PSIR - Strategy, resources & discussion - ForumIAS

PSIR - Strategy, resources & discussion

Hi peeps. Let’s do this!

1. Previous papers from 2009 (both papers are in the same PDF):here

2. Topic-wise PYQs: here 

3. Look for PDFs of books here: b-ok.cchttp://libgen.rs/archive.org

4. Model answers from SR:here 

5. OnlyIAS notes, if you need extra matter for a few topics:here 

6. SR notes, typed:politicsforindia.com

Bajrang Lonikar,Saloni2607and89 otherslike this
296.8k views

1.2k comments

What test series are you people thinking of? Don’t think we can take topper testimonials about promptness of correction and quality of comments at face value. Anyone have any reliable reviews from previous attempts?
65.3k views
In PSIR , shubra mam classes r only option for students.Either u dont join tests series or i u will join,then SR MAM is only option.
63.7k views
In PSIR , shubra mam classes r only option for students.Either u dont join tests series or i u will join,then SR MAM is only option.

yeah that’s pretty much what I’ve gathered too. Are you joining?

65.2k views
yes,its every year ritual for me..
63.6k views
Achchha. No problems with feedback etc? 
65.1k views
@sunnykumarroy658377 online or offline, for this year? 


63.6k views

@sunnykumarroy658377 could you please link to the test series page? Can’t find one for 2020 mains on her website 

65.1k views
What test series are you people thinking of? Don’t think we can take topper testimonials about promptness of correction and quality of comments at face value. Anyone have any reliable reviews from previous attempts?

SR crash course is a one-stop solution in my opinion. It helped me last year. The only issue with SR test series is their pathetic evaluation. There is no standard criteria, but the test-discussion is good.

As regards the test-evaluation, I am a strong votary of peer evaluation in PSIR.

I have no knowledge of GS Score PSIR test series. Many people join it. May be they can enlighten.

Zlatan07,ANNAVIRAJAand2 otherslike this
65.8k views
What test series are you people thinking of? Don’t think we can take topper testimonials about promptness of correction and quality of comments at face value. Anyone have any reliable reviews from previous attempts?

SR crash course is a one-stop solution in my opinion. It helped me last year. The only issue with SR test series is their pathetic evaluation. There is no standard criteria, but the test-discussion is good.

As regards the test-evaluation, I am a strong votary of peer evaluation in PSIR.

I have no knowledge of GS Score PSIR test series. Many people join it. May be they can enlighten.

bro do you have previous year evaluated answersheets of shubhra mams testseries? 

63.4k views
What test series are you people thinking of? Don’t think we can take topper testimonials about promptness of correction and quality of comments at face value. Anyone have any reliable reviews from previous attempts?

SR crash course is a one-stop solution in my opinion. It helped me last year. The only issue with SR test series is their pathetic evaluation. There is no standard criteria, but the test-discussion is good.

As regards the test-evaluation, I am a strong votary of peer evaluation in PSIR.

I have no knowledge of GS Score PSIR test series. Many people join it. May be they can enlighten.

bro do you have previous year evaluated answersheets of shubhra mams testseries? 

Some. Yes! DM me

63.7k views
What test series are you people thinking of? Don’t think we can take topper testimonials about promptness of correction and quality of comments at face value. Anyone have any reliable reviews from previous attempts?

SR crash course is a one-stop solution in my opinion. It helped me last year. The only issue with SR test series is their pathetic evaluation. There is no standard criteria, but the test-discussion is good.

As regards the test-evaluation, I am a strong votary of peer evaluation in PSIR.

I have no knowledge of GS Score PSIR test series. Many people join it. May be they can enlighten.

Thanksss! Could you tell me a bit about what the crash course involves? Could only find a schedule on the website. Are the classes supposed to be comprehensive and cover the whole syllabus? Or just paper discussion? And how long are the lectures? I’ve already taken coaching for PSIR, and covered the syllabus twice (once last year and once after the prelims was extended), so I don’t know if I should take more classes or just tests. Whenever you find some time :)

64.9k views
How are you approaching Optional Revision? 
Can anyone among you share your tentative schedule and strategy? Would be grateful. 
whatonly,
63.3k views
What test series are you people thinking of? Don’t think we can take topper testimonials about promptness of correction and quality of comments at face value. Anyone have any reliable reviews from previous attempts?

SR crash course is a one-stop solution in my opinion. It helped me last year. The only issue with SR test series is their pathetic evaluation. There is no standard criteria, but the test-discussion is good.

As regards the test-evaluation, I am a strong votary of peer evaluation in PSIR.

I have no knowledge of GS Score PSIR test series. Many people join it. May be they can enlighten.

Thanksss! Could you tell me a bit about what the crash course involves? Could only find a schedule on the website. Are the classes supposed to be comprehensive and cover the whole syllabus? Or just paper discussion? And how long are the lectures? I’ve already taken coaching for PSIR, and covered the syllabus twice (once last year and once after the prelims was extended), so I don’t know if I should take more classes or just tests. Whenever you find some time :)

Crash course is about covering the entire syllabus with high-yielding topics and current affairs. I take it as an opportunity to update my existing notes with the current developments. 

It is basically test-series cum crash course. Till last year, the focus was on course completion with test discussion.

This year, there has been a little change. Ma'am is also giving value addition crisp pointers (quotes, scholars) that are not in her class notes for each topic + all previous years questions are being discussed in a way as to tell the students the way to structure, what to write and where to write etc.


whatonly,
63.7k views

Hi. I took Shubhra maam's crash course cum test series (2018 mains) and GS Score Chaubey Sir's in 2019 Mains. I'll give a brief feedback. While I myself couldn't make the best use of them, I hope this helps you all nevertheless. 

Shubhra Maam

I'd taken her usual foundation course beforehand. Those notes are good- more focused on giving background + giving lot of fodder for us to pick and choose. However, it doesn't focus much on exam specific answer writing approach (understanding the question-structure-way of presentation-academic rigour etc). The crash course fills these gaps. The sectional papers go to decent depths, the question range is good (I think they sift through top Universities graduate/post graduate level papers as well). The extra material is also quite useful to have a more diversified content from the foundation notes. Quotes from scholars and book references are particularly useful. She didn't do the entire syllabus with us, kind of mixed bag from all sections. More focus was on 2B since the foundation doesn't cover it well and plus it is super dynamic. Also, the batch size is huge, which helps in guaging peer competition and even learning from topper copies. 

I did have some issues, as follows:

1. The content gets overwhelming. If your PSIR syllabus isn't complete or notes half way done just after Pre, then it gets really confusing as to what should the focus be on. The stakes are higher if its your first attempt. 

2. Method- I'm not fond of her style of teaching via dictation. It gets slow, monotonous and you feel like this thing could have been done in more rushed manner. So most of the tests would be analysed this way- she'd give an initial idea of understanding the question, the approach to be adopted, and then dictate the answer.  

3. Evaluation- With the number of students involved, it is fair to assume she doesn't check your papers. 

Overall- If your content and notes coverage has been decent, this crash course really adds the killer shot without you getting overburdened. If this coverage is anyway excellent on your part, then the crash course might not have much value. Sadly they don't offer just the test series without the crash course.

Their online interface is good (I had both offline and online access in 2018) and they also check your copies well in time. If you've cleared Pre and need a particular test copy to be checked faster, you can request and they comply. It happened with me then. They also uploaded class notes just in case you missed a lecture.


GS Score

I chose this because there were a couple of toppers, getting 320+ in PSIR and crediting him, in recent years. Shubhra maam has the market, but to me, it seemed more of a 280-300 marks max market. Since most PSIR students are relying on SR notes, the niche factor that pushes your score to 320 (I felt), must come from somewhere else. 

Positives- The method to understand and approach the question, I felt, was better here. He is also the one who's evaluating your tests. Sadly these were the only positives I had.

Limitations- Very limited peer group; question range not as expansive; supplementary content not much useful; very bad website interface (I had joined online module this time) and a bit unprofessional with the evaluation timelines. There was one test I attempted i think a month before mains started, and they probably forgot to evaluate. I also didn't bother at this stage. And I was surprised to find it evaluated and sent on mail after my GS papers in the 4 day break :P

SR has a big team and institutionally, very professional in handling such nitty gritties. 

I hope this was helpful :)

Monkey D. Luffy,Rewl1and8 otherslike this
68.1k views

Thank you@Porus and@AzadHindFauz :D will be very helpful!

Porus,Hitman2021
64.8k views
How are you approaching Optional Revision? 
Can anyone among you share your tentative schedule and strategy? Would be grateful. 

I’m revising my notes and making super concise post-its (Dhananjay Singh Yadav style). Will be putting aside a couple of hours for answering PYQs from the topics I cover everyday. Yet to make a plan for IR (II-B) - planning on giving it an hour every night to cover significant topics and then modify plan as needed. Along with the below I’ll also be doing world history and GSIV giving it a couple of hours everyday.

07/10 - western political thought

08/10 - Indian political thought 

09/10 - political ideologies 

10/10 - justice, equality, rights, democracy 

11/10 - political theory meaning & approaches 

13/10 to 15/10 - freedom struggle from Bipan Chandra, doing in detail as it will be useful in GSI as well 

16/10 - my notes for paper I-B

17/10 - Laxmikanth, any loose ends in paper I

18/10 to 21/10 - my notes for paper II-A

22/10 - Answer Writing only 



ishitatri,ANNAVIRAJAand2 otherslike this
64.9k views

I am starting PSIR for 2021 attempt. I have Shubhra maam notes from my friend but have not done coaching. 

It would be helpful if you people can guide me as to how to start prep in terms of notes, books, test series etc.

I wish all of you clear with good ranks this year.

All the best.

Thank you all

66.1k views

I am starting PSIR for 2021 attempt. I have Shubhra maam notes from my friend but have not done coaching. 

It would be helpful if you people can guide me as to how to start prep in terms of notes, books, test series etc.

I wish all of you clear with good ranks this year.

All the best.

Thank you all

@AzadHindFauz @whatonly @sunnykumarroy658377 @Porus 

If you can guide please. Will be helpful sir/ma'am.

Thankyou

whatonly,
66.1k views
@Hitman2021 Hey. The foundation notes are good. Since foundation coaching is mainly via dictation method, you don't really miss out if you've not taken it.
  1. Since you have time for 2021 mains, aim for completing the PSIR syllabus with all shorter notes in the next 3-4 months. Preferably by December since freshers tend to focus solely on Prelims January onwards.
  2. Even if you think you might not be able to finish all, atleast make sure you're sorted with 1A and 2A, which are the theory portions. 1A takes a lot of time, it is ma'am's forte as well so the notes are quite helpful. 
  3. When you start reading the notes, start from 1A and supplement with one book if you can. Rajiv bhargava, OP Gauba are the usual ones (1A), Andrew Heywood, Baylis and Smith (2A). 
  4. When you're doing a topic, check PYQ and try attempting them. If you're having the writer's block, go through topper copies and ransack their writing styles or interesting quotes, data, presentation etc
  5. Consolidate your notes in usually one page format. Say if you're doing western political thought, make notes of each thinker on one page, relying on pyq etc. When you do complete your syllabus, you can find interlinkages between several topics, so you write that as well on these notes. Finding such linkages takes time, but with more prep, it becomes feasible. 
  6. 2B is very dynamic. Ma'am's notes also aren't thorough in them. So you'd have to do major side by side work on this - reading editorials, scholars opinion/quotes, book references, data (eg trade). Besides Hindu, you can refer to other newspapers online just for the IR editorials, then think tanks like orf, idsa, magazines like the Diplomat are also a good aid. All of these are really the ideal, and if you do it, you'd be in great control. I couldn't, mix and match karna parhta hai and hope that atleast some things are done. 
  7. 1B is my Achilles' heel, so I can't help much here. I request others to please pitch in here. 
  8. Practice answer writing after the topics are done. If you do complete your preparation with a whole section (say 1A), you can find free sectional tests to practice 3 hour papers. 

If I have more suggestions, I'll share. This would have been my ideal approach (sigh) , but I couldn't implement it properly myself. One doesn't want others to go through similar mistakes. I don't know your academic background, but if you find PSIR interesting, it is a wonderful subject to fall in love with and prepare. You definitely wouldn't get bored of it. It is helpful with some overlap in GS2, essay and ethics. The only major constraint is the long syllabus- longer to complete and entire revision is a big headache after pre and in the 4 day break after GS. 


Spock,ANNAVIRAJAand2 otherslike this
65.3k views

Porussaid

@Hitman2021 Hey. The foundation notes are good. Since foundation coaching is mainly via dictation method, you don't really miss out if you've not taken it.
  1. Since you have time for 2021 mains, aim for completing the PSIR syllabus with all shorter notes in the next 3-4 months. Preferably by December since freshers tend to focus solely on Prelims January onwards.
  2. Even if you think you might not be able to finish all, atleast make sure you're sorted with 1A and 2A, which are the theory portions. 1A takes a lot of time, it is ma'am's forte as well so the notes are quite helpful. 
  3. When you start reading the notes, start from 1A and supplement with one book if you can. Rajiv bhargava, OP Gauba are the usual ones (1A), Andrew Heywood, Baylis and Smith (2A). 
  4. When you're doing a topic, check PYQ and try attempting them. If you're having the writer's block, go through topper copies and ransack their writing styles or interesting quotes, data, presentation etc
  5. Consolidate your notes in usually one page format. Say if you're doing western political thought, make notes of each thinker on one page, relying on pyq etc. When you do complete your syllabus, you can find interlinkages between several topics, so you write that as well on these notes. Finding such linkages takes time, but with more prep, it becomes feasible. 
  6. 2B is very dynamic. Ma'am's notes also aren't thorough in them. So you'd have to do major side by side work on this - reading editorials, scholars opinion/quotes, book references, data (eg trade). Besides Hindu, you can refer to other newspapers online just for the IR editorials, then think tanks like orf, idsa, magazines like the Diplomat are also a good aid. All of these are really the ideal, and if you do it, you'd be in great control. I couldn't, mix and match karna parhta hai and hope that atleast some things are done. 
  7. 1B is my Achilles' heel, so I can't help much here. I request others to please pitch in here. 
  8. Practice answer writing after the topics are done. If you do complete your preparation with a whole section (say 1A), you can find free sectional tests to practice 3 hour papers. 

If I have more suggestions, I'll share. This would have been my ideal approach (sigh) , but I couldn't implement it properly myself. One doesn't want others to go through similar mistakes. I don't know your academic background, but if you find PSIR interesting, it is a wonderful subject to fall in love with and prepare. You definitely wouldn't get bored of it. It is helpful with some overlap in GS2, essay and ethics. The only major constraint is the long syllabus- longer to complete and entire revision is a big headache after pre and in the 4 day break after GS. 


@Porus This is very helpful.

Thank you very much.

My Background: I have done engineering. Gave attempt in 2018 missed prelims by very small margin.

Then never prepared for mains and optional till now because I shifted to state services. Mains of state services is pending (I have covered most of its syllabus) and so thought to start again for UPSC 2021 as less time is remaining.

I like this subject. Its interesting but yes it has long syllabus.

I will try to implement what you told.

Thank you Sir.

Best wishes for mains. Good luck :)

Porus,
66k views
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