Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Marksheet, Age, Biography, Attempt, Notes

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Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper
Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper Biography

Hello everyone (Namaste Bhaiyo aur Beheno),
This is Arpit Gupta (AIR 54, UPSC CSE 2021). I have made this channel to cater to all the doubts related to UPSC CSE. Mathematics is my optional & I would try to help in the approach to this.
First of all, my sincere wishes to all the people giving prelims this year on 5th june.
You can drop your doubts in the comment section below.

Arpit Gupta UPSC Booklist

A brief history of modern India (Spectrum)Get Book
Indian Art and Culture by Nitin SinghaniaGet Book
Certificate Physical & Human Geography by GC LeongGet Book
AtlasGet Book
Indian Polity by LaxmikanthGet Book
Indian EconomyGet Book
Shankar IAS EnvironmentGet Book
Internal Security and Disaster Management by AshokGet Book

Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper Marksheet

Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper Marksheet
Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper Marksheet

Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper Prelims last minute advice

This is for anyone giving prelims on 5th june:
I know this time is really different from last few years as results have been declared and being discussed everywhere at a time when we have prelims in few days. Many of you might be among the people who will find their name in next year’s list.
It has been really difficult for people who couldn’t find their name in the list. Others have been anxious about the results and prelims equally.
These are few pointers (like a mains answer πŸ˜›) which i want to suggest from my end ( I have cleared both the prelims I gave with a healthy margin, every marksheet would be shared here soon):

  1. Please leave discussions around results, who got what etc. You can do that after 5th june.
  2. You just have 4 days so, studying has become less important. Importance of healthy food, good sleep and controlling your nerves has increased.
  3. Please stop solving random mocks now. Try to revise your notes properly. If needed, you can go for specific chapters in any book (only if you feel you have forgotten them)
  4. Get adjusted to a normal human schedule of only sleeping at night. Avoid naps at afternoon because you will not get one on 5th and this might be affecting your CSAT.
  5. Don’t go to exam hall without even seeing previous CSAT papers (many do this!!!).
  6. Whenever you feel whether you will clear it or not, just have this thought “none is sure, so am I”. It generates positive energy (personal experience)
  7. Don’t try to overthink on how paper will come, UPSC prelims paper can not be predicted by the biggest Jyotishi you know. Some year it will be agriculture, some year sports!!
  8. MOST IMPORTANT – Mocks ko dil se nahi lagana hai if you are not getting marks in prelims mocks. UPSC prelims paper is class apart.

What should you do on Prelims exam day by Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

On exam day, follow this:

  1. Try to reach centre at least 30 minutes early.
  2. Try to avoid last minute studies. Relax!
  3. Carry confidence even you forget that black ball pen. Pen dusre ki mil skti, confidence nahi!
  4. Go with a winner’s attitude irrespective of your preparation.
  5. Make guesses based on first instinct rather than overthinking.
  6. Take calculated risks. Don’t go for blind akkad-bakkad for sake of attempting 90+ questions.
  7. Don’t mark an answer thinking this would deny me selection. Focus on scoring rather than worrying about the results.
  8. Paper will surprise (you have to expect this). The first thought should be that none knows this question (assume this, because it gives confidence may be fake one, but still).
  9. Understand the nature of paper first. Paper can vary from a 2017 paper to 2021. So, cutoffs will vary, don’t go with preconceived notion of “itne to maar hi dene hai attempt”.
  10. Last but not the least, don’t start matching answers in between GS and CSAT. Simply talk to people (if you are extrovert) or go through CSAT pyqs (if you are introvert) and take juice/energy drink.

P.S – I know itna gyan maalum hai bas implement nahi ho pata πŸ˜‚ par try karna ki maximum follow kar lo. It worked for me, might work for you as well. Agar pehle prelims clear kiya hua hai then follow your previous process rather than following mine.

Arpit Gupta
AIR 54

Maths Optional Preparation Strategy by Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

Maths as an optional

Should I take it or not?

  • Depends on your interest in subject, your aptitude in the subject and your ability to rigorously work for an optional which gives binary results (either IN with flying colors or OUT with dejection).

I am not from IIT/NIT. Should I take it?

  • Yes but only if you find physics portion of the syllabus comfortable. Many students take Maths as an optional since their maths is good. But the physics portion make them suffer. Also, your comfort in real analysis & modern algebra needs to be checked (although these are the topics which can be mastered through multiple revisions).

How to prepare Maths by self-study?

  • Foremost point is to convince yourself that you can do it. I was convinced so I never thought of taking coaching for the optional.
    After that pick up the booklist as follows:
  1. Linear Algebra – Shaums/Krishna series
  2. Calculus – Malik & Arora or any engg book
  3. 3D – Krishna series/PNC
  4. ODE – MD Raisinghania
  5. Vector Analysis – Any engg book.
  6. Statics & Dynamics – Krishna series
  7. Modern Algebra – R Kumar (2 books – one of group & other of ring)
  8. Real Analysis – Malik & Arora
  9. Complex Analysis – Krishna Series
  10. LPP – Watch any engg youtube channel and learn simplex, trasportation & assignment.
  11. Numerical Analysis – Iyengar
  12. PDE – MD Raisinghania
  13. Mechanics – Krishna
  14. Fluid – MD Raisinghania
    Additionally if you want to understand some difficult topics, go for Mathocrat youtube Channel (sir is very good at explaining concepts).
    Focus on completing syllabus in 6-7 months (will share a detailed strategy of how to cover it in another post).

How to gain marks in Maths?

  • By regularly revising. This maths is not of JEE times where we could focus less on practice and more on concepts. Here, rigorous practice is needed (I realized it before 2nd attempt after doing many calculation mistakes in 1st attempt).

Does step marking happen?

  • Some say yes, others say no. My opinion is NO. My personal experience says, there is no step marking because my both year’s marksheets suggest me similar things. You can believe it or not based on your perception. I am also not 100% sure.

Can we leave any part of syllabus?

  • I would say it is not advisable. Go with full force because UPSC has now been adamant on heavy scaling and mixing up different topics in a single question.

How to balance it with GS?

  • I will discuss in a separate post. Let the prelims get over.

I got 247 in 2020 mains & 306 in 2021. In 2020, the main reason for my below 250 marks was nearly 90 marks calculation/sign error. The learnings were – rigorous practice, due importance to difficult portions & clear handwriting to avoid mistakes.

This is all I can think of! If you have any more doubts related to maths except the 2 posts that I will publish here, comment below.

Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper Marksheet

Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper Marksheet
Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper Marksheet
This is my marksheet for my 1st attempt (2020). I missed mains cutoff by 1 mark, got 735. It was heart breaking as well as motivating. You can compare it with already posted 2021 marksheet and draw your conclusions.

Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper tips regarding error in UPSC CSE Prelims

Hello everyone,
I know it would be a really stressful situation. It feels like we don’t remember anything. Any random question or unknown thing disturbs us.
BUT, I want to tell you that this happens with everyone (only the extent varies). Tonight, if you don’t get enough sleep, no issues ( I was awake whole night just before 2021 prelims, but I had confidence of clearing anyway). You need to understand that you, with your willpower, can clear prelims even without a good sleep! What you need is the confidence & determination. Again, it doesn’t mean that you keep studying tonight. Take rest, eat light food and think of how will you give mains rather than thinking about clearing prelims (trust me, it gives confidence). And remember, if you get surprised by questions from movies, web series etc (as in 2021, it was sports) then it is for everyone including the person who will get the highest marks in prelims.
I will say it again, you can forget to carry black ball point pen, but confidence is a must.
P.S – Macha dena hai bhailog/behenlog ❀

Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper Prelims Marksheet

Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper Marksheet
Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper Marksheet

This was marksheet in Prelims 2020 (my 1st attempt). If you see GS cutoff that year (92.51), i was comfortably clearing the cutoff but I was not perfectly sure about prelims selection even after matching with coaching keys (given that they have been wrong). So, for nearly 4-5 days, I speculated the cutoff and answers. BUT, I realized within a week that all this was futile and I had huge probability of clearing the prelims. I started studying for mains from that moment.

My point in explaining all this is simply that don’t waste time in speculations. You have to study for mains anyways. Just start it after taking a 2-3 day break and go with full flow. This exam rewards consistency, not disruption. Match your answers with 2-3 keys (I believe the most in Vision IAS key). If you are getting above 85, just go with mains preparation in beast mode after 2-3 days.


P.S – My prelims marksheet for 2021 is still not available. When I get it, I will post it here.

How to prepare Optional, Mains and Prelims together by Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

Balancing maths & GS between prelims and mains:

Finally, the prelims is over. The day must have been tiring (I would go for a party after this πŸ˜‚). I know the rush to match your answer with keys and the urge to maximise your marks (I would try to go for 1-2 keys and then stop, I trusted vision’s key which would come late so, I used to relax till then). But I would suggest you to please be patient and go for a party, the time between prelims and mains is really exhausting.

So, coming to balancing Maths and GS, my time table has been like this:

  1. Used to start 3-7 days after prelims in both attempts.
  2. Maths was the first to be picked.
  3. Used to pick P-1 syllabus and covered first 3 topics ( I know sab bhul chuka hogaπŸ˜› isliye easy utha lo, confidence aata hai).
  4. Nearly 8-9 days for maths p-1.
  5. Gave 2 tests for p-1.
  6. Went for GS and would revise gs-1 & give a test.
  7. Went for GS-2 and gave its test. Also, used to write on test for essay just after GS-2 or between GS1 & GS2.
  8. Again, picked up maths and went for p-2.
  9. P-2 took generally 12-13 days.
  10. In the meanwhile i would keep studying few questions and frame answers in mind. Helped to maintain continuity in GS.
  11. Again, gave few tests for p-2.
  12. Used to write GS3 & GS4 after revision. Also, wrote 2nd essay test.
  13. Now, more than a month time was already over and I got nearly 70-85 days in both attempts so had nearly half of the time over by this time.
  14. I had gotten test copies and used to discuss them with friends ( a big shoutout to the group of 10 which was the biggest companion during this time)
  15. The issues in all the papers including maths & GS were discussed. I am a firm believer of reviewing copies and incremental improvement.
  16. The 2nd iteration would start and by this time mains 365 used to be available.
  17. Went for maths and would again revise p-1 & p-2 and give tests.
  18. Went for GS and tried to study mains365 & made additional very short notes for revision during the papers. GS1234 in succession were dealt with and tests were written. Used to write 2 more essay tests in between.
  19. After all this just about 12-13 days would remain. It was pretty much stressful situation.
  20. Prioritized maths & used to give as much tests of maths as possible in next few days (tests picked from G-20 google drive) to get complete hold of it.
  21. Last 8 days were for GS only. Used to revise short notes & work on value addition in some areas (like unique data, unique recommendations of committee etc).
  22. Last day before the essay paper, I enjoyed fully. 😜 Talked to all friends & used to chill. I did not prepare anything for essay, simply used to read toppers’ copies.
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I hope I have given all the details about balancing both. I would recommend making small groups of 4-5 people with similar optional since mains preparation is a lot about discussing variety of questions and knowing each others’ approaches.

Thanks and all the best to everyone for the prelims results. May the Almighty be with you πŸ™πŸΌ
You can post your doubts related to balancing both in comments section.

Booklist for UPSC CSE Exam by Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

GS booklist :

GS 1 :
Modern – spectrum
Ancient & Medieval (for prelims) – NCERT
Art &culture – Nitin Singhania
World history – Google topics like 1st-2nd WW, integration of Germany &Italy, Industrial revolution.
Society – Mains365 of previous year & vision’s value added material
Geography – NCERT (9th to 12th)
Minerals+industrial location – I didn’t study (it is a subject in itself so simply left)
Remaining topics – cover from Vision’s value added material
GS 2 :
Polity – Laxmikanth
Governance – vision’s value added material
International relations – mains365
Remaining topics – cover from Vision’s value added material

GS 3:
Economy – mains365
Environment – Vision’s value added material and mains 365
Disaster Management – Basics & NDMA guidelines regarding all notified disasters in news (google or any source)
Science & tech – mains365 (selectively)
Agriculture – Vision’s value added
Remaining topics – vision’s value added

GS 4:
Lukmaan’s notes (print out and pdf both available in market). I simply read the notes & tried to understand as many values as I could.

Current Affairs – Mains365 for Mains

PRELIMS : Booklist remains the same for history, polity & geography.
Economy – Read basics from Sriram’s notes and current from any current affairs source (vision’s or forum’s or any magazines). You can go for Mrunal too if you want.
Environment – Can read Shankar IAS for basics. Cover current from any current affairs source (vision’s or forum’s or any magazines)
Science & Tech – Any magazine (try to understand new techs rather than mugging up facts here).

This is what I did. If I have left anything in booklist, please comment and tell. I will add.

Edit: Maths booklist already shared in previous post.

Maths Optional Preparation Strategy by Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

Maths Strategy:

Although the no. of days for each topic can vary, the rough distribution should be like this. Everyday you have to give 3 hours (can add another hour based on your convenience) to maths.


Start with Linear Algebra – Nearly 20 days (can be flexible since most of the engineers study this in college)

3-D Geometry – 25 days (focus on conicoids more because it is tougher)

Vector Analysis – 15 days (after understanding 3D figures, this part becomes a bit easier)

ODE+PDE – 25 days (Easy part hence must be covered properly)

Calculus+Real Analysis – 30 days (calculus is easy for most of the maths optional people, real should be covered in continuity)

Complex Analysis – 15 days (low hanging fruit)

LPP – 10 days (Easiest among all but prone to calculation mistakes hence practice practice & practice)

Modern Algebra – 30 days (toughest topic, but if you master it, it becomes the deadly weapon. In my 1st attempt, I was frightened of modern a bit, in my 2nd attempt, modern was my deadly weapon.)

Numerical Analysis + CP – 18 days (focus on derivation rather than mugging up. UPSC has evolved in this portion)


  1. Statics and Dynamics – 25 days (Easy topics should be picked and mastered. Conceptual understanding is the key here. You can practice 20 problems and then fail to solve 21st here. Hence, concept holds the prominence.
  2. Mechanics – 15 days (lagrangian+hamiltonian is the low hanging fruit here. Rigid body is a bit tougher and less chances of hitting the question present.)
  3. Fluid Mechanics – 20 days (follow the themes of PYQ; conceptual understanding needed otherwise you will suffer)

Now, this is around 8 months plan for completion of maths syllabus. It includes the tests & PYQs to be solved.
PYQs must be a priority while you learn the syllabus.
I know when we go forward in maths syllabus, we tend to forget things behind. So, once in a while simply look at what you studied previously.
Note making is a personal choice. I followed Kanishak Sir’s notes. I studied all the topics of sir’s notes from books and then used his notes as primary reference afterwards.
IMS notes (in my personal opinion) are not sufficient for the maths papers of 2020/2021. You have to cover books properly.
After covering books, move to PYQs. You can take help from G-20 Maths Optional group or Mathocrat group if you face any problem. These groups are the best for anyone doing self-study and having doubts.
If you face any difficulty in any small topic, you can go to Mathocrat’s youtube channel and understand that concept. Shivraj sir has explained the concepts properly.

Test Series:
Many old test series papers are present on the G-20 drive. You can go for that. Once you clear prelims you might need a good test series to maintain regularity. Your priority should be a test series which prepares good papers, evaluates your copies on time & gives proper feedback which helps you improve.
I had joined Aryabhatta Ashram’s test series in my 2nd attempt. I joined it because I wanted to face good papers that might prepare me for exams. Mahitosh Sir helped me a lot through regular feedbacks. He was really prompt in evaluating copies.
I also gave Pariksha Ganga’s open tests between prelims and mains. Their paper setting is really good.
Even if you don’t join a test series, it will not matter if you can maintain regularity and be disciplined (my discipline sucks πŸ˜›).

Maths & Prelims :
Maths can be left in last 2 months before the prelims if it is your 1st attempt. Repeaters should try to take maths to at least 40 days before prelims (just 2 hours would also work). I know when you pick maths books after prelims, it feels like you can’t even recall “Rolle’s theorem”. That’s okay. You will be back in a week if you keep slogging.

My GS strategy would be out soon. Thanks!
Get back to work if you have given prelims, the time for enjoyment is over now. Mains is coming 😈

If I have left any aspect of covering maths please comment, I will add.

100 days Mains Preparation Strategy by Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

You have nearly 100 days from today for mains. Ideally, your chilling time is over now. You have to get back to the study table.

Time between Prelims & Mains:
Begin with Maths P-1 (easier topics). Try to recollect basic things (your notes will come to the rescue here). Get that confidence back in mathematics by mastering easier topics like say, vector analysis or calculus. For next 12 days, try to cover P-1 properly and then write a test. After that begin with GS and complete any 2 GS papers. Again get back to Maths and complete P-2 (15days) and then write a test. Now, go to GS and complete the remaining 2 GS papers. Meanwhile write an essay test (without any prep) to simply see, are you able to write 1000-1200 words (if not read toppers’ copies and see their way).
This is your first iteration.
Begin the 2nd iteration and complete maths p-1 & p-2 (with mastering all the tougher topics being focus). Write tests continuously. When you have comprehensively done the maths syllabus, just go for GS and complete 2nd iteration.
You will have not more than 15 days left now for mains.
Adrenaline rush go higher and thoughts of not knowing nothing overpower. Relax !! You have it in you already. (Read this post whenever you deviate from the prep during these 100 days).
Go for learning all the committees associated with syllabus keywords & try to prepare data, facts etc (very important). This value addition will be key to improving your GS scores from 90s to 100s.
Don’t panic. Remember Maths has to be done in 2 iterations between prelims and mains. Whenever time is short, go for maths over GS (this will provide you the incremental marks which will matter the most in service you get).
In the 5 days gap between GS papers and Optional, you have to revise all the formulas. Try giving a test too so that you have a hold on solving questions (again matters a lot because nearly 12 days of zero optional work is there).

If I have left anything regarding the strategy between prelims and mains, please comment, I will add.

GS Preparation Strategy by Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

This has been probably the most awaited post here.

My GS Strategy:

I have already mentioned that your optional should be given 3 hours (extendable upto 4) everyday. So, nearly 5 hours remain everyday. 1 hour can be reserved for the newspaper. Remaining 4 hours are for GS portion.


1.Pick polity (you can pick any other, I am telling you my preference order). Go through at least 2 readings of Laxmikanth. Use a highlighter to mark important things. Now, go through PYQs, especially mains. You will find you can’t answer many questions πŸ˜…. That’s because laxmikanth doesn’t cover many issues from mains perspective. These have to be covered from Vision’s value added material (VAM). Use upsc syllabus to pick up the value added material and complete them in one go (make short notes as you have a good understanding of polity already after reading Laxmikanth). Try to solve all PYQs now. No answer writing, simply framing answer in mind.

  1. Pick Geography now. Cover it from NCERTs. Use Rajtanil Ma’am’s lectures if you think you lack clarity in any concept. PMFIAS notes are also a handy source. Any thing remaining can be covered with Vision’s VAM (use upsc syllabus to find the portion which needs to be covered through VAM). Look at the PYQs. Here, you might be able to solve almost all of them. If you can’t, just google the concept and make small notes on it. Now, brainstorming on all mains PYQs is a must. Practice diagram of every concept you learn.
  2. Pick Economics now. Read Sriram IAS’ notes or Mrunal Sir’s notes (as per your comfort). They both comprehensively cover the syllabus. Use VAM if needed. Go through PYQs and brainstorm.
  3. Pick Environment now. Easy subject. From mains perspective, you need very less things to know. Try to cover issues from mains365 of previous year. Use VAM if needed. Look at the PYQs and you will find they are very general and easy to answer. But you have to prepare quality content. Theme based notes must be prepared (like climate change, air pollution etc)
  4. Pick Modern History now. Go through Spectrum once. If possible, try to go through NCERTs to have a grasp of the story. From mains perspective, cover “events”, “personalities”, “contributions” (syllabus keywords). Make notes around cause, consequence, phases and features etc. Look at PYQs, you will find almost all of it is focused on the keyword I talked about (decoded this early in prep hence history was my strongholdπŸ˜…).
  5. Pick Art & Culture. Use Nitin Singhania and NCERTs selectively to prepare notes on S&T, coins, painting, archi, dance, music. There is no end to the syllabus here but you have to be selective because it is low yield topic in mains. Look at PYQs and you will curse yourself for even making those notes πŸ˜‚
  6. Pick Society. It is easy again because most of us know about society. Here, framework development and uniqueness of content with examples becomes key. Use VAM and search for good examples. See PYQs and prepare framework on dealing with society questions (much needed since the question is always abstract worded).
  7. Now you can pick Internal security. Use Vajiram’s yellow book (found it really good). Make notes based on syllabus keywords. Look at PYQs and try to solve. Most of them are theme based so prep becomes easy.
  8. Pick governance. Use VAM. Go through PYQs.
  9. Now you can cover other remaining topics like disaster management, agriculture, sci&tech etc. Simply look at PYQs and prepare around it.
  10. Topics like international relations which need only basic current awareness should be prepared between prelims and mains from mains365.
  11. ETHICS : Go through Lukmaan’s notes. Read them 2 times at least. Before reading this, go through “Justice” series on youtube to understand basics of Ethics. This is the subject which gives low cost high benefit. Case studies can be practiced from various toppers’ copies available freely on coaching websites. Readin toppers’ copies is of immense benefit in Ethics.
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My scores of 105 & 106 in both attempts show that I have gained marks with minimal efforts in Ethics just by using toppers’ copies and Lukmaan’s notes.

Time for each subject should be decided on one’s own. I would just suggest that no subject should go beyond 20-25 days because it creates monotony and reduces our interest thereby reducing our gains.

I hope this post clears the doubts regarding GS strategy. Please mention your doubts in comment section.

Edit: 1.) I will share my notes soon.
2.) I didn’t make any notes from newspaper. I simply read newspaper to get overview of issues going on. I relied on PT365 and Mains365 for covering current affairs. Newspaper reading is needed to build your understanding of issues and make you aware of various developments. Hence, never only rely on magazines and always read newspaper.


For GS Papers –

  1. Read from the source (already told the source in a previous post, don’t ask again)
  2. See the syllabus and try to explore “why”, “what”, “how”, “which” etc. Try to understand something from the perspective of what it is, issues, why are there certain issues, how to improve, which govt initiative/scheme is working for this, any best practices if relevant.
  3. There is 2 kind of note making. One is comprehensive like Rushikesh Reddy Sir, which helps everyone. Other is like my notes which will not really help anyone because they are really short and tailor-made for me (might help you if you understand issues at the similar level).
  4. In my opinion, note making should be really short and only those things should be there which are not sticking to your brain.
  5. No issue should have been covered in more than 300 words at any cost.
  6. Your notes should be like an answer. It should even contain the figures if you want to draw some figure in certain topics in exam.
  7. Every value addition like data, facts, committee etc should be at the same place on the same sheet. (I didn’t do this, regretted later as I had to use my notes and value addition pdf simultaneously!!)
  8. Focus on increasing your writing speed through notes. Initially I was not aware of it but later on I used notes as practice for writing faster hence it helped in boosting my speed. (Completed all GS papers before time)
  9. Have a clear idea about what topics to have in notes. Don’t focus on obscure topics. Cover major areas.
  10. Your notes can’t be very lengthy. If that happens, try to make another set of shorter notes because you have to prepare for revision of notes just before D-Day.
  11. Note making should be continuous, it should be not be something done once in a while.
  12. Many a times, you get topper notes and you find they are very good. In that case, don’t make your own notes and make topper notes as your own by amending them as required.

For Maths –

  1. I used Kanishak sir’s notes. Just added and deleted a few things as per requirement. If you want to make your own notes, you can use books.
  2. Maths Questions copy should be made. All the tough questions should be written there from each topic. The copy should be regularly visited as it helps in remembering those concepts. I learnt this from Anubhav Sir (AIR-8, 375 marks in maths in 2017).
  3. PYQs need to be covered properly and if needed, they can be covered in notes or in the other copy. You need to be familiar with all the concepts asked previously.
  4. Practice, Practice & Practice! But only after revising your notes properly.

Note making is a must according to me for perfect revision before mains.
Drop your doubts in comments.

P.S – I am planning a separate group for the apsirants who clear 2022 prelims and give 2022 mains and are facing issues from previous mains. The group will not for people giving 1st mains in 2022. Drop any suggestions if you have regarding the group.

Motivational Post by Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

Hello Everyone,
The results have been out now. It would have been liberating feeling for the people who cleared it while it would be bigger than the heart break for people who couldn’t.

IF YOU CLEARED (read this):
This is a very competitive game (rat race) to be honest. You have cleared just the 1st stage (called the elimination round). You have to face people who gave last interview and got IPS or who missed by few marks. Don’t celebrate now (although you can give yourself a treat for coming out victorious). The main exam is around 85 days from now. It would be a rush now, where you will literally get depressed every day for not being able to complete all the targets. You might have to postpone every other plan to give mains properly. Be positive but not really happy about this result (I know I sound pessimistic but that’s how it is). Your probability of failure from now is still near 8%. All the very best to you. I will keep uploading strategies and plans as you people need. Try not to waste a single day from tomorrow. Take a good sleep today, Kyunki kal se to neend haram hi honi hai”.

This exam is unpredictable. You might have been AIR1 but you flunked the very first stage, that’s how it is. 100s of self-doubt, stressful thoughts and uneasy feelings would be there. I faced failure in my 1st attempt at mains stage and I know it feels like being worthless. You might be 31 and giving your last attempt. I know it easier said than done but this exam many a times skips few good people. That is because of the limited number of seats. If you have attempts left, think about your plans, please find your mistakes. This exam has a big secret & that is minimizing the mistakes. My heart goes out to the deserving candidates who were pushed out of the list due to CSAT 😒. It is cruel but that’s how life is. I, being on the other side, can say with confidence that life offers happiness in multiple ways. We have channelled that to an exam which leads to this “Do or Die” scene. Please give a thought to your strategy tonight. Rethink about life and its purpose. Revisit the best and the worst moments of your life. Just do everything which reminds you of who you are.
Remember, you are and will remain what your values are & how your character is irrespective of this exam.
Anyone who is feeling really stressed, please try to talk to your parents. You can contact me too if you feel very anxious(although I have limited time considering the sheer number of aspirants but I will devote my time to you people). I know, how negative thoughts and worthless feeling sets in after such a result when you have given it all. All the best for whatsoever you want to do in life.

P.S – My mains notes will be uploaded soon. My laptop is facing some issues. As soon as I get it back, I will upload them here.
P.P.S – As promised, I have formed a group of people who are giving mains with maths as an optional and have already given mains earlier. Also, only get added if you want to discuss maths or GS or anything, please don’t get added to remain a mute spectator because it defeats the purpose of the group. Thanks!

LBSNAA Mail of Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

LBSNAA Mail of Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper
This mail confirms our hard work. This mail makes our stress, depressions, frustrations and irritations worthy!
UPSC also accepts the exam is very competitive, hence
“lage raho, jabtak todenge nahi, tab tak chhodenge nahi” ❀
Self-belief brought me here. It will also bring this mail on your mail id. And then, you will become an officer.
Isi din ke liye lage raho ❀
Lots of love to all aspirants 😍

Revision Strategy by Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

I have got lot of queries regarding revision. So, I will list down the ways to revise (i used all of them at some point):

  1. Pick a subject. Read it first time then read it again for the 2nd time just after a day. Then read it again after a week. Then read in after a month. I did this mostly for history. It is a scientific technique to mug up.
  2. I used to pick of mocks (any prelims or mains) and solved them. I used to know my shortcomings from that. Then I went on revising the portions where I had faced issue in recalling. This works a lot just before prelims, you give FLT and revise then again give FLT.
  3. Discussing with friends. This is one of the best revision strategies if it works for you. Pick a blank page and start revising with friends and noting down everything you both can recall. One of you might know more of something while others may know more of something else. This helps in revising as well as instilling competitive feeling.
  4. Make stickers from what you couldn’t recall and paste it on a big cardboard in you room. Just go through it when you wake up in morning and go to sleep. Do it for 21 days and then put up new stickers with new things over there.
  5. Open your notes. Pick up the headings and subheadings. Try to recall what you can from the notes. Revise everything which you couldn’t recall. That brings all your notes on your tips.

These revision strategies can be used simultaneously or one by one. I get bored doing any one thing so I devised 4 or 5 of the ways. You can follow your own based on comfort.

P.S – Ask your doubts in comment section.

UPSC Interview Transcript of Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

This is my interview transcript.
It was not shared here so I thought I must share for people to understand what type of questions are asked.
Name – Arpit Gupta
Board – Satyavati Ma’am 😈 (20th May)
College – IITR
Hometown – Gorakhpur (UP)
Job – ex-financial market analyst
Hobbies – 0 qs so matter nhi krta
Utility of mocks – confidence + few questions repeated from chanakya mandal, forum. 1 on 1 with kaptaan bhaiya was very good (2 questions matched)

Chair – Read out my DAF and everybody was staring at me πŸ˜’

  1. Why did you resign only after 2.5 months when you had such good package and prior experience of internship at same place? (Said upsc ki tayyari ka josh tha)
  2. Define short and long term capital gains tax. Tell about taxation rules (short term me confuse hua, share ka 3 years aur debt ka 1 year bol diya 😒 mam corrected and said reverse hota, sorry bola aage badha, short term ka 15% bataya, long term ka bola yaad nahi)
  3. Stock markets are falling down. Tell me the reasons. (Told 5 reasons, ma’am was nodding)
    Follow up – If interest rate rising in US then also rising in India. Why FPIs not coming back (told about investor sentiments, arbitrage etc)
    Follow up – So, how can we attract foreign investments (told her 2-3 ways)
  4. Rupee is falling down? Why? (Told reasons)
    Followup – what can we do? (Told few steps)
    M1 (lady) –
  5. Who is “koshi/toshi” (pata nahi kya bola sunayi nhi diya)? (Told nahi maalum, then she said related to ONDC, malum hona chahiye finance me kaam kiya hai πŸ₯Ί)
  6. You are from rural/urban? (Told her born in rural, but now a suburb)
    Followup – differences in issues, income demand, etc (bataya sab she seemed very satisfied, appreciated)
  7. How many type of intelligence are there? (3 pata the, bataya, she said 4th one bhi aa gaya hai adversarial intelligence.)
    Follow up – Social intelligence is more in rural or urban children? (Told rural generally, because they are involved in on ground works, social capital more, urban areas me sab mobile me ghuse rehte)
    Follow up – Emotional intelligence is more in rural or urban? ( again rural generally, because children live with lesser facilities & urban children have better facilities)
    Could have balanced my opinions saying dono jagah hote but didn’t think of it then πŸ₯Ί
    Follow up – IQ is generally more for urban children rather than rural why? (Said ma’am, IQ can be higher at any place. We measure IQ at certain age when child has received edu and rural/urban divide so edu diff hence mathematical+cognitive skills differ)
    Again balance kr skte the
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M2 –

  1. Health issues in Gorakhpur (told JE, Flood related diseases)
    Follow up – Why JE in Gorakhpur? (Told specific reasons)
    Why JE not spreading in other areas? (Told whatever I could)
    Follow up – What is the health condition now? (Told AIIMS + BRD handling so ramrajya aa hi gaya hai ab)
  2. What is your service preference?
  3. GST issues going on? Why it was needed? (Told many things)
    Followup – but many contentious issues, states/centre having votes such that unanimous opinion needed? How can it be resolved? (Told cooperative federalism, cited today’s newspaper which had SC verdict)

M3 –

  1. Tell me (a layman), what is financial Market analysis? How to place trades? (Told)
    Followup – isn’t it speculative? (Told how data crunching done, news quantified etc)
    Seemed very satisfied, Satyavati ma’am nodded so no more follow ups
  2. You are a mechanical engineer, having very good cgpa but you didn’t take mechanical engg as optional. You could have taken easier subject like humanities but you didn’t do that too. You opted for maths. So, my question is do you love to play with challenges? (Told that I love to but choosing optional was not one such challenge. It was based on my aptitude in maths)

M4 –

  1. Define good governance. Key characteristics (told him 5-6)
    Followup – which is the most important & why? (Told grievance redressal)

Followup – how will you prefer grievance redressal to happen, by going on the ground or making IT platforms? ( said need to go to ground since rural people lacking digital literacy, so urban people’s grievance are redressed but rural people’s grievance not addressed)
Could have said sir both digital and on ground things needed (digital india 😒)

  1. Tell me about IIT Roorkee’s local development initiatives except done by Unnat Bharat Abhiyan. (Told kai sari cheezen)

Followup – changes which it brought? (Told)
Any incubation initiative of IITR which involves local people (told about agri tech startup started by IITR alum in roorkee itself which is helping farmers realize more prices)
Followup – what has changed at ground? (Told startup is new, so we need some time to assess)

  1. If there is district elected government (not zila parishad but directly elected like centre or state), you as a collector would work under them? (Yes, why not, they are people’s representative and we are bureaucrats mandated to serve people according to their aspirations. I will listen to everyone whom people elect, so that people’s life can be changed positively).
    He seemed quite happy with me.

Ma’am said thank you.
I said thank you to everyone individually and walked out.

Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper Name in Final selection list

Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper Name in Final selection list
It’s official now!
I have been allocated the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
It has been a short journey if compared to other toppers (around 2 years 8 months) but very much eventful.
Everyday I thank my parents (not directly because I am shy, like all of you) in my mind for supporting me constantly. My father has devoted his whole life in making me what I am and you can see who I am now. I can’t even explain how emotional I feel when I say that I would still love to call my achievement as the one achieved by my parents.
I won’t be writing my story here (kabhi aur kisi aur din).
A message for everyone to always respect and love your parents no matter what. Because everyone in this world is with you and gives you happiness due to some purpose but parents are the one whose smile makes you happy.
Keep studying and strive towards making your parents proud.
Thanks for your love!πŸ™πŸΌ
Love you all ❀
Truly yours,

Happy Independence Day Wishes to students by Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

This is the day on which the struggle of our freedom fighters bore fruit.

Hum Indians ki ek khaas pehchan hai – apnapan har kisi ke sath aur alag hone par bhi sath rahne ki kala.
Ye hamari dharohar hai, hamari pehchan hai.
Ho sakta hai, hum alag religion, caste, region ya culture se hon!
Ho sakta hai ki humare bagal me rahne wali ki bhasha humein alag lagti ho!!
Par hum sab ek mala ke phool hain ❀
Hum Bhartiya hain!! ❀❀

Is desh ko dene ke liye hamare paas sirf tirange ki samman hi nahi, iske alawa is desh ko majboot aur shashakt banane me hum sab ke kandhe ki bhi jarurat hai!

Bharat ko aage badhayen, Bharatiyata ko aage badhayen, har dushman dost sabko gale lag kar den swatantrata diwas ki subhkamnayein πŸ™πŸΌ

Pluralism, Tolerance, Inclusiveness, Compassion, Affection, Respect – These are the values our country teaches the world.

Jai Hind! πŸ™πŸΌ

30 Days UPSC Mains Preparation Strategy by Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

Hello Everyone,
The mains 2022 is near. You have less than 30 days now. I know the stress level would be increasing and the sleeping time would be reducing. If it is happening, believe me there is no issue. If it is not happening, you are lucky.

There are few important points to note as you plan your last 4 weeks:

  1. Don’t be in hurry now. You might have few things left and would be thinking about how to complete & how to revise. Patiently use next 1 week for the completion of leftovers.
  2. Your GS revision might have been completed in one iteration and either 2nd iteration would be going on or just started. Keep studying mains365 (or your CA source) and add all the facts/cases/committee etc in your notes if not done already.
  3. Your optional might have been complete if you followed my strategy of revision in two iterations. If not complete, in next 1 week, complete it any how and then only start with GS. If complete, work on value addition in optional using toppers’ last minute notes (works for humanities optional) or attempt few difficult and conceptual questions to get a hang of them (works for technical optionals like maths).
  4. Try writing tests as early as you can. Whatever you are revising, write tests irrespective of it. Complete your test series papers in 3 hrs 10 minutes at max. Write all the tests you have planned to write in next 10 days. If you write after that, you will miss out on incorporating the feedback you might get when your evaluated copy is given back to you.
  5. Upto 10th september, you can revise and work on GS and optional as per your requirements. The plan might vary based on your current level of revision.
  6. After 10th september, the stress level is at peak and hence our study hours tend to reduce and anxiety starts creeping in. These 5-6 days would be crucial.
  7. In last 5-6 days you will have to do few unconventional things which would add to your answer giving you a jump. Pick up the syllabus and see what did you write in intro of each question from any subtopic in the tests you gave. If you got good reviews, keep it like that. If you need improvement, search for the value additions/definitions which you could use to introduce in your mains papers.
  8. Same goes for conclusion. Work on conclusion part because we tend to write a bigger conclusion in mains exam at times or we avoid writing them. The balance is lost. You don’t have to do that. Hence, the plan should be clear in your mind about how to go about it.
  9. Revisit keywords in questions and their meanings and how the answer is planned (you might think you know it already, you wrote 10-15-20 tests but believe me it helps).
  10. On the day just before your essay paper, read toppers’ copies on essay or your own good copies of essay. See how you wrote. Gain confidence and plan to replicate the same in exam.
  11. Most of the things I mentioned are something I have done. There are one or two things which I couldn’t do and missed out. No worries, don’t panic! None is going with 100% prep. It’s a competition where relative knowledge and not academic exam where your absolute knowledge matters.

Try to change your sleeping schedule if you are a night owl. Wake up at 8am (or before that). Eat healthy and talk to your parents or loved ones for nearly half an hour daily to avoid stress. Don’t save those 25-30 mins for study, you will be inefficient in the learning process if you don’t get support for few minutes. Focus on the things in your control, that could be few topics of your optional or something of GS. Don’t blame that you didn’t do this and could have done that etc. A person who used to crib about his prep everyday last year between prelims and mains is in the list with a rank in 200s because she had confidence that exam day is hers!!!
The time has come when you study more and focus on physical and mental stability much more as it will matter the most in mains examination where nearly 10 days process takes a lot of “you”.

If you have any issue, you can comment in comment section (will reply surely to all mains2022 candidates). You can also text me at my insta id – arpitgias
All the best bhailog/behenlog!!
If you can hold your nerves, you will ace the exam (after all everybody is in the same boat right now).
Be Confident about yourself because everyone else doubts on you (at times, not in front of you but in their mind).

Last 5 days UPSC Prelims strategy by Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

The countdown has begun my friends. It is the time you believe on yourself and the hardwork you have done since prelims.
CONFIDENCE AND CALMNESS are two much needed traits.
“JO HOGA DEKHA JAYEGA” approach remains the best bet.
It’s time not to study too much but to make yourself strong and comfortable with the grilling you will go through in next 15 days (till 26th september).
I had already told in a post about the things to do in last 5 days. I hope that remains in your memories. Just revise it if you can’t remember (that’s the key everywhere, either it be GS or my posts πŸ˜›).
You are given the gift to struggle in mains by clearing prelims. Consider yourself lucky and cherish this mental stress. You will have a different level of happiness coming on my side.
Any mains related issue can be commented in this comment section. (I will not reply to any frivolous comment like how to start or Sir, you are cute!!). Let’s make this comment section a better place for all mains2022 candidates by helping them in their tough days.

All the Best bhaiyo aur beheno ❀
My best wishes and love to you all! πŸ˜„
Exam hai exam ki tarah dena hai 😎

Last 1 day UPSC Prelims strategy by Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

All the Best Everyone,
Aaj kehne ko kuch nahi hai, bas ek baat kehni hai – Apna best dena jitna padha hai aur jitni raatein jaage ho na is mains ke paper ke liye sabka hisab pura karne ka samay aa gaya hai.
Jao aur apni potential ke level tak perform kr do bas. Utne me exam nikal jana hai.
Aur agar fear feel ho failure ka to Suhas LY sir ki ek baat yaad rkhlo – When I had fear of failure, I was not natural so i failed in badminton. Then I started thinking of what actually I had to lose? And the answer I got was NOTHING. So, I started playing my natural game. That’s what brought me Silver Medal at Paralympics even while managing one of the busiest city of India (GAUTAM BUDDHA NAGAR) as District Magistrate.

Believe In Yourself!
Kisiko neend naa aaye to idhar text krna yar, chat karenge idhar hi πŸ˜›
Aur kisi ko aisa lage ki neend nahi aayi to exam acha nahi hoga to let me tell you maine bina soye diya tha essay ka paper!!
Chill karo, enjoy the mains exam. Bahot achi memory hoti hai ye struggle krna. You were given the gift to struggle for 5 days. You are LUCKY!

Good Night, let tomorrow and the next few days be yours!
Best wishes!
Indian Middle Class Guy (like you)

Diwali wishes to students by Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper

Happiest Diwali Everyone!!!
May God bring all your wishes true for which you have been slogging for long.

I remember, last year on Diwali, I was slogging in library till 5.30pm as I didn’t have option. I had started very late for mains prep and quite less time was in hand. When I see myself on the other side in LBSNAA all set to celebrate Diwali with the future administrators of this country, I can only thank God for rewarding me.

Every bit of hard work pays off. Believe in Karma, it has something in kitty for all the great work you have been doing.

Love you all and let’s have a great diwali with family ❀ (may be after achieving your aim, you will be only on video calls with your family). Cherish the moment ❀

All the Best

Yours Truly,
Random Indian Middle Class Guy

Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper Cadre Allocation

Arpit Gupta UPSC IAS Topper Cadre Allocation
Allocated MP cadre!
When we choose to give this exam, we want a selection somehow into the IAS/IFS/IPS somehow. When we get selected, we want to get a “Good” cadre. May be, the “good” cadre definition varies from person to person but the spirit of service should remain the same.
This service demands an All India character. We have to maintain that willingly/unwillingly.
From spending 23 years of life being a UP resident (4 years in Uttarakhand were an exception) to looking forward to spend my whole life in MP, it is probably exciting/nervous/anxious moment for me.
Thanks to God for whatever he/she gave. I believe we get what we are destined to.
I hope to do justice to the work alloted and help the cause of people of MP (and of this country).
It is a message to all the aspirants to keep studying for the nobel cause. God will send you to the place he/she wants you to offer your services.
All the best!!
Loads of love to you all!
Random Indian Middle Class Guy