Close to 3.8 lakh candidates sat for the preliminary examinations of the newly introduced Kerala Administrative Service (KAS) held across 1,535 centres in the State on Saturday.
The answer key will be published on Monday, officials of the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) said.
Tough Paper 1
Paper 1, which carries 100 marks, proved tough for many candidates, largely due to the inclusion of mathematics in it.
“In the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) format, mathematics is part of Paper II. For the KAS, we have questions pertaining to Indian, world and Kerala history, geography and reasoning tests as well in Paper 1. With just 90 minutes to complete it, time management proved a challenge as you need time to work out math problems,” Lekshmi, a candidate who sat for the exams in Pathanamthitta district, said. Exams of the KAS Officer (Junior time scale) were conducted in the morning and the afternoon sessions. Paper 1 was held from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, with 90 minutes for the examination proper. The second paper was held from 1.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m., with 90 minutes earmarked for answering the questions.
Several candidates described the examinations as a curious mix of Kerala PSC and UPSC exam models. According to one candidate who sat for the exams in Thiruvananthapuram city, the KAS followed the UPSC in the exam format, in the manner in which options were laid out for the objective type questions. But their content evidently followed the PSC model, candidates said.
Questions related to economics, science and technology were part of Paper 2, which also tested language proficiency in English and a regional language (Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil).
With maths out of the way, many candidates found Paper 2 relatively easier.
“The examinations were conducted smoothly. Our attempt in preparing the KAS question paper was to maintain a balance as candidates are drawn from diverse fields,” PSC chairman K.A. Sakeer said. No incidents of malpractices were reported by any of the centres, a PSC spokesperson said.