What is the strategy for Mains Preparation?
- July 14, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: Mains
UPSC CSE Mains Preparation has been an enigma due to multitude of strategies available over the internet. Every year coaching institutes use/misuse toppers to come out with their special mains strategy session or write ups only to sell their mains test series or a course in the end of the session. You must have watched and attended these sessions and read such write ups. Let me ask you one point black questions what is the outcome? If you are honest with yourself the only thing you get out of such things is confusion.
Then there are few who claim that just writing answers and revising them (500-1000) will help you crack mains. Is cracking mains so simple?
What is the right strategy? Lack of clarity has led to a general belief amongst the aspirant community that it takes more than 2 to 3 attempts to qualify mains.
The biggest fear that aspirants’ faces is the size of syllabus. As one approaches to prepare General Studies, lack of clear vision complicates the process.
Let me frankly tell you that there is no universal strategy to clear Mains. But there are few inviolable principles which if applied may help you OPTIMIZE your preparation?
7 Sutras to OPTIMIZE UPSC CSE Mains
1. Syllabus is your best friend:
Who is our “best friend?” Typically he is our guide and support system. Similarly syllabus given by the UPSC is your best friend in your preparation journey.
2. Foundation: Prepare base notes on each word of the syllabus. You can refer standard books to prepare this. I will be sharing the list of the books to be referred for mains notes
3. For every topic in the syllabus you should know its current dimension. For eg Food Processing is a topic in GS3. Any new schemes or policy on food processing should be incorporated in your notes. This is the dynamic aspect of the preparation. Newspapers should be used to add value to your base notes. Remember that you only need to write maximum 250 words in each question.
4. For each topic prepare 3 to 4 facts which you can revise and retain. For example, on women issues (sex ratio, literacy rate, % of women in legislature, ranking in important reports) Here Friday Factly will come handy.
5. Develop cross-linkages between subjects to create multi-dimensional perspective. You should develop multi –dimensional perspective on every topic. Don’t have a narrow subject oriented view on topics. For eg – Corona pandemic is not just a health crisis, it is an economic crisis, social crisis, leadership crisis and a moral crisis.
6. Read texts of President, Vice-President and Prime Minister Speeches at official functions from PIB to get a grip of the bureaucratic language.
7. Last but not the least is to learn to understand the demand of the question. This is the most important aspect of the mains exam. All your hard work will go down the drain if you fail to do so.Therefore, try to brainstorm questions every day. Here Daily Practice Sheet will come handy
I would be coming out with detailed strategy for every subject and paper soon. Watch this space.