Rank in CSE-2016
|Number of attempts (include present one)
Solving many questions for Prelims, gave me the much needed confidence which proved to be helpful in the final exam.
History & Culture : Ancient History- NCERT-11th(Old), NCERT-11th( New)
Modern History- NCERT-12th(Old)- Bipin Chandra, Book by Spectrum Publication. Medieval History- NCERT-11th(Old).
Economy- NCERT-11th Macroeconomics for basic concepts, Book by Ramesh Singh
Geography- NCERTs 11th & 12th New. Don’t ignore the Mapping part, learn to spend some time with Atlas.
Environment- Few chapters from Class 12th NCERT,
Views about importance of Test series:
This time, I was more serious about writing tests both for Prelims and Mains. I joined test series and wrote tests at their centre so as to have a feeling of exam-type scenario.
What to focus on for Mains Prep?
- Work on the basics: For this, I read NCERTs and got basic idea of all the subjects such as History, Polity, Geography and Economy. Once I was done with the basics part, I switched to subject-specific books.
- Practice writing: Took test series, and I worked on my answer writing. I used to write 2–3 answers daily and tried my best to include as many relevant points as possible.
- Optional: Since last few years, optional subject is considered as the game-changer. For my optional i.e. Mathematics, I practiced questions from the previous year question papers and subject-wise text books. The test series proved to be useful here too.
- Essay: Though I feel I could’ve done better with my essay marks but then, this time I wrote quite a few essays on my own. Don’t ignore Essays because you can score high with relatively less efforts.
- Ethics: Ethics is more about self-reflection and moderating your thought process in such a way that you can actually look at several hidden dimensions of the problem. Solve case studies, try to think over the issues involved, and apply the concepts in your life so that you can produce real-life examples in the exam.
- Newspaper reading: If I were to choose one most important thing about UPSC preparation, it has to be newspaper reading. Luckily, I was most regular about this aspect. I hardly missed newspaper in my entire preparation period. Making short notes of the important issues also helped me a lot in quick revision at the last stage. Other than this, I read Yojana for some issues. One needs to weed out the unnecessary facts and focus more on conceptual clarity.
Tips for students:
Overall, daily-answer writing practice, multiple revisions, more question-solving, due focus to optional and essay paper, regularity with the current affairs, is what I think, made the difference.
Points to be noted:
Practice answer writing and essay writing.