Hi Everyone, I am Gautam Vivekanandan. I have got AIR 211 in UPSC CSE 2022. I will share my strategy in this post.
I was extremely fortunate to have cleared this exam in my first attempt. I got a lot of help from the internet. I think its my turn now to give back to the community. With whatever limited knowledge and understanding I have of this examination, I shall try to help you as much as I can. I will share all relevant documents here. I shall share my detailed strategy too, which I followed over the course of last 1.5 years.
I shall also post my marksheet here.
Table of Contents
- 1 Gautam Vivekanandan UPSC CSE BOOKLIST
- 2 Gautam Vivekanandan UPSC Marksheet
- 3 Strategy
- 4 Gautam Vivekanandan Strategy for UPSC
- 5 Gautam Vivekanandan UPSC Essay | Preparation Strategy
- 6 Time line for UPSC CSE by Gautam Vivekanandan IAS
Gautam Vivekanandan UPSC CSE BOOKLIST
|Gautam Vivekanandan UPSC Biography|
|All India Rank||211th Rank|
|Optional Subject||English Literature|
Hi, fellow aspirants. My name is Gautam Vivekanandan. I live in Valsad, Gujarat, and I have a B. Tech in Electronics and Communication tech. I got AIR 211 in UPSC CSE 2022, which was my first time taking the test. I went to the Chahal Academy in Gujarat on the weekends when I was in college. That was the first time I heard about preparing for the UPSC CSE. But I was busy with college things and couldn’t concentrate on getting ready. After that, I worked for TCS for 6 months, until April 202. I started getting ready for the UPSC in earnest in May 2021. For GS training, I signed up for a Vision IAS foundation course in Delhi. Prof. Radhakrishnan (Kerala) taught me English Literature as an optional topic. He was my mentor and guide for both the optional subject and the essay.
Gautam Vivekanandan UPSC Marksheet
|Gautam Vivekanandan UPSC MARKSHEET (MAINS)|
|GENERAL STUDIES 1||97|
|GENERAL STUDIES 2||93|
|GENERAL STUDIES 3||79|
|GENERAL STUDIES 4||110|
|Optional Paper 1||123|
|Optional Paper 2||141|
The word “essay” comes from the French word “essai,” which means “to try” or “to make an effort.” The Essay question is the first part of the UPSC CSE-Mains exam. I’m a big fan of this paper because of two things. One is that there is no set curriculum here, so we are free to express ourselves. Two is that this paper in some ways shows who we are.
Gautam Vivekanandan Strategy for UPSC
1) Looked at the writing prompts from the last 25 years, which are available online, to see which ones were asked about more than once (for example, agriculture, education, technology, terrorism, etc.).
2) I made short 3–4-page notes on topics that came up more than once and on other important issues like health, poverty, women’s rights, etc. Among the things in these notes were: • What, why, how, and when? (Answer each question based on the subject)
- Relevant data and figures • Important quotes
- Projects and plans in India and around the world • Solutions (the way forward)
3) There are templates for writing essays, such as the Problem, Challenges, and Solutions method or the Dimensions approach (which looks at social, political, and economic factors). I used them when I had to, but they weren’t the only things I could do. I think that writings should have a natural flow and be creative. If you use the same template over and over in your essay, it might get boring, and it won’t give your brain a chance to come up with new ideas.
4) Here are some things I think are important for an article to be good:
- Adequate & relevant material • Good arguments + equally good examples/data (relevant)
- Always being right on the mark
- A smooth flow (it shouldn’t feel like the lines were put together by a machine)
- It covers different dimensions (both horizontally and vertically). • It has a good introduction and conclusion. The introduction is where you can make a good first impression, and the conclusion is where you can make an impression that will last.
5) I looked for quotes or lines from famous songs that could be used for a variety of topics and could be used at the beginning or end of the paper. For example, “The Road Not Taken,” “Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening,” “If,” and so on.
6) Had tried out some well-known beliefs, such as feminism, universalism, socialism, humanism, etc. If you know these things, you’ll be better able to understand philosophical essay themes.
7) When I wrote philosophical essays, I tried to explain the topic right away, and then I tried to back up my explanation with different reasons and examples.
Gautam Vivekanandan UPSC Essay | Preparation Strategy
Why do I think I secured 149 in essay paper
1) The topics I chose were unique. (However, I don’t think this gives a candidate much of an edge.) • Poets are the world’s hidden lawmakers. • A smile is the chosen vehicle for all ambiguities.
2) I tried to write as many examples that were both useful and different as I could. For example, in the first article, I wrote about both foreign and Indian poets, like Wordsworth, Auden’s theory of agape and eros, and our own Kabir and his “dohas,” which had social meanings. Also tried to use some of their lines.
3) I said right away what I thought the topic was about. After that, I tried to make it bigger and include as many aspects as I could.
4) Didn’t follow any outline for the writing. I think that articles should be written in a natural way.
5) Tried to have a good start and end. Quote or stories etc.
A rule of thumb I used was that anything a person has done or seen in life, as well as anything they have read or heard, could be used in an essay. However, it is very important that your points are relevant. It is the only paper for which there isn’t a set plan. It’s where you can say what you want. Get the most out of that chance.
Important points: I chose those topics because I felt very comfortable talking about them. Not because I thought people wouldn’t choose them (as I’ve already said, having a unique topic doesn’t mean you’ll get good grades). This is a big difference between them. Go with whatever you feel confident about and can write with confidence. You need both good points and good cases to make your case. I was very lucky that these two topics were easy for me to write about with passion and the right examples.
Disclaimer: This post is based on my personal view and is not a foolproof plan that can be backed. No one can say for sure that a certain method will help you get good grades on an essay. You can use this as a guide to try to figure out what the essay paper wants from you.
Checklist ✅ for Prelims-2023 (Some of you must be leaving early tomorrow depending how far your exam centre is)
Copy of admit card ( take atleast 2copies)
Mask, sanitizer (small transparent bottle)
Original Id card (As mentioned in ur admit card)
Passport size photos (take 2)
Black ball point pen (2 atleast)
Carry pouch ( to keep all these things, if required)
Pain reliever spray (if required)
If your admit card has a missing photo or signature, don’t panic. Self attest the print out and use photo and id card to get entry.
See you on D-1 session scheduled tomorrow at 7pm.
So tommorow is the prelims. The first and probably the most feared and unpredictable step in this UPSC journey. I have two messages to convey
1) To all those who are appearing tommorow
You have worked incredibly hard. Trust your work and have faith in yourself.
Don’t worry about the results, that will not help you perform well. Rather worry about things that you can control.
Do not read anything new. Also subah subah jyada padhne se sirf confusion hoga to avoid it.
Aaj ke din me stay hydrated, go for a walk, talk to family. Sleep well at night.
Remember, the more calm you are, the better you will perform. Do not panic.
2) To those who are not appearing tommorow (maybe next year)
Try and attempt the paper once you get it (from home)
Giving the paper will help you realise where you stand and where you need to go.
Abhi tak agar seriousness nahi aaya Hain regarding preparation then today is the last day that you have.
Exactly one year from now (or less) you will be sitting to give the exam. Its time for you to pull up your socks.
My best wishes to each and everyone who is attempting the exam tommorow. May Goddess Saraswati give you the strength to recall all that you have studied. Stay calm and be positive.
Time line for UPSC CSE by Gautam Vivekanandan IAS
I’m sharing two things now
1) The timeline that I followed for preparation
2) Ideal timeline which I wanted to follow but could not
My timeline (the one that I followed)
>> Started full fledged preparation in May 2021 (average 8-9 hours a day) [However, uske pehle I had completed Geography and Polity once, while working at TCS]
>> May to November 2021
i) Completed all standard books
ii) Covered a part of Optional syllabus
iii) Current Affairs Magazine
[For CA, I used to read.only 8-10 pages a day. In this way, I could complete a magazine in 12-13 days, i.e. 2 magazines a month]
>> In September I had joined Vision IAS classes.
>> December – covered GS1 as per the syllabus (i.e. cover each and every topic mentioned in the mains syllabus)(prepared 1 page note for all topics and tried to write atleast 8-10 PYQs) + Current Affairs + I also had my Optional Subject classes this time (Online Class – Prof Radhakrishnan from Kerala – Eng Lit)
>> January – covered GS2 in similar manner + Current Affairs + I also had my Optional Subject classes this time (Online Class – Prof Radhakrishnan from Kerala – Eng Lit)
>> February – covered GS3 in similar manner + Current Affairs + I also had my Optional Subject classes this time (Online Class – Prof Radhakrishnan from Kerala – Eng Lit)
>> March to May 2022 – Prelims specific studies
i) Revised Polity 3 times (notes)
ii) Revised MIH 3 times (notes)
iii) Revised Eco, Geo and Env – 2 times
iv) Revised S&T, Ancient, Medieval & Art and Culture and Basic Science – once
v) Gave 30 mock tests (scored well in only 10 out of 30)
vi) Revised CA 3 times (quick revision)
>> June to September (after pre, before mains)
i) 70% of time was given for Optional preparation (as I had not prepared it well)
ii) For GS, I only Revised notes as I did not have time to read books again
iii) GS4 prep – covered all topics mentioned in syllabus and prepared short 0.5 page notes for majority of the topics)
iv) Wrote around 10-12 essays (shall share a detailed post regarding essay prep)
>> September to December (hardly studied in anything, was exhausted so took break. Had planned to study in November but could not)
>> December 22 to January 23 (before interview) – Focused on reading 2 newspapers. Prepared all topics based on my DAF and Current Affairs.
>> March to May 2023 (before result)- Due to cyclical nature and unpredictability of this exam, I had started preparing for prelims)
i) Revised MIH, Pol, Eco, Geo and Env
ii) Covered PT 365 for Env, S&T and Pol as this time I had not read magazines.
iii) Gave 11 mock tests
Ideal Timeline (which I had planned, but could not follow)
>> May to October 2021 – Read all standard books + Complete Optional Subject
>> November – GS4 (ethics) + essay
>> December – GS1 (Along with Answer writing)
>> January 22 – GS2 (Along with Answer writing)
>> February – GS3 (Along with Answer
>> March to May – Prelims prep
>> After pre (July to September)
i) Write atleast 15-20 essays
ii) Give atleast 12 mock tests (3 sets of GS papers)
iii) Give atleast 3 sets of mock tests for Optional
iv) Prepare data bank for GS papers (data + stats + schemes + reports etc)
>> After Mains (October & November)
i) Read CA magazines
ii) Prepare short subjects – Society, Social Justice, Governance along with Optional
As you can see, I was not able to follow the ideal plan completely. However, what I did follow was close enough to what I aimed for.
Always remember, in competitive exams it is very important to plan things out. Both macro and micro planning is necessary to manage this exam well. Macro planning is what I have shared (Timeline for 1 year)
Keeping this macro plan in mind, one needs to prepare monthly and daily plans (micro) to make sure that everything fits into the macro plan.
If you have any doubts regarding macro/micro planning. Post them in the comments section, will address them.
Upcoming post – Preparing for mains (overview) and Essay strategy.