Mains 2021 - Strategy, Doubts, Resources etc - ForumIAS

Mains 2021 - Strategy, Doubts, Resources etc

Hi peeps! 

Prelims result will be declared in 2-3 weeks. We may make it, we might not. Speculations will continue till then.

This thread is for those who want to move on. For those deciding to focus on the next phase of their prep; perhaps the most crucial one. We have less number of days this time (only about 85 days left). Let's collaborate and make the most of this time.

Here are the links to previous year's threads. Do go through them. There are gems in there.

https://forumias.com/post/detail/Mains-2020-Doubt-and-strategy-discussion-thread-1601963441?page=1 - In the description of this thread, you'll find links to paper wise threads of last year plus some handy resources.

https://forumias.com/post/detail/CSE-2021-Plan-Strategy-Daily-Routine-1602556617  This is the 2021 daily routine thread 

https://forumias.com/post/detail/CSE-2022-Plan-Strategy-Daily-Routine-1633964267?page=1 This is the 2022 daily routine thread created by@nerdfighter.

In both these threads, you are free to post your daily targets and hold each other accountable. Or just lurk there and be motivated by the effort people are putting in day after day. 

https://forumias.com/post/detail/Anecdotes-Facts-Examples-for-GS-and-Essay-1634039128 - This thread is created by@sbhati.Do contribute your facts and examples there. We can together build up a collection more than enough to conquer Mains.

Neyawn,DMand33 otherslike this
69.6k views

245 comments

@Joeyisthebest thanks for your suggestions. I am self-preparing from home in Gujarat without any coaching. I am watching Prepladder's free essay videos. I hope that'll help me in this mains. 

2020 mains was my first one (second attempt), I found essay topics to be unfamiliar for me. I selected being human and social justice. In one, I started with quote and in another anecdote. I used subheadings in being human essay and I am still happy with my structuring of that essay. I think different topic and marks could have been different (in favour). I will like to incorporate your 'new dimensions' suggestion.


tarun17,
5.6k views
Has anyone taken insights bridge courses for any of the GS papers? If yes, please share your feedback.
5.4k views
@EUROPOL My score increased from 111 (2018) to 132 (2020) so maybe I can be of some help. 
1. While starting any topic, it is wise to tell the examiner you understand what the topic means. This could be through an quote, story, acentode or simple explanation. I made a random fictional story in the first essay and made original 2-3 line quote kind of stuff in another one to begin with. 

2. I took essay classes from Shabbir sir and it helped me a lot. He made the thinking process and approach towards essay paper very different. So if you can get hold of his notes, it would be nice.

3. The biggest take away from his classes was to not run behind generic political, economic dimensions. Think through the topic and see how you can put dimensions that are more specific for instance children, women, media, etc. 

4. Your conclusion should not only summarize the topic but also give a positive leaving remark.

5. Don't overdo quotes and all. At least I didn't. But I specifically worked on connecting paragraphs which I had missed in last mains. I Googled words that could be used when changing paras.

6. My essays had sub-headings. Both of them. In fact that helped me align my essay better but I didn't use the cliche what, pros/cons, advantages/disadvantages kind of sub-headings. Of course I don't remember what I wrote in exam but I do remember working on this and making some random sub-heading lists, some words that could be used in multiple sub-headings etc. 
For this, Anudeep Sir's essay notes (freely available on his blog) were useful. 

I wrote 2 (or may be 3) tests at Vikas Ranjan sir's and more or less was scoring around 120 in them. I took the comments seriously (more or less connecting paras kind of stuff) but also ignored some. For instance, in almost all essays the remark stated less dimensions. It was true but I had purposely decided not to take all dimensions under one sub heading because I wanted to delve deeper into the dimensions. I took several dimensions but spread across different headings. 

Minal Karanwal mam has written about essays in detail on her blog. I found it helpful


@Joeyisthebestthank you for sharing. Really helpful.


Joeyisthebest,venkataharish
5.4k views

Hi all, 

Could anyone assist me in getting a pdf of blank answer sheets that most accurately mimics the one we get at the actual mains exam?

You can find from UPSC's website. I got to know just today.


5.2k views

Guys are preparing wholeheartedly for mains, no comments from the past 2 days!!!

2 days before I took a lot of tension on myself regarding upcoming mains and my health suffered, now I have decided to not take that much stress, but prepare steadily!

Admgenalanezh,MichaelScarnand1 otherslike this
5k views

Hi all,

Could anyone provide feedback on VisionIAS Advanced Course GS Mains (http://visionias.in/mainsadvance/) if you have attended it earlier or known about it ?


I have some answer writing practice, but do not have proper notes for mains. Since I'm planning for 2022 exam, I thought of joining this course now to understand concepts and make notes from mains answer writing perspective.


On surface level, I found this Vision course better as they claim to cover GS 1,2,3 and 4 (not fully but major topics) and some current affairs as well for a price lesser than other equivalent courses like QEP by MK Yadav and ForumIAS Current affairs classes (which seem to concentrate more on GS 2 and 3 only mostly).


Any feedback / review / comparison of this Vision advanced course of GS or QEP or Forum current affairs would be highly helpful.


Thanks in advance.



FightTillTheEnd,
4.6k views

I am looking for solutions/model answers to PYQs of GS papers.

Can anybody refer me any good source?(within word limits). Either by any topper or an institute

Muffin,
4.4k views
@palindrome7 Hey palindrome7,

You can check these if they are useful for you.

IAS Mains Chapterwise Solved Papers General Studieshttps://www.amazon.in/dp/9325296772/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apan_glt_fabc_dl_23P5S3P1PVA86ET1Y4WY?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

UPSC CSE Mains Previous Years' Solved Papers 2013-20https://www.amazon.in/dp/819509404X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apan_glt_fabc_E7TJJQF3EDBMPE0DZ1PS?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1


4.4k views

@FIGHT_TILL_THE_END thank you. I was looking for some source where people have seen it personally and felt it good.....reviews in amazon are not so trustworthy

4.3k views
🌷🌷🌷🌷
3.9k views
Can anyone suggest a good mains test series....that is cost effective as well?
3.6k views
@IwW I took essay Programme at Shabbir.. I couldn't find it useful... I felt by following his strategy, we are killing our own unique thought process.. His hacks in class like targeted brainstorming, Keywords substitution etc limits our innovation.. As a result my essay marks came down to 111 in 2020 from 128  earlier. Essay is about presenting our original opinion, joining his classes might compromise in arriving at our own original opinion. Rather better to take test series and see how you can present your thoughts in organized manner.


Admgenalanezh,IwWand3 otherslike this
3.8k views
@Strong hmm thanks for posting, this means next time I can also get above 120-130 from 111 in 2020.


3.5k views

Any body is making notes from test series specially for gs1,2,3 

I am finding difficulty in making notes... thode comphrensive hi ban rahe hai,nd fir revising me dikkat ho rhi hai

Admgenalanezh,
3.2k views
@EUROPOL My score increased from 111 (2018) to 132 (2020) so maybe I can be of some help. 
1. While starting any topic, it is wise to tell the examiner you understand what the topic means. This could be through an quote, story, acentode or simple explanation. I made a random fictional story in the first essay and made original 2-3 line quote kind of stuff in another one to begin with. 

2. I took essay classes from Shabbir sir and it helped me a lot. He made the thinking process and approach towards essay paper very different. So if you can get hold of his notes, it would be nice.

3. The biggest take away from his classes was to not run behind generic political, economic dimensions. Think through the topic and see how you can put dimensions that are more specific for instance children, women, media, etc. 

4. Your conclusion should not only summarize the topic but also give a positive leaving remark.

5. Don't overdo quotes and all. At least I didn't. But I specifically worked on connecting paragraphs which I had missed in last mains. I Googled words that could be used when changing paras.

6. My essays had sub-headings. Both of them. In fact that helped me align my essay better but I didn't use the cliche what, pros/cons, advantages/disadvantages kind of sub-headings. Of course I don't remember what I wrote in exam but I do remember working on this and making some random sub-heading lists, some words that could be used in multiple sub-headings etc. 
For this, Anudeep Sir's essay notes (freely available on his blog) were useful. 

I wrote 2 (or may be 3) tests at Vikas Ranjan sir's and more or less was scoring around 120 in them. I took the comments seriously (more or less connecting paras kind of stuff) but also ignored some. For instance, in almost all essays the remark stated less dimensions. It was true but I had purposely decided not to take all dimensions under one sub heading because I wanted to delve deeper into the dimensions. I took several dimensions but spread across different headings. 

Minal Karanwal mam has written about essays in detail on her blog. I found it helpful


@Joeyisthebestthank you for sharing. Really helpful.


Please avoid too many dimensions in the two essay format. Stick to 5/7/9 broad themsee. The radically high number of dimensions was rewarded in the single essay paper structure earlier, but increasingly too many dimensions May kills your essay score. Should not be a khichri.

GaneshGaitonde,Kapiushonand6 otherslike this
3.2k views

@Neyawn I have a doubt.. If one is attending dipin sir's classes, does that person also need to go through monthly magazines or are the classes sufficient. 

I am specifically asking for mains 2021. There isn't much time left and I have to cover a lot in gs, so I want to rationalise my time to the best.. 

I have been following epic magazines since it's first edition, but I stopped reading it from July because of prelims.. 

gaugau24,Muffinand1 otherslike this
2.9k views

@Neyawn I have a doubt.. If one is attending dipin sir's classes, does that person also need to go through monthly magazines or are the classes sufficient. 

I am specifically asking for mains 2021. There isn't much time left and I have to cover a lot in gs, so I want to rationalise my time to the best.. 

I have been following epic magazines since it's first edition, but I stopped reading it from July because of prelims.. 

Sir will take about 25 classes post Prelims, those are the most important. The classes will be at a fast pace than usual. You can expect 2-3 issues per class.

Sir will provide list of important issues and handouts for issues that can be done from handouts without need for class. So that should suffice.

heisenberg_,RaGaand4 otherslike this
2.8k views

I am looking for solutions/model answers to PYQs of GS papers.

Can anybody refer me any good source?(within word limits). Either by any topper or an institute

There is one document by an IFoS officer, Rohit Wadhawan i believe. GS score have solved papers for 2016 & 2015 i guess. PYQ solutions could also be found at Drishti website. None of this source is complete, but give a few dimensions.

Admgenalanezh,palindrome7and1 otherslike this
2.5k views

Hey guys, this is my 1st attempt and I'm confident of clearing prelims. I did take coaching but left it midway as it didn't help me much. Now i donno how to prepare for Ethics as different people are saying different things. Can someone help me out@Caesar @whatonly I have some basic notes prepared from mrunal website and lexicon after this year prelims got postponed but everywhere people are suggesting to take some classes 

nerdslayer,captainhaddock
1.9k views
@Neyawn That's true. Too many dimensions, superficially mentioned in the essay brought down my score in 2018. Correcting the same was rewarded in 2020 mains. But several people still recommend including as many dimensions as possible, do not know how that works.



EUROPOL,
1.7k views
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