TOPPER’S STRATEGY: Akhil Mahajan, Rank 213, Fourth Attempt, Geography Optional (289 Marks)
IAS TOPPER’S STRATEGY
Fourth Attempt, Geography Optional (289 Marks)
Hello, I am Akhil Mahajan s/o Rakesh Kumar Gupta hailing from town of Jammu. I have got 213 rank in UPSC 2016 in my 4th attempt. I have done graduation in B.Tech. in ECE from Jawahar Lal technological university Hyderabad. I got campus placement in Microsoft , ECE Telecom and Cognizant as well. I however did not join any of these as I was motivated to expand my dads business. Though within a year i realised i have to give back to the society and work for my country. That time i set my goal onUPSC. I was not aware of what to read and what not. I just packed my bags and left for Delhi. I joined some institute and after 2 months I realised it was mere waste of time to sit in class. Moreover the only thing coaching helped me was in proper guidance. As my mother says- kismat se zyada aur samay se pehle kuch ni milta.
- I have been an ardent follower of Insights for the essays and the mains everyday questions.
- I read two newspapers with complete Hindu and only editorials of India Express ( don’t give more than 2 hours to it as i have seen people reading it for 4-5 hours which is unnecessary)
1. Laxmikant for polity ( read and understand every line of laxmikant)
- History – ncert plus spectrum. ( read every line of spectrum).
- Economics sri ram book with use of internet for specific terminology.( investopedia website)
- Geography- 11 and 12 th ncert. ( new plus old one)
- Ancient history and medieval history- ncert 11th old ones.
- Hindu plus indian express( dont waste more than 2 hours)
- Environment- shankar ias
- Art and culture- nitin singhanias book plus ncert of art 11th class
- Science 11 th and 12 th ncerts ( read them only if you have got time to read or your basic concepts are not strong enough)
I have tried to recall all the books which I found useful. Other books include GC Leong, governance in India by Laxmikant, 11th class old biology includes some topics for environment.
These days I have seen newspaper classes emerging or current affairs classes emerging. Please read newspaper yourself and supplement it with INSIGHTS daily current affairs. Solve Insights test series papers regularly.
Tip– try to solve more than 80-85 questions in prelims. Now one thing will come to your mind that how to do it if you don’t know these many. 50-55 questions you can do in 1st reading if you have read the books. For next questions use elimination strategy where by neglect those options which you are sure of that they will never be correct. Because even if 3 out of 4 questions you attempted of which you are not sure goes wrong, one correct out of 4 will cancel the negatives so you don’t lose anything.
Coming to Mains, the preparation for is UPSC Mains is multi-pronged as you are preparing for mains when you are reading newspapers in addition to reading textbooks . My marks increased in almost all GS papers this year ( 408 total in 2015 mains to 442 this year). I followed same answer writing style but enriched them with diagrams wherever needed.
Genera Studies 1 ( I scored 123 marks this year and 110 last year)
Starting with history portion– read Bipin Chandra both books ( before and since). Since Independence book has to be read selectively neglecting the unnecessary chapters. For world history I read vision IAS notes supplemented with Baliyan world history optional class notes. I read old NCERT of world history but I did not like it much from exams point of view. Art and culture I did from Niting Sighania’s and TATA McGraw hill book.
Geography portion– I had optional geography so it wasn’t much of a deal for me. But follow NCERT 11 and 12th along with GC Leong.
Society part is generic one which we read in newspapers and if you have time then 11th class ncert sociology book should be read as it contains few good topics.
- Didn’t use quotes in last para.
- I prefer beginning essay with a case study.
- Use quotes like 6-7 in single essay.
- Prepare proper structure and then write.
- Try to cover all aspects with examples.