What you should avoid reading while UPSC CSE preparation?
# Coaching Materials.
You can use coaching materials for mains & optionals preparation (mere cramming will not work, you need to understand them) but do not rely on them for current affairs, SnT (Science & Technology), EnE (Environment & Ecology).
You can use it for understanding any topic. Be very selective & read only what you find relevant wrt UPSC. Don’t rely on it too heavily. Stick to the standard books as far as possible.
Then, what to should be the sources?
# PIB App
Spend 5-10 minutes each day on PIB App & read PRs (Press Releases) which seem to be relevant to UPSC examination. Note down 1-2 points in brief in notes/digital notes. At the end of the year, you will have 500-600 points on Govt. policies, what is it trying to do, it’s vision, etc. which will be beneficial in mains & interview.
# Spotlight – News Analysis on AIR.
Listen to the news analysis (15 minutes) & note down 2-3 points. It will be sufficient for mains & interview as 365 topics on current issues would be covered. It would be better if you think along the same lines as the discussion is by experts & their opinion is holistic & touches all aspects of the issue.
# Yojana & India Year Book.
12 Yojana per year is not too heavy to not to prepare it. It is light read & you only have to read selective articles. Take down few points & avoid touching the same volume again.
India Year Book: read it word by word when you read it for the first time. Each year new India Year Book will be launched & only a small part of it is updated (so you only need to read the updated part).
Above all, restrict yourself to few standard books (which you need to learn word by word). Other books/sources could be just used to enhance your understanding.
The key to clear UPSC CSE is to ensure that you do the questions right that the majority of the serious aspirants will. Such questions will be around 40% of the paper (majority of it would be static & you cannot afford to miss them). After that you just I’m need to correct 10-15% of the questions to find your name in merit list.
With Great Love,
Er. Amit Yadav