Prep and Strategy

Coachings and Things by Shrut Kirti Somavanshi

Hello everyone,
This is #LuckyKabooter (Shrut Kirti Somavanshi). A lot of people are asking me about what coachings and test series I did in my preparation phase and how helpful they were. I have always respected and supported the idea of doing coachings but not all coachings helped me. Here I have written my account on coachings I did and my experience with them. This is a two-part article. In this part. I’ll talk about coachings. So let’s list them all.

*Subject: (Public Administration)*

I was fresh outta Engineering College having no history or geography with Public Administration so I had to take a coaching. I joined:

1. *Synergy by MK Mohanty* (First Attempt): Mohanty sir helped a lot in building an approach and inculcating an understanding of the subject matter of Public Administration. Let me inform you, he almost spoon-fed the topics to us in Paper 1. Class notes of Paper 1 are still my first source of revision.
However, Paper 2 was lacking in his coaching. 3-4 teachers used to teach (I’m not sure about current situation). I had to prepare it on my own and with the help of my elder brother.

Pros: Great paper-1. Complete justice with the subject.
Cons: Suboptimal paper 2.

2. *M Puri* (Third Attempt): I joined M Puri sir’s class in my third attempt after failing in Mains in the second attempt with a dismal score in Public Administration (P1- 63, P2- 98). I must say Puri sir is a man of immense knowledge in Public Administration, Economics and Current Affairs. But what I didn’t like there was, the tendency to diverge from topics and inability to complete syllabus in time.

Pros: Knowledge flows in classes. A great value addition on a variety of topics.
Cons: Often, divergence from topics. Lag in syllabus completion.

*Subject: (General Studies)*

1. *Vajiram and Ravi*: Like every other ignorant student in his first attempt, I joined Vajiram and Ravi in October batch. Maybe because of the reputation (questionable) it has. I didn’t like any of the classes except some classes by Shabbir sir for Indian Geography. He is a great teacher. I can sum up my experience at Vajiram in a sentence-
“Mera koi value addition nahi hua udhar” (There was no value addition).
Many people join Vajiram and benefit in many ways. I am not questioning anything about it, but surely it wasn’t the case for me. I left Vajiram in late December thinking it as a waste of time. Vajiram is a coaching for students who have time, money and are unable to study diligently at home to complete basic syllabus.

Pros: A coaching where all GS subjects are dealt altogether.
Cons: Slow paced. Low-value addition.

2. *Chokalingam Sir* (Fifth Attempt CSE 2017, Online): I joined Chokalingam Sir’s online classes for Main Exam in my fifth attempt because I didn’t score well in General Studies in the fourth attempt (GS 1- 94, GS 2- 84, GS 3- 86, GS 4- 101).
He dictates important news from the newspaper cuttings which he stores in his famous poly bags. Sometimes, I felt, he forces his opinion on you.
The class was fine. But due to the paucity of time before Mains, I didn’t complete it.

Pros: A detailed analysis of topics for Mains.
Cons: Too much data mongering.

3. *Salamuddin Ansari Sir* (Lukmaan IAS) Ethics case study online class: I did this case study class in my fifth attempt (CSE 2017). The class was fine. I did this class because I never took any class for GS paper 4. So just for the sake of doing a class for Ethics, I did it. The class can be utilized to improve your answer writing in GS Paper 4.

Pros: Low-cost class to improve Case study answers.
Cons: Low yield.

This account is based on my experience only. Others’ experience may vary. I am trying to be truthful to my fellow aspirants, especially new ones. Because I feel responsible to you guys as a lot of you trust me. This is the most honest account I can give.

Shrut Kirti Somavanshi
AIR 157, CSE 2017


  • Rashish Chandra

    Hello sir, congratulations to you for getting IPS. I have also a dream to clear UPSC but i have many doubt related to how I start my prepration. Matlab mai shuru kaise karu please guide me sir.. Apne apna mob no b share kia tha fb page pe bt hesitation ho rahi thi direct baat krne me. Mai apna base kaise prepare karu aur shuru kaha se karu?

  • Shivendra pundir

    Gud to hear tht u r selected!! I also dream to achieve this elite class job…. Indian polity….s krdi starting !! Shi h ??

  • Mir aubiar

    Sir I’ve just started my preparation for upsc beginning with ncert and I’m a student at DU ist year . So I want to join your test series for this year . What I should do?

  • Mir aubiar

    Sir I’ve just started my preparation for upsc beginning with ncert and I’m a student at DU ist year . So I want to join your test series for this year . What I should do?

  • sunil

    Thank you sir please suggest about online class unacademy is good or not.can we study at home and cover up vast syllabus of upsc cse and where we can go for mains anwser writing

    • Parth Tewari

      Yes, you can study at home itself. You can simply watch online free vides which are easily available and download free material too. For mains answer writing, just start in any of the free online portals like INsights. After initial practise, you may take any coaching for it.

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