TOPPER’S STRATEGY: Prabhat Ranjan Pathak, Rank 137, First Attempt



Prabhat Ranjan Pathak

Rank 137, CSE 2016


Hello friends, I am Prabhat Rajan Pathak (AIR 137, 1st attempt). It’s always a pleasure to get results on expected line on which you have worked. The kind of efforts I was putting in, it wasn’t difficult to predict the marks which I was going to get to qualify this exam.

Learning from mistakes of others, analysing what my capacities were, where I was weak and finding own shortcuts helped me a lot. So getting 466 (p1-118, p2-115, p3-117, p4-116) in GS was a pleasant surprise in very first attempt though I had predicted it to go upto 400+.

How to start:
*Any reading without written notes was in vain for my strategy*
My Marks
P-1= 127
Geog(p1)- 117
Personality test-165
Reading resources:
Paper 1- Modern history (India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipan Chandra; Spectrum- Rajiv Ahir/NCERT (old 11th- 3 d)
Ancient-NCERT(old, 11th; 4d)
Medieval-NCERT(old,11th; 4d)
World History- (Arjun dev-history of contemporary world 3d: Unacademy)
Art& Culture- Nitin Singhania(6d)
Geog-G C leong(7d); 11th+ 12th ncert(3d/book)
Social issues- vajiram(rajkumar sir notes) :vision monthly magazine
Paper 2:
-M Laxmikant (4times, few things needed memorization)
-Vision monthly magzine, Insights current affairs, forum ias (news article to read)
Paper 3
-Yojana/kurukshetra- (not read them, make shortnotes of 2-3 page/month from the online sights like Insights for last 15- 16 months)
-Mrunal( economic survey+ mains related videos )
-Economic survey- visionias summary
-current affairs
-Environment(shankarias(8d + -currentaffairs
Paper 4
Lexicon (2-3 line definition on each term in syllabus)
-write up from answers of vision/any test series
Other things:
For 6 months I was a daily follower of current affairs, editorial and daily quiz (because I was not comfortable with The Hindu). Later I also followed secure for few days.
For prelims, I solved Insights prelims test papers. My score  UPSC prelims  was similar to what I used to get in insights prelims tests (I scored 127 in GS1 of CSP-2016).
  • Well, during first 3 months (15 July to October 20) I tried to give 1st reading of few selected static books with target of finishing any book at pace of 80-100 page per day (in bracket i have given days).
Once i started reading a book ,even The Hindu was kept aside for 5 days. Once i finished a book, the very next day i used to finish making notes from news paper of 5-6 days/Insights daily quiz + daily current affairs of insights at a stretch. Meanwhile i used to finish reading of vision/vajiram monthly magzine in 1-2 days at a stretch.
I stopped purchasing The Hindu from November 2016. (This was my strategy, please continue to read The Hindu if it suits you)
2nd reading of every book ended upto December until my optional started from 20 Dec.
The take away is – whatever you start complete it at earliest.
  • From Dec 20 to April 20, along with optional i completed making synopsis(short notes) of static books(except Laxmikant) and every classroom notes(even optional). Once synopsis are ready you need not open the book. The whole book content can be revised in 3-4 hrs.
  • April- May – revising synopsis, making notes out of editorial of (important news article-forumias). from feb to may 3-4 article per day)
  • June- making notes from solutions of test series(vision(25),insights(8), vajiram(10)), mrunal(notes from video of economic survey)
  • July – complete revision-  including vision mothly magnize (12 months)(1-3 July ,18-21 July , 6 aug.
* For memorizing tribes, folk dances etc use India map, & diagrams. Make some pattern to memorise river ( ram(ramganga) jaane(jamuna) gomati ka ghaghra ganda(gandak) kaise(kosi)) & national park.etc
For mains:
Content-short notes of yojana kurkushetra summary(online).
-short notes of economic survey by vision.
-short notes from solution of vision mains test series(to complete all topics across 4 papers).
-short notes of current affair covering each topic in GS
Method– make different folder of paper 1,2,3,4: in each folder have different A4 size sheets with different topic. Try to make a write up on each and every topic from these sources.
Join some less costly mains test series which provide exam like situtation and give you idea of all India ranking( i joined BYJUs) and in your room also practice some test for 3 hrs(like insights/vision/vajiram/).
3 months should be devoted to answer writing on online platforms like insights. Also memorise your optional(give 2 month).
-Write one Essay per week
Method to memorise: I found that memorising a flow chart, schematic ,cycle is much easier than a paragraph. So make your synopsis such that maximum practice of presenting your view points is through these.
Answer writing technique:
Well you can’t be 100% prepared for any exam. In byjus test mostly question were unknown so i tried to attempt every question in a way that about 100 marks can be scored.
Method of answer:
Intro- definition or data based, basically drawn from question
(eg p-2 Q20 macbierd commission- i started with what is unesco, india’s contribution to unesco.
In smart city need – @WB report by 2050 ,nearly 60% poplutaion going to be urban…)
Main body
*Irrespective of discuss, analysis, elaborate use these things*
-1 side of view point(1part of question)  in point or paragraphy format.
-Use of schematic ,digram, data(eg- Child sex ratio, literacy ratio, poverty rate across decades.
Page 2
2nd view point. Or your varient or divergence from point 1(even if not asked directly but in schematic or digram)
Way forward:
Neutral, futuristic, balanced, (try to have at least 4-5 line paragraph or 3-4 points which shows your perspective of ideas & thinking) even you can use digram here(eg: in solution of flood to show river basin management)
In this way atleast 5 marks per question can be expected.
Points to remember:
1) Intro, body(2 varied parts) way forward was always there.
2) Way forward should be neutral & futuristic.
(eg , in p1-s.c Bose vs Gandhi..finally I concluded – both played indispensable role in national movement according to their understanding of global scenario and capacity of Indian society which helped India to achieve conditions for independence at various fronts)
In -Paper-2-In CAG overstepping its  jurisdiction vs audit of govt.
Way forward- in the world largest democracy where cooperative federalism & good governance is the need of hour, governance can’t be seen in compartmentalization rather a productive coordination & cooperation between govt & its various agencies….
3) if possible add digram, schematic ,cycle, data etc where ever possible. Create possibilities to add maximum information.(p1 -globalisation affecting culture..I have shown both +ve (point format) & -ve (used schematic) aspects in main body
Way forward– globalisation has a mixed effect. But given the growing global interactions it cant be rooted out. The pragmatism is in accepting new values while evolving & preserving our traditional values…)
4) what ever comes to your imagination that’s related to question, just draw it. May be it brings marks.