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Notes making strategy for General Studies of CSE-2014 (seeking direction from seniors)

edited June 2013 in Miscellaneous
I am aspiring to give CSE-2014.
I have read almost every thing on internet that can help me in my preparation (devoted last 20 days on it).

i have concluded that

"Note making" + "excellent command over GS(for pre/mains)" + "regular revision" is the key to success in CSE.

I shall be making "hand written notes only" as it would help me in
a) maintaining my writing speed
b) practicing writing the answers
c) practicing writing my answers in good handwriting

All my notes would be "handwritten" only !

The (analytic/dynamic) part of notes(for pre+mains GS) would be from the same source.

Those sources are namely

1) Newspaper/ (The Hindu newspaper + the editorials from Indian Express + articles of some well known experts)
2) Government websites (for international relations, environment and biodiversity, science and technology, culture, economy et cetera)
3) Yojana (for the govt. schemes and case studies)
4) Kurukshetra (for the rural development)
5) Civil Services Times (monthly magazine, for enriching my notes made from the newspaper)
6) Economic and Political Weekly (monthly magazine, for enriching my notes made from the newspaper)
7) Frontline (monthly magazine, for enriching my notes made from the newspaper)

I would distinguish between the notes by writing them under different headings such as pre, mains , follow up etc. by underlining the facts


the above strategy of mine would help me in GS(pre+mains)+interview= 1575 marks.

the notes under the prelims and mains heading would be
a) pointwise (extensive in nature)
b) in paragraph/synopsis form (intensive in nature, my own opinion)

I would also try to write my opinion/comments under the news in the news website.

i have decided to do weekly, monthly and periodic, introspection over my strategy which would be followed by a mock test(weekly, CSAT level).

before starting my preparation for above mentioned GS, i would try to make my fundamentals strong over the sub-topics of GS(economy, polity, international relations, E&B, S&T, yearbook, history, geography), by reading NCERT text book for the relevant sub topic.

So there are two requests which I want to put in front of the fellow members of the forum are

1) is my above strategy to get good command over GS, right ?
2) should I take up my preparation of the optional subject (most probably 'history or geography' ) after the notification for CSE-2014 ?

I shall be thankful if you encourage me by replying to this question and pointing out any flaw(if any) in my strategy.

thanks for reading


  • 1. your strategy is only as good as its implementation. you will need to have some e-notes, which you will realise later that it increases your efficiency. for prelims , your basic books will be bipan Chandra, laxmikant. etc.

    2. you should focus on optional also right now AMD complete it before December. from Jan - Feb,you should focus only on prelims. before appearing for prelims, your optional subject should be ready.
  • in my opinion. give max 2- 3 hours to newspaper. anything beyound that is not feasible.
  • @abhithepandey your strategy is very good...go ahead
  • edited July 2013
    I would like to know the opinion of @dark_knight and @ambitieux .
    I shall be highly thankful, for the encouragement.
  • edited July 2013

    1) is my above strategy to get good command over GS, right ?

    As a new entrant in IAS dream land you must have been surrounded by so many myths and dubiety.Clear the fog of dubiousness.Make a Integrated Mains cum Prelims Plan. Do not make your strategy very rigid ,instead make two flexible integrated plans with enough space for amendments-One Long Term and One short term plan .

    ->Long Term Plan: It should an annual/monthly plan.Just outline broadly what you would cover in these months.

    ->Short Term Plan- A weekly and daily plans. Set targets and try to achieve it.

    With time ,you would discover many new things about with each discovery ,change the plan accordingly.Your above strategy sounds good but its worth depends on its implementation. Try to make your foundation of GS unassailable strong.Have unshakable convictions in your capability . Besides ,NCERTs you have to read standard books.

    *Read-learn-understand -write-revise -brush up again and again*

    P.s. Make notes if you feel you need it for revision ,and for writing practice you can attempt previous years question papers and the questions behind the NCERTs.
    CSE Mains-2014 [Political Science & International Relations]

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass,it's about learning to dance in the rain.”

  • 2) should I take up my preparation of the optional subject (most probably 'history or geography' ) after the notification for CSE-2014 ?

    Yes,You must start your optional preparation right now,Do not wait for notification or Prelims. CSE is a vicious circle ,try not to fall into the trap.

    All the Best! :)
    CSE Mains-2014 [Political Science & International Relations]

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass,it's about learning to dance in the rain.”
  • An integrated plan for pre and mains is much better i think .
    From jan prep MCQs extensively with totally prelim oriented strategy.
    The fault , dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings .
  • edited July 2013
    Every one knows rules of the game , but the problem is they dont adhere to the rules finally getting messed up themselves .. Hope @abhithepandey , you dont fill that slot .. All the best man .. Nice to see person with good view \m/
    2017--> 8th attempt
  • Hi, sorry for the late reply, not much active here these days.
    So about your plan as already many respected members has already pointed out, its near about perfect and that is why its hardest to implement. If you are able to cover all those things than most certainly it will cover your g.s. Prep, but dont over burden your self prepare selectively. I wanted to write more but im online from my cell and typing from small keyboard is pain in the ass :p my best wishes with you. If anything else you can ask freely. I
  • edited July 2013
    Sorry double post. See, pain in the ass :p
  • What'd be a good time to focus solely on Prelims preparation assuming I've been preparing for GS comprehensively from Mains viewpoint? I would have my B.Tech. semester exams in April end - May beginning.

  • Arrey pandeyji gajab dhaa Diya aapne to...
    salute boss.. =D>
    May 94 born
    Ex - Assistant commandant (ITBP)
  • I started reading Hindu for the last one year and indirectly completed Indian Polity Syllabus with Current affairs approach alone .any advice guys?
  • where is @abhithegandey
    CSE-2013 | Public Administration
  • where is @abhithegandey
    M also searching
    Dnt know khn chale gaye
  • Guys how should one make notes for Mains?
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