Monday, June 29, 2009

Strategy For General Studies in UPSC(Mains)

Many readers of this blog have repeatedly requested that this effort should not just be limited to prelims and should also give some pointers on mains preparation. So here is a first hand account by my friend Umesh Agarwal , AIR-237, who has been a driving force behind this blog.

I (Umesh Agarwal)could score only 309 in 2007 mains where average GS score was around 330 ,though I got the interview Call .While preparing for my 2008 attempt I met Mr Ajit Sinha of Expert Brains and he advised me to follow the guidelines as prescribed by their Experts.

I judiciously followed the guidelines as prescribed by their Experts keeping in mind the concept of bounded rationality and by the grace of god , I scored 172 in paper 1 and 173 in paper 2 i.e., 345 ( highest - 353 ) ,where average GS score in 2008 mains was around 285.

My strategy in a nutshell :

History

I studied from Spectrum and Class 12th NCERT and for 2-markers i referred 'Up to the mark' and 2-markers given in the test series.

Polity

I studied from the Vajiram ' Yellow Book and supplemented it from class 12th NCERT i.e., democracy at work.

National Issues and Social Issues

I referred last one year Yojna , one year chronicle and Vajiram 'class notes

Geography

I didn't prepare at all.

International Relations

I referred one year chronicle and supplemented it with vajiram'class notes.

Economics

I referred India Year Book , Economic Survey,Uma Kapila ,and Vajiram class notes .

Science & Technology

I didn't study S&T and lost some marks in this section , hence i am unable to guide you for this section.

Statistics

I studied from S K Manocha's book and I practiced it in the same way as I would have to appear in my Mains keeping the time and graph paper along with the question papers.


With warm regards

Umesh Agarwal (AIR -237)

33 Comments:

Vandna said...

Hi,

first of all congratulations on your success in the most coveted examinations...and heartiest thnx to abhishek for bringing up d blog and finally d GS mains strategy... :)

my optionals are zoology and botany...ur strategy is clearly precise n focused..following fixed books...surely we need to be a little selective and work smartly for d mains...and the pattern of d paper is almost constant...

Plz tell me if it would be okay if I keep it superficial in geography..? It isn't my strong area and I am not well prepared with it for this yr's mains...I am not able to shell out time for it also...so plz tel me if scanning through the NCERT would be enough...I had joined vajiram for GS but I prepared in a hurry and I left geog for the prelims also...maths and current affairs saved me...I feel I am scoring decent...
So plz resolve dis for me..
Thanks n tk cr
Best wishes

Vandna said...

plz tel if Hindu editorials are to be followed for d mains social issues questions...do we need to be regular with them from June to September for dis yr's mains..?
plz answer my query on geography as well...
thnx...tk cr..

umesh said...

hi vandana

goeg consists of only 30 marks in mains and questions asked by them are mostly current affair related which u can answer from your current affairs preparation.

hence , need not worry and ur strategy is good and focus on core areas and ur strong areas and do average preparation for the weak areas .

may god bless u

umesh

Vandna said...

Thank you so much..I really appreciate that.. :)
regards

pratyd said...

Hey Umesh,

Perhaps this comment should have been filed under previous posts. To begin with kudos guys, its a great blog. I completely agree with every adulation the blog has managed, and must also complement you guys on keeping the comments up to date with your answers.

2010 is going to be my firsdt attempt, and the site has been an excellent guide to start with. Is it possible to approach you for advice for preparing a strategy for the mains (psych and PA)?
Drop me a mail should it be so;
pratyush.tre@gmail.com.

Thank you Abhishek for recommending books for Psych Prelims.

Best.

arvinder singh sethi said...

DEAR ABHISHEK
PLEASE SHARE YOUR STRATEGY ALSO FOR GS PA AND PSY FOR MAINS.THAT IS A DIFFERENT THING THAT YOU DID NOT FIND YOUR NAME IN FINAL LIST BUT I REALLY DO APPRESIATE YOUR CONSISTENT AND PERSISTENT EFFORTS IN THESE FOUR YEARS AND MOREOVER YOUR PATIENCE IN ALL THESE STAGES IN ALL THESE YEARS.MY OPTIONAL SUBJECT ARE ALSO SAME.PL SHARE STRATEGY

Einstein said...

Hello sir,
First time i am going to appear in 2010 UPSC Prelims exam and select philosphy as my 1st optional paper . My 2nd optional paper in Mains is Public Administration.At present i am doing MCA(5th sem).I am searching question paper of prelims(philosphy) but haven't get it. Pls if u have any idea than Guide me about source. I am needy of ur kind advice...Its a great work done by u.

Plz advice me about the strategy for pre and mains.

Thanks & Best Wishes
Einstein...

Chetan said...

Hi,
Sir thanks for such an elaborative strategy on General Studies.I have to appear in 2010.

1. sir i am not attending any classes for G.S...will do it on my Own. I know all the standard books...
U have mentioned that u used Vajiram Class notes(u are talking abt handwritten ones which u wrote while attending classes..). As i am not attending classes, should i get the vajiram gs printed notes other than using standard books for whole of the G.S, will that help. Do they update them regularly. From where can i get the latest ones.

2. Sir i have geography as my 1'st optional. For mains are there notes available in Delhi 4 the maps. For eg let's say 1000 locations of world and India and 40-40 words on each of them. Do any coaching institute like ensemble or ALS provide such Map notes(Or they can be found at some book shop).

Please advise sir.

Regards
Chetan

umesh said...

hi chetan

i had attended GS classes in vajiram but i had refered only S&T notes , polity notes and Exclusive Mains current affairs notes .

this notes are easily available at the xerox centres .


further i dont hav idea abt goeg

all the best

umesh

Sandhya said...

Hello Mr.Umesh,

Congrats on your success !!! I have been a regular reader of this blog and just now read the updates by Abhishek and your post.

To follow up on the previous comment, You have mentioned that the GS notes are available in xerox shops...I think you mean in Delhi. I am in Chennai and there don't seem to be such provisions here. Is there anyway I can get hold of those?

Thanks
-- Sandhya

umesh said...

hi sandhya

u hav to get in touch with ur frnds in delhi because apart from delhi it is not possible to secure the notes

tc

umesh

Abhishek kumar said...

Hi Abhishek (& all his friends who are contributing to this blog),

We are eagerly waiting for the next post of yours.

Its always great to read your experiences and methodologies you followed for UPSC.

Great Job.......


abhi

akhil said...

Hi Abhishek,

I am preparing for UPSC 2010 and have begun the onus preperation for GS by selfstudy. I wish to seel your opinion on the importance of coaching for this examination. Also could you please let me know is VajiRam still living upto its name ? I have been advised that Chanakya IAS Acedmy is a better coaching inst. Could you comment on this?

akhil said...

Hi Umesh,

I am a bit skeptical as to which coaching institute to join... My subjects are Pub AD and Philosophy as optionals. Could you please let me know of the best coaching institute from Vajiram, ALS, Chanakya ?

Regards,
Akhil

ARVINDER SETHI said...

HI AVHISHEK,
PL PL PL GIVE US THE STRATEGY FOR PUB AD AND PSYCHOLOGY FOR MAINS.SPECIALLY FOR PUB AD I WOULD LIKE TO REQUEST TO SUGGEST US CHAPTER WISE BOOK TO BE REFERED AS IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED IN GEOGRAPHY PRELIMS IN THIS BLOG BECAUSE BOOK LIST WILL NOT HELP AND I WILL NEVER COME TO KNOW WHICH BOOK TO REFER FOR WHICH CHAPTER.PL DO IT AS I AM PREPARING FOR THIS EXAM ONLY WITH THE HELP OF THIS BLOG AND I DID NOT JOIN ANY COACHING INSTITUTE. THANKS

Anonymous said...

Sir

Congratulations on ur success.

I need some guidance on making notes....whether point wise or comprehensive.

Ashish

Roshanlal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bindu said...

Hi Friends,

For all those who are following this blog..Can anybody suggest me which is good coaching centre for geography and GS in hyderabad. I dont understand Telugu, hence I need to join a place where they strictly use only english and hindi in conversation.

Bindu

Gagan Dhillon said...

Hi Umesh,

Congrats on your success in the CSE.
As you have mentioned Mr. Ajit Sinha in your post, did you take his test series or mains coaching?

Also, can you let us know how many marks paper did you attempt in GS I and GS II?

Thanks and Regards,
Gagan

Pratap said...

Sir,
How can i get Vajiram's notes on Polity as am staying in bhuj, gujarat.
Thanks
Pratap

lost said...

Hello sir,
Sir I have taken psychology as one optional(for mains) and pub adm(for prelims and mains)
plz guide me which books and notes would be best 4 psychology and pub adm… i’m 4m engineering backgrnd and have no idea abt dese subjects….also I don’t hv time 2 join to join coaching,so a lot depends upon right material…also can u suggest which books or notes should be prepared..do u hv any idea 4m where these notes can b obtained..i live in delhi…plz help
My mail id is lostworld1313@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Prepare for ' G.S (Current affairs) " from HOME (IAS Video Study material)
======================================================================
Do you like to prepare for ' G.S (Current affairs) mains " from your home...

Here is an new effort from risingias.com led by Ravi .R Chokkalingam (Most aspirants know him as a Current Affairs Specialist)

The VIDEO CLASSES of Mr.R.R Chokkalingam is the solution.Aspirants who can't come and study in delhi can find this classes very useful and the course covers 400/600 marks.

Topics covered are :

International and Bilateral issues 120 marks
India and Global Economy 80 marks
Sciene and Technology 70 marks
National and Social Issues 130 marks

Classes started on 18th,August 2009,and they are uploaded to the website

Read more at : http://risingias.com/gs.asp

BILJO ISSAC said...

Hello sir

If you have the Vajiram&Ravi notes then please reply

with regards
biljo issac
biljoissac@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

sir can u suggested some pricised books for philosphy for mains cse.

akhil said...

There is no precise books for mains for philosophy, the books you may find useful are :


Essentials of Indian Philosophy: Books: M. Hiriyanna

Introduction of Indian Philosophy: Dutta & Chaterjee

Western Philosophy: A history of Philosophy: Frank Thilly

Philosophy of Religion: Religion Philosophy: Y Masih

Social Political Philosophy: Political Theory: O P Gauba

Pratap said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks a lot !!! for advising to search queriess on risingias.com for GS, it helps me for optinals also as i am staying away from Delhi.

naresh said...

heloo sir

congrats for clearing cse exam.
im now very serious abt the preparations for upsc.
ive choosen maths as first optional and public administration as 2nd optional.
im from engg background please tell me all the materials required for prelims (gs, maths)
and for mains(maths, pa)
and even for essay and english. im not going to any coaching centre , i would like to prepare with the help of your blogspot, so pls help me

raj said...

hi sir muself sudhir kumar ,i m from patna,n i m doin engineering frm ms ramaiah institute of technology ,bangalore,1st semester.sir i want to know how to start preparartion for GS prelims as i m begineer,currently i have read ncert cls 11th &12th history books,wht nxt to do?

Anil said...

HELLO Frens,
m Anil from Jammu . A B.E(Comp)& an MBA too. I m preparing for my IAS but....since m in job ...can't afford to read and solve books. can anybody please help me out by guiding from where i cud get Vajiram notes on Mathematics? Please help me out....my mail id z:- anil.smvdu@gmail.com

Thanks

Anil
Jammu

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your help bro. Its really a great work. - Samuel

Deepak Yadav (Yadavd) said...

you can see the upsc information like result,model papers,question papers,current affairs.....etc.....
upsc question paper with answers

SMS Message said...

thank very much to share about this job and about their exam.
you have very useful information.

srishtiD said...

You can also enroll in this online course. I am enrolled in it. Other than current affairs, rest everything is covered in great detail. The course is IAS General Studies Preliminary Online Course. I wished there was an online course for Current Affairs as well.