Be very clear about what the General Studies syllabus is; says Siddhant Jain (AIR 201; CSE 2017)

Siddhant Jain (AIR 201; CSE 2017) talks about his preparation style and the way he chalked out strategy for facing Civil Services Examination.

Optional Subject: Geography

Number of Attempts: 3 (Three)


Siddhant Jain (AIR 201; CSE 2017)


Medium (Language)

Language for Writing Examination: English

Language for Interview: English

Nature of Examination

The unpredictable nature of this examination requires:

1. The basics crystal clear

2. Frequent Revision and developing independent thinking ability

3. Frequently put oneself to tests in simulated conditions to check the mettle

Views about Preliminary Examination

Preliminary Examination is a big challenge. But it’s as challenging as for one and all.

Keep the basics strong and practice papers.

Luck is not in one’s hand, so one should focus on what one can control

Role of Optional Subject

Selection of Optional Subject: Choose the one you like and not only the one which the herd says as without general interest one would not be able to go deep. Discuss with a small group of guides (teachers, friends etc.) and choose it

Optional Subject Role: It plays very important role as optional are high scoring than GS. Average topper would have 54-58 % in optional and 43-45% in GS.

Targeting General Studies

General Studies makes one well rounded. Beyond examination also, genuine knowledge about so many diverse things makes an enriching personality.

From exam perspective, obviously it’s very important as it has weightage of more than 50%.

General Approach:

1. Be very clear about what the syllabus is. Paste it on your wall and know every comma and full stop of it (applies for optional also)

2. Cover each and every point as per syllabus and make sure to keep an index from which source it has been prepared

My approach towards each paper:

PS : below is the paper wise precise approach and not the source to complete syllabus

GS 1 : 1. Know why things happened in history with the ability to connect things and don’t limit self to facts

2. Understand phenomenon in physical geography and the ability to explain them with theory

3. For society, understand the behavioural aspects of society which we live in daily and connect it with fundamental knowledge

GS 2 :  1. Map recent happenings with constitutional provisions

2. Learn preamble well and use it as a fundamental constitutional value to prove your point in governance as well

3. Have more focus on our neighbours and related issues in IR

GS 3 : 1. For economy, know watershed moments in our independent economic history and reasons why they arrived. Focus on trends and reasons for them

2. Prepare general disasters, any recent one and mould the knowledge as per question

3. For environment, know about climate change and its impact, important statutes and the role have played in conservation

4. For security, know recent threats that have cropped up and primarily how India is dealing with them

GS 4 : 1. Develop robust behavioural understanding of society around you apart from learning definitions

2. Keep ready examples for values to quote like for empathy, trust, love etc.

3. Feel the questions; be MORAL+LEGAL+RATIONAL

Essay Paper and Interview (Personality Test) - Evaluation of my efforts by UPSC

Essay and Interview played a very important role as they are high scoring (score can go more than 60% in essay and 70% in interview as compared to around 50% in GS papers). They require less preparation and are more rewarding.

I got average marks in essay (148/250) and interview (173/275). I had prepared extensively for interview, although I am satisfied with the score. I prepared very less for essay and the score is okay.

I did not have any expectation on final score so I can’t compare with what I had in mind and the actual one.

Know more about Siddhant Jain: Don’t compare your journey with someone else; Take some clues to stimulate your efforts and make your preparation effectual, says Siddhant Jain (AIR 201; CSE 2017)

Last Update Sunday 17th June 2018     

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