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Learnings from MAINS 2017

What you have learned from MAINS 2017 ?
Did things went as you had planned for this whole mains season ?
Do you feel while prep for mains "I should have done that or I shouldn't have done that" - If yes ,What is it ?
«1345

Comments

  • Anyone ?
  • me4IAS said:

    What you have learned from MAINS 2017 ?
    Did things went as you had planned for this whole mains season ?
    Do you feel while prep for mains "I should have done that or I shouldn't have done that" - If yes ,What is it ?

    bhai cover the optional...rest gs papers toh sabke almost ek jaisa hi rehta hai...but most imp is to cover the optional holistically
    Down-yes Out-No

    कोशिश करने वालों की कभी हार नहीं होती।
  • optional should have been revised a few more times.
    Some more writing practice for gs.
    revising notes on data for paper 3.
    rest , papers were easier.
  • *Lack of writing practice resulted in bad handwriting I guess(Only 1 mock test of GS 4 was given and nothing else)
    *Optional went good, but the issue of handwriting persisted along with the issue of change in script
    *No short notes were made and this took its toll on revision
    *Waited for pre-results to start actively for mains
    *Finally, if we have the optional done, pre to mains period is sufficient(at least to attempt all questions and many satisfactorily)
  • 1 in optionals like Philosophy, there is no substitute to doing previous years papers. If possible write down the whole syllabus. I think i will again get low marks in paper 1 philo

    2 must do a test series for mains, if not for practice , then for confidence, the feeling that you have written so many tests is important. last year i had done my test series well, but this time i did not, and i was all throughout afraid

    3 leaving questions is a bigger problem than not knowing the questions. GS 3 paper was so open and straightforward that i ended up overshoooting the time in each questions and missed out on at least 3 questions :( and i do not generally have the slow handwriting problem :(

    4 use facts / data in answers as much as possible. i have seen some people have fixed the data component on the basis of themes such as women, democracy, civil society etc. i think it makes a lot of difference

    5 dont postpone anything for last moment. that will never come. i was thinking of joining a test series for mains, and then waited and waited thinking i will join now.. i joined mgp in the end, but hardly wrote 3 tests because of lack of time in the last moment. I should have just begun on time, then i would have been much better

    6 arrive at the exam venue one hour early than late. I was late for the laguage paper, and i was all panciked if they would let me write the exam. i did another blunder, by not carrying the hall ticket. i was all panicked, thankfully i had another copy of the hall ticket in my bag, which i accidentally found out while switching off and keeping my phone. it would have been a nightmare. P.S. I have an acquaintance who was late for GS 3 Paper and had to miss it. totally squandered one chance.
  • anjus said:

    1 in optionals like Philosophy, there is no substitute to doing previous years papers. If possible write down the whole syllabus. I think i will again get low marks in paper 1 philo

    2 must do a test series for mains, if not for practice , then for confidence, the feeling that you have written so many tests is important. last year i had done my test series well, but this time i did not, and i was all throughout afraid

    3 leaving questions is a bigger problem than not knowing the questions. GS 3 paper was so open and straightforward that i ended up overshoooting the time in each questions and missed out on at least 3 questions :( and i do not generally have the slow handwriting problem :(

    4 use facts / data in answers as much as possible. i have seen some people have fixed the data component on the basis of themes such as women, democracy, civil society etc. i think it makes a lot of difference

    5 dont postpone anything for last moment. that will never come. i was thinking of joining a test series for mains, and then waited and waited thinking i will join now.. i joined mgp in the end, but hardly wrote 3 tests because of lack of time in the last moment. I should have just begun on time, then i would have been much better

    6 arrive at the exam venue one hour early than late. I was late for the laguage paper, and i was all panciked if they would let me write the exam. i did another blunder, by not carrying the hall ticket. i was all panicked, thankfully i had another copy of the hall ticket in my bag, which i accidentally found out while switching off and keeping my phone. it would have been a nightmare. P.S. I have an acquaintance who was late for GS 3 Paper and had to miss it. totally squandered one chance.

    They didn't let her/him write the paper? :open_mouth:
  • Such useful insights !

    @nandini please share your exp
  • i would like to add one more thing apart from wat all mentioned.
    apart from concentrating on current affairs in gs 2 and 3 also be well prepared in static part of syllabus.
    joint session, nuclear qn, stem cell and many more might have been really difficult if not read after prelims.
  • To be honest I don't know about lessons learnt as of now.
    I didn't clear mains twice before so I did some things differently this time :

    1. Made diligent short notes of current topics issue wise - strictly one page - covering both summary of static and important points of current aspect. For each topic I specifically included static part in my notes that helped me. Eg in SHG question I used the data of my static part for a large part of the question and supplemented it with current part in conclusion and way forward.

    2. For paper 1 I did crisp study - theme wise and issue wise that again saved time - kept sources less but many revisions - lessened stress during exam.

    3. Optional I had revised before prelims majorly though some parts were left - but I still don't know what to do more as it's GEOGRAPHY - so no trends are helpful, no sureshot way to crack it. But GS prep helped a lot in paper 2 optional.

    Lessons learnt from mains :

    1. *Don't think you're out of the race for the year till the time result is declared* I mean each and every word of it. I had worked very hard this time and the essay day - I chose natural laws - came back home read on forum that the interpretation might be different - lost all hope of clearing mains then and there - I thought the start itself has been so bad etc etc - luckily my parents talked me out of dejection and by evening I was back to revision.
    Nobody knows what might click to the examiner. Keep your nerves and give your best in that one week. Will power can make you do a paper much better than a demotivated and dejected attitude.

    2. Revision is key - revise till you drop - leave a few topics if necessary but don't go like with half baked knowledge of each topic - one page per topic is more than sufficient for 200-250 words - more than sufficient - but knowing still not knowing the topic is to be avoided. Do 90% of the topics but do them well - revise them multiple times. In 15-18 answers even 60-70% of the relevant points well presented will fetch you marks. But 20-30% points written without confidence in every answer will not work.

    3. This is for others - because I don't do this this but friends did so and repented - don't compromise sleep before the exam day - the worst thing you can expect during the exam is to have a black out during the exam. Not recommended at all.

    4. Make short concise notes after prelims - first month after prelims do this along with mad revision - then only revise the short notes - this is for static.
    For current - one page per issue. Revise it like a mad person - you should even know where you have put a full stop or comma in your notes - what I mean is it should be imprinted in your mind - no other way.

    5. Write answers and join a test series if necessary - to iron out specific issues like writing speed, hand writing etc but strike a balance - there is a mad rush and mindless rush to join tests and that might not work for everyone. To each his own. Do what suits you. Study how it suits you. You have to make a strategy to clear the exam. Know how to write answers but only writing answers madly won't help. You need content too. Balance!

    6. Find your path. Don't follow anyone not even rank 1. Your doubts, fears and journey is very different from others. Take the best points that suit you from everyone. But think on those and do what you feel correct without being escapist. Even an IAS Father/Mother or brother/sister cannot ensure the best strategy for their child/sibling. Because everyone's mind is different. Understand your mind and try to guide your mind rather than being guided by your mind. A ranker of one year might not even clear pre/mains next year. It's that unpredictable. But we can just plan for success. And do that but don't follow anyone blindly.

    7. Write mains with detachment. Write it like any other exam. The more attached you are the more are the chances of faltering. It's not a a matter of life and death. I know it's difficult to believe that internally but it's true. A career is just one aspect. You'll clear the exam and then be depressed about a bad cadre, a life partner, postings, money, children or the lack of children, ageing parents, lack of happiness in life etc. This never ends. The sooner we realise the better.

    These are my two cents. I just wrote mains with a different manner of preparation and a different mindset this time. Hope hardwork is rewarded someday. :)
  • Biggest learning is that no matter how much hard work you put in for GS1,2,3,4. At the time of exam, it all boils down to your optional. GS every good candidate is writing more or less the same answers as you are. It is the optional that can make or break you.
  • @nandini has more or less covered all the points.
    The most important is point no 7 nishkam karma. Do hard work, this will boost confidence but also get ready for rejection.
    Always have a plan B in life because CSE is very unpredictable.
    Tryst with UPSC
  • nandini said:

    To be honest I don't know about lessons learnt as of now.
    I didn't clear mains twice before so I did some things differently this time :

    1. Made diligent short notes of current topics issue wise - strictly one page - covering both summary of static and important points of current aspect. For each topic I specifically included static part in my notes that helped me. Eg in SHG question I used the data of my static part for a large part of the question and supplemented it with current part in conclusion and way forward.

    2. For paper 1 I did crisp study - theme wise and issue wise that again saved time - kept sources less but many revisions - lessened stress during exam.

    3. Optional I had revised before prelims majorly though some parts were left - but I still don't know what to do more as it's GEOGRAPHY - so no trends are helpful, no sureshot way to crack it. But GS prep helped a lot in paper 2 optional.

    Lessons learnt from mains :

    1. *Don't think you're out of the race for the year till the time result is declared* I mean each and every word of it. I had worked very hard this time and the essay day - I chose natural laws - came back home read on forum that the interpretation might be different - lost all hope of clearing mains then and there - I thought the start itself has been so bad etc etc - luckily my parents talked me out of dejection and by evening I was back to revision.
    Nobody knows what might click to the examiner. Keep your nerves and give your best in that one week. Will power can make you do a paper much better than a demotivated and dejected attitude.

    2. Revision is key - revise till you drop - leave a few topics if necessary but don't go like with half baked knowledge of each topic - one page per topic is more than sufficient for 200-250 words - more than sufficient - but knowing still not knowing the topic is to be avoided. Do 90% of the topics but do them well - revise them multiple times. In 15-18 answers even 60-70% of the relevant points well presented will fetch you marks. But 20-30% points written without confidence in every answer will not work.

    3. This is for others - because I don't do this this but friends did so and repented - don't compromise sleep before the exam day - the worst thing you can expect during the exam is to have a black out during the exam. Not recommended at all.

    4. Make short concise notes after prelims - first month after prelims do this along with mad revision - then only revise the short notes - this is for static.
    For current - one page per issue. Revise it like a mad person - you should even know where you have put a full stop or comma in your notes - what I mean is it should be imprinted in your mind - no other way.

    5. Write answers and join a test series if necessary - to iron out specific issues like writing speed, hand writing etc but strike a balance - there is a mad rush and mindless rush to join tests and that might not work for everyone. To each his own. Do what suits you. Study how it suits you. You have to make a strategy to clear the exam. Know how to write answers but only writing answers madly won't help. You need content too. Balance!

    6. Find your path. Don't follow anyone not even rank 1. Your doubts, fears and journey is very different from others. Take the best points that suit you from everyone. But think on those and do what you feel correct without being escapist. Even an IAS Father/Mother or brother/sister cannot ensure the best strategy for their child/sibling. Because everyone's mind is different. Understand your mind and try to guide your mind rather than being guided by your mind. A ranker of one year might not even clear pre/mains next year. It's that unpredictable. But we can just plan for success. And do that but don't follow anyone blindly.

    7. Write mains with detachment. Write it like any other exam. The more attached you are the more are the chances of faltering. It's not a a matter of life and death. I know it's difficult to believe that internally but it's true. A career is just one aspect. You'll clear the exam and then be depressed about a bad cadre, a life partner, postings, money, children or the lack of children, ageing parents, lack of happiness in life etc. This never ends. The sooner we realise the better.

    These are my two cents. I just wrote mains with a different manner of preparation and a different mindset this time. Hope hardwork is rewarded someday. :)

    Brilliantly put.

    Thanks a ton @nandini
    *No good deed goes unpunished*
  • nandini said:

    To be honest I don't know about lessons learnt as of now.
    I didn't clear mains twice before so I did some things differently this time :

    1. Made diligent short notes of current topics issue wise - strictly one page - covering both summary of static and important points of current aspect. For each topic I specifically included static part in my notes that helped me. Eg in SHG question I used the data of my static part for a large part of the question and supplemented it with current part in conclusion and way forward.

    2. For paper 1 I did crisp study - theme wise and issue wise that again saved time - kept sources less but many revisions - lessened stress during exam.

    3. Optional I had revised before prelims majorly though some parts were left - but I still don't know what to do more as it's GEOGRAPHY - so no trends are helpful, no sureshot way to crack it. But GS prep helped a lot in paper 2 optional.

    Lessons learnt from mains :

    1. *Don't think you're out of the race for the year till the time result is declared* I mean each and every word of it. I had worked very hard this time and the essay day - I chose natural laws - came back home read on forum that the interpretation might be different - lost all hope of clearing mains then and there - I thought the start itself has been so bad etc etc - luckily my parents talked me out of dejection and by evening I was back to revision.
    Nobody knows what might click to the examiner. Keep your nerves and give your best in that one week. Will power can make you do a paper much better than a demotivated and dejected attitude.

    2. Revision is key - revise till you drop - leave a few topics if necessary but don't go like with half baked knowledge of each topic - one page per topic is more than sufficient for 200-250 words - more than sufficient - but knowing still not knowing the topic is to be avoided. Do 90% of the topics but do them well - revise them multiple times. In 15-18 answers even 60-70% of the relevant points well presented will fetch you marks. But 20-30% points written without confidence in every answer will not work.

    3. This is for others - because I don't do this this but friends did so and repented - don't compromise sleep before the exam day - the worst thing you can expect during the exam is to have a black out during the exam. Not recommended at all.

    4. Make short concise notes after prelims - first month after prelims do this along with mad revision - then only revise the short notes - this is for static.
    For current - one page per issue. Revise it like a mad person - you should even know where you have put a full stop or comma in your notes - what I mean is it should be imprinted in your mind - no other way.

    5. Write answers and join a test series if necessary - to iron out specific issues like writing speed, hand writing etc but strike a balance - there is a mad rush and mindless rush to join tests and that might not work for everyone. To each his own. Do what suits you. Study how it suits you. You have to make a strategy to clear the exam. Know how to write answers but only writing answers madly won't help. You need content too. Balance!

    6. Find your path. Don't follow anyone not even rank 1. Your doubts, fears and journey is very different from others. Take the best points that suit you from everyone. But think on those and do what you feel correct without being escapist. Even an IAS Father/Mother or brother/sister cannot ensure the best strategy for their child/sibling. Because everyone's mind is different. Understand your mind and try to guide your mind rather than being guided by your mind. A ranker of one year might not even clear pre/mains next year. It's that unpredictable. But we can just plan for success. And do that but don't follow anyone blindly.

    7. Write mains with detachment. Write it like any other exam. The more attached you are the more are the chances of faltering. It's not a a matter of life and death. I know it's difficult to believe that internally but it's true. A career is just one aspect. You'll clear the exam and then be depressed about a bad cadre, a life partner, postings, money, children or the lack of children, ageing parents, lack of happiness in life etc. This never ends. The sooner we realise the better.

    These are my two cents. I just wrote mains with a different manner of preparation and a different mindset this time. Hope hardwork is rewarded someday. :)

    Thanx...
  • anjus said:

    1 in optionals like Philosophy, there is no substitute to doing previous years papers. If possible write down the whole syllabus. I think i will again get low marks in paper 1 philo

    2 must do a test series for mains, if not for practice , then for confidence, the feeling that you have written so many tests is important. last year i had done my test series well, but this time i did not, and i was all throughout afraid

    3 leaving questions is a bigger problem than not knowing the questions. GS 3 paper was so open and straightforward that i ended up overshoooting the time in each questions and missed out on at least 3 questions :( and i do not generally have the slow handwriting problem :(

    4 use facts / data in answers as much as possible. i have seen some people have fixed the data component on the basis of themes such as women, democracy, civil society etc. i think it makes a lot of difference

    5 dont postpone anything for last moment. that will never come. i was thinking of joining a test series for mains, and then waited and waited thinking i will join now.. i joined mgp in the end, but hardly wrote 3 tests because of lack of time in the last moment. I should have just begun on time, then i would have been much better

    6 arrive at the exam venue one hour early than late. I was late for the laguage paper, and i was all panciked if they would let me write the exam. i did another blunder, by not carrying the hall ticket. i was all panicked, thankfully i had another copy of the hall ticket in my bag, which i accidentally found out while switching off and keeping my phone. it would have been a nightmare. P.S. I have an acquaintance who was late for GS 3 Paper and had to miss it. totally squandered one chance.

    Factu.... Thanks for sharing.. :)
  • andy133 said:

    Biggest learning is that no matter how much hard work you put in for GS1,2,3,4. At the time of exam, it all boils down to your optional. GS every good candidate is writing more or less the same answers as you are. It is the optional that can make or break you.

    +1
  • nandini said:

    To be honest I don't know about lessons learnt as of now.
    I didn't clear mains twice before so I did some things differently this time :

    1. Made diligent short notes of current topics issue wise - strictly one page - covering both summary of static and important points of current aspect. For each topic I specifically included static part in my notes that helped me. Eg in SHG question I used the data of my static part for a large part of the question and supplemented it with current part in conclusion and way forward.

    2. For paper 1 I did crisp study - theme wise and issue wise that again saved time - kept sources less but many revisions - lessened stress during exam.

    3. Optional I had revised before prelims majorly though some parts were left - but I still don't know what to do more as it's GEOGRAPHY - so no trends are helpful, no sureshot way to crack it. But GS prep helped a lot in paper 2 optional.

    Lessons learnt from mains :

    1. *Don't think you're out of the race for the year till the time result is declared* I mean each and every word of it. I had worked very hard this time and the essay day - I chose natural laws - came back home read on forum that the interpretation might be different - lost all hope of clearing mains then and there - I thought the start itself has been so bad etc etc - luckily my parents talked me out of dejection and by evening I was back to revision.
    Nobody knows what might click to the examiner. Keep your nerves and give your best in that one week. Will power can make you do a paper much better than a demotivated and dejected attitude.

    2. Revision is key - revise till you drop - leave a few topics if necessary but don't go like with half baked knowledge of each topic - one page per topic is more than sufficient for 200-250 words - more than sufficient - but knowing still not knowing the topic is to be avoided. Do 90% of the topics but do them well - revise them multiple times. In 15-18 answers even 60-70% of the relevant points well presented will fetch you marks. But 20-30% points written without confidence in every answer will not work.

    3. This is for others - because I don't do this this but friends did so and repented - don't compromise sleep before the exam day - the worst thing you can expect during the exam is to have a black out during the exam. Not recommended at all.

    4. Make short concise notes after prelims - first month after prelims do this along with mad revision - then only revise the short notes - this is for static.
    For current - one page per issue. Revise it like a mad person - you should even know where you have put a full stop or comma in your notes - what I mean is it should be imprinted in your mind - no other way.

    5. Write answers and join a test series if necessary - to iron out specific issues like writing speed, hand writing etc but strike a balance - there is a mad rush and mindless rush to join tests and that might not work for everyone. To each his own. Do what suits you. Study how it suits you. You have to make a strategy to clear the exam. Know how to write answers but only writing answers madly won't help. You need content too. Balance!

    6. Find your path. Don't follow anyone not even rank 1. Your doubts, fears and journey is very different from others. Take the best points that suit you from everyone. But think on those and do what you feel correct without being escapist. Even an IAS Father/Mother or brother/sister cannot ensure the best strategy for their child/sibling. Because everyone's mind is different. Understand your mind and try to guide your mind rather than being guided by your mind. A ranker of one year might not even clear pre/mains next year. It's that unpredictable. But we can just plan for success. And do that but don't follow anyone blindly.

    7. Write mains with detachment. Write it like any other exam. The more attached you are the more are the chances of faltering. It's not a a matter of life and death. I know it's difficult to believe that internally but it's true. A career is just one aspect. You'll clear the exam and then be depressed about a bad cadre, a life partner, postings, money, children or the lack of children, ageing parents, lack of happiness in life etc. This never ends. The sooner we realise the better.

    These are my two cents. I just wrote mains with a different manner of preparation and a different mindset this time. Hope hardwork is rewarded someday. :)

    You wrote an Essay...a masterpiece... :P Thanks for Sharing... :)
  • This is my second attempt. Last year left mostly 70 marks in GS papers. With some 25 test written before mains. Was able to complete the papers. Gave lot of dimensions(for GS) rather than few points with examples in it and explanation. My important take away is firstly write a duplicate copy post your mains exam(coz after a month, we wont remember what we had written in exam) to analyse after your marks come, secondly it is better if we can massage our hands with hot water after a day of mains exam, to destress our muscles, so that next day our hand pain wont affect our thought process, thirdly we should better have a plan of preparation for Interview, covering our profile rather than holding to the thoughts of mains exam. I personally got affected by this very attitude(missed final list last year by 15 marks-CSE 2016 ) lastly, its better to start early to exam hall and book a cab if there is rain(its ok to spend some money as its a critical time, for those who cant spend, better start early..I happen to hear a scene of a latecomer(due to traffic and rain) boy's father begging to UPSC ppl for allowing his son to write GS 3 paper) or arrange a room from some service provider for 6 days near by the exam centre if you are an outstation candidate. .. Lot of lessons learned covered by others in this page.... No matter how many lessons learnt, we humans do make some mistakes, all we shoud make sure is to avoid making repetitive mistakes ... :)
  • nandini said:

    To be honest I don't know about lessons learnt as of now.
    I didn't clear mains twice before so I did some things differently this time :

    1. Made diligent short notes of current topics issue wise - strictly one page - covering both summary of static and important points of current aspect. For each topic I specifically included static part in my notes that helped me. Eg in SHG question I used the data of my static part for a large part of the question and supplemented it with current part in conclusion and way forward.

    2. For paper 1 I did crisp study - theme wise and issue wise that again saved time - kept sources less but many revisions - lessened stress during exam.

    3. Optional I had revised before prelims majorly though some parts were left - but I still don't know what to do more as it's GEOGRAPHY - so no trends are helpful, no sureshot way to crack it. But GS prep helped a lot in paper 2 optional.

    Lessons learnt from mains :

    1. *Don't think you're out of the race for the year till the time result is declared* I mean each and every word of it. I had worked very hard this time and the essay day - I chose natural laws - came back home read on forum that the interpretation might be different - lost all hope of clearing mains then and there - I thought the start itself has been so bad etc etc - luckily my parents talked me out of dejection and by evening I was back to revision.
    Nobody knows what might click to the examiner. Keep your nerves and give your best in that one week. Will power can make you do a paper much better than a demotivated and dejected attitude.

    2. Revision is key - revise till you drop - leave a few topics if necessary but don't go like with half baked knowledge of each topic - one page per topic is more than sufficient for 200-250 words - more than sufficient - but knowing still not knowing the topic is to be avoided. Do 90% of the topics but do them well - revise them multiple times. In 15-18 answers even 60-70% of the relevant points well presented will fetch you marks. But 20-30% points written without confidence in every answer will not work.

    3. This is for others - because I don't do this this but friends did so and repented - don't compromise sleep before the exam day - the worst thing you can expect during the exam is to have a black out during the exam. Not recommended at all.

    4. Make short concise notes after prelims - first month after prelims do this along with mad revision - then only revise the short notes - this is for static.
    For current - one page per issue. Revise it like a mad person - you should even know where you have put a full stop or comma in your notes - what I mean is it should be imprinted in your mind - no other way.

    5. Write answers and join a test series if necessary - to iron out specific issues like writing speed, hand writing etc but strike a balance - there is a mad rush and mindless rush to join tests and that might not work for everyone. To each his own. Do what suits you. Study how it suits you. You have to make a strategy to clear the exam. Know how to write answers but only writing answers madly won't help. You need content too. Balance!

    6. Find your path. Don't follow anyone not even rank 1. Your doubts, fears and journey is very different from others. Take the best points that suit you from everyone. But think on those and do what you feel correct without being escapist. Even an IAS Father/Mother or brother/sister cannot ensure the best strategy for their child/sibling. Because everyone's mind is different. Understand your mind and try to guide your mind rather than being guided by your mind. A ranker of one year might not even clear pre/mains next year. It's that unpredictable. But we can just plan for success. And do that but don't follow anyone blindly.

    7. Write mains with detachment. Write it like any other exam. The more attached you are the more are the chances of faltering. It's not a a matter of life and death. I know it's difficult to believe that internally but it's true. A career is just one aspect. You'll clear the exam and then be depressed about a bad cadre, a life partner, postings, money, children or the lack of children, ageing parents, lack of happiness in life etc. This never ends. The sooner we realise the better.

    These are my two cents. I just wrote mains with a different manner of preparation and a different mindset this time. Hope hardwork is rewarded someday. :)

    +100 esp for the 6th n 7th points!
  • nandini said:

    To be honest I don't know about lessons learnt as of now.
    I didn't clear mains twice before so I did some things differently this time :

    1. Made diligent short notes of current topics issue wise - strictly one page - covering both summary of static and important points of current aspect. For each topic I specifically included static part in my notes that helped me. Eg in SHG question I used the data of my static part for a large part of the question and supplemented it with current part in conclusion and way forward.

    2. For paper 1 I did crisp study - theme wise and issue wise that again saved time - kept sources less but many revisions - lessened stress during exam.

    3. Optional I had revised before prelims majorly though some parts were left - but I still don't know what to do more as it's GEOGRAPHY - so no trends are helpful, no sureshot way to crack it. But GS prep helped a lot in paper 2 optional.

    Lessons learnt from mains :

    1. *Don't think you're out of the race for the year till the time result is declared* I mean each and every word of it. I had worked very hard this time and the essay day - I chose natural laws - came back home read on forum that the interpretation might be different - lost all hope of clearing mains then and there - I thought the start itself has been so bad etc etc - luckily my parents talked me out of dejection and by evening I was back to revision.
    Nobody knows what might click to the examiner. Keep your nerves and give your best in that one week. Will power can make you do a paper much better than a demotivated and dejected attitude.

    2. Revision is key - revise till you drop - leave a few topics if necessary but don't go like with half baked knowledge of each topic - one page per topic is more than sufficient for 200-250 words - more than sufficient - but knowing still not knowing the topic is to be avoided. Do 90% of the topics but do them well - revise them multiple times. In 15-18 answers even 60-70% of the relevant points well presented will fetch you marks. But 20-30% points written without confidence in every answer will not work.

    3. This is for others - because I don't do this this but friends did so and repented - don't compromise sleep before the exam day - the worst thing you can expect during the exam is to have a black out during the exam. Not recommended at all.

    4. Make short concise notes after prelims - first month after prelims do this along with mad revision - then only revise the short notes - this is for static.
    For current - one page per issue. Revise it like a mad person - you should even know where you have put a full stop or comma in your notes - what I mean is it should be imprinted in your mind - no other way.

    5. Write answers and join a test series if necessary - to iron out specific issues like writing speed, hand writing etc but strike a balance - there is a mad rush and mindless rush to join tests and that might not work for everyone. To each his own. Do what suits you. Study how it suits you. You have to make a strategy to clear the exam. Know how to write answers but only writing answers madly won't help. You need content too. Balance!

    6. Find your path. Don't follow anyone not even rank 1. Your doubts, fears and journey is very different from others. Take the best points that suit you from everyone. But think on those and do what you feel correct without being escapist. Even an IAS Father/Mother or brother/sister cannot ensure the best strategy for their child/sibling. Because everyone's mind is different. Understand your mind and try to guide your mind rather than being guided by your mind. A ranker of one year might not even clear pre/mains next year. It's that unpredictable. But we can just plan for success. And do that but don't follow anyone blindly.

    7. Write mains with detachment. Write it like any other exam. The more attached you are the more are the chances of faltering. It's not a a matter of life and death. I know it's difficult to believe that internally but it's true. A career is just one aspect. You'll clear the exam and then be depressed about a bad cadre, a life partner, postings, money, children or the lack of children, ageing parents, lack of happiness in life etc. This never ends. The sooner we realise the better.

    These are my two cents. I just wrote mains with a different manner of preparation and a different mindset this time. Hope hardwork is rewarded someday. :)

    Very nice and holistic analysis... I think gs1 should be prepared like optional.
  • @nandini Thnx
    Let The Mind Games Begin
  • edited November 25
    K
  • My stratgey for those who score very good in GS paper in Prelim but get very poor marks in GS in mains.
    I changed my stratgey this mains and executed it as planned.

    1: Join test series in January itself.
    2: First ascertain whether you have a- content problem or b- Speed problem
    3- Write tests after full preparation. Do not sit in mocks without preparation to test your memory capacity. Full preparation. For example for Geography test read geography for 5 days.
    4- Complete every question in mock. take 4hrs time. Look for marks. If you get 5.5-6 marks per question in GS score mocks means you do not have content problem. You have ability to clear it.
    5- Now make notes of each topic, Modern history , culture, world history, geography everything. i thick register every GS paper. Take laxmikant , write broader points /headings in notes. 1 page for each chapter of laxmikant. Take M puri notes make notes too. Optional too. will take 2-3 month Start revision.
    6- Getting good marks in mock tests will give you enough confidence that you wont be bothered about quality of your answers in examination hall.
    7: Those with bad handwriting. Use ink pen from Jan to july. Shift to pilot or Add gel 2-3 minth before exam. I improved my handwriting significantly.
    8: print Previous year GS paper. Punch them paper wise. Solve topicwise question with helpmof your notes. Themes or ideas are repeated in most papers.
    9: Do not read paper daily repeaters. Club 15 days paper eg IE. take it one day and go through Headlines mostly. you have enough background innpreviousnpreparation. write down the headlines inGS 2 and GS 3 notebook.
    10: If you are not getting good marks in mock test even after completing paper in 4 hours . then you have content problem. But solution to contentnproblem is also same. note making, time saving, repeat revision.
    11: Remember everyone who clears prelim has ability to clear mains. Difference exist in thos having memory power retain more and get good marks. Those with average memory have to bypass theirnweakness by making notes and more revision.
  • edited November 26
    GS is equally important as optional. If you manage to score 1 more marks per question in GS paper than other candidate. You will score 80 more marks. If you get 1.5 marks more per question it is 120 more marks. You can never get advantage of so much marks in optional. If you are extraordinary in GS you will sail through with even average optional. But if you perform bad in GS, there is no chance with even good optional.
    Do not get distracted by Vision test series marks. Vision questions are more from their monthly current affairs. UPSC questions do not come from vision current affairs. They will ask from paper headings. Mugging current affairs wastes too much time. We often do not focus on History, geography , polity, economics static portion and keep on mugging Vision current affairs. Useless.
    If you have to study vision current , go once..Write down the headlines in relevant area in notes.
    Do not run behind Vision from December to november. Time is precious.
    Further Delhi is not Panacea for UPSC selection. You might not be knowing but many aspirants are cracking UPSC living in Allahabad, Lucknow, Banglore, Hyderabad, Kochi etc. Its because Students in smaller cities do not get distracted by too much of study material available in Delhi. Go through background of top 30 rankers. Except from few celebrity toppers like Dhabi etc, many thanks toppers come never have taken coaching in Delhi. You can give tests in online mode from anywhere.
  • CSM2016 said:

    My stratgey for those who score very good in GS paper in Prelim but get very poor marks in GS in mains.
    I changed my stratgey this mains and executed it as planned.

    1: Join test series in January itself.
    2: First ascertain whether you have a- content problem or b- Speed problem
    3- Write tests after full preparation. Do not sit in mocks without preparation to test your memory capacity. Full preparation. For example for Geography test read geography for 5 days.
    4- Complete every question in mock. take 4hrs time. Look for marks. If you get 5.5-6 marks per question in GS score mocks means you do not have content problem. You have ability to clear it.
    5- Now make notes of each topic, Modern history , culture, world history, geography everything. i thick register every GS paper. Take laxmikant , write broader points /headings in notes. 1 page for each chapter of laxmikant. Take M puri notes make notes too. Optional too. will take 2-3 month Start revision.
    6- Getting good marks in mock tests will give you enough confidence that you wont be bothered about quality of your answers in examination hall.
    7: Those with bad handwriting. Use ink pen from Jan to july. Shift to pilot or Add gel 2-3 minth before exam. I improved my handwriting significantly.
    8: print Previous year GS paper. Punch them paper wise. Solve topicwise question with helpmof your notes. Themes or ideas are repeated in most papers.
    9: Do not read paper daily repeaters. Club 15 days paper eg IE. take it one day and go through Headlines mostly. you have enough background innpreviousnpreparation. write down the headlines inGS 2 and GS 3 notebook.
    10: If you are not getting good marks in mock test even after completing paper in 4 hours . then you have content problem. But solution to contentnproblem is also same. note making, time saving, repeat revision.
    11: Remember everyone who clears prelim has ability to clear mains. Difference exist in thos having memory power retain more and get good marks. Those with average memory have to bypass theirnweakness by making notes and more revision.

    good insights, thanks
  • EVERYTHING already covered comprehensively.
    Still what I feel..
    textgram_1509176343~2.png
    1080 x 744 - 1M
  • anjus said:

    1 in optionals like Philosophy, there is no substitute to doing previous years papers. If possible write down the whole syllabus. I think i will again get low marks in paper 1 philo

    2 must do a test series for mains, if not for practice , then for confidence, the feeling that you have written so many tests is important. last year i had done my test series well, but this time i did not, and i was all throughout afraid

    3 leaving questions is a bigger problem than not knowing the questions. GS 3 paper was so open and straightforward that i ended up overshoooting the time in each questions and missed out on at least 3 questions :( and i do not generally have the slow handwriting problem :(

    4 use facts / data in answers as much as possible. i have seen some people have fixed the data component on the basis of themes such as women, democracy, civil society etc. i think it makes a lot of difference

    5 dont postpone anything for last moment. that will never come. i was thinking of joining a test series for mains, and then waited and waited thinking i will join now.. i joined mgp in the end, but hardly wrote 3 tests because of lack of time in the last moment. I should have just begun on time, then i would have been much better

    6 arrive at the exam venue one hour early than late. I was late for the laguage paper, and i was all panciked if they would let me write the exam. i did another blunder, by not carrying the hall ticket. i was all panicked, thankfully i had another copy of the hall ticket in my bag, which i accidentally found out while switching off and keeping my phone. it would have been a nightmare. P.S. I have an acquaintance who was late for GS 3 Paper and had to miss it. totally squandered one chance.

    @thanx.
  • nandini said:

    To be honest I don't know about lessons learnt as of now.
    I didn't clear mains twice before so I did some things differently this time :

    1. Made diligent short notes of current topics issue wise - strictly one page - covering both summary of static and important points of current aspect. For each topic I specifically included static part in my notes that helped me. Eg in SHG question I used the data of my static part for a large part of the question and supplemented it with current part in conclusion and way forward.

    2. For paper 1 I did crisp study - theme wise and issue wise that again saved time - kept sources less but many revisions - lessened stress during exam.

    3. Optional I had revised before prelims majorly though some parts were left - but I still don't know what to do more as it's GEOGRAPHY - so no trends are helpful, no sureshot way to crack it. But GS prep helped a lot in paper 2 optional.

    Lessons learnt from mains :

    1. *Don't think you're out of the race for the year till the time result is declared* I mean each and every word of it. I had worked very hard this time and the essay day - I chose natural laws - came back home read on forum that the interpretation might be different - lost all hope of clearing mains then and there - I thought the start itself has been so bad etc etc - luckily my parents talked me out of dejection and by evening I was back to revision.
    Nobody knows what might click to the examiner. Keep your nerves and give your best in that one week. Will power can make you do a paper much better than a demotivated and dejected attitude.

    2. Revision is key - revise till you drop - leave a few topics if necessary but don't go like with half baked knowledge of each topic - one page per topic is more than sufficient for 200-250 words - more than sufficient - but knowing still not knowing the topic is to be avoided. Do 90% of the topics but do them well - revise them multiple times. In 15-18 answers even 60-70% of the relevant points well presented will fetch you marks. But 20-30% points written without confidence in every answer will not work.

    3. This is for others - because I don't do this this but friends did so and repented - don't compromise sleep before the exam day - the worst thing you can expect during the exam is to have a black out during the exam. Not recommended at all.

    4. Make short concise notes after prelims - first month after prelims do this along with mad revision - then only revise the short notes - this is for static.
    For current - one page per issue. Revise it like a mad person - you should even know where you have put a full stop or comma in your notes - what I mean is it should be imprinted in your mind - no other way.

    5. Write answers and join a test series if necessary - to iron out specific issues like writing speed, hand writing etc but strike a balance - there is a mad rush and mindless rush to join tests and that might not work for everyone. To each his own. Do what suits you. Study how it suits you. You have to make a strategy to clear the exam. Know how to write answers but only writing answers madly won't help. You need content too. Balance!

    6. Find your path. Don't follow anyone not even rank 1. Your doubts, fears and journey is very different from others. Take the best points that suit you from everyone. But think on those and do what you feel correct without being escapist. Even an IAS Father/Mother or brother/sister cannot ensure the best strategy for their child/sibling. Because everyone's mind is different. Understand your mind and try to guide your mind rather than being guided by your mind. A ranker of one year might not even clear pre/mains next year. It's that unpredictable. But we can just plan for success. And do that but don't follow anyone blindly.

    7. Write mains with detachment. Write it like any other exam. The more attached you are the more are the chances of faltering. It's not a a matter of life and death. I know it's difficult to believe that internally but it's true. A career is just one aspect. You'll clear the exam and then be depressed about a bad cadre, a life partner, postings, money, children or the lack of children, ageing parents, lack of happiness in life etc. This never ends. The sooner we realise the better.

    These are my two cents. I just wrote mains with a different manner of preparation and a different mindset this time. Hope hardwork is rewarded someday. :)

    Comprehensive..6 & 7 holds the crux. Thanks.
  • EVERYTHING already covered comprehensively.
    Still what I feel..

    Very simple # very powerful. Nothing else required. Slog....
  • anjus said:

    1 in optionals like Philosophy, there is no substitute to doing previous years papers. If possible write down the whole syllabus. I think i will again get low marks in paper 1 philo

    2 must do a test series for mains, if not for practice , then for confidence, the feeling that you have written so many tests is important. last year i had done my test series well, but this time i did not, and i was all throughout afraid

    3 leaving questions is a bigger problem than not knowing the questions. GS 3 paper was so open and straightforward that i ended up overshoooting the time in each questions and missed out on at least 3 questions :( and i do not generally have the slow handwriting problem :(

    4 use facts / data in answers as much as possible. i have seen some people have fixed the data component on the basis of themes such as women, democracy, civil society etc. i think it makes a lot of difference

    5 dont postpone anything for last moment. that will never come. i was thinking of joining a test series for mains, and then waited and waited thinking i will join now.. i joined mgp in the end, but hardly wrote 3 tests because of lack of time in the last moment. I should have just begun on time, then i would have been much better

    6 arrive at the exam venue one hour early than late. I was late for the laguage paper, and i was all panciked if they would let me write the exam. i did another blunder, by not carrying the hall ticket. i was all panicked, thankfully i had another copy of the hall ticket in my bag, which i accidentally found out while switching off and keeping my phone. it would have been a nightmare. P.S. I have an acquaintance who was late for GS 3 Paper and had to miss it. totally squandered one chance.

    Hello, I'm fairly new to Philosophy optional. Could you please explain what you mean by point 1?
  • edited November 27
    Although this is off the topic but the lesson which i learnt in this CSM 2017 that cost me 1 year.


    Please whatever you do and what ever book, strategy, optional or suggestions you follow ;please go to the examination hall with a clean slate meaning forget about the past, forget about the books and forget about the revision that you have not done, what matters most in the examination hall is the scribblings that you put in your paper. And for those precious scribble to apper "gold" you need a peaceful mind.

    I was affected by the late declaration of CSM 2016 result, the dejection caused me a psychological pressure on me. In prelims 2017 I had attempted 120+ (matched with all the keys of coaching institute) but I was not peaceful at the examination hall. As I said what matters in the examination hall is the scribbling that you do in the examination hall. The revisions, value added notes etc. do matter but if your mind is not fully conscious when you needed the most then you will never make it. In prelims I filled my OMR sheet wrongly by darkening the circle one above the actual question and this was because my mind was not fully attentive when I needed the most.

    So whatever you do my friend, whatever books you follow, go to the examination hall with a peaceful clean mind. Do not stress too much about the past (revisions, books, test series) at the last moment. Following things I have learnt by wasting my 1 year due to this:-

    1. Full sleep
    2. DO not stress too much revisions in the last week, prepare in such a way that all the things are complete just before a week.
    3. Never leave anything to study in the last week, at max you can(in the last week ) prepare a rough schematic on how to manage the information through a flow chart or venn dagram or something like that in the 6-7 minute time frame.
    4. Reach the examination hall peacefully ( documents, pens, pencils, atleast 30 min before entry ).



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