I think I mentioned before also rather than going for books or exam wise, Go for themes, prepare a theme and everything related to it will be done. Roman: Shashank? Shashank: Actually prelims and mains both have the same syllabus. So, according to me, you shouldn’t segregate both and study… Both are the same, but some details are asked in the prelims, and in the mains, the concepts are asked. So if you are integrating and studying, so in the last 2-3 months of prelims, focus on those things which are asked in the prelims.
And according to me, there is a triad. Triad of static portion, Triad of one part of the static portion, another part is current affairs, and another is the previous year’s question papers. If we do these 3 things, it is a full-proof method of not ruining your prelims. Artika: Quick tips about the prelims would be, no.1- Current affairs. Very strong with current affairs, the entire year. This time they asked about a movie-related question, so you cannot predict what might come. No.2- Do not spend a lot of time, its a qualifying exam. You don’t have to make it such a big deal that you have to top it. Its a qualifying exam, so take it lightly, spend time with your optional and mains, at least take a month before the prelims too.
Hoe to refer to online papers.
That is what I did, so that is what I can vouch for. No.3- Will be more than learning books, for static content, go for test series. Any coaching institutes you have faith in, or online papers, go for it. That will help you more than reading books, I can guarantee that in prelims at least. And no.4- would be the revision. Revision is important and so are papers in the end, and the 5th thing is to do it once in a timed environment… So that you don’t have time management problems in the exams…that’s it. Artika: For mains, I think one very important suggestion would be optional should not be taken up for the first time after prelims… That is a disastrous technique. Do it before. Coach or revise, do it before itself. Huge stress is lifted off your head.
Shashank: There are 9 papers in mains. Which means 9 papers in 27 hours. According to my, the preparation for the qualifying papers, you don’t have to work so hard for it. It’s mostly only for the people who have language problems, have to work hard. Otherwise, your preparations should start from the beginning itself. As I said earlier, you have to prepare for prelims and mains… You can’t expect to prepare for optional after the prelims, still, if you have studied right from the beginning, that is more than enough to revise in 3 months.
Like Artika said, focus on the test series, rather than going end to end practice the things that would probably appear in the exam. The best way to practice that is to do test series. A lot of people put their heads to it….. And prepare it in such a way, the things which have more chances of appearing. Roman: So Gazal this question is directed to you. This was your 4th attempt and there are lakhs of people who prepare for this exam, But hardly a thousand of them will get selected over a period of 4-5 years. As one of my batchmates from AIIMS, he was more intelligent and hardworking than me, but he did not get selected in his first 2 attempts, and he has made it to the services now.
3 stages in the exam.
So what according to you is the right time to start looking for alternate career options? Gazal: You know, UPSC, Its like a circle, compared to the exam, it is more of a circle. And this circle keeps pulling you in, every time. Once you come here, it is difficult to leave. Because you don’t feel like moving on. And especially, in my case, when I was giving my 3rd attempt, I was 9 marks close. So it was always there. I wanted to move on, but somehow I said no, I want to sit for another attempt also. So, this time I kept a backup, that my whole focus would be here…. And I sat for XLRI exams because it is also a gamble. There are 3 stages in the exam, 1 mark less and you are out of the game.
And for one mark also you cannot predict your luck. So I think the 3rd or the 4th attempt is the right time when you can look towards an alternative career, Where you are either financially independent, so then you can be on your own and prepare or you can shift and try else depending on your personal choice. So, I had seen your blogpost as well that its a circle of dreams, it will keep pulling you but you have to decide, you’re the best person to decide when to put in what. So, practically decide for that.
Roman: So, Artika, there are many people who start preparing for this exam, from when they are 17 or 18… there are many people who don’t know what is the full form of UPSC when they are 27 or 28.. so there is a huge variety of aspirants who give this exam, so, what according to you is first, the right time to start preparing for this exam, and secondly, what is the ideal duration which you should have in your mind…this is the amount of time that will at least require for a sincere effort? Artika: Okay, I will speak in my limited perspective, being.
that I took my optional as Medical Science, so, my optional was the subject which I had done in my graduation as well, so, for anyone who is good with the graduation subject, I would suggest, it requires one year, it is all that it requires… Because you have spent time in your subject, you can take one subject in which you had done your graduation, and then you can spend one year on honing your skills in GS, like how it was mentioned that you just require a basic understanding of the things, you don’t have to be a scholar in it.