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Self-Study Tips For UPSC Aspirants

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  • Published
    8th Feb, 2023

As an aspirant of UPSC, self-study has no alternative. No matter if you have joined the coaching institute or prepared independently. You need to add value to your preparation through concept-building, and context-concept interlinking. To achieve this, there are two friends of yours, first is the syllabus of the Civil Services Exam and the other is the set of Previous Years’ Question Papers (Both Prelims and Mains). Read on to know how to approach them…

Acing it with Syllabus and PYQs

Let us understand how to build concepts and interlink them with the context with the help of PYQs and Syllabus:

1. The syllabus tells us what to study and where to focus, while the PYQs indicate what concept about the topic in the syllabus is needed to be known to you. 

  • Both these friends of yours thought at the first glance will notify you that UPSC does not strictly compartmentalize questions based on subjects.

2. On the interpretation of the UPSC syllabus and Previous Years’ Questions, it becomes known that Aspirants are expected to be familiar with a particular topic in a multi-dimensional manner.

  • Therefore developing an understanding from the viewpoint of different subjects is necessary.

3. The Union Public Service Commission has in recent years has years been progressively increasing the questions with inter-subject linkages. Examples of the same can be found in both the Prelims and Mains question papers. 

  • Disaster Management questions in this year’s paper (i.e. 2022), requiring knowledge of geography and ecology are a case in point.

4. Though, it is also seen that the nature of some subjects is such that overlapping of their content and inter-linkages inherently happens.

  •  The study of Constitutional development in India has to be taken up in both Polity and History is proof of therefore, aspirants and mentors must develop an attitude of inter-subject study as much as possible to secure

Both aspirants and mentors therefore must develop an attitude of inter-subject study as much as possible for securing good marks in both prelims and mains. The mentors though have a greater responsibility for understanding it and making the aspirants understand and helping our students to be better placed than other aspirants.

It may be stated that developing an attitude for answering inter-subject linked questions is not difficult but requires persistent efforts. For this, it is necessary to identify overlapping topics and prepare those that would help in each subject individually and where there is convergence.

  •  Detailed mapping of the subjects and micro-listing: Help students build the concepts
  • Aspirants can self-study through previous years' question papers and identify trends of interlinked topics: which helps in the concept-context interlinking
  •  Group discussions: It would expand the horizon of subjects and therefore connections between them could be built and analyzed. 

GS Score, therefore especially motivates its students to interact and discover multiple dimensions of subjects. Such discussions are monitored by mentors for their input.

For wholesome study and achieving success in UPSC Mains, it is essential to cover all the required aspects of the syllabus and prepare a specific and well-devised plan for each aspect. As discussed, interlinked questions are increasing in numbers and therefore abovementioned methods have to be increasingly adopted at the earliest. Following this will help make your study smooth and build your conceptual understanding to decode the questions in UPSC CSE Mains. 

Make your self-study smooth with #ConceptToQuestion, Check our GS Mains Course for more input and to crack Mains 2023 by a concoction of your self-study and our thinking line.

All the best!

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