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Is Secure answer writing practice a substitute to joining a mains test series ?

edited December 2014 in Miscellaneous
I have been following Secure initiative since last few months. I think that, its quite logical of me to practice answer writing there.
No wait.
Nothing to pay for.
Experienced bureaucrats are available there to get reviews from, their answers are available to ponder upon (for improving your own answers).
Considering the general type of the GS questions asked(Mains-2014), I find it quite apt to practice answer writing there. The answers available there(from better aspirants) are more 'to the point' and are better than the 'sample answers' provided by a mains test series.
What do you say guys ?
Is there anything that it lacks, that I am not able to observe/think ?

Secure Initiative=http://www.insightsonindia.com/secure-2014-strategy-for-upsc-civil-service-2014/
Mains test series= Visionias, Vajiram, Sriram, Synergy et cetera
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Comments

  • Its surely a potent replacement for these hifi and costly tests series. Moreover, many have said here that at Vision or other such institutes copies are checked by aspirants themselves so Secure is the closest thing that one can have as far as a substitute for a quality Mains series is concerned.
    The fault , dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings .
  • Well, I don't know what it is going to be like, but I have heard good things about it. It's free too. And it's online.

    I'm joining secure 2015 from Monday. I'll do as much as I can.
    Prelims : 2/5; Mains : 0/2; Interview : 0; Remainder : 1+1 (Tired but not; Retired) / Medical Science / Kolkata / Nihilist extraordinaire | Thanks a lot...
  • Sarkar tum kya kya karoge....pg bhi nikaloge ..secure bhi karoge...how are you feeling about this years chance...medical scienec paper...what was the verdict of guys at your centre?. Easier or tougher compared to last year
  • great work by insights,kudos to the founder.

    but we should not expect the sky from a free for all website,should we? :P
    "i am the guy doing my job,you must be the other guy."
  • Sarkar tum kya kya karoge....pg bhi nikaloge ..secure bhi karoge...how are you feeling about this years chance...medical scienec paper...what was the verdict of guys at your centre?. Easier or tougher compared to last year
    :))

    This was my first time and I was alone at my centre with MS. So no comparison available. Feeling slightly positive. Par pata nahi finally kya hoga.
    Prelims : 2/5; Mains : 0/2; Interview : 0; Remainder : 1+1 (Tired but not; Retired) / Medical Science / Kolkata / Nihilist extraordinaire | Thanks a lot...
  • Yo be honest, quality of answers there is pathetic, review is worse than pathetic , great answer , no conclusion is what I read there and that is when many people write answers after reading dorm links given...I don't know how useful test series is but if u think it is useful, insight is no substitute...don't delude yourself in thinking I be is doing selfless service...insights business model is advertisement..aise to facebook bhi free hi hai,,,it's how you use it...
    Now don't just question my motivations and hound me saying I m a coaching centre agent...go read answers for yourself and then come back
  • I think we should utilise the insight ques by peer reviews.
    CSE Mains 2014 Geography
  • ^^ Points noted.
    Prelims : 2/5; Mains : 0/2; Interview : 0; Remainder : 1+1 (Tired but not; Retired) / Medical Science / Kolkata / Nihilist extraordinaire | Thanks a lot...
  • I think secure wala is best, free of cost h , , you dnt have to shell out some extra money and i heard ki ths tym around 70-80% mains ques hv somewhere relevence to thr questions.. 8-X
  • I did insights for two months . this was before prelims. I found it immensely useful in the sense that I figured out what I was doing wrong ... but pls note it is very time consuming ... esp when you start reading other ppls answers ... there are like 20 ans to each and you are tempted to read all for more points ....

    so be disciplined ... first pick just 2-3 questions per day to attempt. don't even bother reading others ... there is no limit to knowledge ... you just don't have the time ...

    spend a few days reading insights and pick up 3-4 people whose answers you like. just check out their ans to compare with yours. or don't read more than 3 answers for a question.

    again be very disciplined with time .... its very very easy to waste time there . ... otherwise its better to invest in a test series. ...
  • edited December 2014
    double post. sorry
  • All is good just that it is hell time consuming and the answers there are sometimes highly worse! Moreover, one has to scroll many answers for the good/better ones which again takes much time. Somehow I also find that getting ones answer checked is more important where one evaluates it properly and gives a proper feedback which definitely is not there. So, for me any test series is anytime better which can be supplemented with some insight secure part.
    SDM :UP-2015
  • most of the answers written there are copied from the link of the newspapers...also some answers are horrible! some answers are good though,but searching them is a cumbersome process.

    the best thing one can do is to select and note down some relevant points from the topics.

    although the free impetus of insights is praiseworthy. :D
    "i am the guy doing my job,you must be the other guy."
  • edited December 2014
    As, I don't see any solid negative point coming up. I have made my mind.

    Some of my points:
    i) Some of the participants at Insights, have been appearing for mains, since few years and some guys are already in Service. One has to identify those people and have to follow them. Simple.
    ii) Searching and following such people is far-far easier than, paying thousands of Rs. , waiting for the checked copy, disagreeing with the sample answers given with a test, getting dis-satisfied with the quality of answer checking, and what not.
    iii) I agree that most of the answers written there are horrible, but you have to develop that skill to sift good answers from bad answers. Either by relying on the name of the participant or by content of an answer written by someone. After few days, a mutual trust develops among the fellow participants, that helps in identifying best answer .
    iv) Its impossible to not to qualify for Interview, if one has answered all the questions there. There are almost 2400 sample questions and some respective high quality answers.
    v) The review culture there is not well developed. It is not a paid-test-series and no one is bound to review someone else' answers. The people who are tuned-into answer writing practice, compare their answers with the answer written by the people who have been consistently contributing better answers. This is how they learn.
  • I have recently statrted reading answers in insights. I am amazed by some of the answers. they are so well structured and covers multiple points realted to the question. Do the people refer books,mag,websites before writind down any answer or the know all those things?
  • @lordirwin
    This is an interesting aspect.
    Most of the aspirants there, who write good answers, seldom see the link of the article from which the question is inspired. They are very-experienced when it comes to questions about general aspects. When required, they do not refrain from researching from various other sources, before posting their answers.

    That's a great place, worth vouching for.
  • @lordirwin
    i disagree, only some of the answers posted there are original.
    majority of them are written after collecting news from various sources,they seem more like compilation of information from various sources.you can verify that yourself with some research.

    also, some of the topics are very new,some as new as a day,and yet many answers are written with such accuracy that they seem like model answers!
    no one has such luxury in writing an actual test ,forget about actual exam.

    having said that i must tell you the cardinal principle of test series - "each according to his ability,each according to his need,each according to his pocket"
    "i am the guy doing my job,you must be the other guy."
  • I disagree with you @mrlobo

    You have a negative tone in your comment, which is not constructive for us, being students. :)

    All the answers written there are derived from news, you too will the write you GS-II,III from the information obtained from news. That's known and apt.

    Secure is meant for getting tuned-in to produce your mind on paper. That really helps when you do the same thing for few days.

    Free mein ab kya-kya milega ? :)
  • @abhithepandey

    i had not addressed my comments to you,did i?
    i think everyone is matured enough to make a decision for himself,and my sole opinion is not sacrosanct for anyone to make his decision.also, i am free to express my own views,it may be positive,negative or neutral.
    you are free to join secure or any other test series based upon your convenience.

    and read my earlier posts,even i said insights is very good website which does not charge anything.

    i request not to make more of such immature comments.

    good luck .
    "i am the guy doing my job,you must be the other guy."
  • edited December 2014
    @mrlobo
    oh......... come on brother.
    I respect each and every person of forumiasIAS. See, our comments would be seen and would be helpful to many aspirants. This single aspect of Internet forums/Forumias makes me feel very excited.

    I have put my points to not to counter you but to put my perspective. When we write something on a public forum, it is generally believed for it to be 'open and out' for public scrutiny. Never mind.

    It is too futile to think, who has attacked(commented to) whom, we are just names on such a holy public forum. :)

    All the best. Your second last insightful comment was precious. Regards. :)>-
  • @abhithepandey

    wishing you all the best for your future. :\">
    "i am the guy doing my job,you must be the other guy."
  • @mrlobo @abhithepandey thanx for clearing my doubts
  • i m doing secure since january this year.... though i saw it last year one month before mains but due to paucity of time i did not go for it.......

    Review I tried to follow the answers from other people, but only few write above average level, secondly its difficult without reading which one has written good answers. I used to read the article and if it does not cover full answers which was so most of the times i had to search wikipedia or read atleast 3-4 person's answers to get best. I did all this but i think i helped only in GS-3... lately they started asking very very irrelevant questions. Finally it takes too much time every day. I work 6 days a week, and it becomes too difficult to finish. So it might help, but u must not rely on answers written by other people. People comment like this "You write very good answers, Now plz review mine" aur mujhe lagta hai ki apna review karwane ke liye log jhuth bolte hain. very few people do genuine review. If you people can make a group of 3-4 people, it will be useful as then u can give honest review to each other.

    Coaching reviews i have wasted more than 3 lacs on coaching. They all are bullshit.

    So selective questions from insight + self-study + group for answer writing and review, is best option
    hume to pub ad ne mara, GS me kanha dum tha... apni kashti isliye dubi kyonki Paper bahut tough tha :D
  • Hi
    Can someone list those people who write good answers?
    CSE 2015 - GEO Optional.
  • @ViRa
    There are several singers in the market. Someone might like a singer hated by you. So, you yourself will have to determine the aspirants whose answers fit your satisfaction.

    Tip: Those guys who contribute regularly are generally writing better answers.

    Thanks.
  • @abhithepandey @geeta

    Thanks for bringing forth the caveat- that its far easy to spend excessive time there. I started answering Secure (and infact, attempted half a year back too)- but ended up spending close to 3 hours easily. This is how:

    They post close to 10 questions everyday; ideally a person would take 10-12 minutes per question to write + post the answers. That makes it to 2 hours, then it easily consumes another hour polishing your answer (in your notebook/hard-drive) by either referring to some good answers there or researching the internet or perhaps your own notes.
    I too had the same apprehension raised by @mrlobo and @lordirwin ; but I'm open to the fact that some people do reach that level of finesse, and I do aspire for the exact same level.

    My question to both of you is- does spending 3 hours sound natural? Or as @geeta said about "choosing" 3/4 questions per day a right approach? For me, even if I am being selective, Secure will easily consume 2 hours per day, not less. Is there any learning curve which might minimize the time eventually, that I am missing standing where I am now?
  • edited December 2014
    @amargupta
    You have put your query here, in hope that the experienced aspirants have some tip for you. This is not correct. I do not have any trick for devoting less time for secure and getting maximum out of it.

    I shall like to draw an analogy. In our younger days, we could not determine the amount of food we are going to eat beforehand, and now-a-days, we are able to do so. We are experienced with our eating-habit. Now, there is very less left-over food in our plate, after eating.

    The same analogy goes with Secure, the more time you spend at it, the better you are able to manage time and distribute your time proportionally to all your subjects.

    Initially, it took me 5-7 hours a day to get tuned in to attempting 7-8 answers on a Secure webpage. With the passing time, this duration got reduced.

    Q-How to become good at 'X' ?
    A-By doing 'X', 'n' number of times.

    This comment should help many aspirants.
    There is no TRICK relating to any aspect of CSE preparation. Period.

    All the best.
    Thanks.
  • I think its best to just read all the questions with the relevant links and try to simply jot down a sequence or an answer in point form for our own sake.That way one can easily finish all questions in an hour as well as having a copy in your wordfile or a book depending on one's choice.
    History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
  • edited December 2014
    It's not possible to write 10+ question(Even few points) in an hour when you don't know all the answers.
    What could be done is to eliminate some questions if you think you are well verse with that area.

    For example I just eliminated Special status to states wala question as I think I have some good content to write on it as I read a special report on EPW about that topic in detail.
    At most you may write/think of couple of points and move on to another question in such cases.
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