Lakshay Pandey cracked the Union Public Service Commission’s (UPSC) Civil Service Examination (CSE) in 2018 with an All India Rank (AIR) of 316. Having studied for the exam without attending any coaching classes, Lakshay makes a compelling argument for self-study and shares some tips with aspirants.
Lakshay believes that ‘self-study is better than any coaching’. In his Twitter thread, he shares a list of suggested study material and key tips to help aspirants crack the exam.
1. Stick to A Schedule:
Lakshay urges aspirants to try and spend between 30 to 45 minutes every morning reading the newspaper. In his tweet, he specifically mentions that one should not spend over an hour reading the newspaper. This should be followed with aspirants spending between four to five hours studying. As the examination approaches, increase this time to six to seven hours and finally to nine to 10 hours of study time.
In their schedule, he says that aspirants must also carve out time for physical activities like jogging, running or even general games. He urges aspirants to get between seven to eight hours of sleep as well. It is important to stay connected with family and friends, he also urges aspirants to refrain from isolating themselves. Even on social media channels, he says to be mindful of the time they spend on it. But there is no need to cut oneself off it.
“Quality matters, not quantity,” he wrote.
2. Space Out Your Subjects:
Lakshay’s suggestion for aspirants is to begin preparation with Polity. He says one should spend 15 days on it and alongside this, one can also read through the Economics portion. During this first read, he says one need not go into the finer details. Read through to get a sense of what the subject entails. Once they have done this for 15 days, he says to spend a day revising and collating all they have read through.
Aspirants can follow this by attempting the prelims of Polity paper by Vision IAS. He emphasises that they also spend time looking through the answers. One does not need to enrol for a specific test series, these are available for access online and one should use them well. Target on completing Polity and Economics, along with answering test series in three months.
Once done, aspirants can move on to Modern History and Geography. The target to complete this should be between two and two and a half months. The next subjects could be Environment and Science, which one should aim at completing within one and a half months.
Aspirants should set aside 20 to 30 minutes every day for revising what they learnt the previous day. This way they will be able to strengthen their concepts well.
· Solve test series. Do not invest in joining any online coaching for test series. One can access them online or purchase them for a nominal amount.
· Focus on revising everything that you learn.
· Do not refer to multiple sources or content material. Stick to the traditional book list.
· Discuss topics with friends and seniors to get a better understanding.
· Do not give more than 45 minutes to reading the daily newspaper.
To access the Twitter account, click here.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)