Answer Writing and Notes making strategy by Rajat Pant (AIR 90); GS Notes and Mains Last Minute Revision Notes attached

Hello everyone,

I am Rajat Pant, AIR 90 (CSE 2018). As the mains examination is near, I am back with my mains strategy this time. This is the point in the timeline of this examination where all the aspirants can be divided into 2 categories. First, are the ones who could not clear prelims this year (Me in 2017). Second, are the ones who have cleared it (Me in 2018). Trust me; both of you are in an equally good position to crack this examination at most by 2020. I say it because I have been there in both of the above situations during my UPSC journey.

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Taming the beast – Answer Writing approach for Mains by Kanishak Kataria (Rank 1)

Hello everyone,
In this article, I will be delving upon the importance of UPSC CSE Mains and share few tips which might help you perform (score) well in the examination.

Unless you dream big and are willing to work hard for it, do not expect to achieve big..
I averaged almost one refill per day after prelims result till I appeared in the Mains!
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My two cents on Answer Writing – Shreyans Kumat (AIR 4)

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.

Horn has been blown, it’s time for some action

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.

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The Holy Trinity of UPSC CSE: and other links- by Vikram Grewal (AIR 51)

Greetings, dear friend!

Drake would say ‘If you’re reading this, it’s too late,’ but Kurt would say Nevermind, we’ll go by the age old saying we were taught in school- ‘better late than never.’

You must have already made up your mind regarding what the UPSC Civil Services Exam is all about. You must be thinking it’s an exam for the bookworms or perhaps an exam for the alien nerds who just happen to know ‘everything.’ Some think it’s an epitome of Indian Parents’ aspirations imposed on their wards. Your friends might think it’s an exam which can be cracked by just the ‘good/bright/topper students from topnotch schools/colleges.’ Continue reading “The Holy Trinity of UPSC CSE: and other links- by Vikram Grewal (AIR 51)”

Strategy, mindset, and small preparation hacks for working aspirants- Sumit Kumar Rai (AIR 54)

All these hacks have been suggested keeping working profesionals in mind.

Strategy hacks:

  1. You have to plan your studies in seconds and minutes and not in hours.
  2. Utilize morning hours more compared to evening hours as the job stress and job fatigue factors are reduced in morning.
  3. Have a good peer group, preferably on telegram.
  4. In the morning download newspaper from The Hindu newspaper telegram group. Saves time.
  5. A new document to be read in a particular way. First is to get a gist of overall document and then go into micro details. Works Continue reading “Strategy, mindset, and small preparation hacks for working aspirants- Sumit Kumar Rai (AIR 54)”

Utility of Mains Test Series – A first attempter perspective by Kanishak Kataria (Rank 1)

Hello everyone!

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.

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Law Optional Strategy by Shubham Gupta (AIR 6)

This post is regarding the Strategy for LAW as an Optional subject in the UPSC Civil Service Examination. I have been fortunate to score reasonably good marks in this optional subject both times I have written the Mains exam. Just to give the readers some perspective of what is considered reasonably good for this paper, I scored 306 (Paper I: 125, Paper II: 181) in UPSC CSE 2016 and a similar score 304 (Paper I: 149, Paper II: 155) in UPSC CSE 2018 which is when I secured AIR 6.

In this post, I will be dealing with two aspects of the paper:

  1. How should one decide whether to choose Law as an optional paper?
  2. The paper-wise strategy for Law.

So, let’s begin with aspect 1!

Allow me to start by giving a brief background about myself. I studied Commerce (with Economics) in Class XI and XII. In college, I pursued B.A. (Hons.) Economics from Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, University of Delhi (2012-15). This was followed by enrolling myself into a M.A. Economics course in Delhi School of Economics (2015-17) (Unfortunately, I could not finish my Masters course). My main background has been in the subject of Economics.

I made the choice for Law as the Optional subject for me in the year 2015, despite the fact that I had never studied Law before that in any form whatsoever. So, why did I choose Law as my optional?

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Mains Test Series Copies and Some Mains specific notes – Shreyans Kumat (AIR 4)

Hi everyone,

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.

Continue reading “Mains Test Series Copies and Some Mains specific notes – Shreyans Kumat (AIR 4)”

Public Administration: How to use Administrative thinkers in Answers -by Sumit Kumar Rai (AIR 54)

Hello guys.


Hope your prep is going good. Many have been asking about linkages and how to use thinkers in answer. I am attempting to address your query here. [ Join this TG group, here I share strategy and materials related with Pub Ad mostly, apart from some GS guidelines: http://t.me/iwrapinkmanww ]

The most important part of pub ad syllabus is Administrative thinkers & Administrative behaviour in my opinion. So, ensure that all key ideas of every single thinker is on your finger tips. whatever sources you are referring to cover thinkers: be it Aribam, P&P or your classroom coaching notes, ensure that you summarise all thinkers in 4-5 key ideas and be ready to use in your answers. Keep on reading!