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Systematic study and linking of examples for Public Administration, AIR-289, UPSC CSE-2023

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Chandarprabha Sharma, who secured All India Rank 289 in the UPSC Civil Services Examination 2023, shares her comprehensive strategy for tackling the Mains exam, with a special focus on Public Administration as her optional subject.

Public Administration Strategy:

  • Foundations and Resources: Emphasize building a strong foundation by understanding the static theory and fundamentals. Stick to standard sources like Prasad and Prasad, Mohit Bhattacharya, and the Second ARC reports. Focus on thorough revisions rather than chasing multiple books.
  • Current Affairs Integration: Enrich your answers by integrating current developments related to public administration. Use newspapers, GS papers, and specific compilations to stay updated.
  • Interlinking: Develop the skill to interlink paper one with paper two and static theory with current events. This will come naturally over time as you understand the broader picture and see patterns.
  • PYQs Analysis: Conduct a detailed analysis of previous years' questions to identify recurring themes and understand the trends. This helps in focusing on highyield areas and making UPSC your friend.

Timeline and Preparation:

  • Early Preparation: Aim to be Mains ready before the prelims. Complete your optional subject preparation by January of the exam year.
  • Integrated Approach: Keep your preparation integrated with both prelims and mains perspectives until midJanuary of the exam year. After that, focus exclusively on prelims preparation.
  • Writing Practice: Balance reading with writing practice from the beginning. Start with writing one question a day and gradually increase to larger batches. Postprelims, shift focus to intensive writing practice and revision.

Answer Writing Strategy:

  • Keywords and Jargon: Use subjectspecific keywords and jargon to enhance the quality of your answers. Avoid making your answers too jargonheavy and ensure they are accessible.
  • Answer Presentation: Focus on writing continuously during the exam without taking breaks. Practice writing answers quickly and efficiently.
  • Toppers' Copies and Feedback: Study toppers' answer copies to understand effective presentation styles and get detailed feedback on your own answers. Join programs like GS Score’s daily answer writing for continuous practice and feedback.

Optional Subject Preparation (Public Administration):

  • Conceptual Understanding: Deeply understand and imagine applying theoretical concepts to reallife scenarios. This approach helps in retaining information and enhances your answers.
  • NoteMaking: Create concise notes highlighting key concepts, thinkers, and current developments. Regularly revise these notes to keep information fresh.

General Tips for Preparation:

  • Manage Anxiety: Address any fear or anxiety related to the subject by focusing on your strengths and the enjoyment of learning. Have confidence in your choice of optional subject.
  • Continuous Improvement: Regularly practice answer writing and seek feedback. This will help in refining your style and improving your performance over time.
  • Simulations and RealLife Applications: Simulate exam conditions while practicing and imagine yourself applying public administration theories in reallife scenarios. This approach not only prepares you for the exam but also for your future role as a public servant.

Chandarprabha’s journey showcases the importance of a balanced approach between theory and practice, continuous selfevaluation, and maintaining a positive and confident mindset. Her strategy provides valuable insights for UPSC aspirants aiming to excel in both Mains and the interview stages.

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