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How can I become my own mentor for d optional to which there is no good coaching ?

My optional is from Science stream. Anyone who prepared Agri / Medical Science / Chemistry / Geology/ Zoology / Physics / Botany etc. based purely on own strategy plz. guide me.


  • Whatever your optional is try googling first. There are quite a few blogs on most of the optionals you have mentioned above.

  • Last year I took mains with geology optional. All self study. No coaching material either because of unavailability. I was working so I could only study for about 2 months. Still I was able to score 195 marks. That wasn't enough for me to clear mains but I'm satisfied with my performance.
    So I made an excel of all the past year question and categorized them according to the topic. Going through them gave me a clear idea of the depth of topic that UPSC goes while setting paper. I strictly adhered to the syllabus & prepared beach topic individually right from the classical books of the subject be it Indian or Foreigner. Then I found that in some topics I could score better by going in depth. So on those few tropics I prepared some things which were not asked yet. I made my own notes and revised them multiple times.
    In every optional there are a few topics which are regularly asked. Pick then up like low hanging fruits.
    I also made a list of current happenings in geology.
    All that in just 2 months. I am sure if I had prepared all years things would have been better.
  • All I wished was that I had used this strategy for my optional that I had before. Sociology. So this year, I'm back to sociology but with a new strategy.
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