Sagar, Rank 168
InsightsIAS OGP-2018 Student
Anthropology Optional, Second Attempt
Hello everyone,I am Sagar Rana and I have secured AIR-168 in CSE 2018,I was an Insights OGP-2018 student and before starting this post I would like to thank all of Insights team and especially VINAY sir for guiding me throughout my preparation and UPSC journey.
For me the journey has been quite smooth and short as me being 22 years old right now, but I have seen both failure(Prelims 2017) and success in this attempt, I have learnt a few things in course of the preparation which I would like to share and hope that those can be of some help in your journey.
1)AVOID BEING TOO SERIOUS: By it, I mean that one should take UPSC as an exam only and avoid undue attachment as it builds pressure of expectations and fear of failure which hampers one’s performance.Hence be optimistic and stay calm and confident rather than being excessively serious.
2)STRATEGISE YOURSELF:Everyone is unique in capacity and skills and so rather than following someone else’s strategy just because they cleared the exam is not correct.Instead make your own strategy which suits you and then follow it religiously without any self doubt to get the best results.
3)STUDY HOURS:UPSC has nowhere mentioned that studying for 10 hours is mandatory for clearing and hence don’t get demotivated by seeing someone studying 12-14 hours per day.SMART WORK IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN HARD WORK in this examination and hence consistent study of 4-6 hours in THE RIGHT DIRECTION is enough to get your name in the final list.
4)THINK LIKE AN EXAMINER:For any topic or issue think yourself as what kind of questions can be asked and see its relevance in the syllabus.Complete the syllabus word-wise to prepare holistically.
5)OPTIONAL:I personally don’t believe in taking the optional subject based on your interest but taking an optional subject on basis of INPUT-OUTPUT ratio.For ex:In my first attempt in 2017 I had chosen History as my optional, and I distinctly recall reading the medieval history 20 days before prelims during my final semester examination.After coming to Insights I took Anthropology as my optional on Vinay sir’s advise and did well in it even after having zero interest and no liking for it.So choose an optional which is short, scoring and less dynamic to reduce the extent of variability in the questions asked in the examination.
6)PERSONAL LIFE:Keep your family and friends close as they are your backbone during tough as well as good times.BEING ALONE IS 100 TIMES BETTER THAN BEING IN COMPANY OF NEGATIVE AND DEMOTIVATING PEOPLE.I personally would like to thank my parents and friends who stood by me in all times.
As Prelims is approaching I would like to give a piece of advice to all aspirants i.e. MASTER THE STATIC PORTION as the definition of “contemporary” for current affairs is ever changing and currently questions from last 2-3 years are being asked, so to be on the safer
side do the static part well and if one can do 35-38 questions with surety, selection is almost confirmed in prelims.
IN THE END,I would like to say that ENJOY YOUR PREPARATION as reading books in an AIR CONDITIONED LIBRARY is the easiest thing one can expect and do. And this examination is a JOURNEY IN ITSELF testing your personality in all 3 stages. You might PASS OR FAILin the exam but ultimately YOU WILL WIN – as the process makes you A MUCH BETTER PERSON THAN YOU WERE BEFORE and that’s what counts in REAL LIFE.
ALL THE BEST AND THANKS FOR READING.