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Monday, April 26, 2010

HOW TO GET 140 MARKS IN ESSAY IN CSE ?

HOW TO GET 140 MARKS IN ESSAY IN CSE? :- PART I

Hi, I have got 140 in Essay in 2006 Mains & also 140 in 2008 Mains. Many candidates are confused about How to PREPARE ESSAY … So writing this piece …

Essay preparation for Civil Services Exam can be of two types:-

1. LONG-TERM PREPARATION
2. SHORT-TERM PREPARATION

I will first write about long-term preparation. It can be done by those aspirants who have 1 yr or 2 yr or 3 years in their hands i.e. before Mains exam …

1. LONG-TERM PREPARATION
(The Path Less Trodden):-

• These things should be done when you are doing your GRADUATION these days or u have enough time say 10 months at least to go for Extra-Curricular reading :-

• For long-term preparation be regular with any two national newspapers. I would recommend THE HINDU & THE TIMES OF INDIA. The Hindu gives you simple & effective writing style while TOI gives u stylish English & increases your vocabulary. Both are needed to write a good Essay.

• Read 2-3 hours everyday. Specially focus on the Editorials & other Analytical & Critical articles. Say in Hindu focus on Magazine, Book Review, Literary Review, Business Review, Open Page, 2 page OP-ED Page etc & in The Times of India focus on its Editorial Page. Whenever you encounter a DIFFICULT PHRASE, EDIOM, PART OF SPEECH etc just see the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary or Chambers Dictionary & in a Diary note down that word, its meaning, its usage in sentence etc. This MUST be done within 1-2 minutes. Don’t keep it pending.

• Or else one word is lost from your vocabulary. By doing this your VOCABULARY will increase & you will know HOW TO USE THAT WORD IN A DIFFERENT CONTEXT. This is a gradual & continuous process and it will take 12-18 months to make your vocabulary very strong & have command over the language & expressive power.

• In addition to newspapers read as many articles from GOOD MAGAZINES as possible. The following magazines can be referred to.
a. FRONTLINE ( Must )
b. THE ECONOMIC & POLITICAL WEEKLY ( Must )
c. MAINSTREAM (Optional)
d. WORLD FOCUS (Optional)
e. THE ECONOMIST (Optional)
f. TIME or LIFE ( If you have access to a good library)

• I am not saying that you should try to finish all these magazines in one month. But try to read as many HIGH QUALITY ARTICLES as possible. This will increase the RANGE & VARIETY of your thinking & will make you knowledgeable about the happenings around the world & different streams of thought. (For Example: - What is “Stream of Consciousness”? What is “Theatre of Absurd”? What is “Objective Correlative” in T S Eliot’s poems? What is The Revival Movement? Etc)

• Jot down POWERFUL & EFFECTIVE sentences that you come across in a Diary. Any Quotations or Important Sentences said by Intellectuals like Amartya Sen, Manmohan Singh, Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Bertrand Russell, Arundhati Roy etc should be noted down.

• Revise your Diary in free time many times so that you can remember these quotations, important words, sentences etc & use them at relevant places in your Essay in Mains Exam.

• Apart from these things read a lot of NOVELS, POEMS, PLAYS, SHORT STORIES etc

• I am giving a list of some of the books that I read. You can pick up some of them …

1. R K NARAYAN’S NOVELS (SWAMI & FRIENDS,THE ENGLISH TEACHER,THE GUIDE,THE DARK ROOM,THE BACHELOR OF ARTS,WAITING FOR MAHATMA,THE PAINTER OF SIGNS etc)
2. WAITING FOR GODOT ----- by SAMUEL BECKETT
3. T S ELIOT ----- SELECTED POEMS
4. THE GOLDEN TREASURY
5. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE ( MACBETH,KING LEAR,TEMPEST … ETC)
6. ENGLISH AUGUST ------ by UPAMANYU CHATTERJEE
7. GEORGE ORWELL ----- THE ANIMAL FARM,1984
8. BERTRAND RUSSELL ----- SCEPTICAL ESSAYS, PHILOSOPHICAL ESSAYS, HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY
9. THE DISCOVERY OF INDIA --- JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
10. THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS ---- ARUNDHATI ROY
11. MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN ---- SALMAN RUSHDIE
12. PLAYS OF HAROLD PINTER or at least know about his works.
13. ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE ---- by GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ
14. NOVELS OF CHARLES DICKENS like GREAT EXPECTATIONS, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, HARD TIMES etc
15. Search TOP 100 NOVELS OF ALL TIME in Google & read some 5-10 novels of any author “WHOM YOU LIKE” …


The basic idea is to make yourself “well-read” & with a COMMAND over ENGLISH … For this READ SOME GOOD QUALITY novels or poems mentioned above or after searching Google (For ex. Best 100 Poems of Twentieth Century, Best 100 Plays of All Time etc. )

CIVIL SERVICES APTITUDE TEST: 10 INITIAL STEPS TO BE TAKEN:-

CIVIL SERVICES APTITUDE TEST: 10 INITIAL STEPS TO BE TAKEN:-

By Dr. Bijay Ketan Upadhyaya,I.A.S.
Rank 5, CSE 2008.

1. Whatever the test will be, one thing is for sure … The importance of Current Events will not decrease. In my opinion, its significance will increase. So it makes sense to go through 2 National Dailies everyday for 2-3 hours & jot down important news items. You can go through …
• The Hindu
• The Times of India
• The Economic Times (If possible)

2. You should make your mathematics, reasoning & mental ability side strong .For this you can begin with :-
• Quick math for Bank PO Exam by M Tyra
• Quantitative Aptitude & Reasoning by R S Agarwal
• Simple Aptitude & Mental ability books for Bank PO & NOT for CAT of IIMs will be helpful. CSAT will be a much simplified version of CAT.

3. Prepare one optional very well & General Studies. These two things you must be very strong. As the pattern of Prelims & Mains is not clear at this point.

4. Common books to be read in the initial days which will be important always :-
• Modern India by Bipan Chandra NCERT
• India Year Book
• Manorama Year Book
• NCERT 11th & 12th standard books on History, Geography & Economics
• General Science book of CBSE or NCERT 9th & 10th standard
• TMH General Studies Guide (Especially General Knowledge & General Mental Ability area will be helpful.)
• Our Constitution by Subhash Kashyap
• Our Parliament by Subhash Kashyap ( Optional )

5. Listen to All India Radio bulletins from 2 PM to 2.30 PM & 9 PM to 9.30 PM very well. Also listen to ND TV news bulletins & programmes like Big Fight, We The People, BBC World so that your General Knowledge expands.

6. Lucent’s General Knowledge will also help in this aspect.

7. Any Guide book on RBI Grade B will also shed light on the situation based question & questions testing your decision making ability.

8. Solve the Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning questions that come out in magazines like General Knowledge Today, Pratiyogita Darpan etc.

9. Read some basic economic book like :-
• Indian Economy : Problems & Prospects by Uma Kapila OR
• Indian Economy by Dutta, Sundharam ( Tougher & better )

10. Develop the skill to solve mathematical & reasoning problems faster. It comes with practice. So the sooner you start practicing, the better your chances of clearing CSAT in 2011 will be …

ALL WILL BE WELL … & DON’T WORRY TOO MUCH …