What is the 1 thing you learned from your Prelims failure? - ForumIAS

What is the 1 thing you learned from your Prelims failure?

So Prelims is to come in about 5 months. For those of us who have written the Prelims before, what is the one thing prelims failure has taught you?

jack_Sparrow,DMand26 otherslike this
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@LetsGetThisBread hey, could you elaborate upon the system you developed for rote learning?


5.1k views
@LetsGetThisBread hey, could you elaborate upon the system you developed for rote learning?


Is it ok if I get back to queries after the 16th? Pakka promise will tell

Darvey78,chamomileand11 otherslike this
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@LetsGetThisBreadThank you for the reply. And did you do all the class 6-10 NCERTs?


6- 10 and 11-12 for bio

Thanks again.


4.9k views

Bravesaid

Its like scratching wounds which has not even healed properly but will definitely share my learnings.

1. When you hear "give 3-5 months before prelims exclusively to prelims" means you leave any mains preparation and revise only for prelims and does not mean you start studying for prelims for the first time in those 3-5 months. This time is only for revising and not understanding the subject for the first time. (especially for first timers and who are not from Delhi/ any coaching hub/did not join coaching and watched only topper's videos)

2. You don't give up before even trying.

3. You don't judge yourself/your preparation / performance /compare yourself with others in the exam hall.

4. Static books>current affairs

5. Run after basic/conceptual questions and not few obscure fact based questions.



You should write an article a detailed one sometime. To ne honest, it may take a person upto 2 months to just do laxmikant. That's because straight out of college it takes time to develop studying habits and sitting habits, and knack for how to speed read and how to make nemonics and all that.

If I were to start afresh, i would take at least 45 days just to do 1 book. The time of 5 months means you have some idea of the subject fro before. This year CSE 2020 the youngest candidate is 1999 born selected at the age of 22 ( applied at the age of 21) i know one such kid.


It may look heroic that she managed such a good rank in first attempt but the truth is she has been preparing since college.

Why? 

Because someone in the family was preparing. 

Things take time. We flunk prelims - half of us because we don't study, but another half who studies for Mains when prelims comes closer.

GaneshGaitonde,Saint_and11 otherslike this
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1. Never underestimate the importance of revising the static part as well as attempting the mocks. Mocks help in time management specially with the trend of relatively lengthier questions for the past few years.

2. Don't overspend time on a particular question, don't take it upon you ego to solve the question say if its from polity or a well read subject.  

3. DO NOT PANIC. It costs alot in the exam. Easy questions gone wrong can stop your selection and haunt you for the next 1 year.

4. Don't leave questions thinking you never read them. More than half of the paper will be a surprise. Apply common sense. Keep calm.


GaneshGaitonde,MichaelScarnand6 otherslike this
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Disclaimer: Question might be a bit subjective, somewhat unrelated to the explicit essence of thread, but still putting it out. Also knowing that point of mocks is self evaluation and plugging the revision gaps, rather than expecting similar questions in the Pre. 

Given the changing pattern of UPSC pre questions and an observed phenomenon of patterns of some famous test series becoming obsolete, any suggestions, apart from and in addition to, Forum PT and SFG (these are undoubtedly good!) ? 

Any senior players? Or anyone having seen last year's trend? 

Darvey78,Archandand1 otherslike this
4.3k views

Neyawnsaid

» show previous quotes

You should write an article a detailed one sometime. To ne honest, it may take a person upto 2 months to just do laxmikant. That's because straight out of college it takes time to develop studying habits and sitting habits, and knack for how to speed read and how to make nemonics and all that.

If I were to start afresh, i would take at least 45 days just to do 1 book. The time of 5 months means you have some idea of the subject fro before. This year CSE 2020 the youngest candidate is 1999 born selected at the age of 22 ( applied at the age of 21) i know one such kid.


It may look heroic that she managed such a good rank in first attempt but the truth is she has been preparing since college.

Why? 

Because someone in the family was preparing. 

Things take time. We flunk prelims - half of us because we don't study, but another half who studies for Mains when prelims comes closer.

I think nearly everybody who decides to enter in preparation knows which books to study from (the basic 5 for prelims) but they don't know when to study what, how to study basic books, what to study/focus and the most important what not to study.

I have nearly stopped watching topper's videos a long back. It is not that they hide what they did right but sometimes they also don't know what exactly worked/ sometimes what they are trying to say gets lost in miscommunication/ something which works only for them and not others/ two topper's saying opposite things but both things work for them respectively, etc. Though I liked what Apala Mishra (Rank9) (in forumias community meet) said because my experiences were similar.

Maybe will write an article but that would mean going over and confronting past mistakes which will be painful. Maybe I will write when I become mentally stronger and don't judge my past self /mistakes and be kinder to myself.

dalpha,KatnissEverdeenand14 otherslike this
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Hello all...:)

Well... thought to share what I learned from my prelims failure..:)

1: STOP FREQUENT VISIT TO THE BOOK SHOP: credit goes to the topper's video which I saw on a regular basis before my prelims and kept on changing my mind.....

2: FOCUS MORE ON STATIC PART....I focused more on current(WHICH OBVIOUSLY GAVE ME A SHOCK) but not this time..as i am Fully devoted to the static part 

3: NEWSPAPER READING WITH FOCUS( what i thought if I'm gonna miss something will read it from the PDF which is the biggest mistake)

4: MOCKS...it needs to be considered seriously..I had a well planned schedule of solving diff tests but I ended up not revising any one of them)

5: NCERT'S..( No substitute available) it needs to be done thoroughly.. specially CLASS 11th(Geography) which till date is a hurdle for me...

6: CSAT...( WELL.here comes the disappointing part i thought MATHS and ENGLISH are doable because Of the speed test i use to give while preparing for Banking exams)

So..yess...on 29thOctober when I saw the  pdf... searched my roll number.... and it showed "NO RESULTS FOUND" i realised all this..[ analysed my mistakes] too...

All the best People..👍:) HAVE A GOOD DAY..! 


Darvey78,SAand7 otherslike this
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this is how I faced my 6th time pr
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https://youtube.com/shorts/PxOBmEQYDuU?feature=share
this is how I faced my prelims failure.....
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I'm not promoting my you tube channel here but I jast want to let u know tht there is many things tht u'll learn frm upsc failure. I failed many times in upsc prelims and due to this I found my inner writer......jst watch this, u'll get some motivation, I wrote it only for upsc aspirants
3.4k views
@LetsGetThisBread hey, could you elaborate upon the system you developed for rote learning?


Hi, so basically Istart with a timetable. The first iteration is longer compared the others, and with each iteration is usually shave off a day. It keeps the pressure up and makes sure you waste as little time as possible sitting at your desk. Basically it ensure your productivity isn’t decreasing with each round of revision.

So if I keep 5 days per subject for the first iteration, then the second I take 4 days, and third I take 3 days so on and so forth. Bear in mind I’ve already given 3 prelims before so at this point I’m not really understanding concepts just recollecting the details.If you are still in the conceptual stage take your time to understand those first.

Secondly, it is important tolayer information. Don’t try to learn everything in one go you will overwhelm yourself. If I’m trying to learn modern history, the first time I read spectrum I just try to read the book as a story to recollect the facts of what happened after what, not “which resolution was passed in which session of congress presided by whom”. That stuff comes later. Once you’ve learned certain facts with one reading then Itry to break the topic into chunks. Suppose I start with Swadeshi movement and learn all the facts about the moderates, the movements, the leaders involved, the sessions conducted as well as the swadeshi programme. Then you proceed onto the next block. It helps to have notes written or make your notes alongside this stage. When you write you’re less likely to get distracted.

I do not believe in the concept of integrated studies, because the demand of both stages of the exam is fundamentally different socreate a different set of notes. It might feel like duplication but when you need to go through a large volume of the syllabus in a week you will thank yourself. You wont need to pore over copious notes to find the relevant portions for the exam. My modern history notes are basically 5-6 A4 sheets that I folded into 4, compressed all of spectrum into and stapled it like a small booklet. They only contain dates, important chronologies, events, resolutions, features of Acts, revolts, social reform movements, basically a prelims cheat sheet. The size is convenient since it fits inside spectrum as well. But the essence of saying this isgood notes are absolutely necessary because they simplify the process of learning immensely.

Lastly, tryactive recall. I know you can use anki and other such devices but I was very old school that way using a notebook to physically write things multiple times to revise them. I’m sure there’s enough science that says writing helps to reinforce the memory process but I’ll leave the googling to your discretion. While revising I write, after I finish a topic, I quickly jot keywords or sometimes even the first alphabet of the keyword. The next time I come around to the same topic, I first try to recall and write all that I know and then go over the things I missed. Similarly with my current affairs as well, I make online notes and the pages app has a table of contents feature which i basically use as an active recall device- a sort of flash card if you will. Whenever you see the topic try and write down all that you know and then see how many things you miss out. You’ll see that it also cuts down successive revision time.

Is all this tedious? Yes. But is it rewarding? Also yes.

Joeyisthebest,Darvey78and32 otherslike this
4.1k views
@LetsGetThisBread hey, could you elaborate upon the system you developed for rote learning?


Hi, so basically Istart with a timetable. The first iteration is longer compared the others, and with each iteration is usually shave off a day. It keeps the pressure up and makes sure you waste as little time as possible sitting at your desk. Basically it ensure your productivity isn’t decreasing with each round of revision.

So if I keep 5 days per subject for the first iteration, then the second I take 4 days, and third I take 3 days so on and so forth. Bear in mind I’ve already given 3 prelims before so at this point I’m not really understanding concepts just recollecting the details.If you are still in the conceptual stage take your time to understand those first.

Secondly, it is important tolayer information. Don’t try to learn everything in one go you will overwhelm yourself. If I’m trying to learn modern history, the first time I read spectrum I just try to read the book as a story to recollect the facts of what happened after what, not “which resolution was passed in which session of congress presided by whom”. That stuff comes later. Once you’ve learned certain facts with one reading then Itry to break the topic into chunks. Suppose I start with Swadeshi movement and learn all the facts about the moderates, the movements, the leaders involved, the sessions conducted as well as the swadeshi programme. Then you proceed onto the next block. It helps to have notes written or make your notes alongside this stage. When you write you’re less likely to get distracted.

I do not believe in the concept of integrated studies, because the demand of both stages of the exam is fundamentally different socreate a different set of notes. It might feel like duplication but when you need to go through a large volume of the syllabus in a week you will thank yourself. You wont need to pore over copious notes to find the relevant portions for the exam. My modern history notes are basically 5-6 A4 sheets that I folded into 4, compressed all of spectrum into and stapled it like a small booklet. They only contain dates, important chronologies, events, resolutions, features of Acts, revolts, social reform movements, basically a prelims cheat sheet. The size is convenient since it fits inside spectrum as well. But the essence of saying this isgood notes are absolutely necessary because they simplify the process of learning immensely.

Lastly, tryactive recall. I know you can use anki and other such devices but I was very old school that way using a notebook to physically write things multiple times to revise them. I’m sure there’s enough science that says writing helps to reinforce the memory process but I’ll leave the googling to your discretion. While revising I write, after I finish a topic, I quickly jot keywords or sometimes even the first alphabet of the keyword. The next time I come around to the same topic, I first try to recall and write all that I know and then go over the things I missed. Similarly with my current affairs as well, I make online notes and the pages app has a table of contents feature which i basically use as an active recall device- a sort of flash card if you will. Whenever you see the topic try and write down all that you know and then see how many things you miss out. You’ll see that it also cuts down successive revision time.

Is all this tedious? Yes. But is it rewarding? Also yes.

This is so helpful.

Even I never fully appreciated the idea of integrated studies, makes things cumbersome. But your way about it brings in the much needed clarity. Thank you!

LetsGetThisBread,SiddharthJohri
3.2k views
Deleted


3.1k views

The first day I had stepped foot in ORN, me and my friend were looking for places to eat. We found this place called Kathuria's which was located in one of those markets inside ORN, in the middle of main street. After we were done with the most expensive Paratha we had ever eaten till then, the old man sitting on the counter asked us if we had come for Civil Service preparation? We replied in the affirmative. Yes. The old man chuckled and said, "By the time you make sense of this examination, 4 attempts will have passed by". We laughed it off feeling invincible fresh out of a Tier 1 college. The world seemed ours to conquer. However his words were prophetic, at least for me (my friend got into IPS a couple of years ago), and as wisdom has finally dawned over me and mains exam got over leaving me with some time on hands, I can shell out a few bits with respect to Preliminary examination. 


This was my 4th attempt and 2nd Mains. The one thing I observed about prelims was that in a lot of questions I could eliminate 2 options and got confused between the remaining two and eventually I ended up coloring the wrong box. And the only way to not get confused was to be sure and to be sure I had to revise the material I had thoroughly. And this was the major lesson I got and it's something every topper who has ever cleared the exam told. It's common knowledge. An open secret. Why do we don't do it? 

1. We don't have a final source from which to revise from. 

2. Revision is hard. It's difficult. It's one of the most excruciating things we have to go through. 


After 2 failed attempts and going through a myriad of books - D D Basu, Shekhar Bandyopadhyaya, Sriram's Economy, Shankar IAS and what not, thought I had understood the concepts it were those factual questions that took me down. And I didn't have the temerity left to start over again and make notes for continuous revision. So I did the next best thing, I took someone else's notes (in this case it was Mandar Patki's) and started mugging up every thing in there. And for current affairs picked up PT365. I know people say that PT365 is useless these days and don't help at all, but I don't agree. The thing is whatever you pick you have to read it thoroughly. Whether it is your own notes, someone else's notes, some current affairs compilation. Don't start reading anything if you can't revise it gazillion times. And this is the key to prelims people. 

Revise. Revise. Revise and revise once more. Keep revising like your life depends upon it. Keep revising till you throw up. Keep revising till you fall down. And then revise once again. And no power can stop you from clearing prelims. 

D503,GaneshGaitondeand38 otherslike this
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@LetsGetThisBread Can you elaborate on the timetable a bit? How did you manage multiple subjects? How did you fit them all in your revision timetable? For me it gets overwhelming to keep track of all that needs revision, that I end up postponing the revision.

I failed my last prelims largly due to me doing improper revision. I read all the standard books first, and then started revising them in bulk. But by then I had forgotten what I read at the beginning.

Please shed some more light on your time blocks for revision. It will be of great help!

Few tips to keep in mind while making your schedule:

  1. Keep a physical planner to schedule your day as well the month and the months ahead. It gives your studies some structure and tangible targets you need to achieve. Also helps to delineate your syllabus.
  2. Break your P5 :p (geo, pol, MIH, econ, environ). I made a spreadsheet to breakdown topics into various blocks. Group similar topics together so that it makes it easy to revise the chunks for you. For eg: one of the blocks for MIH is social reforms, tribal and civil movements, workers and peasants movement. And for polity would be FR, DPSP, FD.
  3. I always start with a backwards timetable (D- style) this helps you have clarity over exactly how many days you have to compete the entire syllabus. So
  4. I also divide my day into 2 halves. One for GS and the other for optional. You’ll have one ore productive half than the other so divide your topics accordingly where you feel you are lagging or topics that require more attention. I used to switch it up constantly. Your timetable should be flexible enough to grow with you but have enough structure to give you discipline.
  5. Since you have effectively five months and if you’re just beginning give 5 months to pre, splitting the time between pre and optional prep. The first iteration of revision you can give 1.5-2 months. This will the stage that you really understand the concepts. Don’t try to make detailed notes at this stage because you’ll realise with successive revisions that (a) the effective notes you require are much less than you will make at this stage (b) you might make conceptual errors now
  6. Then in the next 3 months you peg your revision to a test series schedule and you keep revising accordingly deciding your syllabus into blocks. You’ll easily be able to manage 4-5 iterations in that time. I would also say that you need to do at least 2 iterations in the last month itself. It might seem daunting but trust me if you try to actively recall things you’ll be able to do it. I finished my polity at least 4 times in the last month itself (of course you will need to pull incredible hours in the last month, but once you have a target at hand it wont feel so terrible) 


Darvey78,June_Osborneand21 otherslike this
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@Brijesh_Barot you will clear bro, you have a very positive attitude👍🏽


Brave,
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I am unable to understand those COPs in ENVIRONMENT  after kyoto

Can someone tell me where i can solve doubt from

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@upsc_prep_ag361 which book do you recommend for analysis of pre pyq 


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