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The UPSC Preliminary exam that was scheduled to be held on 31 May has been postponed for now, and the new date is likely to be announced on 20 May.
However, due to the nationwide lockdown, civil service aspirants are not able to attend physical classes and are finding it challenging to assess their progress.
This is where an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based comprehensive UPSC test series created by Uday Kumar, an alumnus of IIT Madras alumnus, and Muthu Kumar Raju, a US-based tech entrepreneur, will come in handy.
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“Civil service aspirants work hard to prepare for the preliminary examination, but in the final two months, it becomes very hectic for them to revise all the subjects. While there are multiple online exams they can choose from, the drawback is that they have to purchase the test papers in bulk. This is what makes our tests unique. We offer a pay-as-you-like model so that they can pay only for the subject they are weak in. This saves them money and time,” Uday, who has framed all the test questions, tells The Better India.
While Uday has three years of coaching experience in the UPSC field, Muthu has expertise in developing technologies for startups. The duo work remotely from their respective homes in Chennai and US and the test series is available online at their startup ‘ExcelOn Academy’ at www.excelonacademy.com.
All one has to do is log in with basic credentials and pay a minimal fee for their choice of the exam. While the Economy paper is for free, the costs for other subjects like Polity, Politics, International Relations, Geography and Ancient Medieval Art and Culture, range from Rs 50-90.
The smart-test has four features that record the performance of each aspirant and provide quality feedback. They are:
- Strike off options when arriving at the right choice.
- Mark questions and review later.
- Timer for each question and reverse timer for the entire test.
- Personalised feedback that analyses performance.
What A Personalised Feedback Includes
Uday and Muthu have laid particular emphasis on personalised feedback, which can be downloaded free of cost.
“The AI-based technology not only calculates the scores but also provides a detailed review in contrast to other tests that give only answer keys with the final score. If, for example, a candidate appears for Economics, the review will divide his result into three parts, strong, average and below average. It will also suggest study materials like books and newspapers the candidate should read to improve in the low-performing areas. This also helps save time as now they will know where exactly to focus,” explains Uday.
The feedback will point out potential conceptual errors and areas of misplaced confidence in specific topics/concepts. It will also give precise inputs on areas to improve, recommend chapter-level studying material and finally do a peer group comparison (ranking among test takers).
Before launching the startup, the duo approached civil aspirants who cleared the examinations last year to take the tests.
“With the availability of avenues like eliminating the wrong choices and blind guess, it gives the real feel of the offline test. The test has been made from the student’s point of view, just as we eliminate answers to reach the right one. The AI tells us about our blind spots, the topics over which we need to work, and how many questions were correct and wrong with 50:50 elimination. It feels as if an expert is sitting in front of us to mentor us on every question,” says Shashank Ranjan, a testee, who cleared UPSC CAPF Prelims 2019.
To know more about the test papers, click here or write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)