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How to Study with Online resources for UPSC CSE ?

Unlike antecedent times, when getting the relevant material sufficed and ensured success in UPSC exam, now, in the era of information and communication technology, selecting the right study material from the plethora of courses and modules is the path to success. This becomes an even bigger problem for those who are not availing any coaching or don't have any experienced guide. "It is all about separating the chaff from the grain and prioritizing only what is necessary." Says, Debotosh Chatterjee (Rank-406/CSE-2015) . In this article we will be focusing upon how to select from the available courses available online and making best use of the resources, with special focus on the needs of those who are preparing for UPSC exams. (Disclaimer- all the website  sites whose name might be mentioned in the article, the names are just for the purpose of reference, it does not pertain to any promotion or advertisement of any given platform).


Also See : UPSC Exams 2018


Why Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enabled learning?

Because they enhance a person's access to e-learning tools, technologies and pedagogy inter alia content adaptation, personalized learning, creation of high quality interactive simulation environment, Open Educational Resources (OER), Adaptable e-Learning, Accessibility Models for the disabled, Ubiquitous Learning, Augmented Reality, gaming environment for learning for specific target groups etc.


The Online Must Haves: Websites

1: www.ncert.nic.in:

NCERTs are the very basic of the preparation, buying one and all NCERTs can be tedious as well as a costly affair, here you will find all NCERTs in both book form and in chapter form, facilitating the aspirants with their preparation.

2: www.nios.ac.in:

Like NCERTs, here too, one can find ample material that is easy to study and comprehensive in knowledge, which is not easily available offline.

3: https://ccrtindia.gov.in/

CCRT conducts education grounded in cultural knowledge and understanding as conducive to clarity, creativity, independence of thought, tolerance and compassion. Its main concern is about the plurality of the regional cultures of India and integrating this knowledge with education. A major  source to study for Art and Culture.

4: https://parliamentofindia.nic.in/

Owing to its enhanced and interactive interface, this proves better than any book that one me read, it has all the intricacies about Parliament  and its functioning mentioned boosting the standard of one's preparation.



YouTube Channels

The interactive features of modern web-based media players can be used to promote ‘active viewing’ approaches with students (Galbraith, 2004)enhanced learning experience higher recollection. "Watch the video first, to see what is your topic about, then grab a book to get a solid understanding of what you saw on the video", says Maciej Jankowski. Working memory has a limited capacity, and information must be processed by working memory to be encoded in long term memory hence, watching a video through an interactive interface thrusts up not only the engagement but also the memory. Upon the recommendations of a lot of aspirants as well as the successful candidates, who are currently serving as bureaucrats, some of the must have Youtube Channels are:

SuccessCDs Education: One of the best channels for Current affairs, interactive learning, NCERTs Chapter wise explanation etc.

Unacademy: Established by Roman Saini, Rank 18 in UPSC CSE 2013, the channel provides high quality lessons for passionate learners by expert educators on various subjects and these subjects are simplified using diagrams and visuals.
Insights: This is one of the most successful portal online and channel on YouTube, the daily newspaper analysis and regular current affair updates are invaluable.

Mrunal: Provides guidance and study material for UPSC Civil Service, IAS, IPS, CSAT, IBPS, GPSC, UPPSC, KPSC and other competitive exams of India. With the mission of Success with Self Study, their videos of Economy, Geography and Economic Survey are hugely popular.

Byju's: another online platform with interactive videos, study materials etc, helping students crack the exam.


The Online Must Haves: Discussion Forums

Use of conversational rather than formal language during multimedia instruction has been shown to have a large effect on students’ learning, perhaps because a conversational style encourages students to develop sense of social partnership with the narrator that leads to greater engagement and effort known as Personalisation Principle by Richard Meyers.
Some forums:
forumias.com/ (ForumIAS, a online portal for UPSC Preparation Online)
Apart from all these sources, one can take help of the various blogs ran by the qualifiers themselves for personalised preparation strategy. Some of those are:
Ira Singhal: Rank 1, UPSC 2014
Garima Mittal: Rank 8, UPSC 2009
No one would be able to advice better than the one who has already given and cracked the CSE. Hence,  keep in mind the golden-words by Debotosh Chatterjee (Rank-406/CSE-2015) "The whole idea of reading using electronic material does not fit into my strategy beyond a certain point. Hence, despite so much electronic material available, I mostly used books, newspapers and hard copies of PDF files. However, to save time and make the preparation more efficient, I used to make notes on One Note." Upon tackling information overload: "I always restricted myself to a few trusted websites. Some of them are Mrunal, Unacademy, IDSA, RSTV Youtube Channel, etc. Once these information sources are narrowed down, it becomes very easy to maintain discipline and follow them. However, even from these websites I used to be very selective at times. E.g. I did not follow RSTV discussions on political issues which had no bearing on my UPSC preparation. I could never revise from PDF files or make effective use of RSS feeds, so avoided those things. Mostly hard copies and a few trusted websites – that’s good enough." Stay spirited and happy preparation, guys!


Author: Anushka Mishra

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