DIVIDE THE SYLLABUS IN PROPORTION TO THE TIME YOU HAVE
“Dividing the syllabus for the effective study is a personal choice. Having said that, one way to tackle the syllabus effectively is to work in tandem with the time you have until the prelims. If you started preparation nine months before the prelims, it would be advisable to spend six months preparing and three months in revision. So, divide the topics accordingly and prioritize according to your strengths and
START WITH SUBJECTS THAT YOU LOVE
“Starting your preparation journey with subjects that you have a strong hold over will help in boosting your confidence. I started with polity given that it was a subject that I had a basic understanding of and would take me a shorter period of time to complete. Once you gain the momentum moving on to difficult subjects and tackling them becomes easier”. Familiar subjects will ease you into the preparation journey.
ALL SUBJECTS ARE NOT EQUAL
In TNPSC-GROUP-1 preparation you need to do a lot of subjects, but not at the same time. Learn to prioritize, it will save you a lot of headaches & time. Ex: Complete unit- 8 & 9, History and Polity before Economy and Geography
STUDY ONE SUBJECT AT A TIME
Doing 4 different subjects in a day is a sure way of wasting precious time and effort. Group-1 prep is hard as it is, don’t make it harder by being distracted all the time.
Once I had completed this first round of reading I started revising. It was in the revision stage that I moved on from the SCERT books to other books like Laxmikanth for Polity and Spectrum for Modern History. That helped in building on my existing knowledge base.
LIMIT YOUR RESOURCES
A fundamental problem with Current affairs is the deluge of reading material. In my earlier attempts, I used to buy current affairs material out of whim, in the delusional hope that more material meant more marks. My room used to be filled with CSR, Pratiyogita Darpan, EPW, Chronicle, Yojana, and every random magazine you can name of. I’d buy them out of excitement, keep them safely on my desk, and never reopen them again for lack of time. I learned the hard way that running after too much material is counter-productive. Choose quality over quantity.
- My CA Resource-
- The Hindu (One English Daily)
- One monthly compilation
- All India Radio— Spotlight/Discussion
- Misc (RSTV’s Big Picture, India’s World, and PRS India)
LIMIT YOUR TIME
The problem with most aspirants is not that they neglect newspapers, but they overplay their importance. Some read newspapers for almost 3-4 hours a day, leaving them with no time to read other subjects. Current affairs are important, newspapers are important, but not so much that you invest a disproportionate amount of time in them. In my experience, ideally one should finish reading a day’s current affairs in under 2 hours. 3-4 hours for everyday current affairs is overkill.
- My current affairs preparation consisted of
- Newspaper reading (30-45 min, no note making)— every day
- A revision of last week’s issues, catching up on All India Radio (selectively), and internet research
on selective issues — weekends
- Referring to a monthly compilation (choose any institute material for this) — at the end of the
PREVIOUS YEAR QUESTION-ANALYSE
“PYQ analysis is very important because it makes preparing easier. Always look at the previous year’s papers to get a sense of what topics are important and what you can afford to leave out while studying. There might be areas that you believe are important but are never asked about from the exam point of view”.
“Do not assume that your preparation ends when you complete the syllabus. Even revision requires meticulous planning. While revising make a mental note of all the often-asked questions and topics. Some examples are the Articles of the Constitution and important and landmark judgments. “Make a list of such important topics”.
Given how dependent we are on technology, “I used Evernote, an app that helps take notes. If I found an interesting article, I would copy it onto the app and read through it when I get time. This saved me time and also helped me read on the go. This also gave me the ability to structure my answer in a very holistic manner”.
FOCUS ON THE PROCESS , NOT THE RESULT
Speaking from my experience, Dhoni says, “Keep it simple. Focus more on the process and less on the results. If you get the process right you will get the result. And enjoy, don’t take too much pressure. Enjoy the process of studying and give your 100 percent. The marks will follow thereafter. Doing this will also help you maintain your cool and continue with your preparation”.