PSIR - Strategy, resources & discussion - ForumIAS

PSIR - Strategy, resources & discussion

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

68.2k 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

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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 :)

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Hey@Hitman2021,this would be my first attempt so I’m not really in a position to give advice.@Porus has outlined a great approach - that would be my ideal as well this time.

I spent quite some time time making notes aligned with the syllabus - half this time last year and half after prelims was postponed, and that has become extremely helpful now, I can tell already. And as Porus said, if you really come to love the subject it won’t feel like too much of a burden - until now I’ve enjoyed every bit and am really excited about the coming months.  Since you’re preparing for 2021 you have a decent amount of time, so my only suggestion would be to take your time with understanding the concepts - it will pay off when you have to revise.

As regards I-B, I read Oxford’s Companion to Politics in India. It has an overlap with most of the topics in the syllabus. It is a dense read but can be quite enjoyable. I made notes from it. For the freedom struggle part I’m going with Bipan Chandra as it will also be useful for GSI. I also went through selective chapters of Bipan Chandra’s India Since Independence for topics like land reforms, agrarian struggles. The rest I think Laxmikanth should be enough. I went and bought D D Basu in a fit of excitement but don’t think I’ll have a chance to use it yet.

I also ordered Shubhra Ranjan ma’am’s notes through the postal correspondence course they offer, but somehow I did not find it suitable for me at least for a first reading. I spent some time worrying about this since virtually everyone recommends her notes, but I gave up and used the book by Subrata Mukherjee and Sushila Ramaswamy instead. Took longer but I understood the ideas well - after that I was able to go through the notes and pick additional points. For Indian thought I used V R Mehta’s book and then the notes. So see what works for you - just make sure you understand the ideas clearly. 

I took coaching last year from an institute here in Hyderabad. Our teacher was not like your usual coaching faculty - he was more academic, a professor. Those were a beautiful five months I spent soaking in every bit of knowledge he imparted. It was awesome. So that has helped tremendously as well.

Engineering here as well. I really hope you fall in love with this subject! 

All the best!

I am also thinking to use books for understanding the topics which are not good in notes.

The Oxford book you mentioned is really good. I have that one and found it good for enriching answers and notes making.

@whatonly I will use your and@Porus Suggestions and make my own strategy.

Thank you for helping me.

Good luck for mains :)

And yes its quite an interesting subject. 

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This month’s Yojana looks interesting - it’s about foreign policy. Haven’t read it yet but seems worth the time.

Yojana-Oct2020.pdf

Thank you Sir.

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This month’s Yojana looks interesting - it’s about foreign policy. Haven’t read it yet but seems worth the time.

Yojana-Oct2020.pdf

Thank you Sir.

Can You resend as its not downloading

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This month’s Yojana looks interesting - it’s about foreign policy. Haven’t read it yet but seems worth the time.

Yojana-Oct2020.pdf

Thank you Sir.

Can You resend as its not downloading

Put a link instead. And I’m not a sir - but please don’t call me ma’am either :p 

OK. Cheers Mate :)

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I joined it last year in anticipation that I will clear Prelims(didn't clear eventually though). Key takeaways-

1. Useful for additions in Part B of Paper 2.

2. Also many PYQs covered by mam.

3.Very poor paper checking. Kind of a deal breaker here.

4.Also since it will be online this time around, I guess not everybody is comfortable attending 3 hours classes.

5.Takes a good proportion of your time. Say you will be spending 3 hours,3 days a week.

An alternative I am looking to join this year-

Some not-so popular PSIR Test Series. This will help in a better feedback on Answer Writing. Most probably going with Lukmaan Ias.The faculty over there looked quite good(from the Youtube videos uploaded). If anybody has an idea about Lukmaan faculty, do contribute.

@mightyraju Looking for a less famous test series too - but Lukmaan has only pub ad test series, not PSIR, at least from their website. Have you checked out SleepyClasses? They’re coming up with a test series soon but not sure exactly when.

TRUPTI DHODMISE (AIR 16, UPSC CSE 2018) joined psir test series of The Unique Academy, Pune.

You can have a look at them too.

She has uploaded her copies too from this test series. You can find them.

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Caesarsaid

@Hitman2021 they are building a good name since 3-4 years. The issue is they also have a Delhi centre. So who would check copies? Pune people might be good,  not sure of the centre here

Bro I will give exam next year. (Skipped this year due to state services) Just shared it because that topper had joined it.

You can contact them and ask if the Pune one is available in online mode.

And how is GS score test series?@whatonly @Caesar @Porus 

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» show previous quotes

I joined it last year in anticipation that I will clear Prelims(didn't clear eventually though). Key takeaways-

1. Useful for additions in Part B of Paper 2.

2. Also many PYQs covered by mam.

3.Very poor paper checking. Kind of a deal breaker here.

4.Also since it will be online this time around, I guess not everybody is comfortable attending 3 hours classes.

5.Takes a good proportion of your time. Say you will be spending 3 hours,3 days a week.

An alternative I am looking to join this year-

Some not-so popular PSIR Test Series. This will help in a better feedback on Answer Writing. Most probably going with Lukmaan Ias.The faculty over there looked quite good(from the Youtube videos uploaded). If anybody has an idea about Lukmaan faculty, do contribute.

@mightyraju Looking for a less famous test series too - but Lukmaan has only pub ad test series, not PSIR, at least from their website. Have you checked out SleepyClasses? They’re coming up with a test series soon but not sure exactly when.

They have a faculty for PSIR-Tejal Khandelwal. I remember logging on to their website in February and PSIR Test Series was available then. When I checked now, it is only showing a course by the name PSIR Foundation. Drop a mail(or otherwise I can do this). Also Unique too has a name but I have no reviews yet. I will like to avoid Sleepy Classes because I don't find them too reliable for an Optional Test Series.

*Also avoid Chaubey Sir. He is very knowledgeable(I took PSIR coaching in IAS Score) but then he is lazy as hell and largely avoids putting any efforts.

Bro how is Chaubey sir's coaching. I have heard he is good for paper 2.

Is it worth the money and time.

Or should I just rely on Shubhra ma'am notes and basic books. (For 2021)



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Caesarsaid

@Hitman2021 TS is good. Evaluation is also good. But the problem is they are slow and the team managing all this is not good. Last year they emailed me copies late, that too without scanning pages properly. If you reside in or near ORN then it should not be an issue. 


Thanks mate.

Means now for people outside Delhi, finding good online PSIR test series with timely evaluation and good feedback is a task in itself.

Lets see what people here suggest.


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Bhai if you have to choose b/w Shubhra Mam and Piyush Sir,then go for Shubhra. Also Shubhra Mam's notes are more than enough. Even though I was a student of Piyush Sir,I prepared my own notes from Shubhra Mam.As someone has suggested, IAS Score's TS is better than Shubhra Ranjan. This is due to the fact that copies are evaluated by Shashank Sir(associate faculty for PSIR and a very good teacher indeed).

Ok then I will use Shubhra maam notes and books for my preparation.

Thanks brother. All the best

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Caesarsaid

@Hitman2021 maybe covid 19 will change the situation. Institutes would have invested good in making their online portals and system more efficient


Yes, it will be helpful. 

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Bhai if you have to choose b/w Shubhra Mam and Piyush Sir,then go for Shubhra. Also Shubhra Mam's notes are more than enough. Even though I was a student of Piyush Sir,I prepared my own notes from Shubhra Mam.As someone has suggested, IAS Score's TS is better than Shubhra Ranjan. This is due to the fact that copies are evaluated by Shashank Sir(associate faculty for PSIR and a very good teacher indeed).

Ok then I will use Shubhra maam notes and books for my preparation.

Thanks brother. All the best

Ok.Good luck Hitman aka Rohit Sharma 

Cheers Mate.

Yes. Its a pleasure to watch Rohit Sharma Bat in full flow.  :)

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Hey people, could you share toppers’ mocks that you find useful? I found mocks of Megha Arora and Trupti Dhodmise but can’t seem to find anymore.

https://iasscore.in/toppers-copy/304

In this above link, select exam year on top right of page.

Scroll down after GS copies you will get political science copies.

You can find copies of Dinesh Kumar RANK 6 in 2016 and AMRITPAL KAUR (RANK: 44) in 2018 which are useful.

There are copies of other toppers too from which you may select.@whatonly 


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Thank you both! :) 

@Caesar could you tell me whose those are?

I think they are of Pooja Ranawat ma'am.

She got 319 marks in psir in 2017 exam.

You can find her strategy here :

https://poojaranawat.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/political-science_ideal-vs-real-approach/

In this link only you will get her copies google drive link.

( I think her strategy is very helpful for us)

10.9k views

Have heard a lot about one pagers for every topic of optional syllabus to revise in the end.

Can you guys help with one or two pics of those notes so that we understand how to prepare those notes after basic reading.

Esp. friends who have given mains with PSIR already.

Will b really helpful.


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Have heard a lot about one pagers for every topic of optional syllabus to revise in the end.

Can you guys help with one or two pics of those notes so that we understand how to prepare those notes after basic reading.

Esp. friends who have given mains with PSIR already.

Will b really helpful.


Anyone who can help in this? Short notes (sample pics) to be made after understanding a topic for quick revision.

@AzadHindFauz @Porus @Caesar 

@Villanelle @mightyraju @whatonly 

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Thank you for helping me.

@AzadHindFauz @whatonly @mightyraju 

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Have heard a lot about one pagers for every topic of optional syllabus to revise in the end.

Can you guys help with one or two pics of those notes so that we understand how to prepare those notes after basic reading.

Esp. friends who have given mains with PSIR already.

Will b really helpful.



Thankyou very much for the help.

Good luck brother.

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Is VISION IAS also doing PSIR test series now?

I saw an advertisement on their youtube channel.



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@Porus Bro but many toppers had PSIR optional in top 200 ranks.

How? Did they balanced it with GS score (esp ethics) and also due to similar scores in other optionals.

(relative performance.)


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Porussaid

Even AIR 6 had PSIR optional, she got 139+107=246. Though she really struck it out of the park with GS 2 (121) and Ethics (162). Quite unbelievable tbh. 


Thats huge in GS.

So GS and optional both are now important to be balanced. Fight for each mark.

What about essay score range. 

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@Porus many people like Yashini maam,

Navneet mann maam etc have got good ranks. Seen interviews on Shubhra maam channel and gs score.

Lets see.

This year ethics is like GS 3 of 2017.

And I think people who got 100+ in all GS papers would have done an excellent job.

I know a person who got 120+ in GS 2 in 2017 this year in 80s in GS 1,2,3.

I Hope and wish you improve in all papers and get good marks in 2020.

Best wishes.

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Porussaid

@Hitman2021 yes, I'd forgotten to mention her. Please do update here if you get to know their marks. Thanks. Good luck to you too :) 


Thanks. Will surely share their marks if I get them. (from blogs etc.)


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@Aurang_mirasudar  yes ofcourse i too quoted at max 3 scholars :)  


It will be helpful for us all if you can share how you make those keynotes (with sample pics if possible).

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@Porus Good to see this. Atleast there are still some people who are being rewarded. 

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@Rookie This is her strategy discussion.

For PSIR jump to 28:20 


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Yashni Nagarajan Ma'am Rank 57 -Answer sheets of GS and PSIR + Answer writing tips.

👇

https://yashniin.wordpress.com/2020/08/18/answer-writing-tips-for-upsc-cse-mains/


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@Hitman2021 Do you know her marks in PSIR?


No, I Know only written total, but not able to find her marksheet. 

I will post here when she shares it.


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