Table of Contents
- 1 Shubhankar Bala UPSC TOPPER Booklist
- 2 How to start UPSC CSE Preparation by Subhankar Bala IAS
- 3 Subhankar Bala IAS Booklist
- 4 Subhankar Bala IAS Booklist for UPSC CSE Mains
- 5 Electrical Engineering Optional Booklist for UPSC CSE by Subhankar Bala IAS:
- 6 Which coaching is best for UPSC CSE by Subhankar Bala IAS
- 7 Is it possible to crack UPSC with job – Subhankar Bala IAS?
- 8 Which optional subject to Choose for UPSC CSE by Subhankar Bala IAS?
- 9 Best Strategy for clearing prelims exam by Subhankar Bala IAS?
- 10 How to move forward to the Mains and interview stage – Subhankar Bala IAS?
- 11 Is language a barrier for students of vernacular language medium students in UPSC CSE – Subhankar Bala IAS?
- 12 How to sustain energy for a long time Durishetty UPSC CSE Preparation by Subhankar Bala IAS?
- 13 Daily Timetable for UPSC CSE Exam by Subhankar Bala IAS
- 14 How to track Your study during UPSC CSE Preparation by Subhankar Bala IAS
- 15 How to prepare for Current Affairs – Subhankar Bala IAS?
- 16 How to prepare notes for UPSC CSE by Subhankar Bala IAS?
- 17 Strategy for electrical engineering Optional by Subhankar Bala IAS:
- 18 2 Important things for UPSC CSE Preparation by Subhankar Bala IAS
Shubhankar Bala UPSC TOPPER Booklist
How to start UPSC CSE Preparation by Subhankar Bala IAS
How can I start the preparation?
It is a crucial step as starting with a wrong step reduces chance of success i the long run
Ask yourself these questions
- Are you motivated enough to take a journey which may last for 2-3 years
- What are the possible challenges with respect to finance , job etc that may come during this time
- Do you really like studying and learning new things?
If you get positive response in these questions then jump into the most adventurous and insightful journey.
- First things is to have an idea which is your target year which is going to be your best attempt. ( Suggestion : from the start of the journey to cover the full syllabus for mains it may take 1 year to 1.5 year )
- Do some research about different optional subject that you may choose from ( Don’t get discouraged by other people that this or that optional subject doesn’t fetch marks. If you really like a subject you will surely get marks) . If you see past year top 100 rankers optional you will get almost all common optional with almost equal frequency.
- Make list of books which need to be covered over time. (although along with books there are many other sources which one gets to know over time)
- Before you start preparation just read 2-3 question paper of UPSC to get some idea which questions are asked in UPSC ( it is okay to not be able to answer most of the questions)
Subhankar Bala IAS Booklist
Sources that i followed :
Prelims : ( also valid for mains )
- Notes and lectures of Mrunal sir
- NCERT ( read in the beginning of the preparation)
- Pt 365 and Mains 365 by Vision IAS
- Schemes related Pt365
- Laxmikanth (most important)
- Pt 365 and mains 365 by Vision IAS
- Recent laws and policies ( from internet and current affairs magazines)
- Shankar IAS
- PT 365 and mains 365
- Visions notes for disaster management
- Spectrums ( most important)
- Class 11 and 12 books of Tamilnadu board for medieval and ancient
- Pt 365 for art and culture
- Vision notes for world history
- Rajtanil Madam’s lecture (youtube) (make your own notes)
- NCERT class 11 and 12 ( important)
Subhankar Bala IAS Booklist for UPSC CSE Mains
Specifically for mains
- Indian culture : Vision notes , Nitin Singhania ( for some topics only)
- Modern history : spectrums
- Post independence : Spectrums and India after Gandhi (May read)
- World history : Vision notes
- Society : NCERT and vision notes
- Effect of globalization : vision notes
- Physical geography : NCERT , and current affairs
- Natural resources : Mrunal sir’s website
- Geophysical phenomena : NCERT and Rajtanil madam’s lecture
- Polity topics : Laxmikanth , current affairs , mains 365
- Development process , NGO , SHG : Vision noets
- Welfare scheme , poverty etc : Mrunal sirs note
- Governance : Vision notes , 2nd ARC
- International relation : internet , mains 365
- International institutions : internet , mains 365
- Economy : Mrunal
- Budgeting : Mrunal
- Crops, cropping pattern : Internet, NCERT
- PDS : vision notes
- Food processing : vision notes
- Land reform : vision notes
- Infrastructures : Mrunal
- Investment models : Mrunal, internet
- Science and tech : mains 365, internet
- Conservation, Pollution : Shankar IAS, Vision notes
- Disaster management : Vision notes
- Extremism and internal security : Vision notes
- Border management and security forces : Vision notes, Internet
- Lexicon (read basic definitions)
- Made definitions and examples of 25-30 basic words ( like : honesty, fortitude, uprightness..)
- Read toppers copy to get idea about how to write case studies
- Prepare and think of a lot of examples ( from real life, history, personal experience etc..)
- Prepare quotes which can be put in answers
- Prepare basic information about important 15-20 topics
- Along with good number of quotes
Electrical Engineering Optional Booklist for UPSC CSE by Subhankar Bala IAS:
- Circuits theory :
- A Chakrabarti
- There is enough number of solved questions and practice questions
- Killer series Questions by Siddharth Sir ( Unacademy)
- A Chakrabarti
- Signals and systems
- B P Lathi
- P Ramesh Babu (Numericals)
- Killer series questions by Siddharth Sir ( Unacademy)
- E M Theory
- Siddharth Sir teaching and notes
- Sadiku ( numericals and theory)
- Analog Electronics
- A P Gupta ( some topics)
- J B gupta (Some topics)
- Sidharth Sir teaching and notes ( Unacademy)
- Gate academy teaching Dhande sir ( Youtube)
- Digital Electronics
- A P Godse ( almost all syllabus)
- College notes (NITW)
- Energy Conversion
- Ashfaq Hussain ( numericals and theory)
- Pawan Chandani Sir teaching and notes (Unacademy)
- Power electronics and drives
- Sai Baba sir teaching and notes ( Unacademy)
- P S Bhimbra ( numericals and some theory)
- Analog Communication
- Siddharth sir teaching and notes ( Unacademy)
- Lathi Ding Gupta ( some theory and numericals )
- Killer series questions Siddharth sir ( Unacademy)
- Control systems
- Anand Kumar ( almost full syllabus)
- Ankit goyel sir teaching for compensator, controller, state variables ( Unacademy)
- Microprocessor and microcontrollers
- Ramesh Gaonkar ( theory, Questions)
- Vishal Soni sir teaching for questions and numericals ( Unacademy)
- Measurement and Instrumentation
- A K Sawhney ( Read only required chapters based on syllabus)
- Madeeasy notes ( source internet)
- Sai Baba sir notes ( unacademy)
- Power systems
- Pawan Chandani sir teaching and notes ( Unacademy)
- NPTEL lectures ( for theory)
- C L Wadhwa ( numericals and some theory)
- Power system protection
- Power system by J B Gupta ( only relevant chapters for theory)
- Power system protection teaching and notes by kreatryx ( Youtube)
- Power system protection by Badri Ram ( relevant chapters)
- Digital Communication
- Vishal Soni sir teaching and notes (Unacademy)
- Sanjay Sharma ( theory and numericals)
- Overall :
- CSE previous years solved questions ( Madeeasy)
- ESE electrical engineering paper 2 past year solved questions ( Madeeasy)
- Mock test from Next IAS
- Solve previous year ESE, CSE electrical papers
Which coaching is best for UPSC CSE by Subhankar Bala IAS
Do one need to take coaching?
- It depends on availability of coaching centre near you and your financial ability
- This exam can be cleared without coaching
- You need to follow right resources and right attitude towards exam
- If you have our basics clear which you have read in class 9-10 ( history, geography) etc then you can just study books by yourself and understand the concepts
- I did not know basics of some of the subjects like Economy ( I took online classes for economy in Unacademy)
- According to me if you are consistent enough and follow proper routine you can complete the syllabus without any coaching
- You can collect almost all notes from internet , or if you join any test series they provide you with their basic notes
- Rest can be collected from different websites and other internet sources.
- Coaching can only make a good foundation for you, Even if you take coaching you need to prepare notes and prepare by yourself to write answers and to remember the tricks required for prelims.
- If one doesn’t take coaching one thing i will suggest is to stay with someone who also shares the same dream and zeal. It helps as studying and discussing together with friends helps to cross check our knowledge and also helps to know different methods of other people.
Is it possible to crack UPSC with job – Subhankar Bala IAS?
Yes, It is possible.
But for that one needs long term commitment and it may take longer to over the syllabus
One may also get more indulged in the job and preparation may take backstage
I didn’t have this confidence to continue with the job so I left the job to give my 100% time for preparation.
There are many toppers who cleared the exam with flying colors while doing a job.
Which optional subject to Choose for UPSC CSE by Subhankar Bala IAS?
- It depends on some factor
- One’s graduation subject
- Confidence in subject
- Interest for technical/scientific subjects
- Ability to articulate ( for literature)
- There are some online videos that one may refer to decide based on their background and interest
- Talking about Electrical engineering
- Its syllabus is huge as it contains both electrical and electronics subjects
- I had to cover electrical subjects by myself
- It ha some advantages
- If you can cover syllabus extensively you are likely to attempt more questions with high accuracy → more marks
- Technical subject : so after lot of other type of reading you may solve numericals when you don’t want to study anything
- You may prepare for IES/ GATE etc exams along with it as a backup
- Disadvantage :
- If your basics are not clear it may backfire as wrong answers may yield very low marks
- Takes quite some time to cover the syllabus
- Need to practice regularly to get more marks.
Best Strategy for clearing prelims exam by Subhankar Bala IAS?
- Don’t read important books as stories . Read each line in important books as a source of information, Don’t just rush faster to complete the books
- Read same book 10 times rather than reading 10 books 1 times
- Don’t go for a mock test of one subject immediately after reading it. Some memories are volatile. Let it go away and go for the exam after 3-4 days to know how much you have actually remembered.
- Go for 15-20 mock tests with some sectional and some full length
- Dont give exam as a platform for learning. Give it as a final test with time limit and all other seriousness etc.
- After each exam analyse answers and your accuracy in guessing and 50:50 properly to enhance your performance in actual exam
- Learn the technique of elimination of options and some other techniques which are required to come to answer without knowing it properly.
- Read previous years UPSC question paper to get a sense of the type of questions asked in UPSC.
- Try not to make any mistake in 30-35 easy questions asked in prelims rather than trying to attempt and correct tough ones.
How to move forward to the Mains and interview stage – Subhankar Bala IAS?
- Preparation of mains is slightly different from Prelims
- In prelims we remember all small minute facts but in mains we try to remember the bigger picture and analysis along with important data
- One should first try to complete the basic syllabus of Base subjects as mentioned above before jumping into answer writing practice
- After that I would suggest writing mains answers of 4-5 questions daily from different sources.
- I used to read questions along with answers from Insightsonindia secure synopsis in the morning and used to write the answers in evening or night to test my memorizing skill and then recheck the answers with original text and add missing parts.
- Revise once a week all the answers of the past week. And once a month past month’s answers swiftly.
- This helps to improve articulation in answers and also helps to form structures in answers. Practice putting maps and diagrams, flow chart in answers from the early stage.
- Regargin News paper : In the beginning stage one should read news paper but i do not think one should give too much time to read each line of it as without basic concepts clear it will be tough to understand the whole picture. I would suggest read for 45-60 minutes and focus on important topics.
- Over time when you will get to know flow of the news and past event then you will automatically read it for longer period and actually understand it and will be able to use that knowledge in the exam. REMEMBER YOU ARE GOING TO WRITE THE EXAM AFTER 8-10 MONTHS OR SO. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO REMEMBER NEWSPAPER ARTICLES TILL THAT TIME. SO JUST FORM IDEA ABOUT THE EVENTS HAPPENING AROUND THE GLOBE FROM NEWS PAPER AND MAKE NOTES FROM OTHER SOURCES ABOUT THOSE.
- PREPARE NOTES FOR ALL TOPICS
- Watch debates from RSTV (Now Sanshad TV) , you may write down if some important viewpoint is found.
- Whenever any important event comes up, gradually put information about it in the notes (preferably digital format) , which will finally create a good information base for your answer.
- Essay : Don’t start preparation of essay in early stage as essay needs lot of information and perspective and it takes time to build those.
- I have shared some of my essays from there you can take idea about the topics that you needs to prepare.
- Prepare a lot of quotes which you can use in essay. ( I have provided some already)
- Think in different lines as given in the notes. Prepare your own essay short notes with your own examples and story.
- I used to write essay in very simple language. I tried to make is as simple as possible . But I always tried to create a flow in the essay where the reader feels continuation while reading the essay and do not feel stressed while reading those.
- Previous toppers also suggested to use simple language and avoid GRE type of world too much in the essays. I believe UPSC is trying to see you diversity in thought and perspective and overall articulation and arrangement skills. Not just your stock of words.
- For the interview stage I will share information in another document.
Is language a barrier for students of vernacular language medium students in UPSC CSE – Subhankar Bala IAS?
- It depends on the basic knowledge
- I am from a Bengali medium school where I studied till class 12.
- It is true that it creates some primary barriers in the beginning to understand and express everything in English, But it is temporary.
- After 3-4 months you will be able to understand everything.
- If you consistently put effort into improving your stock of words and read good articles your articulation will become decent.
- Its just language should not be a barrier to express yourself
- It is not a literature exam and even in essays I write and many other toppers suggest writing in simple language.
- UPSC checks your knowledge and point of view and attitude not your literary skill.
- Don’t treat language as a separate barrier but treat it as a part of the overall journey and improve your vocabulary and literary skills as it is going to help throughout life as suggested by seniors.
How to sustain energy for a long time Durishetty UPSC CSE Preparation by Subhankar Bala IAS?
- ROUTINE AND DISCIPLINE IS THE KEY
- If you are a person who likes to stay and follow a routine it is going to be relatively easy for you.
- Prepare monthly and weekly and daily routines which will help you to track your efficiency and will help you to be on track.
- I feel it is important to be fit physically to make your brain work better . I used to do exercise regularly ( sometimes badminton, sometimes freehand exercise , sometimes gym etc.)
- These activities help to get relaxed and gain energy for a longer time.
- There will be times when your energy and interest will go down. During this time I used to totally cut myself off from studies (except newspaper) and probably go out in some trip ( 2-3 days) or watched movies ( continuously) .
- This helps create a craving for studies again
- Don’t get bogged down by other people’s marks in mock tests . Everyone is in a different stage of preparation. Your target is the final exam . So improve yourself.
- Also there can be a fair bit of difference between marks in UPSC and mock tests. So don’t get overjoyed or demotivated by those.
- I would suggest people to stay away from social media ( facebook, instagram etc.) . Maintain contact with close friends and family and teachers etc as they are really helpful throughout the journey ( especially when you feel down).
- Following the same routine everyday and not following any routine both reduces efficiency , So Play with your routine . modify it based on your day and time.
- Don’t just study for 10-11 hours. Study in a smart manner.
- Don’t just get fascinated by the end result or aim. ENJOY THE JOURNEY. I feel if you don’t enjoy the journey it is very tough to go along this road. Enjoy all the new things you are learning.
Daily Timetable for UPSC CSE Exam by Subhankar Bala IAS
Approx daily schedule :
It changes with time and based on which exam is near:
But if prelims is not very near and prep is on for mains one of my typical day looked like this :
Newspaper : 1 hour
GS subjects (2) : 2-3 hours
Mains answer writing and check : 2.5 hours
Online debate and other programs : 1 hour
Exercise/sports : 1-1.5 hours
Sleep : 8 hours ( i give myself ample sleep as it helps my brain to retain maximum information)
- One of the most important factors in this calculation is : “DON’T CHEAT YOURSELF” .
- Many times some just sit in front of the table and count all those hours as study hours.
- I personally feel that to study for 12 hours properly one needs to sit for 14-15 hours because between two subjects and topics one needs to take rest.
- I would also suggest not to study continuously for long as it reduces efficiency.
- Based on experts’ advice (Youtibe) they suggest we should take a 5-8 minutes break after every 30 minutes of study.
- Use technology to track your daily and monthly progress.
How to track Your study during UPSC CSE Preparation by Subhankar Bala IAS
Few screenshots of my tracking process :
How to prepare for Current Affairs – Subhankar Bala IAS?
- There are different approaches people follow for current affairs. I will share mine which itself changed over time.
- Initially I used to read daily current affairs from https://www.insightsonindia.com/ and used to write down important daily news in physical copy.
- It is possible in the beginning of the journey , But as you cover more syllabus it becomes tough to physically write things down.
- I Used to follow monthly vision ias Magazines for current affairs and used to highlight important data and other things in the pdf itself. One should revise those pdfs every 2-3 months.
- Finally, when you will have enough command in current affairs after doing this for 1-1.5 years, You may just follow the yearly Pt365 of vision IAS or any other coaching centre for comprehensive current affairs for the year.
- For prelims it is desirable to know events of the last 2 years.
How to prepare notes for UPSC CSE by Subhankar Bala IAS?
- Notes are a crucial part of this preparation as before exam one cannot revise all the books that he/she had read
- For All topics of mains prepare online ( preferably) note in one note or other note making softwares.
- For basic and status parts prepare proper notes for mains answers with data
- Enrich the notes over time with additional data, additional examples etc.
- For any important dynamic event, gradually add relevant information ( for mains) in the notes so that finally you have all the information in place for the answer.
- It is desirable to create your own notes . Don’t just take and use others’ notes. When you create your own notes you remember the relevance of each statement written there.
- Don’t make your notes very long which will not be helpful in the long run.
- I will also encourage everyone to find a partner who aspires to the same dream with the same zeal . I personally feel having discussions with a friend on a regular basis helps to enhance the knowledge and helps to know other’s tricks to remember things.
- Also analyzing performance in the same exam helps to find ones mistakes easily and helps to improve upon those.
- Before exams cross questioning by friends helps to check the volatility of our knowledge. It also helps in making knowledge with respect to Maps stronger.
- With a friend both can jointly create and share notes which often saves time.
- Having a discussion group is a must for the Interview stage.
Strategy for electrical engineering Optional by Subhankar Bala IAS:
- I studied Electronics and Communication engineering so i had to learn few subjects from scratch like power electronics, power systems, electrical machines etc.
- In my opinion one should target the electrical engineering from the beginning of the journey as it takes quite a good amount of time to finish it.
- IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO MAKE AND KEEP NOTES OF EACH SUBJECT.
- Target 3 subjects at a time. Give 2-2.5 hours per day per subject. Most of these subjects will get finished within 30-40 days in this fashion.
- There are total 14 subjects in 2 papers so within 6-7 months one can expect to finish the basic studies. ( one may take 8-9 months or so based on time availability)
- Follow the books as mentioned for each subject to practice numericals regularly.
- For some subjects i took unacademy courses as a reference.
- I find Siddharth Sabarwal Sir, Sai Baba sir, Ankit Goel sir’s courses to be very effective for civil service exam although they primarily teach for ESE.
- When you are doing any subject don’t leave any subtopic alone. As UPSC can ask questions from topics from where they have not asked for years.
- Make clean notes along with some numericals in good quality copies which can last for 2-3 years as later on just notes are there to revise the basics.
- You can also follow NPTEL for some subjects , they are equally good. Some of them do not have that many numericals . So in that case you need to practice numericals separately.
- Give ample time to properly understand the basic of a subject in the beginning itself, Don’t just write notes and forget about it as it would yield nothing in future.
- After you finish all your subjects , practice numericals regularly from various sources.
- I used to give 2-4 hours depending on the importance of other subjects regularly for Numericals and revision.
- I have mentioned some in the doc too.
2 Important things for UPSC CSE Preparation by Subhankar Bala IAS
My Two Cents :
- Two most important things required for this exam self confidence and persistence
- My two cents for aspirants :
- Try to live a life of routine. As it will help even during service
- Don’t neglect your health during your preparation phase. Doing some kind of physical exercise helps in the preparation as well.
- Keep friends close who are positive, supportive towards your goal.
- This was my wallpaper quote which helped me :
- God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
- One very influential poem that i believe everyone should read :
- “If ” –by Rudyard Kipling