Thread to Clarify Doubts, Seek Guidance from 2021 Batch Civil Servants - ForumIAS

Thread to Clarify Doubts, Seek Guidance from 2021 Batch Civil Servants

Hi, everyone! Starting this thread, so we can all seek specific guidance from, clarify our doubts from friends who successfully cleared CSE 2021. Please feel free to ask any and all questions, however trivial, so we can collectively benefit.


It's opportune time for this, as with Pre 2022 ending in a few hours, friends giving Pre this year can also benefit from their Post-Pre Preparation Experience.

Tagging 

@sjerngal  @Pam123 @AzadHindFauz @TheFinalStand @CSLWARRIOR @Arsene @Bubba_gump @Apollo11 @impatientoptimist  @whatif1997, and requesting them to enlighten us plebs on tricks & trickeries of preparation.

Edit: Adding@Newton981 (AIR 107)

curious_kid,DMand23 otherslike this
82k views

237 comments

@CSLWARRIOR Thank you so much, sir. This gives a fair idea of how to prepare for the S&T part of the GS3 paper.


3.7k views
My Questions

1. Could you please give a broad timeline of your preparation?, including
a) When you started with & completed Mains Topics?
b) Was Optional Preparation Simultaneous?
c) Your Revision strategy. Daily? Weekly?
d) When did you start giving Mocks for Pre?
e) When did you write 1st answer?
f) Time set aside for Prelims-only Preparation (and how were Mocks incorporated in this phase)

2. Your specific strategy for Current Affairs:
a) In how much depth did you read Newspaper (Only Op-Ed/Science Tech?, or all of it?)
b) When did you read CA Magzines? Did you read them bit-by-bit everyday, or all in one sitting?

3. How did your general Day Schedule look like?
a) Did Newspaper first, or Static Subject?
b) Did 1 subject per day? Or,GS & Optional Simultaneously everyday?  

Add me to the list of selected guys from forum AIR 107. I will also provide my two cents on the above questions.

1. Could you please give a broad timeline of your preparation?, including

It took me 3 years and 2 attempts to clear this exam (June 2019- 2022). Though I had given two attempts before but not prepared as such. 



a) When you started with & completed Mains Topics?

I started the common topics together via standard books from the beginning in 2019. However, I did Mains specific topics only in 2021 attempt from Vision IAS VAM. 



b) Was Optional Preparation Simultaneous?

Yes, my optional is Management. But to manage it was a big struggle as no standard coaching or material. However, in the end, it worked I got 276 in optional which is pretty good this year. 



c) Your Revision strategy. Daily? Weekly?

No particular strategy, I made notes on Cerego a timely reminder app and use to revise them once in a while. 

Also i kept a target of 3 revision of notes prior to exam. 

However, I did not create notes for CA (though tried initially) and so no revision only daily newspaper. 



d) When did you start giving Mocks for Pre?

after 3-4 months into the preparation. I started with Vision and Insights sectional tests



e) When did you write 1st answer?

after 1-2 months of prep from InsightsonIndia daily secure initiative. Though did not follow after 2-3 months. If I had done, I think it would have certainly helped. 



f) Time set aside for Prelims-only Preparation (and how were Mocks incorporated in this phase)

I used to give at least one mock on each Sunday in my first attempt. Second I had better understanding and confidence so increased frequency primarily in last month with 2-3 mocks/ week.

Also, i used to give Unacademy Combat every Sunday, i liked it. 


2. Your specific strategy for Current Affairs:


a) In how much depth did you read Newspaper (Only Op-Ed/Science Tech?, or all of it?)

I primarily read Hindu, but for some months in between Indian Express as well. Initially a lot of time upto 3 hours as well but later got an understanding (or due to COVID, paper was short) was able to finish in less than an hour. 

I used to go through the whole paper and skip non-relevant parts including Opeds which are not useful.



b) When did you read CA Magzines? Did you read them bit-by-bit everyday, or all in one sitting?

I tried but could not follow them. However, i read vision PT365 in both attempts, not all booklets but of environment, culture, IR and S&T. However, nothing came in Prelims as much I remember. 

So daily newspaper reading without notes was my source of CA. Prelims is less CA oriented and Mains is more. For Mains I took ForumIAS MGP+ test series and did IAS Baba TLP, both helped immensely with CA. 




3. How did your general Day Schedule look like?


a) Did Newspaper first, or Static Subject?

No fixed schedule, but usually started with paper



b) Did 1 subject per day? Or,GS & Optional Simultaneously everyday?  

Not 1 per day, but mixed 2-3 subjects to break the monotony. 


Hope this helps. 

BattingBaba,AzadHindFauzand7 otherslike this
4.1k views
» show previous quotes

Add me to the list of selected guys from forum AIR 107. I will also provide my two cents on the above questions.

1. Could you please give a broad timeline of your preparation?, including

It took me 3 years and 2 attempts to clear this exam (June 2019- 2022). Though I had given two attempts before but not prepared as such. 



a) When you started with & completed Mains Topics?

I started the common topics together via standard books from the beginning in 2019. However, I did Mains specific topics only in 2021 attempt from Vision IAS VAM. 



b) Was Optional Preparation Simultaneous?

Yes, my optional is Management. But to manage it was a big struggle as no standard coaching or material. However, in the end, it worked I got 276 in optional which is pretty good this year. 



c) Your Revision strategy. Daily? Weekly?

No particular strategy, I made notes on Cerego a timely reminder app and use to revise them once in a while. 

Also i kept a target of 3 revision of notes prior to exam. 

However, I did not create notes for CA (though tried initially) and so no revision only daily newspaper. 



d) When did you start giving Mocks for Pre?

after 3-4 months into the preparation. I started with Vision and Insights sectional tests



e) When did you write 1st answer?

after 1-2 months of prep from InsightsonIndia daily secure initiative. Though did not follow after 2-3 months. If I had done, I think it would have certainly helped. 



f) Time set aside for Prelims-only Preparation (and how were Mocks incorporated in this phase)

I used to give at least one mock on each Sunday in my first attempt. Second I had better understanding and confidence so increased frequency primarily in last month with 2-3 mocks/ week.

Also, i used to give Unacademy Combat every Sunday, i liked it. 


2. Your specific strategy for Current Affairs:


a) In how much depth did you read Newspaper (Only Op-Ed/Science Tech?, or all of it?)

I primarily read Hindu, but for some months in between Indian Express as well. Initially a lot of time upto 3 hours as well but later got an understanding (or due to COVID, paper was short) was able to finish in less than an hour. 

I used to go through the whole paper and skip non-relevant parts including Opeds which are not useful.



b) When did you read CA Magzines? Did you read them bit-by-bit everyday, or all in one sitting?

I tried but could not follow them. However, i read vision PT365 in both attempts, not all booklets but of environment, culture, IR and S&T. However, nothing came in Prelims as much I remember. 

So daily newspaper reading without notes was my source of CA. Prelims is less CA oriented and Mains is more. For Mains I took ForumIAS MGP+ test series and did IAS Baba TLP, both helped immensely with CA. 




3. How did your general Day Schedule look like?


a) Did Newspaper first, or Static Subject?

No fixed schedule, but usually started with paper



b) Did 1 subject per day? Or,GS & Optional Simultaneously everyday?  

Not 1 per day, but mixed 2-3 subjects to break the monotony. 


Hope this helps. 

@Newton981 Congrats! Saw you replying to 2 year old threads on Management optional, and checked the blog you linked. Should have guessed!

Could you provide a timeline of Optional Preparation too? How many revisions did it take for you to feel comfortable in it? And did you give any mocks for the same?

Mine is Commerce & Accountancy, so almost all of Paper 2 and half of Paper 1 (Financial Management) overlaps with Management.



3.5k views
Are yearlong test series (Vision,MGP,Insights ylm) really beneficial or should we  instead practice with TLP amd insights secure questions on a daily basis?Also which yearlong test series do you suggest for both quality improvement and subsequent value additions to topics.
3.3k views
Guys does anyone have a compilation of general key words for GS papers for ex :
criminilisation of politics, sarpach-pati syndrome, not-in-my-backyard approach for climate change etc....
These kind of words list, can we get somewhere ?
PS:  feel these could be a cherry on top of our answers, but i didn't come across them in std books or magazines.
if there is any such compilation (atleast somewhat near to these) , Kindly post it here as it will be helpful to all
3.3k views

1) Revision strategy between pre and mains so as to cover all the papers?

2) How did you guys consolidate content for essay ? Say if the topic is about women then how do you know where to stop since so many facts/case studies/points seem relevant.


Also anyone from Pubad optional? 

3.2k views
Are yearlong test series (Vision,MGP,Insights ylm) really beneficial or should we  instead practice with TLP amd insights secure questions on a daily basis?Also which yearlong test series do you suggest for both quality improvement and subsequent value additions to topics.

I would personally recommend yearlong test series over daily answer writing because of the following reasons:

  • Helps you consolidate notes for static portion and keeps you on ur toes especially when you know that the exam is next year and you might waste some time doing nothing
  • Will help you get acquainted with your strengths and weaknesses with respect to answer writing 
  • Model answers will help u add value addition
  • I am personally not a very big fan of daily answer writing that are peer reviewed and not really checked by a mentor, because I think it adds not much value to your answers. Plus I think there should be enough space and time for u to improve and work on the feedback received. 
    In this sense weekly tests fare better ..


BattingBaba,Silentknightand2 otherslike this
3k views
Are yearlong test series (Vision,MGP,Insights ylm) really beneficial or should we  instead practice with TLP amd insights secure questions on a daily basis?Also which yearlong test series do you suggest for both quality improvement and subsequent value additions to topics.

I would personally recommend yearlong test series over daily answer writing because of the following reasons:

  • Helps you consolidate notes for static portion and keeps you on ur toes especially when you know that the exam is next year and you might waste some time doing nothing
  • Will help you get acquainted with your strengths and weaknesses with respect to answer writing 
  • Model answers will help u add value addition
  • I am personally not a very big fan of daily answer writing that are peer reviewed and not really checked by a mentor, because I think it adds not much value to your answers. Plus I think there should be enough space and time for u to improve and work on the feedback received. 
    In this sense weekly tests fare better ..


Thankyou so much ma'am..

sjerngal,
2.9k views
Guys does anyone have a compilation of general key words for GS papers for ex :
criminilisation of politics, sarpach-pati syndrome, not-in-my-backyard approach for climate change etc....
These kind of words list, can we get somewhere ?
PS:  feel these could be a cherry on top of our answers, but i didn't come across them in std books or magazines.
if there is any such compilation (atleast somewhat near to these) , Kindly post it here as it will be helpful to all

I found something similar on telegram last year. It was by MK yadav, if i am not wrong. 

arjunas,
3k views

Hello everyone,

Congratulations on the selection!

This is with respect to prelims current affairs - I am finding it difficult to follow daily CA (quiz+newspaper), monthly magazines and yearly compilations at the same time. At the end the mock questions will also be there. It will be too much to revise.

What should I drop? (if at all it is advisable)

 

If you have been doing newspapers and monthly magazines religiously, there is no point of doing yearly compilations. 
I would suggest you to make 1-2 pages notes of the monthly magazines that you read, so that by the end of the year you<30 pages of condensed notes to revise. 
And anyway, I believe that the utility of yearly compilations is decreasing over the years.
I, personally, used to make questions for myself from newspapers and monthly magazines and would revise the same before prelims. There were roughly ~150  questions for each month.
Attaching a sample of the same-



Can u please attach a sample of your notes for polity and modern history.

2.7k views
Guys does anyone have a compilation of general key words for GS papers for ex :
criminilisation of politics, sarpach-pati syndrome, not-in-my-backyard approach for climate change etc....
These kind of words list, can we get somewhere ?
PS:  feel these could be a cherry on top of our answers, but i didn't come across them in std books or magazines.
if there is any such compilation (atleast somewhat near to these) , Kindly post it here as it will be helpful to all

I found something similar on telegram last year. It was by MK yadav, if i am not wrong. 

Got It, Thanks !

2.7k views
@arjunas could u kindly share it? Thanks


2.6k views
Guys does anyone have a compilation of general key words for GS papers for ex :
criminilisation of politics, sarpach-pati syndrome, not-in-my-backyard approach for climate change etc....
These kind of words list, can we get somewhere ?
PS:  feel these could be a cherry on top of our answers, but i didn't come across them in std books or magazines.
if there is any such compilation (atleast somewhat near to these) , Kindly post it here as it will be helpful to all

I found something similar on telegram last year. It was by MK yadav, if i am not wrong. 

Got It, Thanks !

can you share the link?


2.3k views
Guys does anyone have a compilation of general key words for GS papers for ex :
criminilisation of politics, sarpach-pati syndrome, not-in-my-backyard approach for climate change etc....
These kind of words list, can we get somewhere ?
PS:  feel these could be a cherry on top of our answers, but i didn't come across them in std books or magazines.
if there is any such compilation (atleast somewhat near to these) , Kindly post it here as it will be helpful to all

I found something similar on telegram last year. It was by MK yadav, if i am not wrong. 

Got It, Thanks !

can you share the link?


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AgYsnBzDoy-XHsqH9oywksoVObnURtx2/view?usp=sharing.
It is available only as pdf , so uploaded in my drive and created link.
So better to keep it downloaded
Enjoy !

Heisenberg_95,
2.3k views
Can any topper please share their model answers or notes on mains PYQ?
2k views
IAS Network vs Convert IAS which is better for anthropology evaluation?
2k views
Is anyone here with anthropology optional?
1.9k views
Deleted

Hi guys,

2022 prelims was my first attempt and am getting 82, underestimated prelims and started on it towards Feb end, hence was not able to do sufficient mocks. I've been preparing from my home through self study, although I am attending CA classes of Dipin sir and took MGP 2022 but haven't wrote them yet.

Now, at this point I'm in a dillemma as to moving to Delhi for mentorship or not. I'll explain below,

  1. I personally don't know any peer/senior/guide/or aspirant that is prepping seriously.
  2. Guidance(other than topper videos) was one aspect that was lacking in my previous attempt and this prelims has made me quite anxious and I wish to foolproof my prep, especially pre.
  3. I have never prefered moving to Delhi for prep as a) I am not doing any classes, neither do I plan to for next year; b) I prefer to study by myself and the 'pressure environment' in the hub sounds a bit depressing (motivation is not an issue); c) I wish to avoid time leakages in commute/ food hunting/ house hunting etc.
  4. Despite all this prelims has made me anxious that I might be missing out prefessional guidance sitting at my home.

Can you guys please help me out with following questions through your experience?(a desperate cry for help) Up until now I was flying solo and pretty confident that my decision to not move has been right but now I'm questioning it and have no reference to talk of or anyone I can discuss the ground realities with.

  1. How much of a difference does it makes If one is writing mocks in academy centres and getting them discussed vs at home? (simulation point of view)
  2. Is there an edge to having constant 1-on-1 discussion with the mentor, also, in reality do institutes really provide personalized inputs? wrt number of students.
  3. In your experience is it worth shifting for answer writing practice and mentorship?
  4. If anyone had a similar situation to me, is there any way to seek constant guidance? any pointers? (institute or Serious peer groupwise)

Would be thankful if someone could help me out! thanks!



crikeymate,Pandit96and7 otherslike this
2.1k views
What source do you guys use to analyse Mains PYQs? Any recommendations on the book ?
1.6k views

2022 was my 2nd attempt and i am unable to find a good accomodation in delhi.

What will i miss if i join the test series and dipin sir classes online. 

Please help and guide me

1.4k views
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