Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gyan Continued....

Civils Exam Strategy Part II

A few areas remained untouched in my earlier post, which I am covering here.

I. Which Subject to choose?

This is the most common query I receive & off course there are no easy answers. The average marks for all candidates who did not qualify in Mains 2009 is given below.

Optionals

Total Students

Average

LIT. OF DOGRI LANG

2

298

LIT.OF PUNJABI LANG

18

292

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY & VET.SC.

57

279

LIT.OF GUJ. LANG.

42

278

LIT.OF BENG. LANG.

2

274

LIT. OF MAITHILI LANG

25

270

LIT.OF MALAYALAM LANG

65

269

LIT.OF URDU LANG

30

264

MANAGEMENT

16

260

LIT.OF ASSAME.LANG.

5

260

LIT.OF TAMIL LANG

134

260

AGRICULTURE

138

257

LIT.OF ORIYA LANG.

11

255

LAW

266

254

LIT.OF MANIPURI LANG.

31

251

MEDICAL SC.

77

249

LIT.OF TELUGU LANG

102

242

HISTORY

2777

242

LIT.OF MARATHI LANG.

35

238

SOCIOLOGY

1302

233

PUBLIC ADMIN.

3067

232

BOTANY

230

230

LIT.OF HINDI LANG.

647

226

CIVIL ENG.

36

225

LIT.OF SANSKRIT LANG.

69

225

GEOGRAPHY

3190

221

COMM.& ACCOUNTANCY

256

220

POL. SC. & INT.REL.

1079

218

CHEMISTRY

97

217

LIT.OF KANNAD. LANG.

64

217

ANTHROPOLOGY

290

217

ECONOMICS

249

214

PHILOSOPHY

1476

213

LIT.OF ENGL.LANG.

33

210

PSYCHOLOGY

895

210

LIT.OF PALI LANG.

263

208

GEOLOGY

19

203

STATISTICS

11

199

ZOOLOGY

400

192

PHYSICS

146

188

MECHANICAL ENG.

91

182

ELECTRICAL ENG.

73

159

MATHEMATICS

234

155

I’ve seen similar trend in the last 3-4 years. So I’ll not give ambiguous answers. If you are good in any regional literature like (Punjabi, Kannada, Urdu etc) you should take it up. Literature of regional language comes first in my recommendation list. Second is subjects like Public Administration & Sociology. Pub Ad + Sociology combination is the best bet if you ask me (I know I am highly generalizing but If were to appear again in Civils exam for the first time then I would take up this combination though I am a Delhi University Gold medalist in Geography honours). Pub Ad has been consistently producing better average than geography for the last 2-3 years despite the sample size being almost same (In final result of 2008, the gap of average was more than 30 marks…..It made me think whether there is a scaling process in place at all or not?). Third comes semi scientific subjects like geography & psychology. If you want to really fight against odds then take up physics, Maths, electrical engineering etc. But science subjects like agriculture, Veterinary science, Medical science typically produce good results & can be taken up. Hence my take on optionals is in following order (descending order of priority)

  1. Literature of regional language (Its your best bet if you can take up one)
  2. Subjects like Public Administration & Socio (Medical Science, Vet, Agriculture, Law also come in this bracket)
  3. Semi Scientific subjects like Geography & Psychology
  4. Physics, Maths, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering (the worse of the lot).

Again I would like to emphasize that this is a personal opinion. If you are exceptional then you can do wonders with any optional. Also many engineering students raise this query “Whether they can manage humanities subjects”. The answer is offcourse “Yes”. I have seen many engineers taking up humanities subjects & making it to IAS (Many of them had taken up physics or maths as one of their optionals in first attempt, only to be dropped later). A friend of mine named Amit Khatri (AIR-269 this year) had Chemistry as optional in his first attempt & scored badly; he changed it to Pub Ad & has cleared it this year.

Also If I’ve not covered the ranking order (or preference order) of any subject please refer the average list mentioned above & take your call.

II. How to secure material?

Many outstation students face the problem of securing study material as they cannot take coaching due to personal reasons. I referred the following Xerox notes

  • Vajiram’s Class Notes for General Studies (All Subjects).
  • Mukul Pathak’s Notes for Psychology
  • Direction’s (Neetu Singh) material & Alok Ranjan’s Material for Geography.

The Xerox of all of them is available at following locations in Delhi

  1. Xerox Shop opposite Aggarwal Sweets in Old Rajinder Nagar, Delhi.
  2. Kumar Book Shop at Patel Chest, North Delhi. (Near Khalsa College).
  3. Jawahar Book Depot, Ber Sarai, South Delhi.
  4. Will also be available at various Xerox shops in Mukherjee Nagar, Delhi.

III. Issue of Studying while working

Many queries are related to this issue. Let me tell you that it is possible but difficult. I was working with Kotak Life Insurance & resigned after getting selected into Indian Revenue Service in 2008 attempt. Took the exam again with full time & energy & got into IAS in 2009. I got two months leave during 2008 attempt mains.

Now If you can afford leaving job, I would recommend that you do. Job definitely is a drag on your preparation. Leave it if you have other means to support yourself & can take up the risk. If you are working in Government entities like BSNL, CDOT etc where liberal leave is granted for long durations (I’ve heard 8 months leave in a year!!!) then you can continue your job & manage.

Still if can’t leave job coz of any reason then try studying 4-5 hours daily after job & make sure you get atleast 2 months leave during mains from your employer. Also one would need another 1-2 weeks leave during prelims. Take your call.

IV. The raging issue of CSAT?

CSAT is giving tough time to all. First it is something new & second there is no clarity on the subject. If I would be taking exam for the first time in 2011 then I would do the following.

1. Study for General Studies Paper till December (Till now many candidates used to clear Prelims exam because of strong optionals but now it will no longer be the same. General Studies will become very important). Next year there would be cut throat competition in General Studies, so focus on it till December 2010 & complete the syllabus. By then the notification for Prelims 2011 will come out & clarity would emerge.

2. Regarding CSAT, my limited understanding is that the reasoning & quantitative questions being asked presently in the General Studies paper will be moved to this paper (& the number of questions would be increased too). Apart from that moral or ethical reasoning questions would be added (they are currently asked in Delhi University Law Faculty entrance exam). But largely clarity will come in notification (or Earlier if coaching institute get some insider information before the notification).

Overall the take is to focus on General Studies & master it before the notification is out.

Rest I am preparing tips on Psychology & Geography which I shall update in the coming week. Drop your comments & queries & I'll try to get back which posts like this again. Also drop our email id if you have not done earlier as I'll be sending out emails on two markers & some sample notes, I am not able to post download links here. Good Luck.

94 comments:

  1. Thank you very much sir,

    Id: rahul.goyal06@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks a lot

    akashsingh.mech@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. thanks a lot sir
    kamlendra.tripathi@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Informations are really nice sir

    ReplyDelete
  5. thanks a lot sir, it wud be gr8 if u kindly elaborate a bit on d pattern of CSAT,though the exact pattern will b known after notification for 2011, and wud it b better to prepare for it as for CAT????

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank u so much Mr. Gyan. This information is very useful.Plz mail me at vraaj_chandra@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Heartiest Congrats on the grand success ...

    Please send me your notes to below mail id -

    SENDaMAIL2amit@gmail.com
    MISSION.crack.IAS@gmail.com

    Thanks alor in advance ... keep up the good word.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank u very much sir for your valuable information.Sir i will be appearing in civil service exam in the year 2012.Though i come from engineering background i have decided to take Political Science and Philosophy as my Optionals.Are these two optionals good for me.I have heard that to get into civil service one writing skills should be good.But I am not good in writing essay type answer as I am not adept to it.I would be very glad If you could kindly help me by giving some tips in this regard and what should be my strategies from now on.Hoping to hear from you soon.Thanking you.My email id is biky.04@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. thanks a lot for the info sir.

    rahulldhar@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you sir for your concise and invaluable resource. I am looking for 2011 with public administration.But not confident on the other subject. I have completed Textile Designing from NIFT and pursued pure science with biology in cbse. As of now am looking for pub ad with anthropology or sociology.But sincerely not confident on that. I would request you to suggest for my subject selection given my profile. hoping to hear from you soon. Thanking you. chymon2k@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. what is the starting point of doing preparation

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks sir, for sharing ur knowledge.

    amiit.soni27@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. congrats..

    saikat1101@gmail.com

    plase send me those.. and thank u very much for the info..

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks Ghanashyam. I thought on similar lines.

    Can you please clarify: i ordered for the GS notes on Sriram and Vajiram from Prem Xerox(opp Agrawal's) last month- I got Polity, economy, current events, science an technology, geography and history.
    My friends and me at Banglore IIM feel that sriram's is streets ahead.

    Could you please do the same- make a comparison and authenticate - because you have the IAS tag!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks in advance dost.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you sir for this valuable information. I have completed my engg last year and currently is employed.but my real ambition is to go for ias.i am thinking of selecting public administration and sociology as my optionals.But i am relatively new to these subjects and is confused how to start my preparation(i am preparing for 2012).Can you please email me at arunrkkumar@gmail.com abt some tips and strategies for preparation and essay writing.Thanks a lot in advance.

    Congrats sir for your well earned success.

    ReplyDelete
  17. congrats sir on your great succes...

    i have fixed Geography as my first optional ....but am confused between psychology or public administration as my next optional.

    What do u advice me to take?

    my id is

    sooryanarayan1988@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. hi sir..have been following your blog (read ur interview last year on beat the beacon
    website).......thanks for giving all those valuable tips.......

    i have a query.......i feel seriously intimidated by geography paper 2....the entire paper is full of facts .... i am really struck how to cover the syllabus and whether i will be able to retain so much during mains.....i took coaching last year from s.k.manocha sir..today enrolled for majid husain's test series...i want to make geography my core strength (2nd optional being Pub Ad and i am an engineer)...

    plzz help me out....
    my id saumya.sharma.14@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. thanks
    nikhil.thawal@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. thnx a lot sir...very helpful tips.
    plz send me d notes.my id is
    jawed.eie@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. thanks!! good work keep it up!!

    vishaalzade@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. my email-id:dheerajkumar.81@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. triambaktiwari@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. hii sir!! I reached the Interview stage in my first attempt in this year exam (2009)..Coudnt make it to the final list....Now my options are Geography and Pubad....For last two years geography has become unmanageable to some extent with very difficult mapping in paper 2.......and with Pubad the examination date falls on consecutive days making it more difficult to manage.....So I was condidering of taking Sociology in place of geography for this attempt............but would it be advisable to take a new option (sociology) after prelims and leave geography....plz advice ..m confused.......rahul.dce@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. thnx for the words of wisdom...
    ak6677715@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Ghanshyam...firstly congrats ...

    My subjects are Pubadm and psychology...
    I urgently need help on psycho.. I have Baron,Morgan,Ncert(2) books and looking for Mukul Pathak's notes...
    Also , how to prepare the last few chapters of psycho ( current, relevance related) which are not in standard books?
    Please enlighten me whatever you feel about psycho that may help my preparation...Thanks.
    email : rohit002003@yahoo.co.in

    ReplyDelete
  27. congrats
    my id joshtrovolds.l@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Congos Sir. Also my Email id is: upsc.abhishek@gmail.com Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  29. congratulations.
    my id is kumarsatishgupta@yahoo.com
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  30. thanks sir
    my id is kumarr39@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. thanks sir

    prejithapjayakumar@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. my heartiest congratulations to u 4 clearing civil services exam.
    thanx a lot 4 providing a lot of vital info.
    My Id: rahulmohanty007@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Bhai Plz mail me 2 markers at e-mail add-

    vikasd0104@yahoo.com

    Thanx

    ReplyDelete
  34. congratulations. please send the sample notes to manojmek@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. 10q sir my mail id rekha3939@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. hey u seem to have followed a concrete strategy...its worth emulating....congrats for the achievement...

    pls drop me the material at nitinvermait@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. congratulations, my mail id is sdwb@rocketmail.com
    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  38. Congrats n thanks a lot dear..

    samiya.om@gmail.com

    ~Thanks in anticipation...God bless
    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  39. congrats for ur stupendous success ...

    please email me the material at : akkiver88@gmail.com

    thanks in advance ....

    ReplyDelete
  40. Congratulations sir and thank you for this philanthropic endeavour. If every successful aspirant starts a blog like yours, this world will change.
    My email id is kutariyar@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. congraats sir my email id is
    santhosh9386@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hello Sir
    First of all congratulations !
    My query is that y u dint opt for management as u did MBA from NMIMS.Is the conversion ratio low for mngmt.
    As i am doing MBA from SPJIMR,Mumabi- i have Maths and Mngmt as optionals.Could you please suggest wheather to choose managemnt or not.

    Rgds
    Nishant
    spjimr.nishant@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Sir,
    the above average is combined marks GS and optional?

    ReplyDelete
  44. thanx sir,
    my email ID is varuneshv@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thanks for this info as i m in job too.and wanted to crack CSE....my email ID is arvind_ydv@rediffmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. Dear sir can u suggest me some good coaching centers in Mumbai..as my job is in mumbai....is there any Test series in mumbai....???

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hello Sir, My name is Arpit Sharma. I am planning to appear in the Civil Service Exam in 2011. I dont have any detailed knowledge the exam and so could you plz help me understanding it from scratch. As of now I am living in an area where there no coaching institute to rely on.
    My email id is
    arpit.sunny@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. Congrats sir..
    Please mail me the materials . My e-mail id is
    madhur.tripathi2008@gmail.com
    or send it on madhur.tripathi@tcs.comn

    ReplyDelete
  49. sir plz do keep in touch with innocent aspirants

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi Ghanshyam, Appreciate your efforts, kindly send me the sample notes :
    goel.ajaykumar@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. my email is gs.aries@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hello GhanShyam Sir,

    Congrats for ur huge success...
    I feel your tips were very realistic and encouraging.
    I have gone thru ur ideas on the need for taking GS test series for first timers..
    As for me, I have taken Psychology and GS last October and presently taking Pub Ad coaching in Synergy..I am planning to join Psychology test series and Synergy already conducts test series as part of its coaching..So i would be left with very less time for studying.would it be advisable to take GS test series and leave the Psychology test series or take both and manage the time ?
    Please suggest me your valued inputs on this

    my email ID: rakeshreddyb4u@gmail.com

    Awaiting ur reply sir...
    Rakesh

    ReplyDelete
  53. Nice work on yur blog sir.Thanks for the same.
    ztaniya@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. Thanks everyone....Instead of doing the manual job of sending emails, I've posted the download links of material.

    @Rahul

    Cannot say more about CSAT but definitely it will not be on the pattern of CAT....the quant will be far easier in CSAT. Moreover it is not expected to be purely mathematical.....Aptitude for civils is not the same as aptitude for management.

    @Biki...Join a test series....It will be helpful for developing writing style.

    ReplyDelete
  55. @Chirapriya....Take Pub Ad & Socio...Its a winning combo.

    @Chandra....Even Shriram's material is good...The Vajiram notes I referred were of 2005-06 batch....Have heard that the quality has degraded since then. Do your own comparison....You can't be wrong with any of these.

    @Arun...Join coaching & do focused prep alongwith test series.

    S Soorya Narayan....Don't think much & take up Pub Ad.

    @Saumya...You need not reproduce too much facts to get good score....Compare your answer with the topper's copy in mock tests & you will do well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Thank you sir for taking such pain staking effort to make us aware of the facts that civil service aspirant need to consider,Sir I have taken public Administration and Phycology as my optional is that good should i go head with my preparation for civil service,I had visited many blog such subra saxena and srinivas and more but no one gave me a clear preview of CSE other you thanks a lot sir.May god bless u in all of yours future endeavors.abhishek09999@gmail.com

      Delete
  56. @Raggs...You can definitely consider Sociology.....Esp coz its just your second attempt....Geography is relatively tough & dicy.

    @Rohit....I've already addressed your queries in later posts (On Psycho prep).

    @Arvind....Mumbai doesn't have any top coaching institute....Suggest you get the material xeroxed from Delhi & study on your own....But definitely there are some study circles in Mumbai....But sorry no idea.

    @Raki/Rocky/Rakhi....I strongly recommend test series for GS....Its more important than any optional test series anyday.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hi Sir,
    First of all congrats for getting your ambition fulfilled and also doibng a great job to share your valuble experiences and knowledge with us.
    Actually I am also working in a IT firm, appeared this year but my score in geography is 42 and in GS 44, so unlikely to clear this year.
    But I am inspired from your blog and give a rerty next year also.
    My email-id is innovations_4u06@yahoo.com, please send me

    ReplyDelete
  58. Thanks a lot sir
    we are very thankful to you
    ghanshyam08@gamail.com

    ReplyDelete
  59. sir,
    hello ..i m arun here..
    i have taken up pub-ad n psych ..
    prep now fr 2011 .. 1st chance..

    would be obliged if you send me d e-materials u have @:

    arun.sipun@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  60. Thanks alot sir ur information is very helpful 4 me.have options geography & psycho.i took coaching frm mukul pathak sir,1st paper is well covered but not feeling comfertable in 2nd paper.want ur guidance 4 source in psycho 2nd paper.

    ReplyDelete
  61. my email Id.
    kashyap.jaspur@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  62. sir..congrats on your success... im from delhi with law and pub ad as optionals.. i have grip over law but pub ad is completely new to me..should i join coaching..i do not want to join coachig as im working ...what source should i study from...would u plz elaborate what is a test series.. when should i take them.. thax in anticipation.. my id is munnoo101@yahoo.co.in

    ReplyDelete
  63. Mr.Thori sir, I need the mark-sheets of all selected candidates of CSE 2009 if possible ..or any consolidated data type... pls mail me at job1.aps@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  64. please mail me the material at
    smartabhimanyu@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  65. please mail me the material at vipul688@gmail.com

    Thanks
    Vipul

    ReplyDelete
  66. hi i really did not get this list. this means the cut off for those subject is also high, on the other hand it can be interpreted that these subjects are more scoring...is that wat u meant?
    thanks a lot for ur time

    ReplyDelete
  67. hi.. thankz a lot for ur guidance...

    email: aniketanilsalunkhe@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  68. Hello Sir,
    Congrats for your Success,
    & Thanks for your valuable guidance to all of us..

    My Id:- meshram.piyush@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  69. Sir,
    my optionals are chemistry and geography.I want to talk to Mr. Amit khatri sir regarding his attempt with chemistry optional...

    ReplyDelete
  70. Congrats for ur success man..
    Just started preparing for civils.
    took pub ad and geography as optionals.
    joined Alok ranjan classes.. found it utter boring and waste of money.. yet his notes are little worthy..
    joined Pub ad.. mohanty.. real good mentor but his class strength sucks big times.
    missed many tests so far. :(
    Trying to put some extra effort as i failed to cope up with class teaching programs.
    Really get scared when Rankers say.. to study for 8-10 hrs .. After little progress When i lose hope/Tempo ..wat ever.. i get drunk too much or dosed.. Next day i realize.. i lost even more.. :(
    Is the class notes of neetu singh that good?
    I just feel coaching institutes are looting my money with less offering.
    Long road ahead.. how to keep the focus consistent?
    Abt the mapping.. I love to hear more from U.. abt the techniques and how to revise mapping.
    Abt the recent paper mains.. its shows .. more concern for contemporary issues. Not old pattern of more theoretical questioning?
    how to cope up with that.. GS is more crappy.. completely contemporary.. no need to mug all crap just improve ur recent know how and analysis. Just suggest methods to improve the ability to tackle these issues.
    Congrats once again :)

    ReplyDelete
  71. congrats Mr.Gyan

    plz add my id:

    rajesh.raavipaati@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  72. hello sir, thanxs a billion for the directions, really commendable.


    id: dddolfin@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  73. hii sir..
    its a gr8 work plz do mail me.
    shwtz_29@yahoo.com
    thank u soo much 4 al ur valuable suggestions

    ReplyDelete
  74. ybbkrishna2@gmail.com
    thanks in advance sir

    ReplyDelete
  75. SIR WILL YOU PLZZ TELL ME ABOUT ENGLISH LIT.
    thnx sir

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sonam...me too asking about English Lit....if u get reply from sir please forward that msg to me...
      thanks

      Delete
  76. Sir,
    Thank you so much for your valuable guidance to us aspirants.....
    How in your opinion is combination of Psychology and Sindhi lit...???

    m.priya07@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  77. Sir,

    Waiting for new Gyan for 2011 aspirants.
    Please share new ideas for the beginners like us.

    Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  78. sir i have send u a mail plz reply, asap
    thanks,
    Ankush

    ReplyDelete
  79. Sir ,a hearty thanks for the invaluable guidance.
    my email id > chanchal.keshri9@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  80. Sir, I have complted my BA in English Literature.
    I m littlebit confused about second optional..
    My first optional i have decided Political Science & International Relation...
    Can u help me for my second optional?

    ReplyDelete
  81. Thnx a lot sir for ur guidance.. I am a beginer and i want to prepare for ias.. I hav done btech in electronics.. I want to know optional subject electrical engg will b gud for me or not? Or shall i take public adm as my optional subject.. poojagarg019@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  82. thanq so much respected sir,
    sir mene isi year b-tech kiya h ,
    nw i want to start my preparation..mine exam medium will be hindi".
    GS ke liye konsi coaching join krna chahaye?
    pub add nd geography me se konsa optional subject konsa lena theek rhega?
    plz rply me sir ji,

    ramkeshmeena041@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete