Divyanshu Nigam IAS Geology Notes, UPSC Marksheet

Divyanshu Nigam IAS
Divyanshu Nigam IAS

Table of Contents

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Notes

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Notes
Divyanshu Nigam IAS Notes
Some general tips I compiled which I actually applied in the exam. This is all about the test series and test copies. Just a tip…if you’re trying to learn/emulate from my copy…try to learn from the copies which i have written in December and the ‘Simulator’…that is the final stratergy which I used in the exam and which has worked (supposedly). People (at least myself) do evolve with time, learning from mistakes. 🙂

I think since Prelims 2021 is round the corner, as of now focus should be more on prelims and after prelims only pick up the Mains stuff/notes. I’ll also, by that time, will get time to upload GS Mains notes and all. They are mostly digital notes, so sharing won’t be a major problem.

Also I’ll be sharing my marksheet as soon as I get it. That will help us analyse much better.

And for prelims….I’ll write a small note on do’s and don’ts, soon….of course before prelims.

Till then …focus on doing Maps well for prelims.

All the best. 🙂

For Geology Optional

Actually most of my notes are hand written and that means 4 registers of it…. So it won’t be possible for me to scan them all.

But I will write an article and also a webinar for geology students …on how to prepare and resources. This will mostly be post-prelims 2021. This will certainly help everyone interested.

Please don’t ping me to upload geology notes as its physically impossible to scan them all.

Thanks 🙂

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Notes

PRELIMS SPECIFIC MATERIAL

Here I will be sharing some of my Pre-specific material for the 2020 Preliminary examination. In Economics, please do update the figures and my notes are an year old. The purpose of sharing the notes is to give you all a framework/guide how to make and organise them. I use Evernote to keep and organise my notes.

Hope someone will find some help in them.

UPSC Prelims Preparation Strategy by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

Divyanshu Nigam, AIR 44

Disclaimer — all this is purely based on my experiences and journey as an UPSC aspirant. You can take it or leave it and others may have different

experience. Don’t take any topper’s advice as divine advice. You must use your own mind and cherry-pick advices, which you resonate with.

General Points

1. Remember its just an exam that you have to Qualify (and not ace)…so prepare like that. It just the hall ticket to Mains. Prelims won’t make you IAS or anything. Hence don’t give more than 65-70 days for its

preparation….anything more is futile and improper use of time.

2. This may be called as a traditionally humanities exam but in my opinion the preparation has to be done in a very scientific manner based of data and numbers…after all its a game of numbers, at all stage. So always measure and track your performance and

learn/analyse from that data.

3. This is more of a game of your attitude than your knowledge. Presence of mind is immensely important and can beat knowledge any day.

Particularly paper like CSE Pre 2020 can be qualified based on option elimination and intelligent guessing.

4. Keeping positive attitude while attempting exam is extremely

important. Often you know the answer and you just get over-critical of yourself and end up leaving the question or wrongly attempting.

5. Your two biggest enemies — Overthinking (Over complicating) and Over-confidence (esp if its from your strong area) … be cautious of these two.

6. Give around 20 Full Tests (and sectional tests as per your liking) … and develop a strategy. This exam is very scientific now and you need to

have a well-prepared strategy now. Get a safe number of question

attempt (around 85) which can easily make you cross the cutoff. For any year…assume cutoff to be 105 …this will help your gauge your

performance.

Vision IAS and Forum IAS test series are good here (don’t give Insights)

Preparation Stage

1. Limited time make you prepare with efficiency and hence you’ll be more productive every day. Here comes the importance of strategy.

2. Prioritise as per ROI (Return on Investment) — my priority — order of preparation

1. Polity

2. Environment

3. Geography (Mainly maps and places in news)

4. Modern India

5. Economy

6. SnT

7. Art and Culture (not ancient history)

8. Medieval India

3. Divide Static-Current into 60-40 ratio … Don’t run mindlessly for Current Affairs. You won’t be able to ace that.

4. PYQ are quintessential. Spend time with UPSC…make it your GF/BF …. The more time you spend with it, more you’ll get to know its

thought process, mindset, option placement. So solving 2013 onwards PYQ is a must. Also I will recommend to NOT go for section wise

segregated PYQ, rather attempt the paper directly as one, downloading it from UPSC site. The arrangement and order of questions is also

important.

5. Use your good mocks as learning and study material … esp for Envt and Current Affairs. Make one-liner notes from each test learnings. They are really helpful.

6. Follow Vision Monthly and Vision PT-365 — here I won’t recommend any other as Vision has established its image in the market over the

years and it has a decent standard…not too much and not too less (eg. Raus is too much info…though the book is beautiful ). Also

remember this fact….always do that thing which everybody other is doing…you should not be missing those questions which others are doing correctly.

7. For Geography — Focus extensively on Maps…even for National Parks, Wildlife sanctuaries. Use maps way too much…even for Art and

Culture (like which art form where). Geography these days is mostly location based.

8. Identify your weak area and put it in last priority stage (eg. for me it was

Art n Culture). You have to play on your strength and on front-foot. So in your weakest area…the goal is to damage control…like don’t fall into too many negative marking there…a 0 is welcome here.

9. Revision and test paper are very important…don’t just keep studying all the time…recall what you’ve studied and your implementation of

knowledge.

10. Through Prelims, UPSC is selecting smart people (potential

administrators), so you have to study smartly, not just hard. Here comes the importance of internet….use it extensively…don’t always refer the book…..google is far more efficient and informative…eg. you want to recall what are Emergency provisions in Constitution…directly google it and read with in a second of search. Remember service now require tech-savvy officers… Digital India is for a reason. Don’t fear

technology.

How to attempt the paper? (My strategy)

The process begins one/two days prior to the actual day of exam. Keep on

revising last minute factual stuff, from your notes. It is the time to maximise your short-term memory and picture memory (eg. notes on the margins,

random scribbling). And constantly tell yourself that you have worked hard

for it and you will qualify the exam … no pressure of topping the exam … just qualify.

On the actual day, wake up early and go with a fresh and positive mindset which will boost your confidence.

Fill up all the details with good caution, don’t make any mistake there …. Else you’ll lose out time and mental peace.

Go with an approx. number number of questions which you will attempt. Attempt paper in 3 rounds

1st Round — follow the sequence 1 to 100 and do three things — (i) Do the questions which you know well

(ii) Make a circle on the question on which you can eliminate two options (iii) Cross the question in big manner in question which you don’t have any clue about … don’t feel bad about it ….its more likely that you’ll end up marking it wrong.

2nd Round — Brain storm on the ‘circle’ marked questions and try to do maximum out of them …if can’t …cross them entirely

Now fill up all the question which you’ve marked on the OMR … this must be done around 90 minutes into the exam…will take around 10-15 mins, at max. Count the number of total attempted questions (actually count the

‘crossed’ questions and subtract from 100)

3rd Round — Now if you’ve reached your approx. planned number of

questions which you wanted to attempt (for me it was 87) then leave all the crossed question altogether. DON’T get greedy.Just put your pen down and head down. Now nothing can be done as OMR is filled.

If you’re some short of your number of attempted questions (87 for me) …

then go through the ‘crossed’ questions and try to solve them, take gut shot etc and try to reach out to your holy number (87)

That’s it…paper is complete. Come with a strategy and implement it…don’t enter the battlefield like a headless chicken.

Maximum number of questions you need to attempt in UPSC CSE by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

How to know your magical number of question which are to be attempted?

For general unreserved, assume that cutoff will be around 105. Now you need to attempt at least 20 Full Test papers (not sectional) and try out different

number of attempted questions and check your relative performance (I even did 100 questions once) and then after the tests are done….make an excel

sheet with data on question attempted, right, wrong, marks, accuracy %,

status of your intelligent guesses …. Doing this for 20 papers will give you a rough idea what is that ideal number which will make sure you cross the 105 mark always. This number can vary for different people and there is no right or wrong answers….it can be 96 (low accuracy people) for some and 75 for others (high accuracy people). I did this exercise very scientifically and

seriously….I even plotted graphs and line charts to gauge the performance. (Make it a management project, data crunching!) For me the number was 85- 89 (never touch 90) ….finally towards the end…I fixed my attempt at

87….and in the actual paper also, I attempted 87 questions.

I hope things must be clear now. Enjoy the journey and Trust the Process. Thanks a lot.

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Marksheet

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Marksheet
My marksheet for CSE 2020
Key takeaway —
Mains is THE key factor to become IAS. Period.
Optional has to be your strength.
Focus on essay (141 is one of the highest this year)
Both will give high ROI.

Prelims and mental health Tips by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

Now is the time, about 10 days before the exam, that 50% people decide to drop off the attempt, feel so low on confidence and what not…it is now when your mind starts playing with you.

First of all, you’re not alone here…many many face this every year. Remember the LBSNAA’s motto “Sheelam Param Bhooshnam” meaning Character is the highest virtue …and it indeed is. So its now the test of your character.

What to do?
1. Stay pride in your hard work over last 40-50 days ….the papers you’ve solved, the learning you took from tests, your notes, your revision and all … this will give you confidence.

2. Tell yourself constantly that you deserve to cross the cutoff as you have worked hard for it. Its there for you and you shall have it. This will bring positivity in your approach.

3. Cut-off all the negative energy, people and thoughts. Whenever such thoughts come, start reading something or better, start writing … these thoughts are transient and will go away … the trick here is to keep yourself busy.

4. Get Ready with your plan and stratergy to do … this will make your mind feel that it knows what will happen and how to do the things as an algorithim (this can be done better by the candidates who are giving prelims again). It is mostly the threat of unknown that make us insecure and anxious…so tell your mind that everything is under control…you’re the captain of this ship.

5. If you can, try to meditate.

Keep yourself busy. Happy studying. 🙂

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Marksheet

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Marksheet
this is my CSE-2019 marksheet where I couldn’t clear the Mains.
Just want to emphasie that on one year is enough to bring a lot of imporvement in marks and your hard-cum-smart work won’t go in vain.
Trust the process.

Prelims CSAT Preparation Strategy by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

Don’t take it lightly, especially the engineers and ‘maths’ students. Many people have succumbed to this paper and I think it is a major reason for historic low cutoff of CSE(P) 2020 (92 marks), because the GS paper was not that tough, but the CSAT paper was bit tougher/challenging.

Also, don’t fear CSAT english … it has to be done and its generally done faster than some maths questions. Also the maths questions are designed so that you won’t be able to do just all the maths ques and leave English completely, and still qualify. English has to be done, its made clear by the UPSC. Respect that.

Remember you have to get just 36-38 nett questions correct to comfortably clear the cutoff, so dont over-attempt and commit negative mistakes.

If you feel you need expert assistance, seek it…join any insititute. If you are comfortable with it (assessed from the PYQs), still practise the papers. Any which way, give time and respect to CSAT. Doing last 3 years PYQ is compulsory, in time bound manner.

Remember, it is the worst feel to qualify GS paper but fail at CSAT … I hope none of you ever experience that.

PYQ Analysis 2014-2019 for UPSC CSE Exam by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

I have tried to go through all the papers and categorise the questions which came under each heading of the CSE Syllabus…this will help you gauge the area of focus and area which can fetch you marks.

Moreover it will help you prioritise your efforts and even help you predict the paper (I really could do that in Actual exam, bit of luck also, for sure)

You can make your own analysis or refer to mine (add to this).

10 days to Prelims…what to do?

  1. Constantly revise your own notes
  2. Practise maps
  3. Attempt mocks only till 4th October….not after that.
  4. No newspaper reading required.
  5. Think positive and about writing mains.

Trust the process 🙂

Newspaper Reading Strategy by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

1. Newspaper reading is absolute must at all stages of exam. I will recommend The Indian Express over The Hindu (its too critical and hence you wont be able to write that in exam). Do skim through the major headlines of The Hindu, if you want.

2. Strict NO to any poltiical, entertainment, ideological, sports, over-critical of govt articles. They won’t be asking that in mains. Even the controversial topics should be avoided for over analysis.

3. Stick to Vision IAS Montly current Affairs … its the best and apt for exam. Make notes from it and dump it…DO NOT plan to re-read it again.

4. I used to read newspaper and Vision book soft-copy (pdf) version, so notes making was quite easy … many a times simply put the Screenshot of the news in your notes. So if you can and willing, try to switch to online/digital note making (will be helpful to share even, once you get selected 😉 )

5. If you’re a newbie in CSE prep, you may take 3-4 hours to read newspaper (i used to take 5 hours) BUT this must drastically come down with time and experience/knowledge from GS….so aim for 80-90 min. max for newspaper. Don’t spend all day to that.

6. You DON’T have to attempt daily MCQ based on news on platforms like Insights/IASBaba etc…its a futile exercise. Prepare for prelims only when its required…ie. 65-70 days before exam.

7. Read the editorials very well and grasp their writing skills, comprehension ability … this will get reflected in your answers and will give edge over others. ultimately its a writing exam and one who writes good english, in an emphatic manner, will get more marks. Period. So IMPORVE your articulation skills….Editorials will be of great help.

8. English newspaper are always better than hindi, and by a margin. There is no debate here and results have proved this time and again. So do read them. Lets leave the hindi-english debate for the politicians … we are here for a mission and we need to do whatever it requires.

GEOLOGY Optional STRATEGY for UPSC CSE by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

Additional info

1. No background in Geology (B Tech, BITS Pilani)
2. Self Prepared, entirely….Brilliant Tutorial is very very helpful
3. Past years papers are the best test series…I attempted all P1 and P2 from 2013-2014 (new pattern)
4. Do make a good analysis of PYQ…hunt their answers and write them down in a separate copy. They repeat a lot. I did this for CSE and IFS Geology Papers.
5. You don’t have to look at papers of Geo-Scientist Exam…they are far more advanced and NOT AT ALL required here.
6. It takes a good 5-6 months, at least, to cover the entire syllabus and further more to cut short the useless stuff and narrow down…so except for those 65 days of pre-only prep…Geology has to be given time daily. I used to study Geology daily at night. Make notes and play with my notes.
7. Ensure that before starting Pre-only prep, your optional is 100% complete…you may forget the names/facts…but not the concepts. Without optional fully prepared, going for pre is a futile exercise…you will definetly fail at Mains.

BT Material — I have given the link for online ordering in the PDF (Rs. 700 i think) … that is the only version available…idk why BT stopped making that now :/

Amazon link —
https://www.amazon.in/Brilliant-Tutorials-Geology-Optional-Material/dp/B081VN2D96

Geology Strategy by Divyanshu Nigam (AIR 44)

Book List

1. Brilliant Tutorials (BT) Material

(https://notesduniya.com/product/item/geology-optional-brilliant- coaching) — this is not published by BT now (sadly), so this is the only photocopy available. PRIMARY Source.

2. P K Mukharjee — Geology

3. NCK — Engineering Geology

4. Rutley’s Mineralogy — Selective reading

5. Billings Structural Geology — Selective reading

6. GB Mahapatra — Textbook of Geology

7. S K Garg — Physical and Engineering Geology

8. Tulane University notes — very very useful and use it extensively

9. Google — very very useful …. Get in the Research mode ….dig deep and you’ll find most of answers.

10. Remember there will be few questions whose answers cannot be found even on google…. Leave them.

Why Geology?

1. Subject is very boundaried and Questions are very limited….at the end you will have like list of 500 ques/topics and all the questions will come from these topics…and if something is coming entirely out-of-the-

blue….then leave it….it cannot be answered nicely by anyone. Don’t worry about it…even google doesn’t know the answer.

2. Here the competition is NOT with other students, rather its with the subject itself. Here it will happen that either you know the answer or you don’t….there is no midway and hence no space to cook up

stories…sometimes even writing 100 words will be a nightmare. But remember any competition with a subject is anyway easier than

competition with students …. As unlike students, subject cannot

actually improvise or recalibrate strategy…it will be the same for

everyone and Geology, as a subject doesn’t evolve for years….so you can actually cover it entirely.

3. You don’t have to worry at all about the current affairs … as in

Geological scale, entire human civilisation is a current affairs xD …. We humans make up <0.01% of Earth’s history. Question DO NOT

correlate with any current affairs. They live in separate universe of their

own.

4. There is no issue of ideological/political bias…its a very ‘maths-like’ subject…there will be a ques and there will be a very specific answer to that…if you have written that…you’ll get marks, if not, no marks …

there is no ’subjectivity’ in interpretation involved here.

5. Subject overlaps with GS also —

Disaster management, Geography (esp. Geomorphology), Environment

General Strategy to study

1. There are two sections in both with 3-3 Topics mentions, so in total 12 topics.

2. Make notes on every topic mentioned in the syllabus …. BT material is perfectly aligned to it and follow it. Use google also and youtube

videos.

3. Some things are to be crammed and there is no other way to do that … you don’t need to understand them…same things repeat and you got to just blabber your notes….you may or may not understand them…they don’t even ask that.

4. Learn the keywords, mineral names, rocks names, geological

lingo….and sprinkle it everywhere….you should appear to be very

knowledgeable person…they don’t really get too much into the details.

5. Diagrams are very very important…always make them.

6. In geology the answers are very very straight forward, unlike GS. Many a times we don’t even need to write any introduction….directly jump to the demand of question. Same goes with Conclusion….most of the

times, there won’t be a ‘forward looking’ conclusion, as we do in GS.

7. Always remember while studying that in exam you won’t be able to

write more than 220 words…so you need to cover breadth rather than depth. Because here in geology, all the 12 topics across two papers can

have a PhD in themselves….so don’t dig too much deep into it. Eg.

Types of Meteorites…just know the 3-4 main types, basic details about them and some keywords….that’s it. No need to find out exact

mineralogy of the meteorite and all…ofc that will be interesting find for a geologist…but you are not here to become a geologist, rather its just to get maximum marks and become an IAS. Always keep reminding

yourself … you want to be an IAS officer, NOT a Geologist….so prepare like that.

8. In this optional, how you attempt paper is extremely important. You should always play on your strengths and try to maximise numbers … . So if you’re comfortable with ‘easier’ topics, attempt them …. I don’t subscribe to the thought process that if you answer tough ques, you’ll get better marks….mostly your answer won’t be able to meet the

expectation of examiner.

9. Establish cross-topic linkages and interlink while answers … eg. General geology-Geochemistry, Palaeo-Strati, Economic-Mining etc

10. Always focus to write answers as much as possible covering all the

points (you may cut upon elaboration) … for example in Himalayan orogeny there are like 14 points in my notes…so I always tried to write all of it…even if I had to cut some points length …but always keeping the keywords there.

Geology Optional Paper 1 Preparation Strategy by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

1. This paper is extremely scoring and questions repeat a lot from PYQ, almost verbatim…I was able to directly replicate my notes in the exam (eg. type of meteorites). So PYQ analysis is extremely important. Please do this religiously.

2. Here all the 6 topics are slightly on easier side … on comparative basis, Stratigraphy and Structure Geology are bit tough, but still very much doable and direct ques.

3. General Geology, Hydrology and Engg. Geology are like a cake-walk and so make sure you know everything.

4. Practise and make a lot of diagrams, maps in your notes eg. Structural geology ….practise them and make them in exam.

5. The aim here in this paper is to maximise your score….you should attempt entire 250 marks and in good quality.

Paper Attempt

I always tried to maximise my chances to write complete and copy of my notes in answer sheet … so always target the low-hanging fruits.

Q1 and Q5 are compulsory. So out of remaining 6 ques, 3 are to be done with at least one from each.

I consider Section A of Paper 1 to be easier and more relatable … so I try to attempt 2 ques from Section A. In section B, Engg geology & Hydrology (Q.8) is quite easy compared to other two …try to do that…. If not, try to do

Palaeontology….put Structural and Stratigraphy at last.

Easy to difficult meter —

(Easiest) General > Geomorpho > Structural

Hydro & Engg. > Palaeontology > Stratigraphy

Ideal Attempt — Q 1, 2, 3, 5, 8

Geology Optional Paper 2 Preparation Strategy by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

1. This paper is of MSc level and is tougher than Paper 1, so the idea here is to minimise damage and try to pick the right questions.

2. Mineralogy and Petrology are two big elephants and require immense amount of studying. Here focus specifically on the topics mentioned in the syllabus and prepare them nicely…eg. Ab-An system (such 3-4

systems are given) …so prepare them well. Try to cover every word that is mentioned in these two topics and it will take time and energy. BT

material is immensely important but so is google … eg. Tulane website material for mineralogy notes (birefringence et al). Also remember,

topics like types of Silicates are quite scoring and very easy to

prepare…so when I am saying Mineralogy is tough….its not like everything here is tough…just some parts.

3. In many of these topics you (at least, I) won’t be able to actually

understand what it is…eg. Optical properties Mineralogy etc …so here you just need to cram/ratta/learn the English and just replicate …ques repeat mostly and copy paste your notes…don’t try to actually

understand them…you are not going to be a Geologist.

4. Diagrams are immensely important eg. Textures, Structures, Bowen

series V diagram etc …they always give an edge and ‘occupy space’…so your copy will look filled.

5. Learn the scientific names like mineral names (orthoclase, plagioclase, Porphyritic texture)…they are very important key words which cannot be substituted and this differentiate you from the rest. Use these

keywords as if you’re the actual Geologist here….portray yourself at least…anyway in 200 words you must show you know stuff, had there been more space…you could have elaborated on stuff.

6. Now comes Economic and Mining Geology — immensely

straightforward ques come…just copy paste your notes, made strictly aligned to the syllabus. Ques repeat a lot. Focus on names of places,

types of process in economic geology and practise them on map….map always adds to the value. In mining geology…you should know

everything …generally the content is very scientific and easy to

understand (underground minings etc…you can visualise). BT again is perfect here….you can even watch videos (like porphyry copper

deposits) also.

7. Geochemistry is mostly very predictable and its a very limited syllabus (repeated). But in 2019 they asked a very very random/tough ques and nothing much could be done about it. But, in general, its quite easy to prepare this topic.

Paper Attempt

I always tried to maximise my chances to write complete and copy of my notes in answer sheet … so always target the low-hanging fruits.

Q1 and Q5 are compulsory. So out of remaining 6 ques, 3 are to be done with at least one from each.

Unlike Paper 1, here the Section A is tough…so generally I used to avoid it. My intention was always to target Q4 since its generally from Sedimentology and hence easier (than Metamorpho and Igneous)… but in main paper I had to attempt Q3 as Q4 was quite tricky…so be prepared for such surprises (I

didn’t do Q3 well…but that was the best I could do then….I forgot 2-3 points from my notes…and that made me bit sad…I did this ques at the end)

Section B is easier …here try to do Q7 and Q8 ….they are easier and straightforward.

Easy to difficult meter —

(Easiest) Sedimentology > Petrology (MMR + IR) > Mineralogy

Geochemistry > Mining > Economic

Ideal Attempt — Q. 1, 4, 5, 7, 8

My 2020 Attempt

I attempted — complete 250 marks in Paper 1 with satisfaction and for 2nd paper, I attempted nicely around 220 marks … for rest 30 marks I did some minor mistakes. In the numerical question, I forgot to take calculator with me, so towards the very end I did one division incorrectly…so the very last value came out wrong …this would have costed me 3-4 marks for sure …but be prepared for such fuck-ups…that’s life.

My raw feeling after writing paper on January 17, 2021

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Notes
Divyanshu Nigam IAS Notes

Total Attempt — 250+220 = 470 + 30 (okayish type)

Official Marks — 147+134 = 281 (decent score seeing this year’s scaled down marks for all)

Concluding Remarks

Entire syllabus HAS to be prepared…even if I have said some topics are

heavy and tough ….still I was prepared to attempt the, as matter of last resort (which came in P2Q3) …so you DON’T have the option to leave any stone unturned.

Remember this beautiful quote from The Shawshank Redemption (1994) —

“Geology is the study of pressure and time. That’s all it takes, really. Pressure and time. ”

This above quote is so true for UPSC CSE preparation also.

All the very best

Questions asked to Divyanshu Nigam, IAS by UPSC Aspirant

AIR 44

UPSC CSE 2020

<Some Random queries>

Q. When to study? 

Whenever you want to …just limit your sleep to 6-630 Hrs ….I used to study late night and go to sleep at 5 AM…again there is no right or wrong timing….everyone has their personal clock. Just don’t study forcefully when your mind is begging you to sleep…just because you read that early morning studies are better. Choose your time as per your liking….you’re the CEO of this preparation strategy. 

Q. How many hours to study?
Variable and depends on person to person (grasping power) … Know thyself …. But in general 8-9 hrs of CONSISTENT (emphasised) study will do the work. This time has to be productive and efficient. But yes before mains….I even studied for 12-13 hrs also….because then there is a time crunch and lots of writing has to be done. So its not the same for entire period of prep. 

Q. Social media?
Depends…I am a person who is not much influenced by others’ parties and Europe trips…so I was active on Instagram and Telegram (No whatsapp (because of family groups) and FB (its anyway shit))….but if you’re a newbie or you get influenced very easily…you should deactivate. DO NOT SHOW PITY on yourself ….you’ve taken up a wise decision after due deliberation and nothing, that pull down your confidence, should be around you. 

Q. Friends and families?
Simple rule…You DON’T have to cut yourself out completely from the world…so be in touch with them…but in limited manner. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that you need to be in touch with the POSITIVE people…who don’t have a negative or depressing vibe or who demotivate you…be it your friend or even a close relative….you can easily cut them off. They all will be the first to ‘congrats’ you once you get success 😛 

Q. Relationship? 
Simple rule — DON’T START A NEW ONE as an aspirant. But if you are already in one GOOD relationship….you don’t necessarily have to break-up … in fact if your partner give you positivity and understands you passion towards the examination and adjust accordingly (like no hour-long calls or every week dates) ….then its a tremendous emotional strength for you….you should cherish it. Positive and enriching relationship is always welcome. 

But if your partner is not that supportive or does not understand your passion for the exam or occupy too much of your mental space….you spend time solving your ‘couple-problems’ …break up is the right option and that to, quickly. Here you got to be selfish and prioritise your own career above almost anything. This is YOUR life…and only YOU can make it large.

Regarding “bad reviews” about BT material on Amazon —

That is said so because of its print quality …it’s not very clear …but that’s the best you can get in the market. I have called BT office to enquire about Geology material but unfortunately they have stopped providing that…so this is the only last remaining material.

Baaki the quality is quite good…it covers the entire syllabus.

Rest is person’s discretion…I am just telling my source. There can be other books also….but I am unaware of them.

Thanks.

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Notes
This was my ‘to-do’ list just 20 days before the exam (October 4, 2020).
Sharing here if it can help somebody to revise a forgotten topic.

One year since Prelims 2020 and I can vividly remember the mental games the prelims play with us as it gets close by.

This week will be a emotional rollercoaster ride …and you’re not alone…everyone faces it. If you’re bit scared and anxious about the exam that means it means important to you and you have really worked for it…so it’s a good sign.

Keep yourself in company of positive people and thoughts …think and visualise how will you approach the mains prep after prelims. Now your mind might make you panic and read everything but you got to tell it that things are under control.

To-do list

  1. Keep on revising your own notes.
  2. Don’t attempt mock tests now
  3. Keep looking PYQ to get the vibe and build confidence.
  4. Talk to friends and family….don’t keep your thoughts just to yourself. Let it flow.
  5. Revise – schemes, national parks, indices, art culture facts, polity facts, envt related stuff

You can also watch YouTube videos on mapping (la excellence or otherwise).

The base line….keep yourself busy and mind engaged in constructive things so that it does not wander.

Trust the process.
All the best ✌️

Hard work never goes in vain…so if you’ve worked hard for last 2 months, you got every RIGHT and DUTY to stay confident about the Prelims exam.

This is the test of your Emotional Intelligence.

I made this as my motto and your should also make this as your motto –

I can
&
I will
End of the story.

All the best
Trust the process 🙂

Last 2 days

Focus on CSAT ….practise the papers and plan out your approach. These days CSAT is getting bit tricky and one of the reason for quite low 2020 prelims cutoff, is the tougher csat…. which many failed to clear, despite clearing GS cutoff.

So don’t take csat lightly…. attempt 2018-2020 papers

Now do the most factual stuff in GS like names, places, stats etc.

DON’T WRITE ANY MOCK NOW

skim through 2020 paper once again.

Also very imp … Start sleeping early so that you wake up early. Don’t sleep during 8 am – 5 pm period, at any cost now.

All the best.

Final cents

  1. Utilise the 2 hours very judicially
  2. Don’t get excited or depressed too soon….if you’re finding paper easy, it’s easy for all….if hard, it’s hard for all…so you got to be hopeful and cautious from ques 1 to 100.
  3. Read every question twice and underline/box the main demand of ques….don’t rush…you have enough time.
  4. Try to do paper in 3 rounds … It helps to cross check also.
  5. Remember you just need to clear the cutoff….not top the prelims…so don’t over do.
  6. Make sure you attempt above 75 ques at least.
  7. Don’t panic with the formalities and do them very seriously….if that is done wrong, your paper is worthless.
  8. Take due rest in the time gap Between the two papers ….don’t keep reading all the time.
  9. Keep your common sense and intellect intact….it will be your best friend in both the papers.
  10. Csat is getting tough so don’t over do and don’t go with overconfidence. You have to do English and maths sections, both. So distribute time accordingly….bs 67 marks laane hai.

May the Force be with you.
You got this!!

Chakk de phadde!

God bless us all 🙂

-Divyanshu Nigam.

Essay tip

.) While picking up the topic to write on… Always pick

  1. Positive
  2. Futuristic
  3. Non-critical
  4. Motivational
  5. Non Controversial (eg. media)
  6. Non religious
  7. Non idealogical

.) Do not use too many optional jargons…it can badly backfire. Keep it simple and smart.

.) Introduction and conclusion HAS to be the jewel of the essay….if you mess these up, you’re gone!

Write more and more essays …. Gyan bahut aa gya…ab use likho.

.) Essay writing is an art of Articulation and you need to use good words, powerful sentences, diverse examples. You should have command on the language of your choice.

Use my essay notes to the fullest of their capabilities.

Trust the process 🙂

Plan of action for Mains 2021

  1. Thank god and your luck
  2. Now it’s your moral and self responsibility to justify your grand opportunity to literally write down your own destiny….the Mains.
  3. Now time is very less and event hour count….make the best use of it…don’t waste time. Now if you need to study 14hrs a day…let it be.
  4. In next 25-30 days …just study and cover entire syllabus at least once from your notes. This way you will get the hold of topics.
  5. After this….focus should be majorly on writing answers. Give lots and lots of full test in time bound manner.
    These tests will give multiple dimensions….focus on their feedback…not on marks.

All the best. 🙂

UPSC mains test series joined by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

  1. Vision GS full tests
  2. FourmIAS full tests (unevaluated as I got it from my friend…but it’s a good Test series )
  3. Lukmaan IAS for GS4
  4. Past year papers for Geology.
  5. Vision Essay

Total tests around 50

Itta likho that your fingers get numb 😇😇

Pen I used for writing mains was Pentel Energel 0.7mm (Blue and Black).

This pen really improved my writing speed and is super super smooth….it almost glides on the paper. Also 0.7 mm gives a good thickness of words.

Pen costs Rs..30 but you can order refills set …which are cheaper

Pentel Energel Roller Gel Pen Set – Pack of 8 (Blue) https://www.amazon.in/dp/B017DKAK40/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_XRDVG2TVB8SX91ZSJPEW

Test series Timeline — some people are asking for this…so here it it…

Last year Prelims was on 4th October and Mains started around January 7….so this was how i planned to spread out my tests

about 70% of these tests were written at home…thanks to corona and lockdown…and rest at Vision Test Centre at Lucknow

Here i have also kept a track of marks and remarks that i got in the respective test….these are very raw and crude remarks …so see them with caution…they are obv biased in my favour as they were written by me 😛

Some general queries answered by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

1. Something i did different from rest —
a. I literally read the entire Bare Act Constitution (will share with you all) and made side notes in it …. it was a tremendous exercise and helped my a lot.
b. I made DD Basu as my base, not Laxmikant (referred only for specifc issues)
c. Did a lot of map based studies…for Geography, Geology, History, Art culture, Border issues, Environment, NP and wherever possible
d. Made a lot of diagrams and schemtics in the notes itself
e. Wrote a lot of tests
f. Tried to make notes out of everthing i read…including Economic Survey, Budget (see my notes under Core Economy)
g. Prioritise NITI Aayog documents (eg. India@75) over 2nd ARC ….i think 2nd ARC is outdated and overused by aspirtants

2. Somethings which I did not do
a. Never read G C Leonge
b. DD Basu + Bare Act over Laxmikant
c. Never refered to Mrunal or Shankar or Sriram for Ecconomics …. my focus was mostly on google and newspapers for economics
d. Didn’t do Shankar IAS Envt holistically
e. Referred Lexicon only for ethics definitions
f. Read newspaper digital version….comes handy for note making
g. Never joined any content enrichment programme or mentorship
h. Never read 2nd ARC holistically….only skimmed through the broad areas of it and major points

Hey everyone….I got bit busy of-late…hope everyone is doing great and the ‘Mission’ is going well!

Few queries-

  1. You don’t gave to read Kurukshetra at all.
  2. Yojana…very very selective, if you want to…and not the whole booklet…only what is relevant. Can be skipped also…I rarely did this.
  3. Modern India – I didn’t study spectrum…so don’t ask about it…and the new thick edition is useless. I read NextIAS modern India book…around 350 pages one.
  4. Art and Culture….CCRT material is not that imp or useful….you can read it…but be selective.

Cheers ✌️

Trust the process 🙂

Pre – Mains Timeline

  1. Complete the reading of majority of GS and Optional by November 1st week.
  2. Till this you can start with some essay tests. Write 2 essays at one go…3 hrs.
  3. After one quick reading of syllabus ….jump into the tests.
  4. Plan your tests as per your own convenience, not that of coaching.
  5. In first round …try to give 4 GS papers in 4 consecutive days.
  6. Optional test series plan can vary as per the optional…so I can’t comment….follow the coaching timeline (I guess)
  7. Do look over Pyq 2014-2020. You should have read ALL the answers of all 4 GS papers. You may even want to attempt some papers from here.
  8. Follow at least 2 test series (vision and forum) (I did lukmaan also) to cover wide range and curb the inertia for writing tests.
  9. Look over the comments you get in your papers. Don’t worry much about marks….many people who top coaching tests, fail at mains…so don’t let less marks demotivate you …focus on their feedback.
  10. Study a lot…and then even more….don’t count the hours!

You got this!

TRUST & BELIEVE

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Notes
If you’re qualifying prelims it should not be a sense of feat or relaxation…rather this has to be a sense of massive responsibility bestowed upon you by the will of the God. You got to make it your life’s mission to maximise the probability of selection here.
Now every day and every hour should be accounted for.
You can actually and literally WRITE down your own destiny in Mains!
🤟🤟

For 2022 and 2023 attempters

Few of the “out of conventional syllabus” books can really be handy to enhance the depth and confidence in your answers. They really serve as value addition material.

Non-fiction Books suggestion Version 1.0

  1. Why Nations Fail? By James Robinson
  2. The Silk Route by Peter Frankoppan
  3. India and Asia Geopolitics by Menon
  4. The Bridigital Nation by N Chandrashekaran
  5. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Will suggest more later

PS. Reading Non-Fiction books is my hobby. They are not to be necessarily read for CSE. Don’t worry if you don’t wanna read them …it’s totally cool 🙂

“Challo Delli” or Not?

Thanks to covid most of the material is now available online and there are also many online classes. So prepration at home has gain lot of merit now.

When you should prep at home?

  1. Good environment to study…like not much disturbance or too big a family at home.
  2. You are a sincere student who will study regularly and walk an extra mile to hunt down issues.
  3. You value your health and family time. It’s important for mental health.
  4. You don’t want to waste money.🙈 Living in ORN or Karol Bagh is quite expensive.

You can always visit ORN market for a day or two to see what’s new in the material mandi…or even order them using phone …they will courier it to your home.

These days even test series can be done at home…make good exam like arrangements…like I wrote most of my tests at home because covid lockdown. It works totally good..provided you take your prep seriously.

So in short…I won’t actually recommend you to go to delhi until and unless it’s unavoidable.

The atmosphere and vibe in ORN often gets depressing and overwhelming. Many people start having mental health issues, living far away from family in “matchboxes” rooms.

I hope this will bring some clarity 🙂

“Where there is a will, there is a way.”

Understand and never try to underestimate the power of Google.

Whenever in doubt…Google it with the suffix “upsc”….you’ll get good enough content. You don’t always have to rush for books. Learn to use internet for your own benefit.

Modern India

If you have time (esp 2023 aspirants) please do read Bipan Chandra India’s struggle for freedom (thick one). It’s a brilliant read and you will actually understand what was happening back then…not merely historical facts.

Security Issues

There is a book by Ashok Kumar .. do read it for basic outline of issues. Rest can be done from compilations and newspaper articles. (my notes at Evernote can serve as a good guide, if you’re lazy :p)

IR

You don’t need to read any book specifically for this ..just follow newspaper, editorials, Google when you need history (eg. Afghanistan), ORF articles and my notes 😜
You need to be up to date with the issues in realm of IR and quote noteworthy phrases (egm Roti Beti relationship with Nepal)

Clarification on UP-PCS exam

I gave it twice coz of mummy’s emotional advice cum persuasion, but I FAILED PRELIMS both the time.

And again…personally I feel…PCS exam has a completely different requirement in approach and I personally found PCS to be harder to crack than CSE.

And focus should be on CSE 😇

Divyanshu Nigam IAS LBSNAA Mail
The mail we all dream for, as aspirants!!
The official invitation from the LBSNAA.
Much better than any love letter 😉
Keep working hard and Trust the process …it will all be worth it 🙂

5 essential qualities which UPSC aspirants should have

  1. Junoon
  2. Zidd
  3. Positive attitude
  4. Perseverance
  5. Slight selfishness about career

Selfishness as in you have to prioritise yourself and your goals.

You are, for most parts, on your own. It will be you who will make you an IAS officer. Others may surely be your supportive network but the core will always be you.
✌️✌️

Don’ts of UPSC aspirants

  1. Never self-pity
  2. Never consider yourself as know-it-all person. Stay humble.
  3. Don’t try to become scholar in your optional. You just need to get good marks in that. I hope you understand the gravity of this point.
  4. Never hesitate to write answers or ask good questions.
  5. Never consider yourself as lonely….you’re just alone in this journey. Understand the difference. It’s a huge mindset game..
  6. Never compare with other aspirants or toppers. We all have our own respective journeys.
  7. Never lie to yourself …. To others you can. Be extremely harsh on your own self-evaluation.
  8. Never entertain the nay-sayers or negative people …even if they are your relatives. Kripya uchit doorie banaye rakhe.

And yes…you CAN cry in this journey….it gives ample amount of “opportunities” to cry. It’s normal. It’s human.

Stay hungry (for knowledge)
Stay foolish (to remain humble)
Stay disciplined (for life)

😁😁

Motivation is really overrated…. What you really need, in far more abundance, is Discipline.

I think for every topper, it was more of his/her disciplined acadmic approach, that helped him/her.

Motivation is fragile….but Discipline is tough and it is the thing which will wake you up on time, make you sit on your study space, make you explore the subjects.

Many a times upsc preperation becomes quite mechanical, where you literally have to follow the same routine every day, every week. Here comes the importance of discipline.

So have a motivated mindset BUT seek utmost discipline in upsc journey and in life.

Cheers 🥂

Since many have this confusion and doubt with regards to Economics books….I am reiterating

  1. Sanjeev Verma for basics
  2. Sriram economy for detailed
  3. Economic survey summary…if time permits … last 2 yrs
  4. Union budget latest
  5. Niti aayog documents
  6. Newspaper related Google search
  7. Monthly compilation Vision

Don’t read

  1. Ramesh singh
  2. Original Economic survey

PYQ Analysis needed

  1. Prelims – 2011 onwards, at least
  2. Mains GS – 2013 onwards
  3. Geology – 2013 onwards (both)
  4. IFoS (Geology) – 2014 onwards
  5. CSAT – 2018 onwards
  6. Compulsory papers – 2018 onwards

(Personal opinion….if anyone want to do more…always welcome…this is just what I would have done)

Trust the process 😇

Timeline of Current Affairs

(Brutally honest)

  1. Prelims – 2 years …but still be prepared to have some really weird ques from maybe 5 yrs back… leave them. Also keep a look on the burning issues…like GST maybe 2017 news…but it’s again in circles due to covid…so factual ques can be asked…. similarly for 2022… afganistan issue has to be covered even if it is a news of 2021.
  2. Mains – focus is more on issues, not events. 1 yr is required but more focus has to be on the news of pre-mains time …as upsc has asked direct ques over news of this period…read 2 papers then…quickly ..eg. 2018 they asked ques on SC decision of Delhi Lt Gov vs CM issue…which was hot news in the above said period.
  3. Interview….daily news, even political, sports and random events.

Enjoy reading news….start your day with news….when you are feeling bit sleepy (maybe)….this will.be a good Kickstarter.

-DN

Scenario A — Cleared the Prelims which basically means you have the hall ticket for writing Mains…nothing more than that

DON’T WASTE EVEN A SINGLE DAY….START STUDYING TODAY ITSELF…DONT CELEBRATE TOO MUCH…BS HALL TICKET MILA HAI 😂 IAS ni ban gye abhi

a. Enroll into a test series ASAP — vision or forum etc
b. Write Write Write …at home, at tests anywhere
c. Constantly make small keyworded notes for quick revision and value added notes
d. Analyse the test feedbacks and incorporate the genuine ones…they help a lot
e. Focus heavily on Optional also
f. Study daily 12 hrs or more….dont count the hours…study till you fall asleep due to draining out of energy
g. This is NOT a marathon anymore…its a full fleged sprint now…run fast and run consistent …just last 80 days or so….damm laga do!
h. Plan your test series and simulators nicely and give time to analyse them also…dont just write for sake of it…take every test a tool for improvement

God has blessed you tremendously to give you the opportunity to literally ‘write’ your own destiny. Embrace the blessing and make the best use of it….acknowlege the lakhs of other aspirant who are desperate just to write mains…you are the chosen few…make sure you prove your worth 🙂

You can do it.

Constantly remind yourself

I CAN
&
I WILL

All the best .

-DN 🙂

Scenario B — Couldn’t clear Prelims

1. Cry it out…talk it out….sleep it out….do whatever which make your heart lighter and remember time is the best healer…so with time things will get better. Take at least 2-3 days completely off your studies.

2. Don’t take any decision in a haste….give yourself a week or so and then decide you forward journey.
Options available to you …and all of these are equally good and couragrous —
   a. Give next attempt with full prep and passion
   b. Take some time off and try other options and then return back
   c. Leave UPSC altogether and look for other things that life has to        offer

3. If you’re giving CSE 2022 —
a. analyse and introspect on your attitude and preperation…what went wrong….what are the areas which you didn’t give full attention…any lacklusture phase of your prep.
b. Focus should be on mains till Feb 2022 and after that on prelims. Dont over-prep prelims.
c. Do lot of answer writing and analyse them….grow on content and delivery & execution with a plan.
d. Make sure you cover each and every point mentioned in the syllabus (GS + Optional)

4. Don’t lose out on your confidence … i know many of you must be feelind ‘dead’ inside…but believe me …we all have faced this and have picked ourselves up…you also have to do that. Find the inner source of inspiration and zeal…the junoon inside you…its there for sure…just that some useless layers of self-doubt are making it look faint…remove them.

Have faith in you
Have faith in your hard work
Have faith in the Universe

Constantly remind yourself

I CAN
&
I WILL

All the best.

– DN 🙂

<Ques> What I did after failing Prelims 2018?

Ofcourse bura laga tha…bahut laga tha…but then I took it as a “blessing in disguise” which i can use to improve my Mains preperation and do lot of answer practise. I completed my optional well.

BUT

this is not a Bollywood movie going on…even after preparing a lot…writing a lot…I FAILED MAINS 2019 …it was shattering at that time…but then life is like that…SHIT HAPPENS…

Pain is permanent
Suffering is optional

🙂

FOR THE ONES WHO’RE WRITING MAINS 2021

ESSAY

Try to write this one —

BIASED MEDIA IS A REAL THREAT TO INDIAN DEMOCRACY (2019)

I will also share my own essay on the said topic for you to compare.

Please be honest with yourself and read my essay only AFTER you’ve written your own. Don’t try to be oversmart…you’ll only fool yourself.

How to effectively read newspaper?

I am uploading today’s newspaper with marking to provide a guidance over “How to maximise the output” from newspaper reading.

I really wish you all start seeing the interlinkages and multiple linkages of the same issue coming in paper.

Also see how many ‘GS-topics’ can be covered without any book…rather these newspaper articles will give you interesting points which others, who merely rely on books, will lack.

Happy Reading!

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Study Room
Divyanshu Nigam IAS Study Room
Before and After
😇
Clearing it was certainly filled with emotion..
Thankyou God 🙏

Motivation by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

Today’s Mantra

For curbing self-doubt, insecurity, low on confidence, you must push yourself to study more, write more, learn more…basically being constructively busy…this way you will give the positive feedback to your mind that “look I am studying more and working hard and thus I should not feel low”. And yes, a brief nap is always an option. 🙂

This is tried and tested formula. Face your fears, challenge them. Jisse darr lag rha hai…whi aur padh lo. Flying away won’t solve the problem.

🙂 Cheers

-DN

Diwali wish to students by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

Wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous Diwali.

I know, for many of you, it will be a Diwali away from home, physically and mentally. But it is okay to prioritize your career above other things – and remember you’re not alone, there are literally 1000s of others who are willingly doing this … and this must be your push to not do self-pity…..after all, it’s a fierce competition, isn’t it? If not you, they will. I know I am sounding very much like ‘Virus’ from 3 Idiots, but I am just stating a very harsh fact that I have realized over the years.

Of course, today you all can go a little relaxed in your studies, but don’t aloof altogether.

Remember, Diwali will be all more lit and colorful with the LBSNAA call letter in your email inbox😉

Baki thode patake phodo…koi load ni lene ka xD

-DN

Comprehensive Book List

By Divyanshu Nigam (IAS) – AIR 44

(heavily influenced and inspired from Anudeep Durrishetty Booklist, which formed the base

of my own journey)

As a general rule – refer to my Evernotes because for some topics even I don’t remember

the source I referred to.

UPSC CSE GS 1 Preparation Strategy by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

Indian Art and Culture

1. An Introduction to Indian Art – Class XI NCERT (Red Color)

2. Chapters related to culture in Ancient and Medieval India NCERTs

3. Centre for Cultural Resource and Training (CCRT) material

4. Heritage Crafts: Living Craft Traditions of India -NCERT

5. Some coaching compilations like Raus IAS

. For someone who is starting just now, this topic can overwhelm them. So I suggest beginners read this section after they get acquainted with other GS topics.

. In Art and Culture, questions asked by UPSC in recent years are more

analytical— which requires both the factual content and good analysis to

answer the why and how. You can answer such questions well only when you understand the historical background in which such art was produced. This is why it’s important that you read NCERT XI Ancient India for it gives you that historical context.

. For instance, don’t just memorise features of say, Sangam literature or Chola architecture, but understand the social, political, religious and economic

context in which such grand art was produced. They will form the analysis part and will help you write great answers.

. Make good use of the internet to watch both visual and performing arts to

understand how they actually look in real life. You will be able to recollect such visuals more easily. They will help you write a decent answer for questions

which you only have a vague idea about.

. Wherever relevant, draw diagrams to illustrate your answers. For instance, you can draw a rough sketch to show the features of a Stupa, Dravida, and Nagara style architecture, Paleolithic art, Folk arts such as Warli, Harappan pottery etc. You don’t need to be a Michelangelo for this, but you must ensure that the

fundamentals are correct. For example, in Warli art, human bodies are

represented by triangles, heads by circles and hands by simple lines. Just get these basics right. Link to download diagrams is given at the end of the article.

. Art and Culture requires a ton of memorisation and there’s really no shortcut to mastering it except through multiple revisions.

Modern Indian History

1. NextIAS Book on Modern India

2. India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipan Chandra

3. NCERT Class XI-XII (can avoid if you read NextIAS book)

Questions on Indian history are something that every serious aspirant will

answer well, so you really cannot afford to let go of these questions. If you had done your prelims preparation for this topic well, that is good enough. You just need to practise answer writing.

India’s Post Independence History

1. Just the NCERT Class XII (Political Development) and Google Searches

2. PYQ Analysis

World History (low ROI)

1. World History by Arjun Dev

2. Unacademy Videos and Youtube searches of major topics

3. Read the major events and revolutions

Geography

1. Class XI and XII NCERTs

2. PMF IAS material (online)

3. Youtube Videos

4. Manocha Sir (Physical Geography) and ShivArpit Sir Notes (Human Geography) – both were Vajiram Faculty

Indian Society

. This is a generic, nebulous topic with no style or structure. Questions are

sometimes vague, philosophical and the challenge we face is not so much in

lack of content as in presenting it concisely in 200 odd words. To understand

the basics, read NCERT Sociology Std XI and XII. Make concise notes on each

topic that includes: a crisp definition, latest statistics, govt schemes, criticism of these schemes; causes of issues such as communalism and regionalism,

historical and current examples, their impact on our society, and your

suggestions as the way ahead. (you can get these suggestions from the internet or ARC 2 or some committee report). In case if you find good coaching material for these topics, that’ll do as well.

. For this topic, a generic answer with proper structure and subheadings that

cover multiple dimensions is good enough to fetch you marks. You can find my notes at the end of the article.

. My Evernotes

UPSC CSE GS 2 Preparation Strategy by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

Polity, Governance and Social Justice

Static Portion:

1. Laxmikanth or DD Basu

2. My Evernote

3. ARC 2 (One of the best reports ever written for the government. It’s been more than ten years since the reports were published, but the content is still

priceless.)

Current Affairs:

1. The Indian Express (The Hindu selectively)

2. The Big Picture on RSTV

3. CivilsDaily current affairs material – Burning Issue

4. Vision IAS monthly magazines and Mains 365 – selective reading.

5. PRS India for latest legislation – authentic source

6. Value added content – reports, articles, committees, rankings, statistics and figures, judgements.

. Open your answers with Constitutional articles. Question on Governor? Art 153 must be there in the first line. Question on Civil Services? Art 312 is where you begin. If there’s a technical term like ‘Parliamentary Sovereignty’, ‘Political

democracy’ or ‘Social Audit’ — define them in your introduction telling the examiner what you understand by those terms.

. Supreme Court judgements are very important. Make a list of important

judgements (both historical and current) and quote them to substantiate your answer. For example, when you are answering a question on Free speech,

quoting SC judgement in Shreya Singhal vs Union of India case will add tremendous value to your answers.

. For a debatable topic, always write both sides of the issue even if not explicitly asked in the question. Example: A question might ask: Do you agree that Civil Services is in need of drastic reforms? For this, explain under a subheading why drastic reforms are needed. And in the next paragraph, counter by saying why drastic reforms are harmful. In the end, you can add the view of ARC

2/Hota/Surendranath committee to convey your view and end on a balanced note.

. For miscellaneous topics like the comparison of Constitutions, RPA Act, SHG, e- Governance etc refer to any good coaching material to have 200-word worth content. Source latest examples and issues from newspapers and quote them in your answers.

. Prepare thoroughly on Govt policies and bills. PRS India is an excellent resource for all the latest legislation in the offing and The Hindu for policy criticism. But the newspaper is patently leftist and they publish articles incessantly and

nauseatingly ranting on policies they don’t like (Eg: Aadhar). But as someone

aspiring to be a civil servant, you need to be more dispassionate. This is why you must actively pursue articles with a contrarian

. Cram latest statistics pertaining to health, employment, women, education,

poverty etc. Also apart from committees, you may quote authentic reports

from reputed organisations such as Lancet, Transparency International,

UNICEF, FAO etc to substantiate your point. I made notes on important

statistics that can be used for all papers of GS and essay. Download link is given at the end of the article.

. Conclusion: Wherever possible, end with a committee/ commission

recommendation or observation. For instance, a question on Centre-State

relations should invariably end with Punchhi Commission, a question on death penalty with Law Commission and a question on Indian Constitution with

NCRWC. Referring to Sustainable Development Goals, Preamble, DPSP is also another good way to end your answers.

International Relations

. Google Search about the issue with -UPSC as suffix should suffice to get understanding

. Current affairs: The Indian Express, India’s World on RSTV, Youtube Videos and debates like that of S Jaishankar

. Questions on IR will be almost, always be about the current happenings in the world. But before you run after the Hindu or some other latest magazine for

this section, it’s important that you understand the historical background of

India’s relationship with other countries. This is indispensable because every bilateral issue that you see in the news can be traced back to history. Once you understand this historical context, this topic becomes uncomplicated.

. For example, let’s take India China relations. Don’t merely focus on Doklam

crisis and troop positioning, but understand the larger context of our border dispute with China, the agreements we had signed starting with the Simla

Accord of 1914. For India-Sri Lanka, don’t just concentrate that India voted for or against Sri Lanka at the UN, but understand how India always championed peace between the Tamils and the Sinhalese, the 1987 accord, its fallout, Sri Lankan civil war and what India did during these times. When you have that bigger picture in mind, each part of the puzzle becomes easier to fit in.

. For miscellaneous topics like diaspora and international institutions, refer to any good coaching material.

. Draw map wherever relevant. Example: for India-Iran relations, you can draw a rough map to show how the Chabahar port helps us to bypass Pakistan and

reach Afghanistan. Act East policy can be demonstrated with arrows pointing from India and showing our specific relationship with Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and ASEAN, MGC, BIMSTEC etc.,

. Each bilateral relationship or a global grouping is multi-faceted. To make your answers comprehensive, always write a multidimensional perspective that

includes: the strategic dimension, defence co-operation, technology,

education, culture, diaspora, trade and investment, co-operation in global fora etc.

UPSC CSE GS 3 Preparation Strategy by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

Economy

Static part:

1. Sanjeev Verma Book

2. Budget (any coaching material compilation)

3. Economic Survey (gist)

4. NITI Aayog Reports like India@75 document

Current Affairs:

1. The Indian Express

2. CivilsDaily – Burning Issues

3. Google search

Indian Agriculture, Land reforms, PDS, Food Processing, LPG, Infrastructure 1. Vision IAS Magazine

2. My Evernote

3. Indian Express and google searches

. You need to remember that for GS-3, questions revolve around current affairs and there is no dearth of material. It may sound counter-intuitive, but the trick is to restrict yourself to material that’s good enough for you to write a 250-

word answer for all topics. It’s very important that you don’t get sunk under the heap of current affairs and coaching material.

. So for each topic mentioned in the syllabus, make concise notes from the

resources mentioned above. I also found Niti Aayog’s 3-year Action Plan report really helpful for this paper. And just as I had mentioned for GS-2, statistics and committee reports are very important.

Security

. Indian Security Book by Ashok Kumar

. Newspaper and Vision Material

. Prepare crisp and clear definitions of technical terms such as cybersecurity,

terrorism, organised crime, money laundering, left-wing extremism etc.

. For questions on border security, draw India map to illustrate. Disaster Management

. Fundamental reading: CBSE book

. Prepare concise notes on NDMA (structure, functions, rules etc), international agreements such as Sendai Framework, latest current affairs from newspapers, internet and coaching material.

. Draw diagrams to illustrate concepts like river embankment, land zoning, watershed management etc.

Environment and Ecology

. PMF IAS

. The Hindu and magazines (mains 365)

. Evernote Link

Science & Tech

1. The Hindu and The Indian Express (TH is better here for SnT)

2. Vision IAS Mains 365

3. YouTube and Google – very frequently

. This topic terrifies many aspirants, and for good reason. There’s no single book or resource to help one navigate this section and it all feels like one big haze. But there’s good news: the questions asked in S&T are mostly from current

affairs and you are expected to have only a general understanding of the topics.

. During my preparation, I used to note down in my book whatever scientific

term or technology that’s frequently talked about in news. For instance, these days we repeatedly encounter terms such as Artificial General Intelligence,

Blockchain, Machine Learning, Cryptocurrency, CRISPR-CAS9 in news and on the internet.

. Note down all such scientific concepts that are in news and then scour the

internet (especially Youtube) to understand them. There are many explainer videos on Youtube that explain the concept so well that even a school student can understand it. For instance, take this excellent video on blockchain

technology. Once you see it, it’s impossible for you to miss a question on blockchain and its practical applications.

. Apart from the above, you need to learn fundamental terms and technologies used in Space (PSLV, GSLV, Cryo Engine etc), Nanotech, Nuclear Research (Fast breeder reactor, Uranium enrichment, Nuclear fission and fusion etc.), Defence (Cruise missile, Ballistic missile, Stealth Bomber etc), Biotech (Gene editing,

Stem Cells, GM food etc), Communication (LIDAR, RADAR, LiFi, 5G etc). Any comprehensive material of a coaching institute will be sufficient for this (I referred to Vajiram printed notes).

. Whatever S&T topic you are learning, always focus on the concept, why is it in news, practical applications, potential threats, benefits far into the future etc. Just do this and you will easily handle this topic in the final exam.

UPSC CSE GS 4 Preparation Strategy by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

. 2nd ARC reports: Ethics in Governance, Promoting E-gov, RTI, Citizen-centric Administration, Personnel Administration. Read all ARC reports completely, memorise only recommendations.

. For moral thinkers, Google them to read about their major contributions and for misc topics such as corporate governance, I referred to Vajiram printed material. I also prepared some notes for certain topics (download link at the end of the article)

. I went through the syllabus and tried to define each term in clear words and simple sentences. I found this exercise very useful because these definitions inevitably formed the introduction to most of my answers. For all of ethics

paper, the essence can be distilled as just this: a clear and simple definition of

the term and a real-life example to illustrate the concept. You can draw flowcharts and schematics wherever apt.

. It’s important to understand that each question is an opportunity to display your ethics. This will be best demonstrated by the actions you did or some other personalised/ real-life examples you quote. Reflect on your childhood, school life, college time, professional career etc and glean examples that are simple, unpretentious and at the same time bring out your ethical values

clearly. For some questions, you can also quote historical examples from the lives of great leaders.

. For case studies, my aim was not so much in writing ingenious, extraordinary solutions, but to write something that’s realistic and practicable and finish the paper no matter what.

. I always started with Q1 and not with case studies because I could not see how one mark in Section B (case studies) is superior to one mark in Section A. I gave equal importance and dedicated equal time to both the sections.

. Rest of the GS papers have 20 questions each, Ethics has only 14. But don’t let that number 14 fool you. I’ve always found GS-4 to be the lengthiest paper of all. Every question in Section A has many subparts that drain an inordinate

amount of your time. In fact, if we go by the absolute numbers, we write

more words in GS-4 than in other papers. So to manage your time well: Abide by the rule that you must complete at least 80 marks worth of questions in

each hour, irrespective of whether you start with Section A or Section B.

. Just before GS-4, you would have had written three stressful GS papers that

would put your body condition under severe mental and physical strain. But it’s important to stay mentally tough during this crucial period and push your

endurance limits so as to survive another 3 hours of relentless writing.

Remember that it’s all in the mind— it can be your biggest enemy or your greatest strength.

Thank You

November 7, 2021

Divyanshu Nigam

IAS (AIR 44, CSE 2020)

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Answer writing copy
Divyanshu Nigam IAS Answer writing copy

When I say you should write lots and lots of answers….writing answers is THE key for success in mains…..I say with some experience.

While putting my material at one place I got this ….this is the amount of answer writing I did 2019 January to 2020 December.

Trust the process.
This is the process. ✌️✌️

Some FAQs and suggestions By Divyanshu Nigam AIR 44

1.  Telegram Channels
a.  Minimal Importance – don’t join them at all. 90% of them fool you by marketing techniques. Never ever pay any money to them. Also restrain yourself to download all the free material that they shove in aspirants’ throat. Bottomline—they can be avoided completely.
b.  Join only for newspapers, test series, some e-book
c.  Less is more (useful)

2.  Post-Independence India
a.  Only book to be read – Political Science NCERT Class 12. Rest for any topic just google with UPSC as suffix. Coaching material is good enough.
b.  Mostly ques revolve around Reorganisation of States, Nationalisation and challenges at independence.
c.  Don’t get into the political parties’ development at all.

3.  How to Self-evaluate answers?
a.  Write answers in exam-like settings within time-limits
b.  Just re-read your answers after 3-4 hours of completing them. Keep the model answers with you.
c.  Write down the important extra facts, figures, content mentioned in the model answer which you have missed out. This will act as value addition.
d.  See whether your answer is on the lines of model answer or not … it need not to be very similar but it should be on similar line…. Don’t just get into a different sphere altogether.
e.  For structuring and visual presentation, compare your answers and QCAB with that of toppers (available at multiple platforms).
f.  For Geology – compare your answers with your notes. It should ideally be copy paste for many of the answers.
g.  Maximum marks – 6/10 and 8/15

4.  Language usage
a.  For GS – it has to be extremely simple and straightforward. Don’t get too creative here.
b.  For Essay – it can get more articulative and sophisticated. Use better words and better sentence formation. Learn how to do this. Here the role of articulation assumes importance. Better language will get you better marks. Period. Now its your duty to improve it.

5.  Timeline for 2022 Attempt
a.  Nov-Dec – Focus on Ethics and Optional completely. Make sure you’re done with Ethics (along with answer writing) and 80% of your optional, at any cost.
b.  January – Value addition and crisp note making for GS 2 and GS 3 along with completing the Optional with answer writing.
c.  Keep daily answer writing (5) in this entire period. Keep practising.
d.  Write Weekly Essays …. Every Sunday
e.  February is for GS 1 and anything that is remaining. This is the time to really refine your notes.
f.  If you are having your first prelims OR failed multiple times in prelims…start prelims focussed studies from March 1. For the ones who are confident of clearing prelims or have cleared prelims earlier also…can start from March 15.

6.  Group Study or Individual
a.  Personally I am a huge fan of Individual studies. I feel in group its very rare to find a good one which has similar intellect and passion…end result is we end up wasting time, disguised as ‘group study’. CSE for me is a personal battle that has to be won on own competence and merit. Only you can help you.
b.  But yes, I do know some topers who used to study in groups and they still got success…so the idea of group studies does have good merit of its own…BUT provided you get a good committed group.

7.  CSAT
a.  Do last 3-4 years PYQ … if you’re scoring about 120….no need to do anything else. If you come from good engineering college or had good grip on maths and English….CSAT will be a cake walk for you. Don’t worry at all.
b.  For other – read RS Aggrawal book on Quantitative Aptitude, Newspaper reading for English comprehension.
c.  If situation is really bad …. Join a dedicated coaching.

8.  Sleep
a.  Try to train yourself to sleep only for 6-6.5 hrs and that too in one stretch. I had a huge sleep problem…like I LOVE to sleep… here comes the indispensable role of Coffee in my preparation. I used to drink one Nescafe cup Coffee daily. Force your body to change its sleep timings to 6-6.5 hrs. Don’t compromise on this.

Trust the Process and Believe in Yourself.
Thanks
Divyanshu Nigam

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Prelims Marksheet

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Prelims Marksheet
IFoS 2020 Marksheet
Not Recommended😅
This interview lasted only 7 mins 😂
Forestry was totally a new optional for me so please don’t ask me how to prepare it. 😂
Cutoffs for IFS
Prelims 110
Mains 636
Final 875

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Interview Transcript of IFS Exam

Why my IFS interview lasted only 7 minutes?

Actually I just went to the Dholpur house for document verification but they said that since my attendance was marked, so I have to present myself.

So I went to the panel (TCA Anant) without a suit, just pant and shirt and straightaway told them that I have already qualified for IAS and would not want to give IFS interview because I don’t want to waste any other’s chance of getting selected, since there is no Reserve list in IFS.
So the panel got super casual and started talking in Hindi and congratulating me. Then we had a brief discussion about Lbsnaa and all and then said All the Best for life and asked me to leave.

All this lasted 7 mins.

Event the peon outside was shocked 😂 “kya hua sir…kya ho gya andar” 😂

This is my story for 165 marks in 7 minutes….the fastest marks I scored ever in my life.

So peace out…UPSC is all cool 🙂 unko gaali mat do.

Answer Writing Practice (AWP) strategy for UPSC CSE by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

Download Vision or Forum Full Test papers and attempt 5 ques from them daily…this way you can complete a paper in every 4 days.
Compare and add value from the model answers given. Use them as study material.

Spend time thinking and brainstorming about how you can improve the quality of answer…what innovative ways you can include ….what more dimensions and all. You should always be in that zone… especially in GS4 answers as there are not always direct objective answers here.

Slowly increase daily answer writing to 8-10.

And…
Ab koi mujhse daily answers ke bare me ques mat pochna.

-DN

Always carry that hunger and junoon to increase your value and quality. It cannot be taught….it has to be innate and when you make this prep you passion, wonders will happen.

Hamesha ye hi socho ki how to improve quality (not quantity of books or answers). It’s a path of self-discovery also.

-DN

Furthermore

Nobody who is in school or in college 1st year should ask “how to start prep for upsc”…don’t! Don’t overkill.

Live your life…gain experience…build personality as of now. College ke last or second last year ke pehle ye sb Krna is paap. Yesterday I got a messge from a class 9th kid …I mean seriously! This is not JEE jo aap class 6th se padhne lag jaao.

Also my only advice here is to read english newspapers…which every aware indian should do.

Many people tell me that they can’t remain consistent in studies or they can’t study for long hours…

My simple advice to them

If you are not consistent in your preperation that means you’re not committed towards your goal. Plain and simple.

Nobody who is committed towards the goal of clearing the exam will face this problem of inconsistency.

  • DN

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Prelims Marksheet

CSE 2020 Prelims marksheet finally released.

Just a suggestion since many of you seem ‘mis-guided’

Ojha and Pavneet sir are only good for entertainment purposes, not for UPSC CSE …. So don’t get too influenced by their ‘youtube/instagram’ shorts. Bs deko aur maze lo. Aur Quora answers toh bilkul avoid hi kro inke.

Baki aapki shraddha. I am just sharing my observations.

Enough said.
Samajhdaar ko ishara kaafi. 😁

Similarly wo IR ki book bhi faltu hai…no need to waste money on that. I did that mistake.

Divyanshu Nigam IAS Name in Service Allocation list

IAS it is, officially 🙏🙏

A VERY BLUNT PERSONAL OPINION

Good academic record surely has an upper edge and advantage in this exam.

But….

It’s not like other don’t get selected ..they do and with good ranks too …. I am just saying that good acads only has advantage, not surety.

And remember…

Hard works always beat talent when talent stops working hard.

I hope this will clear some queries.

-DN

UPSC Mains 3 weeks Preparation Strategy by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

3 weeks to Mains 2021 – Broad Plan

1. Give 2 simulations – 1 Essay, 4 GS in 3 days (this two times)
2. Give your optional tests – at least 2 sets (Paper 1 and 2)
3. Don’t change your pen now – use same in actual mains, as you are using in your simulation
4. Keep revising and ‘learning’
a.  Keywords
b.  Statistics
c.  Good phrases
d.  Reports and Indices
5. GS 4 – Revise and learn all the definitions – they should be on your tips.
6. Revise GS 1 – esp. history part of it.
7. Practise lots of maps.
8. Focus on structuring and ‘look’ of your copy…along with the content (which is supreme)
9. Don’t pick up any new material now – none what so ever – no need to do Mains 365 now
10. Review your own papers – see the feedbacks given to you. Extract the maximum out of them.
11. Don’t sleep more than 6-6.5 hrs now…. go full throttle – no time to spare…. else someone else will beat you up in the last lap…you obviously don’t want it to happen!
12. Make your routine as per exam from January 1, without fail. Wake up at 7 am and be full energy by 9 am.

You are literally going to write your own destiny next month… don’t leave any stone unturned. Be super super high on confidence.

IN IT TO WIN IT.

Follow and Trust the process.

Mains last 2 days Preparation Strategy by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

Good morning all

So THE mains is starting less than 48 hours now and mostly this time will be spent in doing the logistics setup. See your mains centre today itself, check the local covid rules and change in routes, if any.

Now you don’t have to write anything or read anything new….just revise your keywords. Also tomorrow, that is 6th Jan should only be used for Essay prep. It can really make a difference.

Get your documents ready – admit card, ID Card. Take new pens to the exam so that they won’t end midway.

Most importantly go with FULL Confidence that you’ll perform in the best manner you can. Don’t think about the result….have this attitude of ‘I am the best’ for entire mains.

I am hereby sharing some of the ‘Last minute self notes’ which I wrote just before the mains day to boost up my confidence and reaffirm my efforts. It might be helpful.

All the best
Chakk de phadde.

Go write your own destiny, quite literally.

-DN

UPSC Mains Preparation Strategy by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

Since Mains 2021 is over now, future path can be like

A. Ones who’re confident to get an interview call

  1. Take a week off from any UPSC related stuff. Watch movies/follow your hobby or anything….basically relax your mind.
  2. Next stage prep. gonna be the most interesting one and needs a completely different mindset from that of Mains.
  3. Do NOT join any mocks/coaching (any kind) before the Mains 2021 results.
  4. In the meanwhile, read 2 newspapers — TOI and IE/TH.
  5. Do some research about your DAF.
  6. Work on your speaking skills in whichever medium you’ve opted for. Look at the tone, pitch, etc.
  7. Read some good books, this can really help you engage in meaningful convo in the interview

Enjoy the process

B. Those who don’t expect much from this mains and have to write another attempt

  1. After 4-5 days off, review your performance in Mains — ask yourself tough questions — where you lacked, where and why you went blank.
  2. Build up your content and value addition.
  3. Start writing answers again until March.
  4. Have a relook over your optional. Now is the time to decide if you want to change it. If you change your optional then give 2023 attempt.

Review of Geology Optional Papers 2022 by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

Geology Paper 1

1. Pretty Straightforward
2. Most of the questions straight from notes and BT material
3. Can be attempted 250/250
4. Questions repeated … almost 60% paper or more
5. Cut-copy-paste type answers can be written
6. My attempt would have been — Q 1, 2, 3, 5, 8

Geology Paper 2

1. Paper was bit on tougher side, as usual and expected
2. Compulsory Ques (1 and 5) had some tough sub-questions… nothing much can be done about them
3. Many questions came straight from the notes and thus — copy-paste applies
4. Very easy and repeated numerical came….can be aced for full marks
5. My attempt would have been — Q. 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 (6 also can be done)

Overall a good paper and have good potential to score marks.

Best Coaching Institutes for UPSC CSE by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

A Note on Coaching Institutes (I guess much awaited also  😜)

Firstly — Coachings are not at all absolutely necessary as most of the things are available online and you just need to follow the standard books/resources (you can refer my booklist also).

But still, for the ones who want to know about coachings —

Online vs. Offline — Generally Offline is preferred but given the Covid times, online is also fine.

1. Vajiram and Ravi — NOT Recommended as most of the good teachers have moved out of it. Its study material is mostly useless, except Geography by Shiv Arpit sir.
2. Vision IAS — BEST source for all type of reading material. Its monthly magazine is the best among all. Its value addition material is also quite good.
3. NextIAS — its the new Vajiram as most the good teachers have moved in here. Best suited for Online coaching and OFFLINE also
4. Shankar — Not recommended
5. Byju — totally worthless to give any penny to it.
6. Unacademy — no need to buy any paid course. Its not recommended for CSE. You can refer to some old FREE videos though….but DON’T give any money to it.
7. Telegram Channels — NONE is recommended. They just flood you with content and confuse you out.
8. Drishti IAS — good for Hindi Medium. Its free online articles is also good.
9. CivilsDaily — Its free online articles are good. “Burning Issues” series is good for mains.
10. SunyaIAS — mixed review. Personally I haven’t read.
11. ForumIAS — decent reviews. No personal experience about their teaching. Test series is fantastic
12. Raus IAS — NOT Recommended at all. Wastage of money.
13. Insights IAS — NOT recommended at all — neither Prelims nor Mains test series. Prelims test series is quite vague and depressing. DON’T follow Insights Secure … very low Return on Investment.

Prelims Test Series(NO NEED to buy them. ORN market has all of it and they deliver it at home also)

1. Vision IAS — complete series + Abhyaas (too good)
2. Forum IAS — at least the Full Length Tests + Simulator
3. Shankar IAS — only the Environment sectional tests
4. Raus IAS — maybe some of full tests

Mains Test Series (Buy 1 and get another friend to buy another and then you can exchange the QCAB so that you can attempt both) Generally I’ll recommend to BUY any mains test series only after you qualify the prelims, till then just practise from the freely available papers and the model answers + Toppers’ test copies for comparison

1. Vision IAS (Only Full Tests) + Abhyaas Mains (good score is above 95, if you are crossing 100…great!!)
2. Forum IAS (Only Full Tests) + Simulator just before Mains (good score is above 90, they’re generally tough on marking…cross 100 is like Godlike)
3. Vision IAS Essay Tests OR Forum IAS — do any one (5 tests ie. 10 essays) (good score is above 120)
4. Lukmaan IAS for GS IV only (generally liberal marking) (good score is above 105)

PS. All of the above analysis is totally based on my personal opinion and biases. Totally unfiltered.

PPS. Yes I also believed the same way that all toppers say don’t attend any coachings while they themselves do attend one… but now being on the other side of the table, I can say with some authority that yes I had attended Vajiram Coaching BUT it was NOT AT ALL worth to spend around 2 lakh rupees for what they have provided. Its not at all worth it. They advance with very slow pace and were hardly able to complete the syllabus before prelims, leave alone any serious prep. for Mains. So this is my defence. Don’t waste money. Rest its your discretion, being an adult.

UPSC IInterview Preparation tips by Divyanshu Nigam IAS

Tips for the lucky few aspirants who are giving interview with Geology optional

1. Don’t expect many questions from Geology. It may happen no questions are asked from this area.
2. Do prepare the INTERESTING areas like Palaeontology (special emphasis on fossils, extinction events), General Geology, Himalayas formation, Climate change (geologically), few minerals and some good keywords like montmorillonite (instead of clay :P)
3. Try to give passing by reference to geological concepts … like while talking about climate change do mention about Permian Extinction
4. Learn some of interesting geological facts … like all the water on earth is extra-terrestrial or talc, despite its softness, is a metamorphic mineral made under extreme conditions.
5. Do read about Indians and geology … famous names.

All the best.

UPSC CSE Results will be out in 2-3 days or so. At present there is just too much information overflow and mostly it’s just speculations. Don’t get overwhelmed or nervous by any of it. There are no insiders …. Don’t waste time and mental space on these bullshit. This over information merely disturbs the mental peace.

You might also encounter several fake result PDFs.

To do –

  1. Leave or mute all these groups and stop checking them.
  2. When the results will actually be out….whole world will tell you and PLEASE check the result from the PDF that YOU download from the UPSC website (not telegram).

Just hold your nerves and count your blessings.

Trust the process. Your honest work shall be rewarded.

D.

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