Prelims is over and I am sure many of you who are reading this will clear that stage. Don’t be too happy about it. it is just one small step towards a bigger goal. The goal to contribute towards society. The goal to bring positive change in people’s lives (Mind you, your goal is not just to become an IAS). The next stage is more fierce, more competitive and more demanding. It can make you realize your limitations but at the same time, it gives you a chance to learn and know about what is happening about you. It will sanitize you about social milieu you live in and about the ways you can contribute towards the society.
Often, prelims and mains are different ball game. While prelims is very diverse and requires certain skill sets, mains is more about focus, analysis and have an in-depth understanding of a subject. Off late, UPSC is asking questions based not just on the facts but based on your understanding and perspective. There might not be right or wrong answers to many of the questions asked in UPSC.
Now the task is not that simple. You can’t just read, memorize and reproduce in the exam. You have to understand the topic which you read, understand multiple perspectives about each topic and come up with your own perspective. In such a scenario, debates and discussions among your peers, with parents, and with mentors would come handy.
Writing practice has its own advantages, but you would write only those things which you know. So knowing becomes more paramount. Try to build up a perspective. Try to read multiple resources. Don’t just stick to one paper. Try to include 2 or 3 papers to understand various points of view. Talk to you seniors often about the subjects which are socially relevant. Try to put yourself in that situation (as an administrator) and think about the solution from multiple perspectives.
To know the facts is the bare minimum which all the 16000 candidates writing mains will be doing. To crack it with flying colors, you need to walk on extra mile, you need to be original in your thought and should be able to communicate well through your writing. I hope you get an idea of how to proceed with your preparation for mains.