(Getting Started) Cracking UPSC With Self-Study : Sarjana Yadav's Strategy - AIR-126
Sarjana Yadav succeeded with an all India rank of AIR-126 in UPSC Civil Services Examination 2019. She is an Engineer from Delhi University of Technology and has worked in TRAI as a Research Officer. This is her 3rd attempt. Sarjana considers this her first serious attempt which she pursued after quitting her job in 2018 and preparing full-time. However, she had already taken UPSC Civil Services twice before this. With her experience, she tries addressing all doubts of beginners so that they too may achieve their IAS dreams.
Should I join a IAS coaching institute?
There are 2 questions you need to ask yourself –
- Do you thrive in a classroom environment and need continuous guidance?
- Do you perform better by self-assigning goals and studying in your comfort zone?
Depending on the answer, choose your path. Sarjana found herself to be more inclined towards path number 2 and thus resorted to ias self-study.
How many resources should I pursue each subject?
Reading one book multiple times is always the better path than reading multiple books one time each. Do not panic if that one book doesn’t have one or two topics, or those are difficult to understand. Google is your friend. But keep your resources limited and choose standard resources as suggested by senior aspirants and toppers.
How many hours must I put in?
Sarjana requests you not to dwell on hours. It’s a matter of covering all topics well and not the amount of time taken. Set weekly targets and try to keep a timetable. And ensure you finish those targets. It takes longer in the beginning and that is okay. Do not be afraid.
Do I need to make notes for everything?
Sarjana believes the upsc syllabus is far too vast for one to be making notes for everything. For example, for Polity, Laxmikanth is very structured. The topics are well-arranged and to the point, so she chose not to make notes for it. On the other hand, for Modern History, she felt Spectrum was a little too scattered and thus she made concrete study notes from it.
How many Mock Tests do I need to take?
Sarjana asks you to judge if the test series you are taking covers both static and dynamic parts of the UPSC syllabus properly. If you feel it does a good enough job, stick to it. Do not start taking multiple test series just because others are doing so. Stick to a maximum of 2 test series if you must, but even one standard test series will suffice.
How should I read the newspaper for UPSC?
Sarjana like most other aspirants found herself lost amidst the huge amount of information being served daily in the newspaper. To succeed in UPSC, one must know which news articles are UPSC-worthy. IAS EXAM portal publishes 5 MCQ questions every day based on current affairs. Trying to solve those questions daily helped Sarjana understand how to read the newspaper and what kind of news articles from PIB have value for UPSC.
Message For Aspirants
Try to work hard but not stress too hard. As long as you are sincere and work towards your goals dedicatedly, you will sail through.
Sarjana wishes all aspirants the very best in their endeavors.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD UPSC TOPPERS NOTES