Leveraging Performance Appraisal bias for better marks in UPSC CSE Mains

Every evaluator / performance appraiser who is not trained well or is tired or bored of evaluating / appraising is a victim of the following four bias –

1) Primacy bias – The first impression affects the way the evaluator perceives the rest of your answer

2) Recency bias – The event occurring (conclusions) before the evaluator gives the marks determines the marks the candidate will get

3) Spill over bias – If the first answer is outstanding, the evaluator tends to perceive the candidate to be an excellent candidate, and hence the positiveness has a spill over effect on the rest of your answers

4) Centralising tendency bias- The evaluator who is bored of correcting or who hasn’t read your answer well or doesn’t understand your answer well will tend to give you a central score i.e. close to the average

How to use them to your advantage –

In Essay – Leverage the primacy and recency bias by writing excellent introduction and conclusion. Further, try writing Section A first so that the positives of it spills over to your second essay.
In GS and Optional – Leverage the Centralising tendency bias by attempting all the question with whatever little knowledge you have. Use the primacy bias to start your answer to the point and drift away from the question in case you have run out of points or you don’t know what else to write.

All the best!


Time to de-stress..

With only about 15 days left for the D-Day, all of us are stressed; mostly because we haven’t completed our syllabus and because our productivity has drastically fallen. That’s a really deadly combination.

Many of us would have made plans and targets. And tried to adjust them in the limited time we have. But are they really realistic? Whom are we fooling? Ourselves?

By keeping targets which are unachievable, only to satisfy our present, we are in effect planning stress (If I do not complete GS 1 by 20/11/16, I am screwed…).

Why have we set targets and deadlines? Why are we even studying now? Because they form the means to our ends. The ends being scoring well in Mains. But are they really your ends?

Our ends is nothing but happiness. And by replacing our means with our ends, we are breeding unhappiness for ourselves.

We might study for hours and hours together. But nothing will really enter our heads unless we study for the purpose of our lives and not for the sake of examination. When we do that, we will find that we will enjoy learning, we would be able to retain more of what we learn and we would become more productive. We would be at peace with ourselves…. and maybe clear UPSC CSE 2016.