This part covers Notes Making and Answer Writing.
It is the most important part of your preparation. Notes making is not a rocket science. You just have to start, for once. Do not overthink. Everyone starts on his own and gradually ze understands the core idea of making notes.
It helps you in three ways-
- Understanding the core of a topic/subject
- Memorizing important points to write in the exam
So, notes making should be done carefully and should help in maximizing your score and not your burden. I used to make notes on Evernote, workbook and memory cards. A sample note is attached.
Notes should be-
- Explanatory but precise
- Highlighting the important points of the topic/subject
- Providing linkages to other topics is possible.
For instance, if you are making notes on New Public Administration, what ingredients it should have?
I always say that we should try to be original in our UPSC preparation. It will be difficult to find “your style” and way of doing things at first, but if your zeal is real, you’ll find it. I can only show you the way. So, always make your own notes. Do not ask or buy any toppers’ notes because it will be in that person’s vocab and style, so it will not help as you expect it to be. ( “Kehne ka matlab hai ki khud se banao apne notes, ORN mein ghum ghum ke notes mat jugaado” )
“UPSC ki preparation kiya aur answer writing practice nahi kiya to kya kiya ?”
In simple English, you have to start it today only. If you are thinking, you’ll complete the syllabus and then start answer writing someday, that day, my mate, is not coming. Because it never came for me for a long span of time. I realized it on my own and started answer writing. So the rules are-
- Start as early as possible. If you have read a chapter, write answers on it using old papers.
- Join a test series beforehand. Do not wait for Mains.
- In starting you’ll write 100 shitty answers. Those answers will be vague, directionless and full of jargon. Don’t worry about it.
- Write in simple language. Do not use complex, long sentences.
- Introduction and Conclusion is a must. In conclusion, you can give the other view or your own view as well.
- Do not worry about word limit at first. Write as much as you want. The more you’ll write, more you’ll retain.
- Write at least 1000+ answers in both papers, combined.
- You can use examples of Foreign administrative developments and Indian Administration in both papers. But it would be highly appreciated if you give examples of foreign administration in Paper 1.
- Use knowledge of current affairs and events in your answers. It is pretty rewarding. I’ve done it.
- If you think you are easily distracted while writing long answers and can’t concentrate, I have a solution for it. I call it ANSWER STRUCTURING™. In this method, do not write full answer rather write in points what things you’ll mention in this question.
For example, if there is a question on the relevance of NPA in today’s administration. I’ll structure it in this way-
- Intro– What was NPA and its core idea.
- What NPA gave us. (Value, Equity, Relevance, Change and Client focus)
- Why we need NPA today. W
- What is lacking in today’s administration and how NPA will help bridging it.
- But implementation of ideals of NPA should be carefully implemented in today’s administration. It should not bypass the needs of today’s society.
Some sample notes: