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UPSC IAS Preparation Strategy by Vijeta Hosamani, AIR-100, UPSC CSE-2023

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Vijeta P Hosmani, who secured All India Rank 100 in the UPSC Civil Services Examination 2023, shares her detailed strategy for Mains answer writing, emphasizing understanding trends, effective note-making, and continuous self-evaluation.

Mains Answer Writing Strategy:

  • Understanding Trends: Vijayata analyzed previous years' questions to identify recurring themes and topics. This helped her focus on high-yield areas and allocate her study time effectively.
  • Note-Making: She created concise notes for important themes, including key concepts, keywords, and relevant examples. This enabled quick revisions and enriched her answers.
  • Analyzing Toppers' Copies: By studying toppers' answer copies, she learned about different presentation styles and content structures. She adapted these strategies to her natural writing style to improve her answers.
  • Self-Evaluation: Vijayata regularly practiced writing answers and spent significant time evaluating her own work. She focused on writing within time limits and improving her answer quality through self-assessment.
  • Flexible Approach: She adjusted her strategy based on the specific demands of each GS paper, focusing on subjects where she needed more practice and refining her strengths.

Essay Writing Strategy:

  • Theme Analysis: Vijayata analyzed previous essay topics to understand the types of themes commonly asked. She prepared versatile anecdotes, quotes, and poems that could be used in various essays.
  • Model Answers and Toppers' Copies: She reviewed model essays and toppers' copies to grasp the ideal structure and content. She tailored these insights to fit her natural essay-writing style.
  • Selective Practice: She wrote a few essays to gauge her performance and adjusted her strategy based on the feedback.

GS Papers Strategy:

  • Subject-Specific Preparation: Vijayata focused on understanding the weightage of different subjects within each GS paper. She emphasized topics with higher mark allocation and recurring themes.
  • Using Keywords and Jargon: She incorporated subject-specific keywords and jargon to enhance the quality of her answers and save time.
  • Presentation and Diagrams: She used diagrams and maps where applicable, especially in subjects like Geography and International Relations, to make her answers more visually appealing and informative.

Ethics Preparation:

  • Definitions and Keywords: Vijayata prepared concise definitions for key terms in ethics and made a list of significant ethical values and concepts.
  • Examples and Case Studies: She collected relevant examples from various sources, including topper copies and current affairs, to support her answers in ethics.
  • Answer Structure: She practiced structuring her answers with clear introductions, body content, and conclusions, using subheadings derived from the questions.

Optional Subject (Law):

  • Concise Notes: Vijayata created short notes highlighting landmark cases, important articles, and key illustrations for different law subjects.
  • Illustrations: She used illustrations from bare acts to support her answers, especially in subjects like Law of Crimes.
  • Regular Revision: She regularly revised her notes and practiced writing answers to improve her speed and accuracy.

General Tips for Mains Preparation:

  • Continuous Writing: Vijayata emphasized the importance of not stopping during the exam. She practiced writing answers continuously to build stamina and maintain quality throughout the paper.
  • Time Management: She developed a strategy to allocate time efficiently across different questions, ensuring that her initial answers were well-written and setting a positive impression.
  • Simulation: Vijayata practiced full-length tests at home to simulate exam conditions, helping her develop strategies for handling unknown questions and maintaining a steady pace.

Vijeta's structured approach to Mains answer writing, combined with consistent self-evaluation and adaptation, provides valuable insights for UPSC aspirants aiming to excel in the Civil Services Examination.

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