Naman Goyal UPSC Marksheet, Rank, Optional Notes

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Naman Goyal UPSC Topper
Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

Naman Goyal Biography

Hello everyone!! This is Naman Goyal. I have secured an AIR 30 in UPSC CSE 2021. My optional is Geography. I have done my B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from IIT Bombay and graduated in 2020. This was my 2nd attempt at CSE. The objective of this channel would be to ensure honest and reliable information regarding the complete preparation process. I would also be sharing my strategy, some notes, answer scripts, and other such relevant information. Most importantly, take this channel as a source of guide and based on your wisdom, realign your strategy.

Naman Goyal UPSC Booklist

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

Naman Goyal UPSC Marksheet

Below are my marksheets for the 2 attempts for your own perusal. My marks in the 2020 attempt has taught me invaluable lessons on how to reorient my approach. Major improvements were required in Essay, GS1 and optional.

Naman Goyal UPSC Marksheet
Naman Goyal UPSC Marksheet
Naman Goyal UPSC Marksheet
Naman Goyal UPSC Marksheet
Naman Goyal UPSC Marksheet
Naman Goyal UPSC Marksheet

Last 3-4 days strategy for UPSC CIVIL SERVICES Prelims Exam by Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

Prelims is round the corner, hence I would not take much time of the aspirants. But few general tips that can be followed for the coming 3-4 days and during exam:

  1. Only revise at the moment, don’t read anything new.
  2. Focus on revision of static part because, it is the static portion which is rewarding and predictable.
  3. I used to have atleast one reading of all the notes and current affairs in the last 3-4 days and quick revision of solutions of mock papers and PYQs
  4. Forgo the burden of marks you have got in the mocks, actual paper would be very different and give it with a sense of zeal and confidence
  5. Setup your body clock according to the exam timing and have light food for all the coming days. Take special care of the summer heat and drink plenty of water
  6. During exam – stick to your strategy of attempting the paper, don’t change it during the exam. I used to do 3 rounds of 60-35-25mins. In the 1st round, usual attempt would be 45-55 confident questions, 2nd round – 25Q with 2 options eliminated, 3rd round with only 1 option eliminated. This led to me attempting ~90Q both the years.
  7. Usually avoid factual questions which you are completely clueless about.
  8. Most importantly – read every word carefully, many questions can be solved just by reading each word and using elimination techniques.
  9. Manage time very well, as the papers have been becoming increasingly lengthy.
  10. For CSAT – those who are comfortable with the paper should atleast attempt last year question paper to understand the requirement. For others who might find certain sections difficult, start with your strength and find easy questions from the weak areas. Try to attempt over 50Q with considerable accuracy. Usually questions from reasoning and maths are easier.
  11. Above all, maintain calm in the exam. This one thing has helped me tremendously in scoring 120+ in 2020 prelims. Think as if you are giving another mock test and don’t get worried if any particular section is difficult. This will boost your confidence, reduce anxiety, decrease silly mistakes.
  12. Make the most of the days ahead and believe me that prelims is more of the game of managing the emotions well than knowledge testing. With right mindset, one can easily qualify.

You all would do great, all the best!!

Last 1 day strategy for UPSC CIVIL SERVICES Prelims Exam by Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

Tomorrow is an important day for many of you, and those 4 hours would judge your years and months of preparation. My advice would be to take tomorrow as any other day in your life. BE CALM, BE COMPOSED and BE CONFIDENT. Believe in yourself and have faith that no force on earth would be able to stop you tomorrow from giving your best.

Also, it is natural to be worried, even I was last year, but those who conquer the anxiety sail through. Enjoy the exam and the process, cherish each and every question and use it as an attempt to display your months and years of hardwork.

Believe in yourself that you are going to feature in the holy PDF and giving prelims is just a step towards that direction.

Prepare the essential documents, be on time, eat light, take care of summer heat, don’t begin to discuss between the two papers and stick to your own strategy.

All the best to each one of you, tomorrow is your day.
Hum honge kamyab!! 👍😄

Naman Goyal UPSC Topper Booklist


1.Art and culture – NCERT class 11 – An introduction to Indian Art, Nitin Singhania notes selective reading, CCRT website

2.Ancient History – RS Sharma Old NCERT, Themes in Indian History NCERT

3.Medieval History – Satish Chandra OLD NCERT, Themes in Indian History NCERT

4.Modern History – Spectrum. I found PPT notes of Pratik Nayak useful for me and made them my only notes

5.World History – Shreyans Kumat Sir notes, Vision IAS notes

6.Post Independence history – Nitin Sangwan book

7.Society – Smriti Shah Ma’am notes of Vision IAS, Class 12th book on Sociology, Current Affairs value addition

8.Geography – My optional, hence didn’t focus much for GS. Commonly followed sources are 6-12th NCERT, GC Leong, PMFIAS

9.Polity – Laxmikanth, value added material from Vision IAS, Current affairs

10.Governance – VisionIAS static material, ARC II notes of Anudeep Durishetty Sir

11.Social Issue – Vision IAS notes, Current affairs addition

12.International Relations – Current affairs, static notes from the internet

13.Economy – Ramesh Singh book, Class XI and XII NCERT, syllabuswise topics from Value added material of Vision IAS and Mrunal, Economic Survey, Budget, Govt Schemes

14.Environment – Shankar book, Current Affairs, Class XII Biology NCERT

15.Science And Tech – Current Affairs

16.Internal Security – Vision IAS notes, Current Affairs

17.Disaster Management – Covered in Optional, NDMA guidelines

18.Ethics – prepared my notes from lexicon and a terms table through google search

In terms of booklist, stick to your selected reading material. Don’t run after many sources and focus on repeated reading of selected books. Make notes out of every material you read and consolidate it into a single syllabuswise notes for easy retention and revision. For example, everything(static and current) related to Health should be together at one place.

I will share my Geography optional booklist and detailed strategy next.

Geography Optional booklist and strategy by Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

  1. My basic source of optional material has remained the foundation class notes of Himanshu Sir(Guidance IAS). I didn’t attend any foundation course but used his class notes available in the market for building the foundation of the optional.
  2. Combining content from the Himanshu Sir’s notes and various standard books, I have made my own notes of most topics in the syllabus.
  3. To further enrich my notes, I had attended the Guidance IAS 500+ classes and Edukemy’s MSP program. Both these programmes had helped me immensely in improving my writing style and practicing question-answers for geography optional. Notes of 500+ are also sometimes sufficient for certain topics which are otherwise not covered well in the foundation classes.
  4. I practiced many tests from Guidance IAS test series programme and the previous year questions which helped me develop a way to write the geography answers.
  5. I scored poor marks in my 2020 attempt, hence gave a lot of focus on geography optional. Hardwork in this optional in the right direction would pay you with good marks.
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Geography Optional [ Paper 1 ] booklist and strategy by Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

Paper 1:
Physical Geography:

  1. Geomorphology: Himanshu Sir class notes, Physical Geography by Savindra Singh, 500+ notes

It is a daunting task to cover and remember this huge chapter. One should strategise better for getting maximum fruit from this chapter. The whole Geomorphology can be divided into 2 broad sections – Tectonic Geomorphology and Landform Development.

Tectonic Geomorphology consists of topics like geomagnetism, earth’s interior, Geosynclines, Continental drift, Isostasy, Plate tectonics; mountain building etc. These are relatively easy topics to cover and UPSC is also asking simpler questions from these topics. Cover them from any good coaching material and Savindra Singh book. Make flowcharts and diagrams in your notes from books. Have a holistic mental map of these topics rather than trying to learn word by word. For example, in continental drift know the geographer, assumptions, postulates, application of theory, criticism, improvements etc. Covering this section would have a high cost to benefit ratio and reward you well.

Landform development is the most trickiest topic in the whole of Physical Geography and consists of geomorphic cycles and Landscape development ; Denudation chronology; Channel morphology; Erosion surfaces; Slope development ; Applied Geomorphology etc. Himanshu sir notes are a good source for these topics. Supplement this with Savindra Singh. Understand the theories of different geographers well and again prepare diagrams and flowcharts in your notes. Try to have a thorough understanding of trio of Davis, and theories of Penck, King etc. This section takes a lot of time to cover and the cost benefit ratio is also poor. Hence, I would recommend you to NOT spend disproportionately high time in covering these topics, and focus on other scoring section.

  1. Climatology: Climatology by Savindra Singh, Class notes and 500+ of Himanshu Sir

Cover each and every topic in detail. Conceptual clarity is required for good understanding of topics like planetary winds, atmospheric instability, jet streams, monsoon, air masses, frontogenesis etc. Watch some Youtube videos for better understanding. Some of the topics like Monsoon, cyclones, world climate classification, applied climatology are very frequently asked by UPSC, hence cover them in great detail.

Diagrams and maps are very important for this topic, make a separate notebook of only diagrams and practice them many a times. Topics like climate change, urban climate and applied climatology are being commonly asked by UPSC. Include anthropocentric and possibilistic viewpoints from perspectives in your answer here.

  1. Oceanography: Physical Geography by Savindra Singh, Class notes and 500+ of Himanshu Sir

Straightforward and easier chapter of Physical Geography. Cover each and every topic including bottom topography in great detail. Have maps and diagrams prepared for temperature, salinity profile, ocean deposits. Prepare theories of coral formation in great detail.

Some of the topics like marine resources, coral bleaching, law of the sea, pollution are frequently ignored by students, but these are frequently appearing in the exams. Have some good case studies prepared for these topics as well. For example, recent news on Great Barrier Reef as a case study, Deep Ocean Mission, Offshore energy plants etc. Use concepts of Political Geography in the law of the sea.

Oceanography and Climatology are high scoring and predictable topics from physical geography, hence prepare them well including the PYQs.

  1. Biogeography and Environmental Geography: Class notes and 500+ of Himanshu Sir, Internet

No single good source or a book exists for this topic, but Himanshu sir’s notes are good. Prepare soil extensively as questions are frequently asked. Factors affecting distribution of plants and animals is a major topic and prepare distribution given by a few geographers.

Prepare Ecology topics by preparing on each and every word of the syllabus. Some of the content can also be picked from the Environment of GS3. Climate change and impact of man on environment are commonly asked questions.

I will continue to address your doubts and queries in the coming posts. This series of strategy for geography optional including answer writing would continue as well.

Strategy for Human Geography by Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

  1. Perspectives in Human Geography: Class notes and 500+ of Himanshu Sir, RD Dikshit

We often find this chapter slightly difficult to comprehend and write. But this chapter plays crucial role in your preparation of Geography Optional. It gives real ‘perspectives’ of what geography entails and how has it evolved in time and space. Concepts of perspectives can also be directly used in various questions in paper 1 and paper 2, hence understanding it becomes crucial for a good score.

Start by reading notes of Himanshu Sir or attending any foundation course where the chapter is taught well. Once you have general idea of the topic, start reading relevant chapters from RD Dikshit and Sudipta Adhikari’s book. Directly reading the book would make the understanding of the topics difficult. For every topic in Perspectives, make notes of different geographers contribution, their thoughts, different currents in geography, leading institutions and countries, books and papers written by geographers, examples mentioned by geographers, their quotes, criticisms etc.

Most important is to understand the meaning and essence of terms like determinism, possibilism, radicalism, behaviouralism, quantitative revolution, humanism, areal differentiation, regional synthesis etc. Also prepare smaller topics like Environmentalism, HDI, culture, Religion well by linking them to basics of perspectives. Eg, culture to diffusion theory, possibilism, humanism etc

Cover all the topics of Human Geography really well, they take lesser time than Physical geography and are less technical and easy to understand.

  1. Economic Geography: Class notes and 500+ of Himanshu Sir, data from NCERTs

Prepare all the topics and link them with theories such as Whittlesey, Von Thunen, Haggerstand Diffusion theory, Limits to Growth, Malthusian, Marxist principles, Watts triangle for famine, Weber’s Industrial Location Theory, Ackermann etc. Most of the topics, hence, can be linked with one or more of such theories and mentioning them in the answer would add value.

Also, collect examples and case studies to be quoted in the questions. For example, I had the case study of Irish potato famine for the topic of famine, comparison of development indicators of different countries etc. Also make maps in all the questions and quote facts in topics like development, hunger, world trade etc.

  1. Population and Settlement Geography: Class notes and 500+ of Himanshu Sir, Models in Geography by Majid Husain
    Both these topics are high scoring and predictable. In population geography, understand the theories like Malthusian, Marxian, Neo-Malthusian, Demographic Transition Theory very well and use them in many questions. Diagrams related to age profile, dependency, DTT are very important. Collect maps with plots of global population distribution, density, life expectancy, fertility, literacy and all the demographic attributes and use them in question wherever feasible.

Case studies of countries can also be used in many questions. Use Indian case study from Census 2011, Japan/Russia for declining population, China for fertility, Africa for mortality reversals, Population policy of India etc. Use many examples in questions of migration and plot them on map. Also prepare social capital, well being from the internet.

For Settlement Geography, learn all the important theories like Primate city, rank size rule, concentric morphology, nuclear and sectoral morphology of cities, functional classification and use them repetitively. Definitions of conurbation, global city, urban agglomeration, rural urban fringe etc should be clear. Include from perspectives, contribution of different urban geographers in your answers.

Examples and case studies are very relevant here. Google for morphology of different world cities, problems faced by cities like Los Angeles, Jakarta, Delhi, solution and innovative methods employed by cities like Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Bengaluru. These can be sourced from UN Habitat documents. Give high focus on problems and remedies to urbanisation.

  1. Regional Planning: Class notes and 500+ of Himanshu Sir

Theories like Rostov model, Boudeville growth center, Cumulative causation, core periphery model etc should be prepared in detail and used wherever possible. Questions asked are not very difficult and can be answered by covering all the syllabus points. Examples/Case studies of regional planning like Damodar Valley, Aswan Dam, Delhi NCR planning, Panchayati Raj decentralisation, Resource curse etc can add value to the answers

  1. Models and theories: Models in Geography by Majid Husain

Questions are directly asked on various theories but more importantly using these in paper 1 and Paper 2 can significantly boost your marks. Prepare from the perspective of geographer, year of theory, books, assumptions, postulates, diagrams, examples, criticisms, comparison with other theories. Each of these theories should be at the fingertips and to be used wherever possible in different papers.

In the next few posts, I will detail out the strategy for Paper 2, answer writing strategy for Geography optional and the points to be kept in mind while preparing for this optional. Simultaneously, I’ll begin sharing my notes and tests.

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Geography Optional [ Paper 2 ] booklist and strategy by Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

Paper 2:

Sources: A Comprehensive Geography by D R Khullar, Current affairs compilation from Mains 365, Maps from Oxford Atlas, Case studies from Internet, Yojana, Geography and You, Class notes and 500+ of Himanshu Sir

For paper 2, content can be prepared from different coaching materials and books like D R Khullar, NCERTs etc. Supplement the content with current affairs as lately many questions have been asked from current affairs. For mapping practise, ‘India Through Maps’ book by Prem Patel is good to cover the static map entries, while map entries in current affairs are covered by different coaching institutions.

More important than content is the way of answer writing in the Paper 2. We generally tend to write GS kind of answers and end up scoring low marks. Hence, it is very essential to understand the demand of paper 2 and how to write a geographical answer to score maximum. I did the same mistake and after correcting it, I improved my P2 score from 88 to 132. I will discuss in detail on how to write a good geographical answer for P2 question through my mock test copies.

Answer writing strategy for Geography Optional by Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

Paper 1: There is a slight difference of points to be kept in mind while writing answers in paper 1 and 2. In paper 1, the understanding of different concepts and theories is very important. For physical geography answers, draw relevant diagram wherever possible and write in technical terms. For example, in a question on channel morphology, the examiner would look for terms like long profile, cross profile, hydraulic geometry, sediment load, bed and bank material, graded profile, bed topography like riffles, pools, meanders, knick points, sand bars, braided river, anabranches, vertical erosion, downward cutting, features like delta etc. If these are missing in your answers, you would lose marks.

Also, conceptual clarity is required for explanation of theories. Names of Geographers are equally important. Maps should be made in relevant areas. One can write in points or paragraph, based on the convenience.

In Human geography, explain the topic asked in question really well. Mention geographer’s name, use different theory to explain the concept, make diagrams, use many examples and case studies and add perspectives at a few places. For example, in a question on relevance of Malthus population theory – briefly mention the salient features of theory, make maps in support of the theory of overpopulated regions, use case studies of a few countries, use current affairs example such as COVID as a positive check, criticise the relevance of theory and mention about Marxist viewpoint and DTT.

Paper 2: Making a GS type of question into a geography answer is tricky and requires a lot of practise. I used to follow an acronym for every answer, PEFMCDT (Perspectives, Examples, Facts, Map, Case Studies, Diagram, theories) and try to include atleast a few of them in every answer. Eg, In a question of future of fossil fuels in India, draw a map of fossil fuels found in India, use facts of coal and crude consumption, use theories like Limits to Growth/Malthus carrying capacity/Growth Pole etc, case study on future of coal production, UNFCCC Data, renewable energy generation and capacity map, different govt schemes for renewable energy in your answer.

Some answers can be made geographical, simply by following the chapters of the syllabus. My acronym for this was – PRAITCSRP ( Physical Setting, Resources, Agriculture, Industries, Trade and transport, Cultural setting, Settlement, RDP, Political Geog). Make one point for each of these chapters and your answer would look geographical. For example, backwardness of North East India can be written through – harsh topography, forested area, lack of resources like flat land, shifting cultivation, lack of industrial development, poor railways, roadways connectivity, multiple ethnicities and tribes, geopolitical conflicts, insurgencies etc.

In conclusion, use of all these concepts would come with practise. Hence, write many PYQs and mock tests. You would improve with time and your answer would begin to reflect regional approach required. I will explain this further using my own answers later. Till then, carefully observe how I have utilised these in my answers from the test copies.

Naman Goyal UPSC Topper Notes

I will begin to share my notes from now. I would strongly advise you all to not treat these notes as your primary source to study the optional. Rather, use these notes to supplement your own notes by adding new points, facts, diagrams, maps, case studies etc from these.

I have made these notes from standard books, coaching notes, internet sources etc. Also, I try to keep my notes crisp and short for easy revision and quick completion. However, make your own notes based on your own comfort level. Also, I won’t be sharing my 500+ notes of GuidanceIAS as these are copyrighted material of the coaching.

Frequently asked questions by students to Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

I am addressing some of the doubts raised by the students on this group.

  1. How to plan for next 80-90 days till mains?

The focus should be on studying for mains rather than speculating prelims marks. Usually advisable practise is to cover complete optional at the beginning in the initial 25-30 days. This would cover a major portion of the preparation and help in multiple revision of optional later.

Once, a major portion of the optional is over, cover static and current affairs of GS and start with answer writing practise. It is advisable to start giving mocks by the next month. Depending on your practise and comfort with answer writing, one can target 10-15 mock papers to be given for GS before mains. Similarly, attempt Optional mocks as well.

Very important is to make a schedule(daily, weekly and monthly) of covering GS, Optional, their revision, tests etc to ensure timely completion of syllabus and multiple revisions.

  1. How to read and consolidate current affairs for GS and optional?

I have always followed The Hindu newspaper and read it daily. I also made notes of the newspaper in the online mode (Evernote) segregated chapter and subject wise. The second source I followed was the monthly current affairs magazine and Mains 365 of VisionIAS. I also added the current affairs from these to my static notes of different chapters.

For Geography optional, the above source along with Kosmos of Edukemy and newsletter of GuidanceIAS are a good source for current affairs. Always, think from the perspective of geographical theories while reading any current affairs.

Best Test Series for UPSC CSE Geography Optional by Naman Goyal

  1. Which test series are good for optional?

I had mostly written tests in GuidanceIAS. The questions framed are good, however there were some delay with respect to solution discussion. The evaluation is also good and the rank lists are uploaded. Other well known test series are Edukemy’s and Masterstroke that I was not a part of. Here, I am not endorsing any coaching, it’s based on my own experience.

  1. Which pen did I use? And should we draw with colour pens?

I used Hauser Sonic Gel pen. I felt comfortable with this pen. You can try different types of ball and gel pens to find your comfort.

I only used a single blue pen throughout my paper to write and draw diagrams. I couldn’t use different pens to save time, neither did I feel very comfortable with using coloured pens. However, using 2-3 different colors pens does highlight the diagram and map better.

  1. How to depict our answer in a flowchart?

Start with making flowchart in your notes. Whenever there are many points to be written, those can be written in different types of flowcharts(search google). It will become easy to use flowcharts with practise.

  1. What to observe from the topper’s copies?

Look at the following:
1.Structure of answer writing, use of IBC, subheadings
2.Number of points written in each subheading
3.Use of diagrams, flowchart, map
4.How crisp or detailed each point is
5.Use of technical terms, examples, case studies etc relevant to that subject
6.Content of the answer
7.Extra value addition through schemes, committees, way forward etc

Naman Goyal UPSC Topper Geography Optional Notes

I have shared my majority of notes of Geography Optional, a few left would be shared in due course of time. I won’t be sharing my Geomorphology, Climatology and Oceanography notes as they are scattered and difficult to understand for others. I will also share my diagram copy snippets.

I would recommend you to read my notes as synopsis of detailed notes and extract value addition from them. For detailed notes, you can read notes uploaded by Om Kant Thakur Sir. I also followed his notes and found them to be good. Below is the link to his channel.

Motivational Post by Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

The prelims results has been declared yesterday. For some of you who feel relieved to have clear this crucial stage of the exam, should put in their 100% for mains. Consider this as an opportunity to show your best and how you deserve to be a civil servant. Put in your highest dedication for the next 90 days and leave no stone unturned in your mains preparation.

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Some of you could not clear the prelims stage despite putting in the maximum efforts. I could understand how difficult this phase would be for you, but take some rest for a few days. Do whatever you can that can lighten your mood. I used to talk to my parents at length and that gave me relief during distress. I always used to follow the quote during my preparation – ‘Sometimes you win, other times you learn’. I learnt a lot from my Mains 2020 failure and restrategised my approach that helped me tremendously. I wish that with this renewed vigour, you all would emerge stronger and this failure would become your first step towards success.

Secret Preparation Strategy by Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

Timeline for preparation:

One should dedicatedly prepare for 9 months to 1 year before the prelims. In the first 2 months, focus should be on understanding syllabus and reading NCERTs. Make notes of the NCERTs so that you need not read them again. Also, one can start with watching current affairs Youtube videos of reputed coachings and read newspapers simultaneously to understand relevant material.

Next, one should start with reading the standard books. You can make notes of these books. By now, read newspapers like The Hindu or Indian Express properly and understand important news. One should try to complete the optional syllabus in this time as well. This exercise could take 5-6 months. Answer writing practice can be started in due course of time, once you have basic understanding of topics.

For the next 2-3 months, focus should shift to prelims. Multiple Revision of standard material is crucial to remember facts. Give many mocks and learn the art of elimination, attempting the paper, time management and enrich the content. Solve PYQs and strengthen the commonly asked topics. CSAT should not be ignored and practiced regularly for those finding some difficulty.

After prelims, start with covering the optional in the initial 20-25 days. With priority, complete any left out notes for topics not asked in prelims like governance, ethics, society, internal security etc. Along with revision of all GS papers, start giving mock tests. Write as much as you can with focus on improving on your mistakes. See topper’s copies and understand their methodology of answering. Also, consolidate your notes by including facts, diagrams, maps, committees, schemes in them. At the end, make short notes and write simulation tests. This timeline would vary for those doing coaching as well.

Strategy for UPSC GS Mains by Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

  1. I followed the books that I have already mentioned in an earlier post.
  2. I made notes for most topic or used topper notes for better understanding, quick and multiple revisions, addition of value added content, etc
  3. I began answer writing only after I covered the standard books. Initially, I wrote daily answers from InsightIAS and later shifted to PYQs.
  4. Current Affairs- Initially I saw Byju’s daily The Hindu analysis on Youtube for a month. Then later shifted to reading The Hindu newspaper by myself and making notes of them. I devoted 1.5hrs daily to newspaper. I also read VisionIAS monthly magazines, PT365 and Mains 365.
  5. Answer format- many points, less words was my philosophy. I would write 10-12 points in 10marks and 15-16 points in 15marks. My points would 1-2 line only and many points would include examples.
  6. Flowchart- They can add value to the answer and break the monotonous nature. I would make flowcharts in 30-40% of the answers. They can be table, star, circles, sequence etc.
  7. Introduction would be a definition, fact, recent happenings etc. While body would be divided into subsections addressing each part of the question. Conclusion should be made futuristic which can include way forward, recommendations, schemes etc.
  8. Try to multidimensionalize the answer by including political, social, economic, environmental, technological points etc.

How to prepare for Geography Optional Paper 2 map pointing by Naman Goyal UPSC Topper?

As already mentioned, Prem Patel’s book for static map entries can be followed. Prepare some of the frequently occurring areas like tourist places, rivers, lakes, peaks, passes etc in detail. For current affairs map entries, any good coaching material of map entries can be followed. Atlas should also be read regularly.

How to consolidate notes of different sources into one?

For note making, make notes topicwise mentioned in the syllabus. If you read more than one source for any topic then add extra content in the originally prepared notes rather than preparing separate notes from each source. Similarly, add current affairs in the static part itself.

How to evaluate your own answers?

One should evaluate the answers after seeing the model solutions. The parameters of evaluation are structure, content, use of relevant maps, diagrams, flowchart, case studies etc. The answer should follow a regional approach. One should also closely follow topper’s copies to understand their way of answer writing and compare them with yours.

Should You rely completely on my notes?

No, you should only take my notes as reference to collect some additional points, maps, diagrams etc. One can also look for some topics which are missed in your own notes.

Answers written by Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

Above attached answer

Q.  Assess fossil fuel reserves of India in terms of current and future demands of energy.

Ans. Introduction – mentioned facts regarding use of fossil fuels for power generation in India

Body –

  1. Started by drawing a detailed map showing regional reserves of coal, gas and crude
  2. Also tried to make the map informative by mentioning facts regarding each of the major regions. This makes the answer geographical with regional approach.
  3. Writing about future demands of energy, I linked concepts of Malthus to availability. Also, use of geopolitical challenges to fossil fuels use.
  4. Then, mentioned a case study on Limits to Growth principle for coal availability(geographical)
  5. Use of technocentric environmentalism perspective to show how future demand of energy would shift to newer fossil sources and renewable energy.

Q. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) has the potential to transform rural India. Comment.

Ans. Introduction – mentioned words from the syllabus like Command Area Development, Integrated watershed development program

Main Body –

  1. Made a map showing need of irrigation in India and a graph
  2. Use of concepts of dryland farming(syllabus), malthus, monsoon to show need of irrigation augmentation
  3. Discussed concepts of PMKSY using a case study on Ralegan Siddhi
  4. Also, mentioned Per drop more crop, Har khet ko paani. Used case study of Punjab
  5. Concept of Multi Level planning (Syllabus)

Conclusion can be suggestive or a way forward

Timetable for UPSC Preparation by Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

Regarding planning and time management while studies, I used to follow the below strategy.

I would not plan my day for every hour, but I would have broad targets for a day and for 3 days. For instance, I would decide that I would complete revision of Internal security today and in the next 3 days I will cover disaster management, environment and give a sectional test on the 3rd day. By giving myself targets in the form of tests, I would try to cover the syllabus of the test in the assigned period. Similarly, you can identify your strengths and give yourself targets and plan accordingly. Don’t hope for 100% success in implementation of these plans, but have a pragmatic understanding and try to achieve maximum out of them. Planning and implementing these religiously is a very important aspect of UPSC preparation, therefore plan your work and work your plan.

Below is a sample of my way of planning for the last month before Mains.

Last 1 week strategy for Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

With few weeks left for Mains exam, revision should be in full swing. One must align revisions with the mock tests. For instance, make a plan to cover all the portion of GS1 and GS 2 in the next 5 days and give full length tests on day 6. One can also begin with simulations of the real exam. For this, give yourself 7-10 days to complete revision of all GS papers and attempt all the 4 papers in the same time schedule as the actual mains in 2 days. This will improve your endurance and make it easier to complete the actual exam. Similarly, do revisions of optionals.

Also, in the last few days, making short notes becomes very important for quick revisions just before exam. You can make 4-5 pages of short notes of major subjects and only include things that you don’t remember well like facts, diagrams, terminologies, definitions etc. Make them very concise. I have included a sample short notes of optional for reference.

Wishes to students by Naman Goyal UPSC Topper

Best wishes to all the aspirants giving Mains tomorrow. For the next 10 days, give your best. You might not feel fully prepared but this is very normal at this time. Go with full confidence and a smile on your face. At the same time, take sufficient time to travel to the exam centre. Eat healthy and easy to digest food. Take adequate sleep.

Stick to the strategy you have developed to attempt the paper. Be mindful of time and space management during exam. Revise the short notes and only very important materials like facts, schemes, committees, articles which you tend to forget. The foremost thing is to control the anxiety and give the papers like any other mock paper. You will do wonders with a calm mind.

Again, all the best for the exams. May you all shine like the brightest stars.