Friday, May 28, 2010

Geopsychological Quagmire

Approach & tips for Geography (Mains Examination)

Now with CSAT coming into picture from 2011 & optionals being phased out, its irrelevant to delve upon strategy followed in Geography during prelims. Straight away getting to orientation for Mains exam

· I referred the following material for Geography (Did not take any coaching; just got the Xerox material from Xerox shop whose address I’ve already mentioned elsewhere)

1. Direction’s (Neetu Singh’s) Class Notes for Geography Mains

2. Alok Ranjan’s Class Notes for Geography.

3. Physical Geography – Savindra Singh

4. Geographical Thought – Majid Hussain

5. Comprehensive Geography of India by Khullar

6. Geographical Map Entries – Majid Hussain

7. NCERT (XI & XII)

8. Oxford Atlas (You could also buy Orient or TTK, I followed Oxford)

· Only the above mentioned material was referred. I found it more than sufficient. Infact the three books mentioned were used mostly for reference & actual coverage was done from the class notes.

· I used to compare the coverage of a topic from both Direction’s & Alok Ranjan’s Notes & used to cover it from the source where I found it more satisfactory. For e.g. If plate tectonics was better covered in Alok Ranjan than in Direction’s notes then I would cover it from Alok Ranjan or vice versa. Sometimes if used to find a diagram or paragraph better in NCERT or any other source I used to get it Xeroxed & paste it at the place from where I was covering that particular topic (Do this exercise in time so that you don’t waste time when Mains exam is a month away or so; consolidate your material well in advance).

· Draw lots of diagrams. Diagrams fetch you marks. For e.g. in 2009 Mains exam Paper I, I drew 4-5 world maps (E.g. in Food production regions; Cultural regions etc…whereas many don’t do it) & in Paper II around 10-12 Maps of India. Diagrams should be drawn even if it is tangential to the topic. I used to draw the diagram with black pen instead of pencil as it looks more prominent (But one has to master the diagrams as one can’t erase it).

· Map entries are critical in getting edge. Every coming year the entries are getting obscure & sometimes makes an aspirant wonder if he/she has seen an atlas at all in his/her life!!!!. But don’t loose heart. Practice with a focused approach pays. I’ve identified the following areas where exhaustive coverage should be done.

Focus Areas

Examples

Islands

Butcher Island, Pirotan Island (Try covering all possible islands you can find)

Places in News

Lavasa, Baltel

New Oil Field/Mining Town

Mangala, Kalakot, Kulti

Abbreviations

NIO

Logical Guesses

Kuala Terengganu (City in Malaysia….linked to Kuala Lumpur), Vana Tivu (Link to Katchativu…..I bluffed this & got it right)

Rivers

Ken, Rangit (Try covering rivers in greater detail)

Waterfalls

Kutralam Falls (Try covering all waterfalls which you come across in Atlas)

Longitude Idea

For Time Zone in World Map (For the first time this was asked in 2009 paper…..A good approach could be using a ruler to measure distance from the prime meridian on each side & thereby making calculations)

· Source of Map Entries:

1. Direction’s material has previous map entries solved from 1970 till date; also try to cover their Class practice maps (Twenty sheets in all).

2. Try making your maps on other important entries

3. Good Atlas (Oxford, Orient Blackswan or TTK).

4. Geographical Map Entries by Majid Hussain

5. Try to secure material on map entries from as many different institutes as possible.

6. Its not possible to cover explanation for all map entries whose location one covers (Logical guesses come to one’s rescue).

7. For e.g. in 2008 attempt there was a map entry called Mount Harriet. I just knew that it was located in Andaman & Nicobar island group. But I used other logical inferences like the region receives more than 200 cm of rainfall, moist evergreen type of vegetation (also mentioned some tree types from this type of forest). Annual range of temperature is low. Climate has monsoon affectivities. Now its always better to know & write exact pertinent details about the map entry asked but many times aspirants are short of facts. In such cases providing some logical information is better than writing nothing.

· Answer Writing Style: I used to give a brief introduction (not more than once paragraph of 4-5 lines) & then switch directly to the question at hand. Answer the question asked & don’t beat about the bush. Come straight to the point. Conclusion also used to be of one paragraph in the end (on a constructive note if the question demanded deliberation on any problem). I’ll try to upload the scanned copy of the two mock test I wrote last year.

· I would suggest aspirants to write two full length mocks sometime in September on Paper I & Paper II & get detailed feedback from the teacher/professor. The best way to improve your answer writing style is to take the Xerox of the topper’s (Topper in the mock test) copy & analyze what areas require improvement. This really helps. Just two mocks, one for each paper are sufficient in case of optionals. If you feel less confident then take full battery of mocks (But I would recommend that in case of General studies……Still the aspirant is the best judge).

· The latest trend shows that selective coverage can get you in trap (For e.g. in 2009 Paper I the first question had three sub-questions (20 x 3) & there was no choice. Moreover it touched less asked areas like rejuvenation (second cycle of erosion) & L. C. King’s cycle. Many aspirants couldn’t deal with this question satisfactorily as they did not cover the syllabus exhaustively. I don’t recommend 100 % coverage but around 80% coverage is a must now….especially after seeing 2009 paper.

Approach & Tips for Psychology

Psychology as an optional has remained abstruse to many. Even I share some of the sentiments. In my first attempt when I was grossly under-prepared I secured 323 marks in Mains. OTOH in second attempt despite better coverage, my score dropped to 296. Anyways, I relied on the material mentioned below as I didn’t take any classroom coaching.

1. Mukul Pathak’s Class Notes (Just got the material Xeroxed)

2. Mukul Pathak’s Support Material (Or Printed Material)

3. NCERT XI & XII Textbooks

4. Morgan & King, Baron’s Introduction to Psychology (Used for reference only).

· Mukul Pathak’s Class notes are more than sufficient. When I scored 323 in first attempt I had not even looked at NCERT or any other book (including Morgan King, Baron). Only in my 3rd attempt I integrated diagrams & research studies from NCERT in the class notes of Mukul Pathak.

· I used lots of illustrations & diagrams (I remember reproducing diagram from NCERT in actual paper, cover diagrams from other books if they can be reproduced easily in exams).

· The trend in Psychology is getting increasingly difficult to decipher. Questions are being asked from obscure areas (Sperling test, Bernoulli blah blah blah). One should cover around 90 % syllabus to be able to answer five questions out of eight.

· Most of the questions ask for relevant research studies & experimental evidences to support one’s answer. So try to cover as many as possible from standard books.

· Not many institutes conduct test series in this. Try taking the mock taken by Mukul Pathak Sir himself sometime in August-September. The downside is that he doesn’t cover all chapters but then there are not many good options available here. (If you approach Shoubhik Sen, he will ask you to deposit 8-10 thousand & join his some sort of a crash course……Not needed at all in my opinion. Still if you have money to splurge, please be my guest).

· Most of the long questions have 3-4 parts. One should be careful lest one misses any particular sub-part & loose marks Read the question very carefully. The extra time spent in re-reading a question is worth the extra time spent. I’ve seen many missing a particular sub question & regretting later for not having read the question properly.

Will share other details once the Final Marksheet for interviewed candidates is out.....Good Luck.

34 comments:

  1. thanks sir
    for ur valuable guidance
    and hope same in coming future
    i need some guidance reg pub ad

    ReplyDelete
  2. what abt.economic geography,population and settlement,cultural setting and regional devp and planning(sources,books)

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  3. Really very useful article thanks a lot for that.

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  4. hello sir... i have only neetu singh ma'am class notes and plus book u suggested.but i dont have alok rajan notes.is it neccasry to have both???

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  5. from where i can get topper's mock tests

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  6. Can anyone suggest me how much time it will take 2 finish Geography syllabus once from scratch

    plz answer

    Thanks for ur response :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. thanks a lot.. gave me an overall picture.. cheers :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello Sir,
    Please suggest me books,and method to prepare for Geog Paper-1 Sec B and Paper-2 Sec B again, i find topics lik Eco dev, culture related topics, etc hard to find in any book.
    Thanks

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  9. hello sir
    thnx a lot
    plz tell me dt ans sud b written in essay form or point form..
    thnx in advance,sir.

    ReplyDelete
  10. congrats sir...
    sir i am working in a remote place(ntpc singrauli).CSE 2009 was my 3rd attempt,geography first time,reached up to interview.sir i read savinder singh,majid (models theories)and khullar for paper 2.
    I donot have alok ranjan or neetu singh notes.should i get it from delhi or continue with the same books.also,for paper 2 please tell me whether majid hussain indian geography is worth reading or not.sir for world map siddhatra geog thu map is enough or not.please clear my doubts....

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sir ur blogs r very intresting &informative.I want 2 knw that how should i study psychology as i m new 2 the subject &which books& materials should i consult...
    My e-mail>> mirmuzaffar51@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sir, For paper 2 (Indian Economy) in Geo which of the two notes is better-Direction’s or Alok Ranjan’s Class Notes.

    I want to choose only 1 due to paucity of time. Pls suggest for paper 2!! Thanks a lot..

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  13. Thanks everyone & sorry for the late reply...Very much tied up at the moment.

    @Kamlendra

    Refer the blog...Siddharth Malik (AIR-71) has shared tips on pub Ad.

    @ Dheeraj...I referred these sections from class notes of Alok ranjan & neetu singh

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  14. @Shilpa..You can get good score by following Neetu Singh's note alone...It's just personal comfort.

    @Cooltechee...Atleast 2-3 months are needed...provided you have all material at your disposal.

    @smartybondhu....All 60 markers are to be attempted paragraphwise...In 20 markers one can write pointwise provided you can generate atleast 10 points.

    @Pranav...You should get the notes. It will give you better idea of answer writing style. Siddhartha's Geography through maps is not sufficient at all...Get Direction's (Neetu Singh's) material for maps. Since you have reached interview stage, I'll not advise to change the source for all topics but do additional preparation for map section.

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  15. @Muzzafar
    Refer NCERT books of XI & XII....Then Mukul Pathak Sir's class notes.

    @Kavya

    No easy answers....I used to glance at both the sources & then used to decide..It has to be decided on a case by case basis.

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  16. From where did u got the xerox copy of class notes of alok ranjan and neetu singh?

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  17. @Sushil

    From the xerox shop opposite aggarwal's sweets in Old Rajinder Nagar

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  18. ghanshyam sir i have the excel sheet of 2006 only,if u have excel sheet of 2007,08,09,plz do share,they provide gr8 info trend of d exam.

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  19. Hi Ghanshyam,
    This is Rakesh.
    I wanted to join test series in Psycho. Heard good about 2 of them..one Arun Kumar sir's Synchronous IAS and Mukul Pathak's test series...
    I heard personal evaluation followed by one to one discussion is very imp for any test series.I am sure it wont be available at vajiram owing to its huge strength and Pathak sir's busy schedule.
    Please provide some inputs on Arun Kumar's test series if u have any idea..Is it worth to take it ? or u have any better options ?

    My Email ID is rakeshreddyb4u@gmail.com

    Thanks in Advance

    ReplyDelete
  20. hallo sir.
    my name is rashmi .i from vizag.from where i can get mukul Pathak’s Support Material (Or Printed Material)??i have his class notes..but some topics from paper two are missing...please help me out ...so that when i go to delhi i can get those support materials as well.......

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  21. Hello sir...
    In Map Marking.if give correct data but wrong marking (no Marking is done then) do they cut marks for both or else we get marks for write up at least...do reply sir

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  22. sir i wanted to know about the examples to be written in main exam . . . like in neetu singhs notes its virtually pleothra of examples given with every question . . . do i really need to focus on them . . . would it if q doesnt exactly ask for exampls??

    and secondly regarding map entries . . .what exactcly the strategy should be for preparing map entries . . . should i give them ample time from this stage only till mains exam??

    regards
    Gaurav Garg

    ReplyDelete
  23. sir i had taken pub ad one optional and confused between psychology and geography
    i m not able to decide ........
    pls help sir

    ReplyDelete
  24. sir i m going to write wid pub adm n anthro.......do u knw anybdy who can can give his inputs in anthro.......similar like zoolo n law guidance u hv provided .........can u provide at ur blog...pls .
    abhijeet sharma,
    Rajasthan

    ReplyDelete
  25. helo sir...........presently m doing self stdy of geography.. bt nt feelin confident enough.....maps are cary,,n a few topics are makin me uneasy// secondly m havin second thoughts of takin pol sc.. instead of geo as it is more relevant to GS.. wat to do sir.. plz help me

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hello Ghanshyam Sir,

    I am B.tech in ECE abd presently working in greater noida.

    I want to take Psychology as an optional, but bit confused regarding whether it will come under my interest and i had also heard from my friends that it is not a much scoring subject.

    please advise me from where shall I start my preparation whether from NCERT books or Barons to check comfort level.

    Looking forward for a positive feedback

    regards
    Vikas.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Alok Ranjan Class Notes
    plz do not read Alok Ranjan's notes of Geography as it contains many wrong data.Hence instead of benefiting, it would lead to disaster.

    For those who are the students of Alok Ranjan do refer good books and dont blindly trust and rely on his class notes.

    ReplyDelete
  28. hello sir
    whats the paper size of the map provided in mains?
    m not getting this year's (09) map entries in the papers given on various sites, even on upsc site the paper is incomplete in this regard, kindly post the entries (names only) of paper-1, or link for the same.
    regards.

    ReplyDelete
  29. sir
    with due respect to Ram's suggestion, whats ur say?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Someone please tell weather the notes of Alok Ranjan and Neetu singh are printed notes or hand written notes?

    And which one to be taken???

    Plz
    Reply soon. .

    ReplyDelete
  31. hey...i wanted to know if i need to check the xerox notes while buying them...coz i need to send sumone to collect it...
    please reply at the earliest...
    thank u

    ReplyDelete
  32. hello sir,by class notes what do you exactly mean? is it printed or the written notes? plz reply at your earliest.thanking you for your time an help.

    ReplyDelete
  33. XEROX Copy of Coaching Center Notes, Print & Class-Notes available.

    PT (Prelims)
    --------------
    Spl. Pub. Admin
    Spl. General Studies
    Brilliant - Zoology
    Pub. Admin. - Atul Lohia
    Dakhsh - IAS
    Manikant Singh - History
    Career Point - History
    Apex - Political Science
    Dhyeya IAS - General Studies


    Mains
    -------
    Spl. General Studies
    Spl. Pub. Admin
    Subra Ranjan - Political Science
    Evolution - Zoology
    Evolution - Botany
    Brilliant - Zoology
    Brilliant - Physics
    Brilliant - Mathematics
    Dhyeya - IAS - General Studies
    K. Siddhartha - Geography
    Rahul's IAS - LAW
    ALS IAS- Geography (Shashank)
    Ensemble - Geography
    Synergy - Geography
    Synergy - Public Ad.
    Saraswati - (Rajesh Mishra) (Hand Written)
    Psychology (Mukul Pathak)
    P. Upendra - Sociology
    Geography - Majid Hussain - Civil India
    Geography - R. B. Singh (Hand Written)
    History - Career Point
    Apex - Political Science (SK Singh)
    Y. D. Mishra - History
    Patanjali - Philosophy (Printed)
    Patanjali - Philosophy (C.N.)


    Notes in HINDI (Mains)
    ---------------------------------
    Ensemble - Geography
    K. Siddhartha - Geography
    Rahul's IAS - LAW
    Ambition (Vidhi)
    Pub Admin. - Bhawani Singh
    Pub. Admin. - Atul Lohia
    Synergy - Pub. Admin.
    Drishti - Philosophy (Printed)
    Drishti - Philosophy (Class Notes)
    Dharmendra - Sociology
    Drishti - Hindi Lit. (Print)
    Dishant - Sociology (SS Pandey)
    Utkarsha - Hindi Lit.
    Pub. Admin. - Uniyaal IAS
    Manikant Singh - History
    Apex - Political Science

    Other coching / brand notes are also available on demands.

    ==============================================
    Email: sale.upsc@gmail.com
    ==============================================

    ReplyDelete
  34. XEROX Copy of Coaching Center Notes, Print & Class-Notes available.

    PT (Prelims)
    --------------
    Spl. Pub. Admin
    Spl. General Studies
    Brilliant - Zoology
    Pub. Admin. - Atul Lohia
    Dakhsh - IAS
    Manikant Singh - History
    Career Point - History
    Apex - Political Science
    Dhyeya IAS - General Studies


    Mains
    -------
    Spl. General Studies
    Spl. Pub. Admin
    Subra Ranjan - Political Science
    Evolution - Zoology
    Evolution - Botany
    Brilliant - Zoology
    Brilliant - Physics
    Brilliant - Mathematics
    Dhyeya - IAS - General Studies
    K. Siddhartha - Geography
    Rahul's IAS - LAW
    ALS IAS- Geography (Shashank)
    Ensemble - Geography
    Synergy - Geography
    Synergy - Public Ad.
    Saraswati - (Rajesh Mishra) (Hand Written)
    Psychology (Mukul Pathak)
    P. Upendra - Sociology
    Geography - Majid Hussain - Civil India
    Geography - R. B. Singh (Hand Written)
    History - Career Point
    Apex - Political Science (SK Singh)
    Y. D. Mishra - History
    Patanjali - Philosophy (Printed)
    Patanjali - Philosophy (C.N.)


    Notes in HINDI (Mains)
    ---------------------------------
    Ensemble - Geography
    K. Siddhartha - Geography
    Rahul's IAS - LAW
    Ambition (Vidhi)
    Pub Admin. - Bhawani Singh
    Pub. Admin. - Atul Lohia
    Synergy - Pub. Admin.
    Drishti - Philosophy (Printed)
    Drishti - Philosophy (Class Notes)
    Dharmendra - Sociology
    Drishti - Hindi Lit. (Print)
    Dishant - Sociology (SS Pandey)
    Utkarsha - Hindi Lit.
    Pub. Admin. - Uniyaal IAS
    Manikant Singh - History
    Apex - Political Science

    Other coching / brand notes are also available on demands.

    ==============================================
    Email: sale.upsc@gmail.com
    ==============================================

    ReplyDelete