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I am hereby giving responses to some of the often repeated queries that I am receiving. Hope it can help someone.Anu Kumari Time Table For UPSC Preparation – How Many Hours She Studied
Anu Kumari Time Table For UPSC Preparation – How Many Hours She Studied
My daily time table…sleeping from 10 pm to 4 am………………….During the remaining time, exclude the time for meals, rotine activities …………… remaining time was mostly spent in studying only……..nap in afternoon or any other time of the day whenever I felt tired for half an hour or 45 mins……………..when the exam (pre or mains) was not near, I would go for 15 mins morning walk and do little yoga and/or exercise (Pranayaam, stretching etc) for around 10-15 mins……………………….When exam neared as in time falling within a month of the exam, I would stop going for morning walk or doing exercises etc…………………….study on laptop was for around 2-4 hours (depending on what stage of preparation I was in) in the evening and remaining day would be spent on studying from physical books daily……….when I felt saturated/tired, I would sometimes stand up and walk around in the house OR watch my son’s videos recorded by my brother OR chat with my maasi (I was preparing at her house) OR play Ludo with my cousins (When Ludo playing became a kind of addiction, I swore in my son’s name that I would not play Ludo till final selection)…..it may sound funny but here are some of the nuances of my time table………………..I would cover a particular subject in one go and NOT go for multiple subjects in one day (Current affairs was a routine thing, to be done on a daily basis)
Anu Kumari Time Table For UPSC Preparation – How Many Hours She Studied
Which Magazine you Read Magazines–
- None referred (But let me add, “Secure” initiative of Insightsonindia.com did frame Qs from some magazines sometimes)
- Insightsonindia.com used to give links to some important topics discussed on RSTV. I used to watch them (during the phase -after pre and before mains) while having my meal.
Books for specific topics like disaster management or Governance or science and technology (I keep getting such queries)–
- I did not cover things topic wise, some bit was covered in NCERTs, rest through current affairs, sometimes I would google the definitions of topics that sounded abstract to me (eg Governance) and note them down
- Did not use pencil or different colored pens (time does not permit this). Used blue color pen (cello gripper) for writing as well as diagrams
Daily schedule (daily multiple subjects or one topic at a time)–
- I would cover one subject in one go (eg geography in 4 days then history in 5 days and so on) and not multiple subjects in a day
Did you read Yojna Kurukshetra magajines etc?
- No, I did not. Relied on online current affairs only from insightsonindia.com
Did you make notes of current affairs for Pre?
- No, I relied on monthly compilations provided by magazines
Did you make current affairs notes for mains?
- Yes, I did make short notes for mains- soft copy notes (especially relevant for Paper 2 and Paper 3 of GS). Copied from online sources or wrote the gist of a topic in my own words in word doc. It came handy for revision.
How did you revise current affairs of previous 12 months for mains?
- I kind of did not focus much on it. Relied more on latest current affairs (ie during 3-4 months of period between pre and mains) but still almost all got covered bcoz curent affairs run in continuity for several months altogether (eg collegium issue or say disability bill etc and also because I revised the topicwise compilations dedicated for pre provided by insightsonindia.com.
Anu Kumari Time Table For UPSC Preparation – How Many Hours Studied
How to start preparation?
- One can start with NCERTs and standard books (like Laxminkant, Spectrum etc). Read a book, then solve MCQs based on that, that will help you in getting the correct approach on how to study a book, which facts to focus on, what definition to memorise and so on. Then take second reading of that book. This time, you will better understand the approach to study (as you have gone through the MCQs based on that)
When to start reading current affairs?
- Ideally, covering current affairs starting from one year before preliminary exam is a must.
When to start answer writing practice?
- After coverig NCERTs and standard books, (and studying current affairs for a while say 2-3 months) you would have built a good knowledge base. So, one can target completing NCERTs and standard books say in 3 months and then start answer writing practice.
Where to do answer writing practice?
- You can join a mains test series of some coaching institute (they are available free of cost online as well..if financial constraints are there in joining test series) or you can practice “Secure” initiative of insightsonindia (as I did)
When to start ans writing for Sociology optional and how to go about it?
- Start answer writing once you complete your syllabus. If you are taking coaching, then institute itself will be takinf some tests of yours. If no coaching, then finish one topic and then solve past years’ Qs from that (No need to write the ans but just see whether you are able to mentally frame answers to all these Qs or not). As far as full fledged test series is concerned, that can be done after pre (eg I did)
Reading current affairs online is sufficient?
- Well, in my case, I only relied on online current affairs and that too from only one website (insightsonindia). I did not read any newspaper (for pre and mains, at the time of interview preparation, I started reading Indian Express..only one newspaper)
Current affairs are different on different websites, how to manage from multiple websites?
- Yes, there will be little differences but trust one website only. They will cover a particular thing sooner or later. Focus on only one source. If you are still uncertain, what you can do is- go for test series of 2 websites say insights and vision both. This would suffice (PS- I had done only one website and also test series of only one website)
How to keep oneself motivated and focused while studying for such long hours daily?
- Just think of the time when you had taken the decision to leave everything else and start preparing. Remember those sentiments, those ideals that drove you to preparation and start preparation in full swing. Just remember that your competition is with those students who are preparing full day and sweating it out more than you. You have to work harder than them to stay in competition. Further, you can rely on things like motivational quotes, spiritual thoughts, some ideal who you admire and keep them in front of you always to keep u inspired. I used to think that this is the last time when I am studying these books…in future, I would not have to do that. I would think that the more I slog now, more is the possibility of a better future. Also, I would try to look upto those people who were in more miserable condition that myself and then think that I must work hard since God has been really kind to me, So I must show my gratitude to Him by doing my best under current circumstances.
We have a tendency to forget what we read. So, what to do?
- It happens with everyone. Multiple revisions is the only solution.
How to devise the time table that how much time to devote to each book?
- Work backwards…see that you have to revise everything at least 4-5 times before pre or befor e mains. So, accordingly see that in a month or so, everything has to be revised once. This way futher, work ou thow much time to give to each book. Also, bear in mind that time for successive revisions should come down. (Eg Geography 11th n 12th ki total 4 books karne ke liye, initially 2 days each book but in later stages…all 4 should get completed in 2 days total)
Did you watch youtube videos for GS topics?
- No, I did not (except for a few rare time)s. Generally, relied on written content only.
Did you watch youtube videos for Sociology?
- None, at all
Did you practicesociology answer writing online?
- For few days (7-8 days), I tried following others’ answers of sociology on insightsonindia sociology group (online Disqus platform) but could not sustain it..found it time consuming and then left it
Which medium to choose- Hindi or English?
- Availability of material in Hindi medium is little tough, So, if possible go for English medium (Also, if writing English is not a prob, only speaking Eng is prob then understand that you can give interview in Hindi even if you have written mains in English).
- BUT if you face difficulty in understanding English, in that case seek guidance from Hindi Medium toppers and DO go for preparation in Hindi Medium.
Doubt regarding NCERT of sociology- Do we need to cover them?
- In my opinion, no need to cover them. They do not cover anything relevant in requird detail.
Which books to refer for Disaster management, Science & Tech, Security etc?
- I did not read any specific book and relied on current affairs only. Some topics which were still left and which I could not understand eg “Resource Mobilisation”- I would google and read from websites like GS Score which give relevant UPSC specific content in short
Can I refer Tusharanshu notes as the base material for my sociology preparation?
- One should keep Upendra or Mahapatra or any other teacher’s classroom notes as the basic material and then use Tusharanshu notes for supplementing them. Coz Tusharanshu notes are very detailed and they somewhere lack continuity since they are a compilation from many sources.
- It would become difficult to understand from them directly especially when one has not taken any coaching.
What did I study on Insights website?
- On a DAILY basis- Current affairs, editorial, daily MCQs……………………………….
- Occasionally – RSTV videos, AIR summary and mindmaps (Mindmaps for those topics only which I found new)
- SECURE initiative- Followed for 4-5 months, wrote answers from Aug 16 to Jan 17 daily and then appeared for Pre of 2017, During the period from pre to mains (ie Jul 17 to Oct 17), I would occasionally read (and not write) those questions which I found interesting or important or new.
Is insights current affairs sufficient?
- Well, I followed insights only and no other website (Did not do Vision PT 365 or IAS baba or Forum IAS etc)
Q- Your time table for 1 year from Jun 16 to Jun 17 (ie till pre of 2017) and then onwards
- From Jun 16 to Jul 16- pre oriented preparation…..I had given pre of 2016 with this 2 months preparation.
- The books read during this time are- Selected NCERTs (only Geog. class 11 ki 2 books), Economy from Sriram, Environment frm Sankar’s, Nitin Singhania (partly covered), Spectrum Rajiv Ahir for Indian modern history and Laxmikant and current affairs of latest 2-3 months (from vision booklets)…nothing else
- After pre exam took place in Aug 16, after few days of rest, I added more books (eg Tamilnadu board class 11th book etc) to my list (full booklist as given in my detailed strategy).
- From Aug 16 end days, I started following insights website that I had not done till then. Daily current affairs, editorials and MCQs were attempted. And now, I started answer writing (from Sep 16 to Jan 17)- “Secure” iniative was followed. Initially, “secure” would consume 6-7 hours per day.
- Later, from Oct month, I started reading my optional which I followed till Jan 17.
- From Feb 17 to Mar 17, I focused on revisions of NCERTs, “Secure”, Budget and Economic Survey etc. Next 2 months were dedicated to pre focused revision.
- After pre got over in Jun 17, I joined a test series for my optional and wrote 4-5 tests between upto mains time. I focused on revisions and wrote 1 test each of GS papers.
- After mains exam, I attended mock interviews and prepared my DAF, so basically personality test preparation in full swing.
Q- Did I read only insights for current affairs? No newspaper at all
Yes, relied only on insights till mains stage
(BUT after mains, I swithced to reading Indian Express for interview preparation..read only 1 newspaper, not more)
Q- Did I read sociology NCERTs?
Ans- No, did not find them useful at all
Q- From September 2016 to January 2017 I did answer writing practice so it was based on my knowledge or reference given with questions?
Ans- Mostly, based on reference given with Qs…slowly, as knowledge base kept increasing, frequency of opening the link kept decreasing.
Q2. How many revisions I did of static portion before start answer writing practice ?
Ans- for most of the NCERTs n static books, i had done 4-5 revisions easily but few books which I had not read for my 2016 wala pre, revisions were not done, only initial reading was done before starting answer writing practice
Q3. In answer writing practice, how did I check my answers and when did I revise these daily answer practice questions answer, or just practice only?
Ans- I compared my answer with that of answers posted online by other students. Revision was not daily or weekly but sort of monthly. (though not very systematic). I tried to highlight the Qs which were say fact based and revised memorising (eg postulates of various bills, any new judgement etc) and then revised them frequently. Rest Qs which were of general nature, I would forego them.
Anu Kumari Time Table For UPSC Preparation – How Many Hours Studied
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