Anu Kumari, All India Rank – 2 UPSC Civil Services Examination 2017
Detailed StrategyFirstly, 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 –
- Substantiate with statistics and current affairs
- Use names of expert committees to suggest solutions
- Use diagrams to the extent possible
- Answer on multiple dimensions (social, political, economic, cultural etc)
- Use quotes (to the extent possible, even in GS 1,2,3 papers)
- Do underline to highlight important stuff
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.