UPSC GS: How to Prepare

GETTING THE BASICS RIGHT – FROM WHERE AND HOW TO BEGIN

The base development phase has to be strong. This phase includes studying the basic books and developing the right techniques for things such as books reading, newspaper / magazine reading, using the internet, reports reading etc. UPSC questions will not be from this level, but if we don’t get this right, we won’t get the subsequent phases right. The idea is – our base should be so strong that when we study the higher things, we should be able to understand them straightaway. If our base is not strong, then we would have to keep revisiting it and will waste a lot of time. A good base means we should not feel the need of ever revisiting the basic books again.

Basic Books

In this phase we should cover all the basic books. These include:
– Bipin Chandra for Indian freedom.
– DD Basu for Indian constitution.
– Class 11th and 12th old ncert textbooks: 3 in Geography (1 physical, 1 India, 1 economic), 3 in History (Ancient and medieval for the culture, philosophy part only, and the modern one for modern history)
– Class 9th and 10th Science old ncerts (specially the biology part)

We must prepare notes in our own language when we read these books and not merely underline for reasons mentioned later.

Once we do this strongly, we will also realize we won’t need to prepare much for prelims as well!

Notes Making

Underlining vs Note Making

Some people prefer underlining to note making. However, note making is preferable for at least 3 strong reasons:

1. In UPSC Mains exams, its the stuff we have internalized which helps. We may have studied something in some context but in exam we may apply it in some other context. This kind of ‘cross referencing’ is very helpful and can make our answers very powerful. While making notes, we convert the language of the book into our own language and this process helps a lot in internalizing stuff.

2. It saves time! This may sound contrary to common sense because underlining is definitely faster than painstakingly writing stuff in our own language. True, preparing notes takes lot longer than underlining books. But because they are in our own language, revising them takes lot lesser time than revising underlined stuff. In fact, with well prepared notes, it may be possible to revise your entire syllabus some 5-10 times and each successive revision will be faster!

3. Notes are customizable. We can frame our own questions which we think may be asked in UPSC and prepare our notes accordingly. But we can’t do the same for underlined stuff.

Notes on Paper vs Notes on Computer

Try to make notes on computer if your typing speed is even half decent.

– Making notes on computer has one very very big advantage over making notes on paper. It is editable and can be formatted easily. We can delete, format, append, insert, do anything with notes on computer and yet make it one clean nice story. For instance, many stories in current affairs develop over weeks and months. eg. the question on Maldives. No newspaper story will have a complete picture of it. But the question will only ask the complete story. So in our notes, we will have to edit bit by bit over time so that by the exam time we have the entire story in one place. The choice is yours – read n number of newspaper cuttings or physical paper notes, each containing partial information or read one coherent, complete story in one place only on computer. This will help us in quick revisions as well.

– Online note making will also help us in revising our entire syllabus 5-10 times, so that all the stuff is so well placed in our mind that when we are solving 25 questions in 3 hours in the exam, we don’t take a long time to recollect and arrange stuff.

– We should also get into the habit of making notes for anything and everything we read. This may include the basic books, the advanced books, newspapers, magazines, reports etc.

– These notes must be organized issue-wise (eg. say Coal energy) irrespective of the sources we may read from. Thus whether we read from a book, newspaper, internet or wherever, all our notes on coal energy should be in one place only. To give an example of what I am talking, uploading here my note on ‘Energy’. Click here to see the note on energy. This will provide a picture of how to organize the notes (forgive me for some instances of lack of formatting in the note as they were added when I had grown lazy).

Newspaper and Magazine Reading

News vs Issues

People in the beginning tend to focus on news and make notes accordingly. UPSC never asks news… it asks issues. For example, MDR-TB is an issue, we need to focus on that and not any individual news item. While reading any news on MDR-TB, we need to connect it to the key points of the issue. An issue specific reading thus tries to:

1. identify key points with the issue in hand. For eg. in MDR-TB, the key challenges are the challenges it poses to the public health, why is it different from normal B, why is it more difficult to handle, what are the institutional factors which are leading to its spread, what needs to be done to tackle it, what steps is the government taking.

2. Then when we read any news, we need to connect it to the key points so identified and not bother about facts and figures. For eg. a news item on MDR-TB may talk about some places, some drugs, some persons… we need to only worry about our key points and skip all the rest.

Other aspects of newspaper/magazine reading

1. Politics, sports, masala news etc. can be skipped straightaway.

2. Keep an eye on any committee, any law, any rules, any policy, any supreme court orders etc. These are our bread and butter in upsc preparation.

3. Hindu has become very very important since last 2 years. Read one more newspaper at least. Since Hindu is left leaning, so may suggest a pro-reform newspaper say Indian Express.

4. UPSC is a left leaning exam. So one may read EPW magazine, but beware of the excessively left leaning rattling. Similarly yojana is a helpful magazine as well.

5. We should never go in too many details or detailed news/articles can be straightaway skipped. GS is a generalist exam and reading has to be kept generalist too. For eg. no need to spend hours in reading and understanding about what Higgs Boson is. Even if we get a common man’s understanding on Higgs Boson, its good enough. No need to do a PhD on an issue – no use in writing things the examiner doesn’t know about.

Our goal should be to finish one newspaper in max half an hour.

Using Internet And RSS Reader

Using the internet is of vital importance for proper UPSC preparation. The reason is simple:

– Very often the newspaper/magazine/book/report we are reading will only contain partial information on the issue (say just the committee or bill name and only 1-2 points). But for our exam we need full information. Only place today to find complete information is internet.

– Even reading 2 newspapers will never be sufficient. We should scan everything so that there are no ‘surprises’ in the exam. This can be done only on internet.

How to use the internet

1. As mentioned earlier, the moment we find something useful and yet incomplete in the newspapers/books, we should look up for it on internet.

2. Since newspapers and magazines can’t cover everything, we should use a RSS reader (say feedly on Google Chrome) and subscribe to the editorials / sections of all major newspapers. It is free and easy. Any new item will show up with title and one line on your feedly. We can decide to either read it or skip it. We will find that we would normally skip ~95% of the items. But remaining 5% are needed.

3. For certain topics like WTO & India, one may create Google alerts. This way one will get an email everytime something is published on the net containing keywords such as ‘WTO’ and ‘India’. Other meaningful alerts may be created.

Report Reading

During our preparation we will need to read multiple committee reports.

– Sometimes newspapers talk about certain reports and publish a few of their recommendations. There is always a temptation to just make our notes based on that newspaper article. But this is not the right approach – because the newspaper article has not been written for the upsc exam and the reporter may not have covered all points relevant to us in our preparation for the exam. So the correct approach is to always look up for the original report on the internet and read it.

How to read bulky reports

But many reports are bulky. If we read them in detail, it would take an inordinate amount of time.

– A common temptation is to read merely the recommendations part. But again this is faulty because the recommendations don’t contain the context, discussion which is as important for our exam purpose as the recommendation itself. We need the context and discussion because only rarely does UPSC ask ‘enumerate the recommendations’… Mostly it asks ‘discuss the recommendations’.

– So we must read the entire report. But to save on time, we need not read each part in same detail and concentration. We should put in only that much effort to read the bulky text of the report so as to get an overall gist / idea of what is being talked about in that part. This will quicken up our reading substantially.

– We can then highlight the relevant ‘important’ parts of the report text in our first reading. (If Adobe doesn’t allow you to highlight a pdf, download Nitroreader) Then in the 2nd reading, we can read only the highlighted parts and add it to our notes in our own words. The second reading and note making part would be substantially faster.

– We must also search on the internet for any discussions on the report (because UPSC asks ‘discuss’ kind of questions).

BEYOND THE BASICS

We reach this stage when we have read all our basic books, made notes from them and have perfected our newspaper reading and internet using skills. Now we address our syllabus directly.

Coaching Material

There are handwritten classnotes of various coaching institutes available in the photocopy shops of rajinder nagar and mukherjee nagar. Notes from vajiram, insight, sriram (printed material) are good for various parts of GS. We should read them and in fact for Vajiram and Sriram, I found them to be better than the actual classes.

ARC and Puncchi Commission Reports

For many topics in 2nd and 3rd paper, 2nd Administrative Reforms Commissions reports are very good (http://arc.gov.in) along with the Puncchi Commission reports (http://interstatecouncil.nic.in/ccsr_report.html). Each volume should be read and notes prepared from them as mentioned earlier. In 2013 mains, at least 5-6 questions were asked directly from ARC and Puncchi Commission reports.

Bills, Rules, Drafts and Government Actions

– Every bill, policy, committee, rules, drafts, governmental action etc. has to be tracked.

– PRS (http://prsindia.org) is a good source for bills.

– Others have to be tracked on internet. PIB website (http://pib.nic.in) is a very good source for all governmental actions and may be subscribed to in the RSS reader.

Specific Readings For Various Parts of Syllabus

PAPER-II – General Studies- I

Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.
Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

I had history optional, so ancient and medieval culture were easy. Modern was very difficult and I found material by Insight, Nitin Singhania and 2 pdfs titled ‘Compilation of Indian culture’ and’Compendium on Indian Culture’ very useful. Click here and here to download the pdfs. I tried to memorize all folk songs/dances/drama etc. state-wise i.e. state first and then the dance.

Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues
The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

Shekhar Bandopadhyay’s “From Plassey to Partition” is by far the best book. Also read Bipin Chandra’s book to get a different perspective. Read both because writing a balanced perspective is very imp.

Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

There is a book by Bipin Chandra “India since Independence”. Very thick book, but we need to read only 3-4 chapters.

History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.

Read Insight world history optional class notes first. for colonization, there was one chapter in old class 9 or 10 history ncert book.

Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.
Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
Effects of globalization on Indian society
Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

All above is very general. answer writing style matters. everybody knows everything.

Salient features of world’s physical geography.
Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian subcontinent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)
Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

NCERT class 11 n 12 books + insight academy + vajiram notes + follow main themes like recent IPCC report, IPSO report, IMD website for cyclone mechanism. In 2013 mains, the cyclone naming question was directly from IMD website. Click here to download cyclone pdf of imd.

PAPER-III
General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.
Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries
Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

For all the polity, read DD Basu or Laximakanth thoroughly. Read 2nd ARC relevant reports and Puncchi Commission Reports. These reports directly cover most of the topics.

Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Issues relating to poverty and hunger.

Vajiram came out with an online pdf on various schemes (Click here to download), its printed copy would be available on photocopy shops in Rajinder Nagar. Handwritten classnotes by the same institutions were also helpful. Newspapers, pib etc. will come in handy here. CAG reports have very good analysis on various schemes as well which can be found on internet.

Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
Role of civil services in a democracy.

These topics are well covered in 2nd ARC reports.

India and its neighborhood- relations.
Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

IR has to be newspapers n internet based.

PAPER-IV
General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management.

Economy section has to come from budget, economic survey, 12th 5 yr plan, newsppr n intnt. Coaching hand written material may also help in some topics.
Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
Government Budgeting.
govt budgeting has to come from 2nd ARC report.
Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers
agriculture – there was “State of Indian Agriculture” report tabled in parliament in March 2012.
Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
Land reforms in India.
Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
Investment models.

All the above issues are well covered in newspapers, internet and editorials etc. Just keep an eye for anything relevant. + I had economics optional, so never really prepared above specifically for GS.

Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

S&T: Mostly adhoc preparation. coaching classes material is relied upon in the final month to boost confidence but it doesn’t really help in the exam.

Disaster and disaster management.

Disaster: 2nd ARC report and CAG report on disaster preparedness

Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

2nd ARC report: 5th schedule, PESA, FRA, 6th schedule topics are imp. here

Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention
Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism
Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

Security: coaching material and newspapers etc.

PAPER-V
General Studies- IV: Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude

Basic material has to be 2nd ARC report #4 and also Vajiram and Insight handwritten notes. For moral thinkers, attitude, emotional intelligence topics, refer to Sriram printed notes.

374 Replies to “UPSC GS: How to Prepare”

    1. Hi sir!!
      Just needed an input from your side about the Commission Reports to be studied.
      Apart from 2nd ARC report:5th schedule, PESA, FRA. Punchhi commission reports as mentioned by you, what other reports should be studied in detail..??
      Can you enlist them if possible?
      That will be really helpful.

      Thank you sir.

      Like

  1. As you have recommended e-note making heavily, you must have done it yourself. Could you please share your notes. You must be using evernote for note making. I would be great if you can share your notebook with blitzkrieg789@gmail.com. I hope I am not asking for too much. I am more interested in your way of note making than notes itself.

    Although these will not be much useful for 2014, but they will at least give an idea about how notes are to be made, idea about how points are to be arranged and organised.

    Thanks in Advance :)

    ~Blitzqrieg

    Like

      1. i will also be interested in those notes……. you are anyways going to be selected this year so i don’t think it will matter to you :)

        Like

          1. looks like people are joining in :D ha ha ha

            anyways i completely agree with what you wrote above……about studying an issue completely and not just news items…..i realized this just now…..majority of the people overlook this and maybe this is why they fail……

            also i understand if you have some reservations about sharing your hard work (notes)….it is completely normal and if you are hesitant don’t worry…you have already helped enough…..cheers :)

            Like

  2. 8 months left for pre and 1 year in mains….i started 2 months back.joined vaji(gs) till now completed geo ncerts,laxmikant,eco ncert and optional coaching ( still to read it my self)…sometime this fear haunts me that i am late…as u know this process very well.I have few questions…
    1) is it sufficient time from now to be in race?
    2) as i am reading optional and gs together now..from which month should i completely focus on pre?
    3) for 2014, time is there to read reports apart from syllabus?
    Thanking you.

    Like

    1. saurabh ji

      ur preparation level is good already and u hv enuf time. i too started in october 2011 which gave me 8 months for prelims and 12 for mains.

      1. so if it is a race, u are already ahead :-)

      2. depends on how good u r in paper 2. if u r confident enuf in paper 2, prelims specific preparation can be done in last 1-2 months itself. and anyways, prelims questions come from the basic books and current affairs (paper 1) so if u r doing the basics part right, u wont need to study for prelims.

      3. these reports r very much a part of the syllabus.

      Like

  3. Hi,Can you tell how much insight gs class notes of all topics will cost?Thanks for your post.Till now i was frustated how to cover my syllabus missing points.But your post boosted my morale.Is what you have mentioned is sufficient as i am not attending coaching classes?Plz reply as this my first and last shot due to financial problems?

    Like

    1. Dear race
      I never took all class notes of insight, only took some parts. So don’t know how mucha ll will cost, but the cost should be for photocopying only, no intellectual property. Most coachings including the biggest names are anyways useless, so don’t worry. Good self study is needed.

      Like

          1. absolutely right sir. Its a myth that only people going to delhi can crack this exam… this is the only democratic exam which need a grad degree and rest u need to understand the syllabus and the questions asked accordingly. self-study is the best source. As a mate who completed his journey knows what to do and what not to.

            Like

  4. Hi, thanks so much for this approach.
    About geography, you recommend old NCERTs. Is there any particular reason for this, I found the new ones tho be more concise and updates. Should I go with old, anyway?

    Like

      1. Sir where we can buy the old ncert books is it available in local stores r should have to order online . can you tell me plz…Moreover i cant able to find the exact books.

        Like

  5. Sir Ji, First of all thank you for sharing your approach. Really helpful for Bhatke aatma like me. Now I had a question. Sir how did you stumble upon the imd faq’s for cyclone? I mean what made you check that website? Also, do you check all the government websites once in awhile or just some specific ones when the relevant issue is in news? If it’s not too much, could you please name some informative govt websites that you helped you? TIA :-)

    Like

    1. Hi dhruv, the websites whch i referred to regularly, i ve already put. IMD website i referred because there was sucha. Big cyclone in october – phailin. A question on cyclones seemed very probable, so i wanted to understand everything abt cyclone and while googling found imd site. Though its ironical that of everything, upsc asked only the naming system :-|

      Like

  6. Bhai ,,, Could you please share your notes online … as most of it is softcopy only ! You could update in the drive and give us the link… No need to format and oragnise also.. It would help us immensly on what are the dimensions to cover and how to organise the notes. I have seen the sample notes and its just mindboggling.

    Like

            1. Hi,

              Congrats on your getting the best result. Many of us had expected a very good rank for you.

              Can you please post the strategy you followed for economics optional, especially paper II?

              Like

  7. There was a question on Section 66A of IT Act and Article 19.. How to prepare for these kind of questions? I mean do we need to know each and every Article of the Constitution in details.? Is that even possible?

    Like

    1. Yaar, art 66A was very much in the news all year around for facebook n twitter related arrests. Art 19 is a very very imp article. U dont hv to remember all articles but at least the important ones have to be remembered for upsc.

      Like

  8. Okay… Actually i’ve started preparing since this December… So wasn’t too updated till last year.. I’ll surely pull up my socks and work really hard from this year..

    Like

  9. Sir,
    Aapka blog bahut accha hai, khas kar un logo ke liye jo ghar se hi preparation kar rahe hain. Mera ek sawal hai, aapne kaha tha ki Feedly main jo articles ate hain, unme se 95% we can safely leave and prepare from rest 5%. Sir, main feedly use kar raha hoon, aur usme mujhe bahut saare article important lagte hai, jabki main janta hoon ki itna prepare nahi karna hai. Sir, kya aap kuch tips de sakte hain that how to choose important articles in Feedly.

    Thank You Sir :)

    Like

    1. Brother, Though I have not taken any attempt, let me clear this doubt of yours. It would take ‘time and critical analysis’ to determine the significance of the study material/articles/notes for your preparation. This is a question like asking, how can I develop my answer writing ability. The answer to this question is simple and small, ‘by practicing’.
      So, please analyse the previous years question paper(mains-2013/Prelims-2013) to decide what is the significance of a particular news or which part of the article is apt as a info. for Prelims/Mains.
      Everyone has to develop his own way to tackle the aspects of CSE preparation ‘distinctly/differently’.

      Like

  10. Hi sir ‘ji’,
    I feel a lot relaxed the way the aspirants like you share each and every aspect of Preparation so nicely(especially your Personality Test). I thing that I am so lucky to prepare ‘now’ for CSE, the things might have been very different 10 years ago.
    My question: What is the significance of ‘group study/ fellow aspirants’ in CSE preparation ? I am preparing alone and I always remain skeptical about my ‘lone preparation’ !

    Like

    1. yaar grp k fayde nuksaan dono hain. fayda yeh hai ki multiple view points pata lagte hain. nukasan yeh hai ki samay bahut kharab hota hai. so if u thnk u can maintain a balance tab thik hai. i used to have a telephonic grp wth a college frn and an email grp with 2 other frns where we used to point out important topics / questions to each other.

      Like

    1. yaar srry i can’t be of much help in terms of sources since i had good eco background n nvr had to study for eco prelim… but mebbe if u have any specific queries, u can ask here from time to time n i ll respond.

      Like

  11. hi, nice blog :)..
    1. how far can previous year question papers in gs and optional help?
    2. is answer writing approach in optional different from gs?
    3. in essay, shud one try to develop writing skills in subjects one is strong in or everything?
    4. how to make sure that one focuses on revision in addition to reading new stuff?

    bombarded u with so many questions..these questions have been bothering me for a long time…thanks :)

    Like

    1. 1. help a lot for following reasons.

      a. many ques repeated.
      b. more importantly, they tell u the level of ur prep… if ur prep is dat u cant answer last yrs ques comfortably, u may not b ablebto ans this yr too n need more prep. if u can ans last yr comfortably, then ur prep is adequate n more emphasis b put on answer writing.

      Like

    2. 2. yes its very diff. main reason being answers of optionals r checked by subject experts n profs of that subj. ans in gs r chkd by generalist or non experts. so if u write an in depth answer in optional focussing only on main points n cutting all the bakwas around it, it wud b good in optional. optional requires precise, clear ans. gs needs all the bullshitting i wrote in the blog…

      Like

    3. 3. so far upsc has not sprang up a surprise in essay, so it is reasonable to assume 1 in 4-5 topics, so focus may be on strong topics only. but apart from the content, essay requires good structuring, coherent flow, logical theme, right mix of depth n balance. these r the skills one needs to practise n these r topic independent

      Like

  12. congratulations sir on your grand success.

    have gained a lot from the brief but very enlightening conversation we had.
    wish you all the very best :D

    Like

  13. Congratz sir! :) truly deserved success for u. And u r doin a vry nyc wrk by helpin upsc aspirants here. Can u plz provide one more favour? Plz provide the names of the books u refered for eco optional. M havin the same. I know u might b vry mch bsy these days bt u can mail me whenevr u get time- my id is- ishasingh2893@gmail.com

    Like

  14. Dear sir,
    I have been confused for a very long time.. whether to go for coaching classes or not ? I dont really understand class room classes, moreover staying at delhi for coaching would be beyond my monetory limits..
    Is it not possible to prepare for cse without coaching ? And if it is.. then what extra efforts would be required for self study based preparation only ?
    waiting for ur reply sir.. it wud really boost my confidence..
    thanks

    Like

  15. Hi!
    I checked my mains score. I missed interview call by 14 marks. It was my first (and quite pre-mature, I got just 45 days for mains) attempt. My optional papers went not-so-well and even GS papers were quite average because I lacked the analytical approach for my answers. But I was quite confident about my essay and ethics paper.
    Then I checked my mark-sheet,I was taken aback. I scored three digit marks in my both optional papers and decent score in GS papers. What ruined my case was essay and ethics paper were I scored meagre 90 and 80 respectively (when I was expecting over 100). I haven’t practised a single essay or answer writing before my actual exam, so this may be the reason. Still I am not sure that it will make much difference. I already used lots of quotes and all in my essay.
    How to deal with the ethics paper and write good essay?
    I am doing self study, so your suggestions will be of immense help.

    Thanks in advance

    Like

  16. Gaura ji ko pranam, I had heard lot about you from my roommates(kamra, iti, ashvin , pj, pottu, lohia), who were your batchmates in iit kanpur. You very well deserved the top rank. Please accept my heartiest wishes.
    Your succcess and added to it the 2 year relaxation in age limit has reignited the flame which had extinguished somewhere in me. Right now, I am clueless about taking coaching or not, though i am kind of self study guy. You have very well described the preparation strategy, just like true champions, I will surely take a clue from it. My sincere wishes are with you, Maa Bhagwati tumhara marg prashast kare.

    Like

  17. Hi Gaurav Sir,
    Thanks a lot for the support that you are extending to all of us…I have a small request….Could you kindly explain ” How to Prepare for Prelims” for the GS part…….I have been off late finding it difficult to score well in tests……Also as far as CSAT is concerned, is it only practice that would help in Solving paragraphs.? I am asking this precisely since i have joined CL Test Series and i find it difficult to solve some Paragraphs…Please guide the practice source too….
    Thanks again…

    Like

    1. yaar abhishek.. on prelims prep part i lack suggestions since i nvr prepared specifically for prelims.

      1. paper 2 score in ur case will imporve only when u do some standard book, learn those formulae n tricks n practise.

      2.for gs, refer to basic books i ve mentioned here, get the handwritten photocopied coaching material from rajendra nagar shops n read it, make notes, underline… then give tests from coachings available on net (orkut community / forumias)

      dats all i can say bro

      Like

  18. Hi, where to buy the Vajiram and sriman notes ? as I donot live in Delhi and heard that the postal notes cost 9500 rs and if the shopkeepers are asked to post, they might post the old notes.

    Like

  19. sir..i am a 2 nd year b.tech student…i have started with ncert …but find a bit difficult 2 remember all the facts….what approach should i keep while reading ncert…..

    Like

  20. sir..i am a 2 nd year b.tech student…i have started with ncert geography and history…but find a bit difficult 2 remember all the facts….what approach should i keep while reading ncert…..

    Like

  21. Firstly, thank you gaurav bhai for helping aspirants like us and investing time in us….secondly, in IR questions do we have to give any background of the relations first or just to the point answers ?

    Like

  22. Respected sir,
    Thank you so much for your guidance. Please provide your detailed strategy for prelims as well. Only two months remaining. Please advice sir.

    Please keep guiding us and writing new posts. Also please, please donot delete this blog and post.

    With best regards,
    sonu kumar

    Like

  23. Hi Gaurav,
    For basic reading on Indian constitution, can DD basu be replaced with subhash kashyap or laxmikanth? I am confused, to either follow subhash kashyap or Basu. Please guide me . Thanks

    Like

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