It has been almost two weeks since Prelims results are out. Also, not much time is left before Mains. In between these quite different ways of testing, one has to shift gears and prepare oneself to write 4000 words in 3 hours twice a day for a few consecutive days.
And, with the Prelims results, the horn has been blown. Usain Bolts and Asafa Powells of the world are already clocking good time in the practice sessions. It is crucial to maintain this practice every day for new as well as experienced runners in order to get great timings on the final day too.
In this article, I will discuss the answer writing tips which worked for me, sources I had used to cover different parts of the syllabus and will post some practice tests for your reference.
We all know that toppers copies can be a useful source for improving your answer writing. Based on a quick discussion amongst few selected candidates we have come up with a curated list for all of you to go through some copies. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, neither has it captured all the good copies that are there. We are trying to reduce the scatteredness and bringing some useful copies at one place.
Before I deep dive into this article, I would just like to clarify that it is neither a rant against any particular test series nor an attempt to undermine the feedback I had received through them. I have benefitted a lot from them. Here, I am just trying to document my experience with test series and the ebbs and flows of emotions I had during my Mains preparation.
Since it was my 1st attempt and I was doing self-study in Jaipur, there was a lack of sustained guidance and I did feel a little lost sometimes in between. My rank and GS marks do not reveal the uncertainties and fears I had. I feel aspirants, especially first-timers, need to be a little cautious in their evaluations and dependency on test series. Too much attachment to their feedbacks might affect their self-belief and confidence which I feel is very critical to excel in this examination – as UPSC does test your emotions along with your skills and intelligence.
Prelims and Mains have many similarities in terms of the syllabus. Sources for overlapping portions remained the same for me. I have already mentioned them in Prelims approach. But there are few areas which are specific to Mains. In this article, I am adding those aspects of the Mains exams in GS 1 and GS 4 which are not covered in Prelims.
Given that the cost-benefit out of some of such portions is very low, I am adding my full notes. This might help you devote more time in the note making of frequently asked areas. Also, I am attaching links to my General Studies test series copies.