effective support. Faculty members have to manually find questions and create tests, which takes up a lot of their time and effort. As the batch size increases, costs incurred by the institute also rise, while teachers have to spend several days manually correcting the papers. Digital examination platforms, for instance, offer an effective solution to this challenge by automating the test creation and evaluation process. This translates to teachers more effectively being able to improve student performance with more time to focus on each individual candidate’s progress and provide more insightful feedback and teaching support. 

Increased retention and scores with regular practice tests

The role of coaching institutes in UPSC preparations includes not only completing the syllabus, but also testing the students on their knowledge and spotting the gaps in it to ensure they do better. By using a digital platform like MegaExams, teachers can automate the most time-consuming tasks like creating exams and correcting them. As a result, teachers can create and conduct a larger number of tests in greater frequency, unlike before.

MegaExams further simplifies the process of selecting questions through its vast question bank of high-quality questions sourced from leading educators, authors, and experts across the country. These questions are aimed at testing students to their limits and removing the guesswork for teacher while selecting the right question. Moreover, the database itself is frequently updated to accommodate new questions and stay up-to-date with changes to the UPSC exam pattern.  

After each test, the MegaExams platform provides detailed performance reports with personalised feedback and insights on how each student performed on each question, the time they took, and which topics they need to work on. This level of information enables teachers to solve their students’ doubts and improve their retention by revisiting those subjects or topics they may be weak in. On the other hand, students can effectively increase the accuracy of their answers, reducing negative marking, and bring up their overall scores through more frequent practice tests. 

Better subject-level performance with customised tests

The UPSC exam syllabus comprises around 10 main subjects with most of them having multiple sub-sections and topics. This makes it difficult for students to efficiently distribute their time and focus across each subject. As a result, they may end up being less prepared for a particular subject, which can ultimately bring down their overall scores. Using MegaExams, teachers can ensure more thorough preparations for their students by creating multiple tests for each subject. 

Teachers can refer to the detailed performance reports for the class as well as each individual student to identify subjects that a candidate or the class as a whole needs to work on. They can then create customised tests for each subject in the UPSC syllabus and assign it to a class/batch or even an individual student who may require additional practice. Along with the teachers, the MegaExams platform empowers students as well by enabling them to attempt the exams anytime and anywhere, on the device of their choice. This way, students can take tests even when they are not present in the class. Teachers, on the other hand, can plan their lessons well in advance to help improve the students’ performance in a particular subject based on how they have performed in the test. 

Mr. Muni Darshan V.G., Academic Director at Fortune IAS Academy, says, “Until the last two years, conducting and evaluating exams offline drained the institute’s resources which could be used to enhance teaching support to students. In 2017, we began using MegaExams’ online examination platform. As a result, we were able to completely transform how the institute approached testing and assessment while saving a significant amount of time and costs. The platform allowed teachers to build customised mock tests and students to attempt them anywhere and anytime, with ease. Both teachers and students could instantly view the results of the tests along with a detailed breakdown of their strengths and areas of improvement. More importantly, we were able to provide our students with the preparation support they deserved, leading to better scores and performance for them.”