1. First Task: Back up plan
  2. Other competitive Exams
  3. PG Degrees via Distance Learning
  4. Why IGNOU’s Distance Learning Programs?
  5. IFS, IES, Statistical Services
  6. Pick up some Activity
  7. Second Task : UPSC attempt for 2013
  8. August to November 2012
  9. January to May of Next year (2013)
  10. Coaching or no Coaching?

To those failed in UPSC CSAT-2012 and willing to re-appear for 2013. What to do for next 9-10 months?

First Task: Back up plan

  • Given the uncertainty involved in UPSC adventures, it is not a good idea to put all eggs in one basket.
  • Please note there are no cut and dry methods of “backup plans for UPSC”, so evaluate all the pros and cons based on your personality and alternative-career ambitions.
  • Those MBBS, CA, IITs etc. need not worry much about “backup”. But for the others ….here are some suggestions.

Other competitive Exams

  • Try for other competitive exams [IBPS (Bank), CPF, SSC, State PSC, CAT,CMAT etc.]  to prevent yourself from getting rusted and as “backup” plan.
  • I suggest all of you subscribe (Free) to Sarkari Naukri Blog. Here is the link . It’ll give you daily updates regarding vacancies in Government, PSU and Bank jobs.
  • The question always comes: How to manage time? Well most of them have overlapping syllabus with UPSC as far as GS is concerned.
  • But some of them are aptitude heavy (IBSP for example) so study two more books
  1. Quantam CAT by Sarvesh Kumar Varma (Arihan Publication) – for the math topics. Do upto Level 2 excercises of every chapter, and you should be able to walk scratch free, through every battlefield from IBPS to SSC.
  2. RS Agarawal’s book on Verbal and Non-Verbal Aptitude. – for Logical reasoning questions.

PG Degrees via Distance Learning

  • Those with optionals like Public Administration, Socio, Political Science, History (ie. courses for which IGNOU offers PG  Degrees), I suggest you pick up Distance Learning Post graduation course from IGNOU. Fees are very low so If you’ve Sociology then go for M.A. Sociology.   (These courses are also available in Hindi Medium)
  • It’ll help you hit two birds with one stone-you  get their quality study material + you get PG Degree at home.
  • Third bird = doing JRF, Ph.D etc and become a Professor in worst case scenario.
  • Yes most PG courses have duration of two years. But according to IGNOU rules, they can be completed in a span of five years. So you can give exam for first year in 2013 and second year may be in 2018.
  • You may try for some other courses of IGNOU like MCA, MBA etc. depending on your alternative-career ambition.

Why IGNOU’s Distance Learning Programs?

    • If you join a regular course from a decent college: fees will be high and, there will be hardly any time left for UPSC preparation.
    • IGNOU courses are quite easy to crack. You don’t have to prepare much for their term end exams (just solve last five years’ paper (available on their official website)- all questions are repeated!).
    • So go to the official website of IGNOU and download the free Prospectus and see details of all the courses offered procedure to get admission.Click me to download that PDF file (ENGLISH).

Click me to download that PDF file (HINDI).

For more, Visit: http://www.ignou.ac.in/ignou/studentzone/downloads/3


  • And IGNOU’s distance learning programs are recognized under UGC so your Degree is ‘legit’ for all Government  job exams.
  • And Given the “academic inflation”, every tom dick and harry is now a Post Graduate. So if and when you go for private company job interviews without PG degree in your file= doesn’t look good.


IFS, IES, Statistical Services

  • You may also go for IGNOU courses in Economics or Statistics to become eligible for UPSC’s Indian Economy Services (IES) and Indian statistical services.
  • If you’re an Engineer (non-IT field) or B.Sc with Agri/Zoology/Forestry etc. courses then try for Indian Forest Services (IFS).
  • But please goto the official site of UPSC and check their notifications and eligibility criteria for each of these exams.

Computer Course Certificate

  • For Bank Exams and some State PSC exam (such as GPSC), you need a fancy certificate to prove that you know computers. (Even if you’re proficient with computers without formal degree or course, you still need a certificate in your file.)
  • So Give an exam called “CCC” [Course on Computer Concepts].
  • It is conducted by DOEACC, [new name is National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology], which is an autonomous society under Government of India, therefore its fancy certificate is ‘legit’ for Government job exams (just like IGNOUs’).

Pick up some Activity

  • For example some NGO work, Part time job, social service or anything else that can look good in your biodata file during Interviews of UPSC, Bank, State PSC or private company. It’s not like you’re going to study for 18 hours a day from 1st August 2012 till May 2013. There are plenty of hours that can be utilized to make your “file” look better for the interviews.

Second Task : UPSC attempt for 2013

August to November 2012

  • Devote entirely to finish the syllabus of your two optional + GS (Mains)
  • And make revision notes of both optional subjects and for Static portions of GS Mains, including 2 marker freedom fighters.
  • ^ this is essential / compulsory / must/ no excuse.
  • Apart from that, you can
  • Prepare Skeletal essays for last 19 years’ papers. https://mrunal.org/2011/12/analysis-essay-topic-trends-in-last-19.html
  • If literature is one of your optional- then go through all the good reference books and write high quality answers for all of last 10 years’ UPSC papers. (reason: in most of the literature Optionals, the questions are repeated.)
  • + Maintain current affairs diary from daily newspaper reading. How to read newspapers- already explained in this article: https://mrunal.org/2012/06/current-affairs-ias.html
  • So next time whenever you clear prelims, much of your time will be saved in doing first hand study / notes making. And then you have to only do revision + current affairs + answer practice.

January to May of Next year (2013)

Coaching or no Coaching?

  • Some of those who failed in CSAT 2012, are asking “should I get coaching for next attempt?”
  • Well, coaching is not the panacea for UPSC. And please donot have the mentality that “I failed in CSAT-2012 because I did not have coaching.”