Mindset Making – UPSC

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s good that you didn’t mention prelim/main specific analysis of PYQs. So I’m motivated to answer it in a comprehensive way. As we’re aware about that CSE needs an approach where you have to be very clear about what’s needed and when to stop. Should I prepare for the Preliminary exam only for six months and then the next six months for the main exam only? Questions like this can also be addressed in the answer, I guess.
Now let’s start it through different segments. Assuming that you are fully prepared mentally to travel on the CSE journey, No matter what hurdles come in between.
Note- Without reading twice, you will not be capable of analyzing PYQs. Yes, you read correctly. CSE questions are mostly conceptual in nature ( Because are not one-word answers like other exams). So first complete that topic/subject then see PYQs, again read that topic and now go for analyzing PYQs. So I hope you followed these steps and now I’m going to answer-


Segment 1- INDIAN POLITY: Important part of the syllabus for whole CSE preparation.

Prelim- Try to get PYQs chapter-wise. Example: Let’s say, I have read the PREAMBLE chapter. Now I should try to do questions over it. After two rounds, you’ll realize that those questions can be answered with a fixed set of knowledge. You need to carry this fixed set of Knowledge throughout the preparation.

So how does it help? Once you are confident enough, half of the battle is already won by you. Maximum aspirants always running to find new sets of information, as they see some new Questions and it’s a never-ending process. So after fixing your set of information, you can go for multiple revisions of the same and it boosts your confidence.
Main exam- Attach some points there in the chapter only, how you’ll use that chapter-specific knowledge in answer writing. For general studies papers, UPSC rarely asks specific topic Questions (that are required for optional). Example

So here you need to use PREAMBLE knowledge…like why the word SOVEREIGN is put in the constitution with your analytical commentary over it.
We must analyze PYQs chapter-wise because it helps us to think in a comprehensive manner.

It depends on what’s going to be your attempt year. If you’re planning to write this exam after 3–4 years, I suggest not focusing much on optional. You may not have better clarity about how to take optional and if is there any chance to go for other than what I decided.
If you’re going to write your exam within the next two years then you may start looking for optional. Before that do proper R&D – how to choose optional. You may read other answers on my profile.
At the end, I’ll suggest working on GS papers to check in which optional you may get good marks. Once you’re sorted about your optional, then you should start for optional preparation. Give 50% time to optional and the rest for GS.
Everything above is based on my personal experiences. Opinions may differ.
Good luck.

Till the year 2016; it was mandatory to write GS+ Essay and Optional in the same medium. But now you can opt for different mediums. Initially, I had chosen Hindi medium because I found myself more comfortable with expression in Hindi medium as far as GS and Essay are concerned. But for Mathematics Optional, even I myself was not comfortable in Hindi, so you can imagine the blunder.
Anyways what I experienced in this UPSC journey that-
If you’re putting logical arguments and addressing the demand of the exam properly then medium doesn’t impact much.( My personal experience and I got very good marks in GS and essays as well) . For Optional; if it’s from humanities then I have the same thinking that you should deliver quality arguments and exactly address questions. Yes if your Optional is from science subjects, then writing that Optional in mediums other than English may result in a blunder. Because in this science stream, professors are more or less focused on technical ways and yes it’s easy to convey and understand things in English medium.
Hope it helps.
Note: If you’ve Mathematics Optional then you can follow this grand Lecture series on the YouTube channel UPENDRA SINGH.

Don’t jump into the preparation by just watching short videos or motivational facts.
Once you’ve decided to go for it then accept that it’s a process not a single step.
Enjoy the process without making picnic plans after selection. I’ll read polity to get an understanding according to the demand of the exam, not according to my debates for Modi Gandhi affairs.
Analytical abilities Mugging of things both required. I can’t complain about why UPSC designed the syllabus like this.
Listening more, speaking less. Saving words and making logical arguments.
Wherever needs to be changed, I’ll incorporate that based on the demand of the exam.
I’ll not become an alien. Average study hours with a proper healthy life. No artificial isolation from family but at midnight thinking about the previous girlfriend or pretty friend years before. Share your downs with your trusted friend or family member and high too. It makes you relaxed.
The most important- this is just an exam, not more than my life or more than any other achievements. Success then fine. Failure then uses experience and hard work to achieve more. Believe me, it happens because this UPSC journey teaches that much.
So yes these are some points which I could write. For any particular question you can talk to me, my number is mentioned in my profile.


Part (i):- At first we will have to understand at what stages of this preparation; and what CAs needed in what form.

Prelims:- (Information)
Facts & Figures
Chronology of events
application of static part

e.g.:- Many aspirants feel trouble while remembering provisions regarding let’s say parliament chapter then by following CAs in daily routine such provisions are set in our subconscious mind.

Mains:- (Learning How)
I can use my set of information to put my arguments
⦁ Structure of arguments
⦁ Logical arguments
⦁ Deep thoughts behind comments/examining of some topic
⦁ How to be concise & effective
⦁ How to start connecting, conclude the talk

Incorporating those traits which we usually don’t give importance to when our circle/set of information is small.
⦁ Listening more speaking less
⦁ Use of fewer words but effective
⦁ Balanced thought process
⦁ Analytical approach to see any event

Part (ii):- How to segregate current affairs according to the demand of each stage of the UPSC(CSE) Journey?

Necessity:- We need to have a proper understanding of the CSE syllabus. So let’s do it according to each point/part of the syllabus.

⦁ Polity:-
Step (i):- Cover the static part of the syllabus first.
Reading Chapter seeing PYQs

Analyzing PYQs Analyzing chapter
Repeat the above process for each chapter and then for each topic.
(How to analyze? Read my answer on Quora how to analyze PYQs UPSC Upendra Singh)

⦁ Kee is a fixed resource

Step (ii):- Lakshmikant or Class nots or…
Now segregate CAs according to the demand of each stage you will find
Very less for pre.
one/two news in 15 days for mains
one/two news in 2-3 months for personally

⦁ I.R. (3) S.& T (4) Env. Eco. (5) Internal Security (6) Social Issue/governance

Process to follow:- Take class notes of any good coaching institute (you can get those from photocopy shops too)

Try to cover each chapter from the notes

⦁ Current Affairs:- regarding the above topics if short then add in the respective chapter of your notes. If anything new/big then attach an extra sheet to notes.

Note:- Near to the exam:- You feel confident only if you have proper revision and consolidation of information through regular practices.

Example:- Some new elements added to the Basel Convention
⦁ If you have proper class notes
Then just add one line there only
⦁ If you don’t have proper class notes
Then you will be doing everything the MGNREGA in monthly, magazines

(7) Economics:- The most feared/ burdened in the line of current affairs

My Experience:-

⦁ I followed some particular teachers and have proper class notes of the batch which is recently finished let’s say in Dec. 21
⦁ It’s obvious that CAs till December will be incorporated into my class notes
⦁ So not be bothering about CAs till Dec.
⦁ After Dec. I will follow one particular monthly magazine/daily news analysis and segregate those (Psychologically) that’s required for different stages of CSE preparation.

(8) History:- Nothing like current here covers the syllabus culture well only some events in the news focus on analytical ways to think.

Extra Note:- For mains & Personality
⦁ You can listen to panel discussions (Sansad TV/….)
⦁ You can listen to some personalities ted. Talks
⦁ You can listen sometimes to world leaders
⦁ Reading some article

Keep a small spiral diary of whatever you learned/ understand from the above events. Just note down and keep Turing pages of this diary at regular intervals. Try to use that learning in expressing your day-to-day activities.