Do you need to modify your strategy for UPSC Prelims, 2019?

‘Polygamy’ is dangerous

Freshers have equally good chances of clearing – stay away from rumors

Do not generalize trend from 2015 and 2016 Papers – they were exceptions!

UPSC Prelims 2019 is on 2nd June, 2019. In the 2018 exam conducted on 3rd June, there were many firsts of recent years.

  • Chronological events were normally restricted to Freedom struggle, but now they have moved into post independence India as well. [e.g. Air India was nationalized in…]
  • There are multiple catches within a question. E.g. FSSAI comes under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, but not under Directorate General of Health Services. (Common sense could be applied in this question, though. FSSAI is an AUTHORITY, and authorities are generally autonomous)
  • One question occupies the entire column (e.g. question on Sixth mass extinction)
  • Mix of high level analysis and facts in the same question – earlier it was either analysis or facts
  • Deep questions on cultural aspects e.g. Puthukkuli shawls

You may NOT clear Prelims if:

  • you analyse Prelims paper of 2015 & 2016 and make it a blueprint of your preparation. Those two years were exceptions.
  • you rely only on ready made notes – they expect you to read original sources, reports, books etc.
  • you think coaching institutes will sail you through. They (UPSC) want you to develop appreciation on your own.
  • you take prelims lightly no matter how ‘PRAKAND’ (learned) you are!
  • you avoid visualization and ATLAS. Form pictures of events, analyse the trend of a graph, arrange events chronologically etc.

You may incorporate these strategies in yours:

  • parallel preparation for Prelims can start NOW. Go through this (2018) year question paper multiple times. Whenever you go through a news/article, read it for both Prelims and Mains. Consistent practice would increase the speed of such analysis.
  • an example – Budget 2018 mentioned ‘Sela Pass’ in Arunachal Pradesh. The pass would run from Kameng to Tawang. And, there was a question (Pakhui wildlife sanctuary) from Kameng. That’s the level of mining they, now, expect.
  • do not ignore the basics – NCERTs, Laxmikant, NIOS, Ramesh Singh, and ATLAS ¬†These are MUST HAVES. You cannot ignore them at any cost.
  • do not buy new editions of the same book. You must have marked and highlighted important sections in the old ones. You eyes and brain know where a particular topic is covered in the book. Hopping on to a new edition may have an OPPORTUNITY COST.
  • if you are buying a lot of study materials in the last few weeks before exam, signs are not good. Focus on revision and re-revision.
  • ‘Polygamy’ is dangerous. If you have the same content of different coaching institutes, scores of test series of different institutes – please rethink your strategy.
  • Give your own touch to readymade sources. Test series – Follow ONE test series religiously. Attempt a test fortnightly till Dec, 2018. Increase the frequency thereafter. Do review your performance, add your own points in model answers, locate related locations on ATLAS.
  • Last but not the least – Throw useless stuff and people far away from your respective lives.

These are my own humble opinions. Since there is no LAW, you have all the LIBERTY to use your own discretion!

Until next time,

DNA


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