Abhishek Chourasiya, Rank-72, CSE-2016

General Studies Prelims & Mains Strategy and Booklist

Vote of Thanks: I’m thankful to God, my parents, my family, ForumIAS and my well wishers without whose support, the journey would not have been possible.

Name: Abhishek Chourasiya

Roll No: 0007343

Optional Subject: Geography

Hometown: Jaipur, Rajasthan

What ForumIAS users / posts / initiatives did you follow? Since ForumIAS is a community, please mention its/some users whom you found helpful. This really helps boost the morale of people who contribute.

Ans : I found discussions on ForumIAS quite useful. The free flow of information on the blog helps a lot of aspirants. Thanks to the contributors!

How did ForumIAS Prelims Test Series help you?

Ans : It helped me to revise regularly especially the core books like Indian Polity by Laxmikant, spectrum history book by rajiv ahir, Environment by ShankarIAS etc. On one hand the tests helped me to boost my confidence level and on the other it also helped me to locate and improve upon my weak areas.

When did you decide to write the Civil Services Examination?

Ans : During the last year of college.

Who inspired you to write the CSE Examination?

Ans : Multiple factors contributed to it. Making fuss about problems creates stress in my mind. Hence I try to figure out a solution for the problem and take steps for it rather than just complain. Civil services provide a platform to solve problems that people are facing. Further, the inner motivation was strengthened by my parents as well as by my close friends.

How did you prepare for Prelims?

Ans : I failed in 2015 preliminary examination. This year, I decided to adopt a comprehensive approach. I read relevant NCERT books line by line and word by word. I covered core books like Indian Polity by Laxmikant, spectrum history book by rajiv ahir, Environment by ShankarIAS etc. I joined ForumIAS test series as well.

Your Booklist for Prelims

Ans : Indian Polity by Laxmikant, A Brief History Of Modern India by Rajiv Ahir, Environment by ShankarIAS, Goh Cheng Leong, Certificate Physical and Human Geography, NCERT books

How did you prepare GS Paper 1 ( Mains) ? Include Bookllist/ Sources?

NCERT books are very helpful for Mains as well and one should try to go through them before examination.

For geography, I did not do anything special since it was my optional. While writing the answers I ensured that I do not write highly technical stuff.

For Indian Society, I relied mostly on Class XI and XII NCERT books. I also prepared topic wise notes based on newspaper articles.

For History, I relied mostly on NCERT books. I also prepared for personalities individually e.g. National leaders Governor Generals etc.

For Art and Culture, apart from NCERT books, I went through CCRT website.

How did you prepare GS Paper 2 ( Mains) ? Include Bookllist/ Sources

Indian Polity by Laxmikant gives enough factual information to support your answers with. I tried to provide Constitutional article numbers/Acts etc wherever possible.

For IR topics, I visited Ministry of external affairs site. Also I made my own notes from the newspaper articles. My coaching notes also proved to be helpful.

For topics like “Issues relating to poverty and hunger”, I tried to gather current status, measures taken etc from various reports and news articles.

How did you prepare GS Paper 3 ( Mains) ? Include Booklist/ Sources

For economics, I mostly relied in Class XI and XII NCERT and newspaper and coaching notes.

I did not do anything extra for Science and Technology except reading The Hindu.

For topics related to Internal security, I again made notes based on newspaper articles.

I also listed major acts/bills/schemes/policies and their major provisions.

How did you prepare GS Paper 4 ( Mains) ? Include Booklist/ Sources

For theories and thinkers, I went through Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude for Civil Services Examination by G. Subba Rao  apart from my coaching notes. Further, I prepared my own notes explaining and differentiating the jargon.
Most helpful would be to give a deeper thought about any and every issue that comes up while reading newspaper. While doing so one should try to think of various ethical dimensions, ethical/legal issues, possible options etc.

How did you prepare the Essay Paper ? Include Bookllist/ Sources

I did not do anything special for this paper except that I researched on how to write good essay on internet before the exam. I made my own strategies for dealing with various types of essay topics and followed it during the exam.

Any message for ForumIAS Users?

Current pattern of UPSC has a lot of stress on Current Affairs. Focus on it to secure good marks.


upsc topper abhishek Chourasiya marks ias


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