CSE 2021: Plan / Strategy / Daily Routine - ForumIAS

CSE 2021: Plan / Strategy / Daily Routine

Didn't clear Mains so now I'll be posting here

25/03/21

Optional - 3 hours done

Current affairs class - 3 hours done

Newspaper - done


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26/03/21

Managed to hit all my targets today

Maths optional (Modern Algebra) 30 pages

Current affairs magazine 10 pages

Current affairs class 2 hours

Newspaper


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27/03/21

I had a productive day. Did Maths 40 pages, Newspaper, one current affairs class and 10 pages of CA magazine.

28/03/21

I tried to wake up early. But it's so damn difficult! I guess once SFG starts, the discipline will be better.
I've been sluggish throughout the day. Hoping posting here would give me the extra fire needed.

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29/03/21

Maths (35 pages modern algebra) ->done

CA magazine 10 pages ->done

CA class ->done

Newspaper ->done

Holi ->not done :P Agle saal mnayenge ab

Gonna start prelims prep full on from tomorrow 

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30/03/21

SFG test syllabus ->done

PYQs related to topic ->done

Maths (Modern Algebra 35 pages) ->did only 20 pages

CA magazine 10 pages ->done

CA class ->done

Tomorrow onwards, the grind intensifies as I wake up earlier than I have for ages (6:45 am). Over time aiming to bring that to 5:30

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31/03/21

SFG test 1 + review ->done

SFG test 2 syllabus + PYQs ->done

Newspaper ->done

Maths Modern Algebra 16 pages ->done

CA class ->not done

CA magazine 10 pages ->only 2 pages done

Waking up early meant spending the entire morning sleepy-headed until I could finally take an afternoon nap. I guess changing my sleep patterns would lead to a rough few days initially

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01/04/21

SFG Test 2 + review ->done

SFG Test 3 Syllabus ->done

PYQs ->done

CA class ->75% done

CA magazine ->20% done

Newspaper ->done

Maths 18 pages ->0% done

Based on how my day went, I'm reminded of this quote - "Most people overestimate what they can do in a day, and underestimate what they can do in a month" I hope this proves true by the time exams come

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The past four days were slow, mainly because of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. 

I managed to complete SFG syllabus for next test, review of previous test, Newspaper, Current Affairs 2 classes + IR CA Sept and Oct, Maths 14 pages

Could have done at least double that if time was properly utilised

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My experience has been that once I work really hard for 3-4 days, by the fifth day I'm completely drained out with no motivation to study. Do you also experience something similar? How do you cope? I'm thinking having one day a week as a light day with good rest and minimal study. Any other advice?
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5/4/21

SFG test + review ->done

SFG syllabus + PYQs ->done

Maths Modern Algebra finished

CA magazine ->40% done

Newspaper ->done


6/4/21

Targets for the day are

SFG Syllabus

CA Class

CA magazine (IR of Nov + Dec)

Newspaper

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5/4/21

SFG test + review ->done

SFG syllabus + PYQs ->done

Maths Modern Algebra finished

CA magazine ->40% done

Newspaper ->done


6/4/21

Targets for the day are

SFG Syllabus

CA Class

CA magazine (IR of Nov + Dec)

Newspaper

Congratulations on finishing Modern Algebra!! :P :P


Thanks!! :P

It took me more than a month just to go through it. Now I'm trying to do Real Analysis also before Prelims. Don't know how possible that will be. 

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7/4/21

SFG syllabus ->done

Newspaper ->done

CA class ->done

CA IR Nov, Dec, Jan ->done

Hope my streak of productive days builds up

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8/4/21

SFG test, SFG syllabus ->done

CA class ->done

CA IR Feb ->done

Newspaper ->done

Doing just the prelims portion is taking up almost the entire day. I don't think doing optional in this time would be feasible. Will try to squeeze some portions in anyway.

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9/4/21

Modern History - Later Mughals, Succession States, Advent of Europeans ->80% done

Newspaper ->done 75%

CA revision ->done 50%

Guests came home disrupting the entire flow. Without making these excuses, however, could have squeezed in an hour or two more

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Omensaid

» show previous quotes

You can give a try to online study sessions. Study with me on youtube or twitch can be helpful. 

 I'll second that. I used Study with me sessions on Youtube during lockdown, particularly the live ones. Helped me out of my inertia. 

There are also Zoom, Google Meet sessions where you can participate and study with strangers. It's a bit more involved than watching streams on youtube. 
You can check this site ->https://www.mooclab.club/groups/24-7-virtual-study-space.129/


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10/04/21

Did Modern History up to Revolt of 1857

CA class + revision

11/04/21

Was a rest day with some time spent studying Modern History

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Omensaid

@Omen libraries won't work for my place but Thank you :)


You can give a try to online study sessions. Study with me on youtube or twitch can be helpful. 

I'll second that. I used Study with me sessions on Youtube during lockdown, particularly the live ones. Helped me out of my inertia. 

There are also Zoom, Google Meet sessions where you can participate and study with strangers. It's a bit more involved than watching streams on youtube. 
You can check this site ->https://www.mooclab.club/groups/24-7-virtual-study-space.129/

@Wordsmithyy 

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14/04/21

Modern History British laws + National movement up to 1915 ->done

Newspaper ->done

PYQs (40 questions) ->done

Vision Test 6 (50 Qs) ->done

Maths optional (30 mins) ->done

CA class (1 hour) ->done

CA magazine polity Dec ->done


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15/04/21and16/04/21

Completed all my targets (Modern history up to Independence, Newspaper, PYQs, Vision Test, CA magazine + revision of CA notes)

Corona sucks. Seeing so many people affected is numbing. Hope you get through this in one piece

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27/04/21

Environment Red Book Chapters 7 & 8 ->done

Current Affairs class ->done

Current Affairs magazine 10 pages ->don

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Shifted to my home state as Delhi's situation was worsening. Hence missed out on updating here for some time although studies went on as normal

04/05/21

Eco -5 chapters of Sriram

S&T - CA Oct and Nov

Newspaper

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5/5/21

Eco 2.5 chapters (had planned for 4 chapters) 

Current Affairs 25% of planned Newspaper done 

PYQs not done 

6/5/21

Eco 6 chapters done 

PYQs 75% done 

Current Affairs 20 pages done 

Newspaper done 

7/5/21

Eco 4 chapters done 

PYQs not done 

Current Affairs only one-third done 

Newspaper done 

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10/05/21

Ancient History notes target 40 pages ->done 32

Newspaper ->done

PYQs ->done

CA target 20 pages ->done 13

Could have done better but distracted by a lot of things

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11/5/21

Ancient history notes 30 pages ->done 25 pages

Eco Current Affairs 2 months ->done 

Current Affairs class ->done 

Newspapers ->done 

PYQs not done 

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13/05/21

Ancient, Medieval from Guptas upto Bahmani ->done

PYQs of these portions ->done

Current affairs class ->done

Environment CA September ->done

Newspaper ->done


Thank you people for helping me find my consistency. And welcome new members. Hope this place helps you immensely. 

1.8k views

13/05/21

Medieval History Mughals Marathas ->done

A&C architecture ->not done

PYQs ->done

Env CA Oct, Nov ->done; Dec ->not done

Newspaper ->done

Wasn't as productive a day as usual. Once the news of the postponement came in, hardly studied anything.

Gonna start with Mains prep from tomorrow

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14/5/21

Maths linear Algebra ->23 PYQs done 

Current Affairs class - >done 

Newspaper - >done 

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@nerdfighter You're doing so great! Keep up the intensity! 

How do you measure your time? Are you using an app? 

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15/05/21

Inspired by@nerdfighter , I've decided to time my sessions as well

Maths Linear Algebra PYQs ->6 hours

Current Affairs 2 classes ->3 hours 31 minutes

Newspaper ->26 mins

Total ->9 hours 57 mins

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15/05/21

Inspired by@nerdfighter , I've decided to time my sessions as well

Maths Linear Algebra PYQs ->6 hours

Current Affairs 2 classes ->3 hours 31 minutes

Newspaper ->26 mins

Total ->9 hours 57 mins

Looks like a productive day. Keep it up. :)

___

There are some things we should be mindful of when we are counting hours though. Somw time back, I wrote aboyt this. I am just copying and pasting it here.

___

I haven’t been studying as much as I should. Heck, I haven’t even been studying as much as I think I have been. In a week, I manage a day with 10+ hours of study, about 2 or 3 days with 7+ hours of study & the remaining days with less than 5 hours of study. With these efforts I wouldn’t even reach Delhi, let alone Mussoorie. But even these dismal numbers may be an overestimation of my personal productivity. 

The Tailless rats of Hanoi 

It was the year 1902. The French ruled Indochina, a group of colonies in Southeast Asia that included what is now Vietnam. With the French, came their toilets. With the toilets, came the rats. Apparently a 15-kilometre-long sewage pipeline was the exact thing that the rats of Hanoi had dreamt all their life. To deal with the rat menace, the authorities thought of a way out. They would pay the local population for every rat tail they brought to the authorities. What could go wrong?

Kill the rat, you feed yourself for a day. You don’t kill a rat but you just cut its tail & set it free, you feed yourself for life. That is exactly what the ratcatcher did. Rats from neighboring towns were imported so that their tails could be presented to the authorities. Some entrepreneurial minds even started breeding rats. The metric of rat tails instead of measuring the reduction in the population of rats ended up disincentivizing people from killing them. The measure had become a target and Goodhart has warned us that this is something we should avoid.

When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure

Goodhart’s Law

This phenomenon is found in almost every field. For various reasons, the government of India likes to keep its fiscal deficits low. The point of having a low fiscal deficit is to ensure that the government isn’t spending a lot more than it can afford to. But this measure has become a target & the government has found various ways to keep the fiscal deficit low even if it is spending more than it should.


I have been using the pomodoro technique for the last 6 years and it has served me well. More number of hours studied at the end of the day gives me an indicator that I am on the right track. However, there are days when I am just too lazy to do the real work. As I just need to push up the number of hours, I have this habit of choosing the path of least resistance. So, sometimes I start reading a non-fiction book on a topic in syllabus & I count it in my total hours of study. Sometimes, instead of reading notes for two hours, I sometimes watch a video lectures on the same topic for four hours while being aware that the former two hours are at least twice as effective as the latter four.

I need a new measure. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I have some ideas in my mind like giving different weightage to different category of study but for the time being, I’ll try to be mindful of this & try doing more of the real work. Let’s see how it goes.

Thanks for sharing this. That story is really illustrative.

My desire to start measuring my time started when I first read Deep Work by Cal Newport. He advocates measuring the hours you engage in deep work (which is by nature different from lighter, shallow work). Using the example you gave, shallow work would include reading the non-fiction book or watching video lectures. Deep work would be memorising facts, writing answers, revising your notes etc. i.e. work that has intensity and is thus hard.

The temptation you point out is very real. I want to engage in shallow work (the path of least resistance) in order to boost my time. It may give me a temporary sense of satisfaction but doing this constantly would undermine my own success. 

To avoid this, here's what I think would work.
Have a daily list of things you have to do. This should ideally have as much deep, effective, intense work as possible. The primary aim of the day would be to complete that list. The secondary aim would be to measure the number of hours you spend working. Thus you can make sure you're measuring the right things without running blindly after the number of hours.

If you think about this, we're doing this already. For instance, you mention the daily targets beforehand. Then you post whether you've completed it or not. Plus you mention the number of hours you studied.

If you want a new measure, you can divide whatever you do into deep and shallow work and post that also. That would also work admirably. 

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Not able to focus at all today. Woke up late. Slept again. Spend some time reading some non-fiction. Watched some episodes of a sitcom. It's like I am doing everything except studying. I think I'll begin again tomorrow as day 1. Will try to finish the economy portion I planned. 

I am either disciplined w.r.t everything or nothing. Like, if the start of the day is bad, it is very difficult for me to recover. 

I completely agree with that last line. I experience the same frequently.

I agree with what Chamomile said. I do the same too. Short naps help. But frequently they turn to long groggy sleep. 

One thing I've noticed is that when I work for 2-3 days with extreme intensity, I'll be tired and unmotivated by the third or fourth day. Then that day goes waste. I saw you studied nearly 11 hours yesterday (which is like an unattainable record for me :P). Maybe your body and mind are just recovering today?

I've personally tried to reduce my intensity a bit so that even though I study less in a day, my weekly total should be higher.

Anyways, I'm sure tomorrow you're gonna blaze through the day. Aag laga dena! :-)


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16/05/21

This day was a rest day. Covered up some pending work (CA class) but otherwise didn't study much.

17/05/21

Maths - Linear Algebra complete + Mechanics started ->5 hours 10 mins

CA classes ->3 hours 25 mins

Newspaper ->20 mins

Total ->8 hours  55 mins

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18/05/21

Maths -- Mechanics (completed Moment of Inertia, started DÁlembert's principle) ->5 hours 35 min

CA 1 class ->1 hour 40 mins

Newspaper ->20 min

Total ->7 hours 35 mins

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@nerdfighter I'll be studying for Mains till August 15th and then shift back to Prelims mode.

My plan is rather ambitious. I'll be trying to do one complete revision of both my optional and GS but not directly.

My major focus would be on Maths, since it betrayed me in my previous two attempts. :P.
Will do 3 chapters completely plus try to solve last 10 year PYQs. 

For GS, I've enrolled in Dipin Sir's CA classes. There are about 10 pending classes which I am doing right now. Then when the classes start again, will continue accordingly.
On the days when I have no classes, I'll spend time going through PYQs. I am doing so to analyse trends, update my notes, plus practice elements of answer writing (won't write answers. Just create basic structure + brainstorm). 

For both GS and Maths PYQs, I'm going topic wise so will do a reading of my short notes simultaneously. So hope to get in one revision of both by mid August.

Again this is the best case scenario. Based on previous experiences, even if I get 80% done I'll be happy. So I've sort of made a priority list so that I can do the high priority stuff earlier and not compromise on them.


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19/05/21

Maths -- Mechanics ->4 hours 45 mins

CA class ->2 hours 45 mins

Newspaper ->20 mins

Total ->7 hours 50 mins

Today although I studied a good number of hours, most of my time was spent on lesser intensity work like video lectures. Will correct that tomorrow. 

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Target To-dos for Day (1/80): 20/05/21

  • PSIR: Study Class Notes for Plato & Machiavelli; Study PYQs; Make Flashcards
  • GS-IV: Watch Class 3, Read handouts for Class 1,2 &3; Write answers to 2 PYQs
  • Governance: Study NGO & SHG Booklet; Make flashcards
  • Anki No Due

Spent most of the time on PSIR. Studied class notes, not entirely. Will have to finish them tomorrow. Wanted to glance the respective chapters from the reference book & ended up reading the entire chapters. Made copious amounts of flashcards & reviewed most of them. 

Also did NGO booklet. Updated current affairs. Watched a backlog video class related to NGOs. Anki No Due. 

Did not finish SHG booklet & ethics class. Will try to do it after this point.

First half of the day was incredibly productive. Second half was disappointing. I disabled my blocker in the noon. And that is the reason why. Will try not repeat that again. The first 4 hours were beautiful. Did not even realize as the time went by. Felt like I was in, what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls, the "flow" state. 

Total Hours Studied: 8 Hours 2 Minutes

---

Chill Reads: Read the Amartya Sen wala book for 45 odd minutes in breaks

Good going! 

I had the opposite of flow state today. Was distracted throughout the day. 

Also how's the Amartya Sen book? I've always wanted to read more about him. 

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@Villanelle Shukriya for that pronunciation guide :D
I've never ever been able to say his name properly. 


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20/5/21

Maths mechanics ->4 hours 55 mins

CA class ->50 mins 

Newspaper ->20 mins 

Total ->6 hours 5 mins 

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21/05/21

Maths Mechanics ->done 50% of targets

CA Class ->done

Newspaper ->not done

Was quite unproductive today. Mostly because most of the stuff I'm doing is boring/too tough.

Time spent approx 5 hours. Didn't measure exactly

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I am struggling here to study for long hrs. So i need some suggestions. How do i increase my duration of study sessions? What should i do on breaks so that i get back to studying without (or with less) resistance.

What do you do in your breaks or for how long do you study in one go? 

Any suggestions?

I was a night owl - studying at the 11th hr for every test or exam. But this time i am trying to study over the day, with a schedule and planning. 

I'll try to share some things that work for me. Maybe some of this would be useful for you too. I'll try to answer your queries one by one

1) How do i increase my duration of study sessions?

Do you mean the duration of one session or overall duration?
I'm someone who finds it difficult to sit for long continuously so I always have short/medium length sessions. One good way is the Pomodoro technique. It basically means studying for 25 mins and then taking a 5 min break. (Please do google this for further details if you're not familiar) You can customise your timings. I like to sit anywhere between 30 mins to 1 hour for each session and then take a 5 minute break. 


Another thing that works for me is to break the monotony by switching subjects after each session. For instance, if I do my optional for 1 hour, I'll do GS related something for the next 45 mins. Something like that.


To increase the duration of each session, you can start slowly (at 25 mins per session) and then gradually increase that to 1 hour or something. To increase overall duration, you can similarly measure your daily total number of hours and then compete with yourself to increase that over time.


The analogy here is that of working out/going to the gym. You don't start doing a 100 reps of everything from day 1. You start at your current level and slowly work towards bettering yourself. Over time, your strength increases and you level up. Similarly, as you study over time, your mental stamina, concentration levels, attention spans - all will increase. Just strive patiently and continuously.

2) What should i do on breaks so that i get back to studying without (or with less) resistance. What do you do in your breaks or for how long do you study in one go? 

The rule here is simple. Don't do anything that distracts you. Your breaks are meant to rest your mind not occupy them.


If I have access to my phone, I'll inevitably find a way to get distracted. So using my phone during breaks, no matter how tempting, is a strict no. For this purpose, I keep it switched off. I also write down beforehand at what time I'll switch it on so that I'm not tempted to use it before.


As to what I do in my break, I don't do anything if it's a 5 min break. I just wander around the house, drink water or go and poke my sister :P.
I take longer breaks with my meals. So after eating, I'll relax for 20-30 mins. At that time, I may surf the net, watch YouTube videos, watch a sitcom episode, listen to music or read a book. I've found listening to music and reading books most enjoyable and refreshing. But sitcoms and youtube are what I end up doing most. :P

What I've shared is what's working for me + what I think is helpful. Whatever appeals to you, adopt it. Whatever doesn't, reject. Listen to whatever else the others will also be posting. Hope you are able to increase your output soon. 

1.3k views

24/5/21

Maths Fluid dynamics ->done (5 classes)

CA class ->done 

GS1 Society notes ->studied for 1 hour

Ethics ->spent 1 hour in studying and answer writing

Attending too many classes is boring. Will try to get it over with by next week so that I can shift focus to solving questions.

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25/5/21

Maths ->completed 1st section of Fluids

CA classes ->Finished pending notes

Newspaper ->Yet to read. Will try reading now


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27/05/21

Maths Fluid Dynamics ->3 classes done (approx 4 hours)

Ethics revision plus answer writing ->done (approx 1 hour)

CA class ->50% of planned done (approx 1 hour)


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@DHARNA Mathocrat YouTube channel. I've done mechanics now I'm doing Fluids from there


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@nerdfighter Bhai 5 hours 18 minutes kar liye. Bahut hai. Mere pichle 3 dino ka total itna hoga.
Keep up the consistency!
Anyways it's inspiring how much you keep demanding from yourself. 


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01-06-21

Maths ->Fluid 3 lectures (approx 4 hours)

Ethics ->Answer writing + analysis of topper copies + note making (approx 2-3 hours)

Newspaper ->30 mins

Another month has passed. I've no idea how it is June already. 



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@DHARNA Wow! This is too beautiful! 
What app/software did you use? 


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2/6/21

Maths ->watched 1.5 lectures 

Ethics ->answer writing + some revision of notes 

I woke up early. Too early. Was sleepy/tired throughout the day. Hence couldn't be as productive as usual. However, I'm going to bed much earlier than before so hopefully my sleep habits will be better soon. 

Tomorrow's targets 

1)Maths 3 lectures 2)CA one pending class 3)Newspaper 4)Ethics revision 

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@DeekshitaP Congrats on the 10k! That's a mighty awesome achievement. 


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3/6/21

Maths ->aim was 3 lectures. Did 1.5 lectures

Current affairs class ->completed class. Need to update notes which I will do tomorrow.

Newspaper ->done

Today morning + afternoon wasn't that productive. Sat down to study but was distracted throughout. By evening changed my tactics a bit. Most of what I did today was achieved after that.
Basically I've started setting really specific goals for each session (like doing this many minutes of a lecture, or this much pages of notes in 50-60 minutes). Hoping this will sustain my studies further.

Tomorrows targets ->1) Maths 4.5 lectures 2) Ethics revision + 2 answers 3) Newspaper 4) Current affairs notes update

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@DeekshitaP Congrats on the 10k! That's a mighty awesome achievement. 


Thanks a lot! Would love to run a half sometime in life :)

One of my medium-term goals is to participate in and complete the Airtel Delhi half marathon. Hoping to get to do that once the pandemic ceases.

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Will restart posting here in some days. Got vaccinated today. Keeping some buffer for post-vaccine effects. Hope you all are doing well. 

Take care buddy. 

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» show previous quotes

Oh hey fellow runner! Same even I do really want to run the ADHM. My father runs it’s quite regularly so I’ve also been very inspired to do it myself.

Oh that's quite awesome. How was his experience? I've heard running in Delhi's polluted air can be quite taxing.

I'm not actually a runner though :P. Atleast not yet. More like someone who has read books/ watched interviews of quite a few long-distance runners and want to emulate that.

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@DeekshitaP Congrats on the 10k! That's a mighty awesome achievement. 


Thanks a lot! Would love to run a half sometime in life :)

One of my medium-term goals is to participate in and complete the Airtel Delhi half marathon. Hoping to get to do that once the pandemic ceases.

Oh hey fellow runner! Same even I do really want to run the ADHM. My father runs it’s quite regularly so I’ve also been very inspired to do it myself.

Humlog sab milke lbsnaa ka marathon daudenge.

Arre pakka! Woh bhi Mussoorie ki hawa mei. Alag feel hoga!

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04/06/21

Fulfilled all targets today

Maths ->4.5 lectures done

Ethics ->revision + 2 answers written

Newspaper ->done

CA notes ->done

Finally felt good studying today. Also achieved my daily targets after not reaching them for 4-5 days on the stretch. I hope the good feelings sustain.

Targets for tomorrow ->1) Finish Fluids (5 lectures left) 2) Ethics 2 answers 3) revision of current affairs notes 4) Newspaper

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5/6/21

Maths ->Fluids 5 lectures done

Ethics ->2 answers written

Newspaper ->done

Finally fluids over!! :D. This has been THE topic which I've been afraid of and failed to do well for the past 3 years. Feels good to banish those demons.

I still have to revise them though. Maybe a couple of weeks again next month. 

Targets for tomorrow ->not much. Would be a rest day. Might write an essay. Maybe spend a couple of hours consolidating ethics notes. There's a good chance though that I will end up binging Family Man S2 the entire day and not do anything else.

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Things I did-

Maths 3.5 hrs

Ethics 2 hrs

CA notemaking - 1 hr

Total around 6.5 hrs


Nice work bhai. Keep up the consistency.

Also where are you studying maths from? IMS notes?

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I feel a little better now. Though, there is some body ache, I think I can start studying. For the next two weeks, these are the things I should focus on. These things and nothing else. 

  1. Environment for Prelims; Santosh Sir lectures & Booklets; Study them and Ankify them
  2. IR static portion; Read the class notes and make short notes; make flashcards where necessary
  3. GS4 Classes and Handouts
  4. CSAT 1 hour a day

I won't be able to study on 20, 21 & 22 due to some really important personal obligations. So, I'll need to up my productivity game for the next two weeks to compensate for that loss. 

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# Target To-Dos for Day (1/14): 06/06/21

  • Environment Lecture 4 (2 Hours)
  • Environment Booklet 1; Study + Ankify (2 Hours)
  • Ethics Class (3 Hours)
  • CSAT 1 Hour
  • Anki No Due (1-1.5 Hours)

Bro you are supposed to rest. Vaccine bhi tumhe rok na paya :P Sahi mei fighter ho.

All the best for your next two weeks. This reminds me to make up my own medium term plan. Might spend some time on that tomorrow.


1.3k views

7/6/21

Maths ->Real analysis Sequences done

I could have done more. But it was a slow day. Had to push myself to do even this much. On one hand, I'm disappointed in wasting time. On the other hand, this was the sort of day that earlier would fully go to waste. So glad I'm making progress little by little. Baby steps 

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Wow! This thread is really heating up!

Welcome@Villanelle,@thesleepyhead ,@Mare_of_Easttown ,@MaeveWiley ,@DHARNA ,@Rashmirathi and@Mettle 

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I am probably going to start posting here too for some accountability. I wish someone stepped out of the screen and slapped me when I dont meet my targets. 😭

This reminds me of the guy who hired someone off Craigslist to slap him if he was wasting time :P

 

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DHARNAsaid

Today’s targets were -

1. Optional - Complex analysis ( Set-1, Set-2)

2. Ethics - Class-12, 13

What I did? 

1. Optional- Set 1, Set 2 (half) [3.5 hours]

2. Ethics- Class - 12 [2 hours]

Total - 5.5 hours.

From tomorrow I will try to improve and increase the number of hours. I know I can do it. 

Also, I tend to switch between topics very frequently (in optional specifically). For example, yesterday, I was doing mechanics but today I switched to complex because for me former is difficult. 

Please scold me if I switch again. 🙈




Speaking from experience... Please don't frequently switch topics, especially in Maths optional. It will leave gaps in your understanding as everything is sequential and interlinked. 

Many topics are hard. But you'll have to persist through them. Sometimes it might even take 2-3 revisions before you finally 'get' a concept. 

Keep striving though! 5 and a half hours is a great start!

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08/06/21

Maths Infinite Series ->done

Ethics 2 answers ->done

CA class ->60% done. Will do the rest tomorrow

Newspaper ->done

I didn't feel too productive throughout the day. It helped that I had reasonable (and not extreme) targets set. Even then, required a late night shift to try finish everything. 

Tomorrows targets ->1) Limits and continuity 2) CA class remaining portion 3) Ethics 2 answers 4) Newspaper

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9/6/21

Maths Real Analysis/Calculus ->Limits and continuity done

Ethics ->2 answers done

Newspaper ->done

CA class ->remaining portion done

I didn't study much since I had some other work to do. But did manage to squeeze in the required hours for completing my targets.

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Due to certain personal obligations, I'll be taking the next 4-5 days off. So won't be posting here. 

All the best to all of you! Keep striving :) 

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Hi all! Great to see the energy here.

I just got back from a 5 day break. I finally saw my grandparents and a few cousins after a long gap (3.5 years).

On the one hand, it felt super great to see them all after such a long time. I've never felt so loved before :P Also, it was the first time after Jan that I spent more than a couple of days not thinking about the preparation. I hope this refreshed mind pushes me on in the coming days. 

On the other hand, in all that excitement, I hardly feel like studying now. So I'm purposefully writing down my targets here to feel some social pressure to complete them 

Targets for tomorrow 1) calculus - differentiability 2) Current Affairs class 3) Newspaper (news items excluding editorials of previous 5 days) 4) Ethics 2 answers. 


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15/06/21

Maths differentiability ->done

Current affairs class ->30% done

Newspapers ->last 5 days excluding editorials done

Ethics ->2 answers done

I have to say. This was a highly wasteful day. I could have done double of what I ended up doing. It helped that my targets were really small so it looks like a productive day. I think it will take a couple more days to get back into the groove.

Also your messages are inspiring. However, at the risk of sounding evil, I kinda love the 'unproductive days' wale comments more. It makes me feel human and normal. 

Earlier, I always expected perfection from myself with the inevitable guilt, shame and anger when that didn't materialise. Mostly it was because I had this image of toppers studying 12-16 hours a day, 7 days a week. But now I realise how foolish I was. So it's lovely to see people here showing how normal they are and also owning their bad days. Kudos! 

Now I'm gonna go watch France vs Germany. Been looking forward to this game for quite a while now.

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16/6/21

Maths Reimann Integral - >50% done

CA class - >25% done

Newspaper - >will be doing now 

Ethics - >1 out of 2 answers written 

I had such a strong start to the day. Thought I'll crush everything. Then the afternoon laziness struck. Ended up binging a few episodes of 'The Tick'. Don't even know why I decided to start watching this show. 

Finally I tried to study in the evening. Got through some portions. At that moment a cousin showed up. Spent the remaining time catching up with him.

After he went to bed, thought I'd watch my class. At that instant, my laptop decided to stop working. Now I'll have to take it for repairs. Hope my files are safe.

Anyways... I hope tomorrow is a more peaceful day. My targets will be completing what's pending from today. Have a great day y'all! 


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Subconsciously, I've always thought of lunch to be the middle of the day. It was such a stunning discovery to realise today (in the shower - where else :P) that the middle of my day (based on when I wake up and sleep) was somewhere between 4-5 pm.

This has entirely changed my perspective. Even if I have an afternoon slump, I can remind myself that I have more than half a day remaining to do something. Hope that now I can have more inspired evening and night sessions. 

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17/6/21

Maths remaining portion of Reimann Integral done 

CA class done 

Ethics 1 answer written (out of 2)

Newspaper done 

I had a slow start. Today was the first day lockdown began easing in our area. So went to buy some stuff in the morning. Spent about an hour doing that. Oh how beautiful is the outside world! I never ever thought I'd miss traffic this much :P

Once I came back, I found it difficult to focus. My study sessions were in bits and pieces. 

Whatever meaningful work I did, I got it done post 7pm. Before that everything was scattered. 

One thing that helped me push myself late in the day was the realization that I had failed to hit my targets for some days in a row. This despite me setting mediocre targets. A further failure today would have been bad news. The thought of posting about this here gave me some motivation to study more. So I did my best to somehow get to a respectable level. 

Tomorrow I'll try to increase my output a bit. Targets are uniform convergence in Maths (one of my most feared topics), current affairs class, ethics 2 answers, newspapers 

So Goodnight all gentle, loving and wonderful peeps :) (plus every other adjective you desire). 

Keep striving y'all! 

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How are people completing 100% of the day's targets? Like how many hours one is devoting? 

By keeping realistic targets. 

Again realistic means different levels at different times. Right now, I'm not too motivated to study. So I'm setting smaller targets which can be achieved even if I waste half the day. The daily small victories keep me going. 

A time will soon come when I'll be more pumped up (most likely because the exam dates are too near). Then I'll be setting targets that can be achieved only with putting in really good hours daily. Some people here are already at that stage and you can see them putting in 8+ hours daily. All power to them. 

As you see, there's no fixed formula as such. Just do what you think is best. 

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18/6/21

Maths - >uniform convergence 30% done 

Current Affairs class - >done

Ethics - >2 answers done

Newspaper - >done 

I had a great start (despite constant interruptions by someone or the other). Then had some guests over so skipped studies for a couple of hours. To do something different, I played Badminton today quite intensely. That was quite tiring and I found it difficult to concentrate henceforth. So I'm calling it a day today (earlier than usual) 

Learning for the day - >wake up early (for instance, nerdfighter said how he finished much of his work by 11 am. I began my studies by 11 am). So will now try to slowly wake up earlier and earlier. 


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@thesleepyhead that's the second straight day a poem by Robert Frost has impacted me. 
Kal Patootie had posted about the Road not taken. I spent an hour yesterday reading the poem (again and again) and various analysis of it. Aaj ke liye ab ye poem mil gaya 


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@thesleepyhead that's the second straight day a poem by Robert Frost has impacted me. 
Kal Patootie had posted about the Road not taken. I spent an hour yesterday reading the poem (again and again) and various analysis of it. Aaj ke liye ab ye poem mil gaya 


Kal read If by Rudyard Kipling (only if you haven’t already) :)

Sure. Thanks for the reminder. I've been meaning to revisit that for some time now. 

The funny thing is I've read all these poems before in school. I hated them then. Now I understand these poems (particularly in the context of upsc prep :P). 

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Woke up with a slight headache. Didn't do much today. Wrote one ethics answer. Studied a few pages of maths notes. Total time of 2-3 hours.

But then my headache got worse (although thankfully full on migraine stage not reached). So decided to take a break from studies. 

In the evening, I watched Portugal vs Germany with my family. What a cracking game! Wish every match was like this. 

Anyways tomorrow I've kept aside to complete pending work. So I need to complete CA classes, consolidate notes, complete one maths topic (uniform convergence), newspaper + some time on essay. 

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20/6/21

Maths uniform convergence completed + CA notes consolidated 

Nothing much happened today. An unremarkable day.

Next 8 days, I also have some other work. So will be posting here irregularly. 

Have a wonderful week all you lovely, wonderful peeps! 

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Woes of Maths Optional..

But it is ❣

Maths and me is like Rachel and Ross. True love hai. But filled with khatarnak frustration and heartbreaks. :P 

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29/6/21

Back after a week away from studies. I hope this is the last major interruption I'll have. 

Today was a slow day. Did Lagrange's Multipliers in Maths, attended half of a current affairs class and wrote one ethics case study. Also now watching The Good Place. All those ethics references in the show makes me so happy!! I feel so learned :P It's a great show otherwise too.

In this past week, more than anything, I missed coming here and reading your comments. It feels good to be back posting. Stay awesome, peeps!

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30/6/21

Pretty productive day. And thus the month ends quite satisfyingly. Did Taylor's theorem for multiple variables, extreme values for multiple variables and some miscellaneous questions. Wrote one ethics case study. Attended one CA class. And read newspaper.

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Guys. I’m taking a break from being active on Forum. 

@AzadHindFauz and@whatonly, all the very best for your interviews. I genuinely hope that you both make the cut. Lots of love and hugs.@AzadHindFauz , always remember that if you must choose between UPSC and your beloved football thread, do the right thing brother. :P@whatonly,the amount of respect I have for you is crazy. Let nothing ever dim your shine, my friend. I’ve seen you grow so much over the past year, and I hope you will keep doing that. 

@MaeveWiley , October 10 will be your day. I recall all of our conversations. Especially the first one and the one after last prelims. Thank you for reaching out to me when I needed it the most. I will forever be grateful.  This time, you will be sure after prelims. I know it in my heart. Make sure you make the prelims victory count. Onwards and upwards, my friend. 

@SergioRamos,remember your comment on the interview thread. You know which one I’m talking about. I feel you have a very sound understanding of the exam and it’s just a matter of time till you actually follow through on the things you know you can do, to your satisfaction. Keep working on it. You’ve got this. 

@Sherkhan1428 , you were a vibe when you were active, my man. I’ve missed reading your comments. If you read this, I hope you’re in a good place mentally. 

@Reticent @thepolicydreamer, @Alexandersupertramp,thank you for reaching out to me when I was in the dumps. I hope you are all keeping well and your families are safe. Keep working on yourselves and your goals. Keep your head above the water, and remember to breathe. Do the little things right, my friends. It’s easy to forget the progress that you have made. Don’t make that mistake. 

@thesleepyhead @chamomile @Loxodonta  I’ve interacted very little with you all, but all of your personal messages came to me at a time when I really needed someone to give me a hand. I found support from you all when I was shattered inside and was trying to put on a brave face. Thank you for reaching out. 

@nerdfighter ,@sjerngal Keep working on fighting the pain, you guys. It doesn’t necessarily get any easier, but we shall refuse to give up and keep soldiering on. We owe that to ourselves. 

@Villanelle I cannot count the number of times I have openly laughed seeing your comments. And yesterday, you topped it with that wholesome comment about your mother. I am a little intimidated by you and the width of your reading to be honest. There’s so much swagger about you, and that makes you one of the pseudonyms from this platform that I most want to get to know in person. Thank you for bringing joy to my life in whatever way you could. 

@LetsGetThisBread , as a wise person once said, today may be bed but tomorrow will be butter. There’s so much life in all of your comments, and that has such a ripple effect. Even if you feel you aren’t making progress on a certain day, always remember to be grateful that you have invariably brought a smile to at least one stranger’s face every single day. 

@ssver2 and@Joeyisthebest , I’ll see you idiots on the TG group soon enough. :P Optional isn’t truly optional without you two. 

I’m sure I’ve missed so many people who have had an impact on my life through this platform over the past year. The above list has been impacted by recency bias of course. So, I hope you can forgive me if I’ve missed you. 

The beauty of this platform is that it is built on the kindness of strangers. There’s so little in the world that is like that. I’ve said this before and l’ll say it again. I see infinite beauty in you all. 

And with that, I take your leave. Thank you for playing the significant part that you have played in my story. I’ve been more open with you than I have been to most of my closest friends. Thank you for being the light that I was so desperate to find. 

I hope to see you all again on the other side. I hope to have stories and experiences to tell you, and I look forward to the little glimpse of your wonderful lives that you may choose to share with me. When you feel down, whatever the reason, know that somewhere in the World, a Patootie wishes you well and cares for you deeply. 

Patootie out. 



All the best chetta! 

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Hello. I don't know if it's the right place to post, but I just wanted to know how to prepare Modern Algebra. If there any aspirants with Mathematics optional, kindly answer. TIA.

There's a Mathematics thread that you'll find scrolling down the main page. In the future, you can post there.

Modern Algebra was the subject I was most scared of when I began. Now it's my favourite chapter (along with LA). It still is the toughest part of the syllabus, to be clear.  But there are definite things you can do to improve.

1) Choose your source and do it thoroughly. I did it from IMS notes. They are more than sufficient. If you feel unsatisfied with the notes, you can check out books like Bhambri Khanna, Gallian etc. I haven't used these books so refer to some topper's booklist for a better idea about them.

2) The biggest problem with Modern Algebra is that it is too abstract. It's difficult to understand and visualise things. For a more intuitive understanding, see this playlist (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLi01XoE8jYoi3SgnnGorR_XOW3IcK-TP6) It's about 3 hours in length but totally worth it for a proper conceptual understanding. You'll fall in love with the subject.

3) Do all questions in IMS notes, including the assignments (or do all solved questions from your book + other questions if time permits). Then do all PYQs (at least for past 10 years). Then for more practice, you can solve previous IMS test series questions (only if you have time)

4) If along the way you feel that you don't understand the books/notes, you can instead take lectures from youtube channels like Mathocrat, Exademy or any BSc Maths classes. You can even refer to NPTEL for rigorous lectures. All these are time consuming; hence do them only if studying from notes/books isn't working out.

I hope this should be more than enough. Remember that Modern Algebra is requires multiple revisions. Initially everything will go over your head. But after 6-8 revisions max, you'll be really comfortable with the topic. 

One caveat ->even then you might not be able to solve all questions in the exam. So be well prepared with other topics so as to leave Modern Algebra's tougher questions. 

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@nerdfighter Great write up bhai. Especially loved the bit of how books taught you to think linearly, logically and meditatively. I've never thought of it this way. 
May you blossom on the paths of Deep Work 
PS - Deep Work has to be the book that I've readthe most number of times. So glad to find a fellow Cal Newport fan here 


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1/7/21

I did some portions of Multiple Integrals (about 20 questions) + 1 ethics case study. The total is small in terms of hours spent. Yet I'm proud of myself because in spite of all the other work I have, I could squeeze out time to study effectively. 

By July 4th I'll be back in Delhi. All my current interruptions will hopefully end and I'll be able to spend solid hours studying. So looking forward to then. 

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4/7/21

Finally landed in Delhi yesterday. Today was spent mostly in unpacking. I solved some multiple integrals problems in some spare time I got.

I had also set apart some time to review my progress till now (from the time postponement of prelims was announced). Based on that I made a plan for the next 42 days. After that will shift completely to prelims. 

I hope you all are doing well. I pray that when October 10 comes, you all will be looking back at these few months and feel proud of yourself. Stay awesome! 

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5/7/21 (Day 1 of 42)

Woke up with a migraine so couldn't study much till lunch. Accordingly I modified my targets for the day.

Maths ->Multiple Integrals 22 questions done. Ethics 1 case study done. Half a CA class done. Newspaper done.

Tomorrow's targets =>1) Maths ->45 questions of Multiple Integrals  2) 1 CA class 3) Read Atul Sir case study notes + attempt 1 case study 4) Newspaper.  If I complete all these targets, I'll reward myself by watching Spain vs Italy. :P 


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If everyone's talking about malayali, can be just talk a bit about their food. Not want to disturb the momentum of thread but all the malayali's out there on this platform@LetsGetThisBread and patootie, I love the food from your part of world. I can't tell how much, but if I have to describes , I would say I have reached to a point where I want to marry ONLY a malayali guy!

My tryst with kerala cuisine started with sadhya from times of onam. I fell absolutely in love with that. And now, I have made my north indian kitchen into a south indian kitchen, with my mother being forced to cook all the recipes I see online. 

I just love your food andddd the smell of your houses which is extremely different(visited a friends house, I don't know what was that but kya khusbhu thi) . I wish kerala hi cadre mile. 

A big big time foodie signing off!

Wow! That's the first time I'm seeing a non- Malayali acknowledge Kerala food. Usually people just club all of South India together. Thank you for distinguishing!!

If you are in Delhi, there are Malayali restaurants in almost every part of the city. You can have your heart's fill here.

As for food, Onam Sadhya (special meal at Onam) is a different level. For people not aware, a small-sized sadhya contains rice and 20+ side dishes (all vegetarian). Some of the famous ones (like at Christ University Bangalore) have 200+ dishes. IN ONE MEAL! That always blows my mind!

My favourite dish though is Malabar Porotta. It's like paratha but not quite a paratha. You can have it with any curry (veg korma, sambhar or usually a non-vegetarian dish). As I sit typing this, my mind is drooling :P

I'm pretty sure my dreams are gonna be about food now. Or a nightmare of a giant Porotta monster attacking me :P

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If everyone's talking about malayali, can be just talk a bit about their food. Not want to disturb the momentum of thread but all the malayali's out there on this platform@LetsGetThisBread and patootie, I love the food from your part of world. I can't tell how much, but if I have to describes , I would say I have reached to a point where I want to marry ONLY a malayali guy!

My tryst with kerala cuisine started with sadhya from times of onam. I fell absolutely in love with that. And now, I have made my north indian kitchen into a south indian kitchen, with my mother being forced to cook all the recipes I see online. 

I just love your food andddd the smell of your houses which is extremely different(visited a friends house, I don't know what was that but kya khusbhu thi) . I wish kerala hi cadre mile. 

A big big time foodie signing off!

Wow! That's the first time I'm seeing a non- Malayali acknowledge Kerala food. Usually people just club all of South India together. Thank you for distinguishing!!

If you are in Delhi, there are Malayali restaurants in almost every part of the city. You can have your heart's fill here.

As for food, Onam Sadhya is a different level. For people not aware, a small-sized sadhya contains rice and 20+ side dishes (all vegetarian). Some of the famous ones (like at Christ University Bangalore) have 200+ dishes. IN ONE MEAL! That always blows my mind!

My favourite dish though is Malabar Porotta. It's like paratha but not quite a paratha. You can have it with any curry (veg korma, sambhar or usually a non-vegetarian dish). As I sit typing this, my mind is drooling :P

I'm pretty sure my dreams are gonna be about food now. Or a nightmare of a giant Porotta monster attacking me :P

Are you from Kerala? I don't live in delhi, but I live in South, 200 km from kerala. SO would visit the heaven itself for food. 

Mine is aviyal anytime!

My parents are from Kerala, although I've spent my entire life in Delhi (except for the occasional visits). You're about 3000km closer to Kerala than I am. :P

Avial is also the name of one of my favourite bands.  :D

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Agogsaid

@Celeborn Does Christ university organise food fest or wht?I missed it😒Btw we r hijacking grp main purpose 🙃



This happened a couple of years ago on Onam when my friends were studying there. They shared photos and videos. That's how I came to know. I'm guessing either some department or some student's society organised it. Btw, you studied there?

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6/7/21 (Day 2 of 42)

Completed all my targets. Now off to watch the semis :D

@Dhoni_the_captain ,@Muffin ,@Shailputri Welcome! Let the streaks continue!


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Most of the targets for the day are done ( except GS-3-topic -8 )  would try to do it tomorrow early in the morning

@LetsGetThisBread its like “Gajar ka halwa” of north India

@ozymandias  hope you find them interesting 

Good night comrades have sweet dreams- signing off for today 


I can't think of anything like that right now. Is it some form of Payasam or something? Although that's quite unlikely. 

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Good morning lovely people 

06/07/21-Targets for the day

Newspaper

Optional

GS-3 -Topic-8,9

CA classes

Its so nice of you@The Mechanic  (hope your week also goes well) and great to know@LetsGetThisBread @Celeborn are from Kerala ( now I can disturb you guys regarding Malayali movies and when it comes to food from Kerala I can’t forget” Pomfret” and sweet made up of coconut don’t remember the name but can’t forget it’s taste) 

Comrades- Have a great day 

Coconut is a very elusive description, given that our very blood is made out of coconut oil. :)

My nickname was/is Coconut among certain friends - because every food item I brought in my tiffin had coconut in it :P

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7/7/21 (Day 3 of 42)

Maths curvature ->only half done

Newspaper ->done

CA class ->done

Ethics 1 case study ->done

Today's start was poor. Didn't study much until evening. Then went for an hour long jog/walk. By the end, my body was completely tired but my mind was refreshed. So I could study much better in the second half and end up almost completing my targets.

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Targets for 8/7/21

Statics 4 classes (about an hour each)

CA revision (approx 3-4 hours)

Ethics case study (around half an hour)

Newspaper (around half an hour)

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Targets for 8/7/21

Statics 4 classes (about an hour each)

CA revision (approx 3-4 hours)

Ethics case study (around half an hour)

Newspaper (around half an hour)

8/7/21 (Day 4 of 42)

1, 3 and 4 done. 2 done 20% only. 

@ozymandias Take care bhai. 

@LetsGetThisBread Happy b'day to your dad! 

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9/7/21 (Day 5 of 42)

Got vaccinated today. Of course, I didn't study anything. Dem antibodies hit so hard! 

Tomorrow's gonna be a potential rest day too.

Have a great day y'all. 

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12/7/21 (Day 8 of 42)

Love the symmetrical date today. But this wasn't a productive day. 

The after effects of the vaccine are somehow still there. Yet today's waste of time wasn't due to a physical block but rather a mental one. Maybe it's because of the three days I spent doing nothing.... In blunt words, I really didn't feel like doing much today and I ended up quitting quite easily. 

Completed 1 optional class, half a CA class and newspaper. 

Also, today was one of my close friend's wedding. Alas, I could only watch on YouTube (since the wedding was down South). Still, throughout the video I had a smile pasted across my face, whenever I saw the couple. Love can be so beautiful! 

I hope tomorrow is a better day. I hope I wake up with a greater resolve. And I wish the same to you all. All the best! 

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13/7/21 (Day 9 of 42)

It's official now. I'm going through a bit of a mental slump. Calling it a day quite early as I was anyways not getting anything done. 

Completed 1.5 maths classes, parts of newspaper. 

I hope, miraculously, that I wake up feeling better tomorrow. Need all the energy to have any chance of completing my targets. 


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13/7/21 (Day 9 of 42)

It's official now. I'm going through a bit of a mental slump. Calling it a day quite early as I was anyways not getting anything done. 

Completed 1.5 maths classes, parts of newspaper. 

I hope, miraculously, that I wake up feeling better tomorrow. Need all the energy to have any chance of completing my targets. 


I was there. Stuck in a rut for a long long time.


Just accept that you're going through something difficult and take a couple of days to do something that makes you happy. Even more if need be. You'll be fit and fresh for the days ahead. As long as you keep trying, things will eventually get better! 


All the best :)

Thank you! Took your advice. I'm already feeling much more fresh and lively. 

16/7/21 

Completed 2 maths classes, half a CA class, Newspaper, + some CA topics for Mains. 



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17/7/21

Maths 2.5 classes (of Statics) done, CA half a class done, newspaper done. 

@Archand Maths gang is unexpectedly strong here. Jabki overall numbers mei we're clearly a minority compared to Humanities optionals. Isliye extra happy to see you all :) 

@Shailputri you're going great! And the dopamine rush you're talking about! Uff! On the extremely rare occasions when I'm able to study to my max potential, I feel so good about myself! In all the excitement I can hardly go to sleep at night. The body aches all over from the effort but the mind is fully satisfied. Truly the pinnacle of studying! Hope you (and everyone else for that matter) get to experience that more often :) 

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18/07/21

Completed 2.5 classes of Maths (Statics + Dynamics), 1 CA class

Tomorrow is a new dawn. A new day, and a new week. In that spirit, I'll try to increase the intensity a bit more. The aim is to go full throttle in time for Prelims prep and then Mains. 
Targets for tomorrow ->2 classes of Dynamics + CA class + Newspaper + CA revision 8 topics

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19/7/21

Dynamics 2 classes ->done;    CA class ->done;    Newspaper done ->CA revision ->5/8 topics done (although 2 of those were budget and economic survey so took a lot more time than expected)

Overall this was a satisfactory day. Even if I didn't complete all my targets, I could work harder than previous few weeks. 

I hope the streak continues

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20/7/21

Dynamics ->2/3 classes done;    Newspaper ->done;    CA revision ->50% of planned done

Today was a weird day. I woke up late after a night without much sleep. This meant I was groggy throughout the morning until I had my afternoon nap. Anyways I managed to squeeze in some study hours throughout, especially in the evening.
After dinner though, prelims anxiety struck. Unable to do anything, I sat down and made a detailed plan for prelims. This took me about 2 hours but the good news is I feel calm and optimistic now. Tomorrow I'll set even more ambitious targets. 


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Anyone over here appeared for sfg before, how is the experience? 

I took part in SFG twice (2020 July-August-September and 2021 March-April ).

2020 SFG was a boon for me. It was the best decision in terms of my Prelims prep. In 2021, I had the opposite experience. I left the program midway after attempting less than 10 tests. The difference between the two years was not the program; but rather my circumstances and needs.

1) SFG at this stage is good for you if you done multiple revisions of the basic books but now need to take it to the next level. If you're unsure of what exactly to do and how much time to devote to each subject i.e. you need a readymade comprehensive plan, then this SFG is perfect. By dividing each subject topic-wise, you get a good revision plan. 

2) SFG through the daily tests can push you to study harder. If you lack motivation, then this may work. It was perfect for me in 2020 as the pandemic meant I was hardly studying (as libraries were closed). But in 2021, I was already used to studying at home so I didn't really need the SFG pressure. I managed well without it.

3) The biggest strength of SFG is also its biggest downside. It's rigorous and inflexible. This can be good if that's what you need. However, if you already have a personalised plan, then SFG can spoil things. For instance, let's say the days allotted for Polity is 5 days and that for History is also 5 days. But based on your preparation level, maybe you need only 2 days for Polity and 8 days for History. The rigour of the program and the fear of the tests may mean you end up studying Polity all 5 days, missing out on the History portion.
This was the main reason why I quit in 2021

4) SFG questions are quite hard and detailed, beyond average UPSC questions. To answer them, you'll have to know your books line by line. This is helpful in a way as you learn how to stay calm even when faced with the toughest questions. On the flip side it can demotivate you. Further, this means you end up studying more for each test. Hence if you have planned to cover some extra work, you may miss out on those. 

5) The online mode means that a lot of people will be cheating. So don't bother about your rank. Instead, try to maintain your marks above 50% (which is good enough). Ideally, aim for 60-70%.

So choose wisely. If you're lacking motivation and don't have a clear plan, take up SFG. It can help you clear Prelims. If you're confident on your own and need to do things in your own way, you can skip SFG. It's not a must do


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21/7/21

Dynamics ->3 classes done;    Newspaper ->done;    CA ->60% done

Today was a better day. I'd switched off my phone throughout the day. This meant minimal distractions. And so I could end up completing almost all my targets.
I went for a long walk/jog in the evening. That left me tired. So my late shift was unproductive. Otherwise could have easily blazed my targets.

Overall it was a satisfactory day. Looking forward to more :)

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22/7/21

Thanks @Shailputri . Although I couldn't carry forward the momentum today. I'm trying to fix my sleep schedule so woke up earlier than usual. Hence I spent the entire day sleepy and unproductive

Dynamics classes ->33% done;    Newspaper ->done;    CA revision ->Not Done

Now I hope I'm able to sleep earlier and thus wake up earlier.

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23/7/21

Dynamics class ->done;      Newspaper ->done;      CA revision ->done

All targets done (after a long time). Can sleep in peace now. 

@nerdfighter Sure bhai! Hum payment momos mei lenge :P. I'll be grateful if you'll keep me accountable too. 

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24/7/21

Going by the date, today was supposed to be 24x7 studies. But ended up studying essentially 0. (except maybe half an hour of CA revision). The reason was that I met up with my college friends after quite some time. Spent the whole day with them. After that, I hardly had any energy to study. But overall a fun, fun day. And probably the last outing before Prelims. 

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Target

Spectrum to be completed

Modern History mock test

Done with modern history

Target for today - 

All 4 Geography NCERTs 

Atlas map book to be started at least

Geography NCERT - Done

Self notes of Geography - Done

Mapping is taking some time - Pending(World Geography)

Geography Test - Pending

Haven't been in full throttle mode. Need to cut some time from Flute and Volleyball with friends. 

Let's be hopeful and keep working because - 

Hope is a Good Thing. - The Shawshank Redemption

Bhai! Flute AND Volleyball? Those are two really cool things that I've been a fan of since childhood, although I have zero expertise in them. I remember in my childhood buying flutes at the local market, only never being able to play a single tune. Plus my Dad used to play volleyball. All his stories have always made me fascinated for the game. 

It's refreshing to see someone with a not so mainstream hobby. 

Also that's a great quote from a great movie :) 

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Good morning friends (slightly later than usual, but better late than never) targets for 24.7.21:

PSIR- IPT

Polity

April C/A (2/2)

AWP

CSAT

Daily C/A

Editorial- IE+ Hindu

Write with left and right hand

Did all except my PSIR, but that was me stretching anyways, so no biggie. Will be doing that tomorrow. In other news, I made a fruit cake for no reason, other than I just felt like it


Inotherother news (and this might be TMI but I found it funny so sharing, please feel free to shut me down if any of you find it inappropriate) my parents thought it would be cool to casually bring up marriage after dinner, so decided to throw them a curveball and tell them that maybe I should join bumble/hinge or something like that. My parents did a reverse uno on me and told me that there are a lot of f-bois on dating apps, so they would make one a profile to look out for me. I sincerely hope they were joking (they didn’t look like it though). WELP!

Good to hear your mom is better now.

That cake looks delicious! Do you take parcel orders? :P

I tried the same thing with my mom one day. Tried teasing her that I'll bring home a pardesi bahu. Her reply - "Bas bol sakta hai tu. Jab koi milegi nhi, mere paas hee aake royega ki koi dhund ke dilaado". 

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___

Targets were unrealistic for me. Promises were made in josh. Also, some close peeps arrived at home unexpectedly. That took like 4 hours of my time. Tommorow, half a day will be lost due to a personal obligation. Also an opportunity to chill. Will try to finish of remaining stuff in tommorow half a day.

___

--

I am feeling various stuff today. Like, I feel grateful that I have so many nice, caring people in my life including some new people I met recently. But also, people who used to be so close act like strangers in matters of month. Got to accept it. Hope to get a good sleep. In the process of transitioning from a nightowl routine to a normal routine.

Hope you all had a great day.

Sometimes I wonder about all the people who've been everything to me at one point of time, but now have just moved on. I think about everything I shared with them and realize something. A lot of my likes and dislikes are borrowed from them.

I fell in love with Messi and FC Barcelona as a child because my older cousin brother was a fan. I started watching Anime because my friend was always talking about it. The TV shows I loved - like Friends or The Office, I watched them as my peer group was watching and discussing them. That one particular Satya ke gravy momos I loved or the Butter Chicken Pizza from BYD, all are loves I shared with my closest ones. 

Almost everything I love today is something I shared with my closest ones. In this way they form a part of who I am. In this way I carry them wherever I go, even if I seldom realise this. 

And that comforts me. Knowing that the closest people in my life, the ones who have impacted me the most, live on  through me, even when they're gone.


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25/7/21

Dynamics ->3/4 classes done;    CA revision ->50% done;

Couldn't complete my targets. Had a headache throughout the day so it slowed me down. Even then, with a little more effort, could have done more. I'll do my best to have a more productive day tomorrow.

Hope you all had a good week. 

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26/7/21

Dynamics ->2 classes done (finished dynamics portion for now);      Fluids revision (1/6) ->done;      CA revision ->60% done;      Newspaper ->done

I spent a good amount of time today studying. Satisfied with the effort. Although not yet at peak levels.

I feel my daily CA revision targets are a bit ambitious so reducing them by a little from now on. 

@rishabhrajiitdhn25561 Happy b'day! And welcome to the thread :) 

@Shailputri That looks amazing! Kudos :) 

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27/7/21

Fluids revision (2/6) ->done;      CA revision->50% done;      Newspaper ->done

I had a decent day today. I came here at around 11pm to post as I was a bit tired. However reading your comments motivated me to sit for some more time. In that time I completed some more of my targets. So I guess this accountability thing works 

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28/7/21

Fluids revision (3/6) ->done;      CA revision ->done;      Newspaper ->done;

Today was a productive day. I finished all my targets. In fact I'm able to go faster than I expected in Fluids so instead of 6 days, might get it done in 4. Hoping the mojo continues 

@Shailputri Glad to see you putting up those insane hours again. If this thread was the Olympics you'll be a medalist for sure. :p

@nerdfighter Hang in there buddy. It's darkest before dawn. Take a couple of days slowly. You'll be back to your all-conquering self in no time. 

@fortarach63 All of us have days where we waste the entire day. But very few of us own it. You showed courage and true accountability by posting here even on your bad day. Take heart in that. Hope you'll be back crushing your targets in no time. 

@SergioRamos Bhai it's good to see you again. Welcome! And your message on the Mains thread was inspiring, to say the least. Gave me the 'bum pe laat' that I so badly needed. Hoping to increase my intensity now. 

Good night all! Have a great day tomorrow :) 

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29/7/21

Fluids revision ->done (Completed two days before schedule);      CA revision ->50% done;      Newspaper ->done;

After ages, I played football in the rain today. For 60 minutes, there were no thoughts of UPSC or prelims or optional. Just pure bliss. :D

@nerdfighter Nice to see you bring in that Goggins energy. Stay hard :) 

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30/7/21

Mechanics (1/2) ->done;       Environment revision ->done;       CA revision ->done;       Newspaper ->done;

I could have studied more. I'd say I'm going at 60-70% of my ideal intensity. I'm going to increase this little by little, day by day. 


1.3k views

31/7/21

Mechanics ->50% done;

Environment ->10% done 

CA revision ->Not done 

Newspaper ->Not done 

Today was one of those meh days. Just didn't feel like doing anything. I tried everything to motivate myself but didn't have the energy. 

Thinking over it, I realise I need some proper rest (been many days of continuous studies now). So I'll keep tomorrow light and try to refresh my mind. 

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2/8/21

A really productive day today. I started measuring my time and joining the forumites group on Yeolpumta. This helped me to push beyond my usual study times. 

Time studied today ->8 hours 13 mins 

Mechanics revision (Lagrangian + Hamiltonian) ->done;

Fluids and mechanics PYQs (2019, 2018, 2017) ->done;

Environment Red Book revision ->done;

CA revision ->done;

Newspaper ->done;

Hoping the momentum continues (will try to study around 7 hours atleast everyday consistently) 

1.5k views

3/8/21

Time studied ->7 hours 25 minutes 

Fluids and Mechanics revision + PYQs ->done 80% of targets

Environment Red Book revision ->done 75% of target 

CA Revision ->done 60% 

Newspaper ->done

I had set really ambitious targets today to help me push more than usual. They turned out to be a bit out of reach. Also, I played football in the evening instead of the usual jog. This meant I was more tired than usual so my post 7pm sessions weren't too productive. 

Nevertheless, this was a good day. I did more than I usually do. 

@Marigold,@piano,@Newton981 Welcome to the thread! Hope to see you all become regular members here :) 

1.3k views

3/8/21

Time studied ->7 hours 25 minutes 

Fluids and Mechanics revision + PYQs ->done 80% of targets

Environment Red Book revision ->done 75% of target 

CA Revision ->done 60% 

Newspaper ->done

I had set really ambitious targets today to help me push more than usual. They turned out to be a bit out of reach. Also, I played football in the evening instead of the usual jog. This meant I was more tired than usual so my post 7pm sessions weren't too productive. 

Nevertheless, this was a good day. I did more than I usually do. 

@Marigold,@piano,@Newton981 Welcome to the thread! Hope to see you all become regular members here :) 

hey! What is your optional?


Maths. Yours? 

1.9k views

Total time studied ->7 hours 2 mins

Fluids ->60% done;

Environment ->60% done 

CA revision ->not done 

Newspaper ->done 

Today I couldn't focus much. Even when I sat to study, my speed was much slower than usual. Plus a friend has his Personality Test tomorrow so I spent a couple of hours helping him with some last minute prep. 

All this meant I fell a lot short of my targets 

@Rsiasgoal Welcome to the thread! 

1.1k views
T28 3 Aug 2021 

News 
Mock. 
Polity Rev (3/5)
Okayish day yesterday. 

Today I am at a loss for how to best use test series solutions. How do you do it, my dear forumites? Highlight solutions, write on book or maintain dairy of errors? Enlighten pls...

I usually do three things 

1) If the question is from a particular topic I already have studied from my material (standard books/notes for static; CA magazines for current), I'll go to the relevant page of the material and write in the margins if there's some new info. This helps me mentally locate the info in its correct place while revising, and helps with easier recollection. 

2) If it's something new, or some topic which I might have studied but don't remember from exactly where (which happens always with current affairs questions), I'll underline/highlight in the booklet itself. I have tried making separate notes in the past but it takes a lot of time. It's more efficient to directly revise from there. 

3) In the booklet, I circle/tick-mark those questions I got wrong/unattempted or having some new info. So when I'm revising the test series, I'll skip many questions and just do those that are relevant (i.e. those that are marked). This again saves time. 

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Time studied - 8 hours 19 minutes

Fluids PYQ 2010 - 2015 ->done. 2020 questions are left (which I'll do tomorrow). With that this portion would be finally over. 

Environment Red Book revision ->done. There's so much detail on every page. Memorizing this is taking a lot of time. I think it would take me a week more to finish the book. 

Newspaper ->done 

@Infinitybeyondinfinity That's so lovely! Please keep creating and posting such beauties regularly. It would make our day 

2.6k views

Time studied 7 hours

Fluids, mechanics 2020 questions ->done

Statics (Catenary + virtual work) ->80% done 

CA revision ->60% done 

Environment ->60% done 

Newspaper ->done 

Today was a very distracted day (particularly with the shock of the Messi news). I was tired too. That meant not so effective studies. I'll take a break, as planned, on Sunday. So I'll try to push myself as far as possible tomorrow. 

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Thanks for the group bro! I will have to admit that seeing you guys clocking so many hours consistently has given the external push that I usually require to keep the momentum going. Special thanks to -@Infinitybeyondinfinity @LetsGetThisBread @Celeborn @sjerngal you guys are doing great keep up the great work! 

True bhai! The number of hours I study has doubled this week compared to last week. All thanks to you all 

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Time studied ->6 hours 17 mins

Statics ->50% done 

Environment ->0% done 

CA revision ->80% done 

Newspaper ->done 

Today wasn't productive study wise. I was tired throughout and just didn't feel like it so I'll take a break tomorrow. 

Neeraj's victory was so beautiful! Made my day. :) More importantly, I'm sure this moment will inspire millions.

This Olympics has converted me to become a passionate sports fan across all disciplines. I wish we'll get to see India becoming a proper sports powerhouse within our lifetime. 

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Rewl1said

What are you people referring for environment. Shankar is standard I believe , but seeing many people talk about other sources . So just wanted to confirm 

I'm using Forum Red Book + Current Affairs magazine. In previous attempts I relied on my class notes + current affairs compilation. I was able to answer most questions (since majority were CA related). 

Shankar is still the most popular choice. If you've already done it, stick to it + do CA religiously. You'll be safe. Otherwise you can pick any standard source anyone is mentioning. 

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Statics ->revision + PYQs done

Environment revision ->done 

CA revision ->done 

Newspaper ->done 

Total time studied ->8 hours 49 mins 

Overall it was a really productive day. Besides my studies, I went for a long walk, read a book (Dante's Divine Comedy) for an hour, watched a football match (Barca vs Juventus). It was one of those days where it looked like I had all the time and energy I needed. I guess the main reason is that yesterday I took a break so I'm feeling completely rejuvenated today. Let's hope the momentum carries on. Goodnight amigos :) 

2.9k views