Anu Kumari, All India Rank – 2 UPSC Civil Services Examination 2017

edited August 2018 in Toppers Strategy

Detailed Strategy

Firstly, let me tell you. I did not have a plan when I started out. Rather I was full of insecurities, doubts and fears (only 2 attempts to give owing to age factors and the possibility of failure). Then, I picked bits and pieces from different people’s strategies. After going through peoples’ startegies, I tried to do what I felt were genuine and honest suggestion by them.

Further, different people have different backgrounds. Just to elaborate, I had working knowledge of Economics as I have done MBA Finance, so perhaps I was comfortable with Economy without reading 11th and 12th NCERTs or Ramesh Singh. I only did Sri Ram printed Economics notes . So, design your strategy accordingly.

First of all, I did not take any coaching for GS papers or for that matter my optional. But, I did join a test series for my optional Sociology at Nice IAS which helped me a lot and gave mock interviews at diff institutes.

Some tips to enrich your answers in mains –
  1. Substantiate with statistics and current affairs
  2. Use names of expert committees to suggest solutions
  3. Use diagrams to the extent possible
  4. Answer on multiple dimensions (social, political, economic, cultural etc)
  5. Use quotes (to the extent possible, even in GS 1,2,3 papers)
  6. Do underline to highlight important stuff

For GS 4 ie Ethics, collected good quotes by Swami Vivekanand, Gandhi, Einstein, Mandela etc, made them my laptop wallpapaers. I put syllabus in front of me and ensured that I have understood n covered each and every topic, especially the definition of each and every word written there.

I reflected back on my entire life and made notes of the good things and the bad things that I had done in life and tried to use real life examples in my answers. (eg- a real life example of moral dilemma is when your friend is cheating in exams and copying from you- on the one hand, it helps my friend improve her marks, on the other hand, this is morally wrong) This exercise was a good self reflection exercise too that helped my understand myself better.

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