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Mastering the Essentials: Key to Success in the last attempt by Katyayani Singh, AIR-592, UPSC CSE-2023

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Katyayni Singh, who secured AIR 592 in the UPSC Civil Services Examination 2023, shares her detailed preparation strategy. Here’s a comprehensive summary of her approach:

Prelims Strategy

1. Understand the Syllabus:

  • Refer to the UPSC syllabus available on the official website.
  • Utilize micro-listings available from coaching institutes like GS Score to identify key themes.

2. Basics and Advanced Books:

  • Cover the basics using NCERTs (9th to 12th grade).
  • Transition to advanced books for deeper understanding.

3. Previous Year Questions (PYQs):

  • PYQs are crucial for understanding the exam pattern and frequently asked themes.
  • Solve PYQs to decode UPSC’s focus areas.

4. Mocks and Answer Writing:

  • Practice mock tests regularly to simulate exam conditions.
  • Focus on solving UPSC CAPF and CDS previous year questions to understand option patterns and important areas.

5. Revision and Notes:

  • Make short, concise notes for quick revision.
  • Revise weekly and create a schedule to cover all subjects systematically.
  • Practice answering questions in an exam-like environment to build confidence and time management skills.

Mains Strategy

1. Syllabus Coverage and PYQs:

  • Break down the syllabus into manageable parts.
  • Use PYQs to guide your preparation and focus on important themes.

2. Notes and Resources:

  • Create micro notes based on PYQs and standard books.
  • Use booklets and materials available in the market for revision.

3. Answer Writing Practice:

  • Practice writing answers regularly, focusing on different GS papers.
  • Take mock tests and evaluate your performance to identify strengths and weaknesses.

4. Subject-Specific Strategies:

  • GS1: Focus on factual content, revise booklets, and practice PYQs.
  • GS2: Emphasize brief, precise, and legally appropriate answers. Make notes from current affairs and standard sources.
  • GS3: Prioritize dynamic subjects, use current affairs compilations, and practice answer writing based on PYQs.
  • GS4: Prepare examples and anecdotes for ethics paper. Regularly practice case studies and code-based questions.

5. Essay Writing:

  • Focus on structuring essays with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Use stories, anecdotes, and quotes to make essays engaging.
  • Practice writing essays in a reflective and philosophical manner.

Interview Preparation

1. Mock Interviews:

  • Take multiple mock interviews to build confidence and reduce nervousness.
  • Treat the interview as a conversation, focusing on expressing your thoughts and opinions clearly.

2. Current Affairs and Optional Subject:

  • Stay updated with national and international current affairs.
  • Prepare for questions related to your optional subject and graduation background.

3. Personal Preparation:

  • Understand your hobbies, interests, and personal background.
  • Be prepared to answer questions related to your hometown, educational qualifications, and career choices.

General Advice

  • Resource Management: Focus on using limited resources effectively.
  • Continuous Learning: Treat every attempt as a learning experience and focus on improving weaker areas.
  • Plan B: Have a backup plan to ensure career stability.

Katyayni Singh’s structured and resource-efficient approach, combined with consistent practice and revision, played a crucial role in her success in the UPSC Civil Services Examination.

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