CSE Physics Optional Strategy

First of all I must thanks the giant of UPSC Physics preparation – D P Vajpayee sir. He has made it possible that I am writing this blog today. I took coaching for Physics from DIAS in 2014 and appeared for test series in 2016.

Secondly, my sincere gratitude to previous years toppers – Supreet Singh Gulati Sir (2007), Abhijeet Agarwal Sir (2009), Kashish Mittal Sir (2012), Divyanshu Jha Sir (2013), Manish Bansal Sir (2013), Rishav Gupta Sir (2013), Vishu Mahajan (2016) and Prateek Jain (2016). I have immensely benefited from their strategy, notes and guidance in past 4 years.

Book list – I stuck to just one book for each topic except for Paper 2 where Resnick and Eisberg helps in covering some topics in Modern Physics.
Paper1
  • Mechanics
    • JCUpadhyay
  • Optics
    • Ghatak
  • Electricity and magentism
    • Griffith and SP
  • Thermo
    • Garg, bansal, ghosh
Paper2
  • Resnick and Eisberg
  • Quantum
    • HCV
  • Atomic and molecular
    • Rajkumar and ban well
  • Nuclear and Particle
    • SBPatel
  • Solid state and digital electronics
    • Puri and babbart

Other sources

  • I came across Hyperphysics very late in my preparation. It is immensely helpful for notes making as well to understand certain concepts. You will find a whole of easy to draw diagrams on this.
  • Abhijeet Sir’s notes – available on his blog cited above – use it for in depth study only if you have time.
  • Rishav Sir’s notes – available on his blog cited above – They should be your primary source. He has covered almost all the topics succinctly
  • Brilliant Tutorial Notes – They are usually available in photocopy form in ORN or Ber Sarai market. They are beneficial to cover previous year questions. Also topics like Solid state and digital electronics can be covered from them
  • DIAS classroom notes – If you are not able to attend the classes then get the latest notes from one of the students attending them. All your other notes would be structured around them.

Test series at DIAS

  • You must write all the test. And on time
  • Many opt for test series by correspondence. I would advice against that. There is no way you can simulate that environment sitting 2000km away. The experience of giving the test series at the centre is very different

Answer writing – This is a highly important part in preparation. You need to practice this well. You can get 50-70% marks for a correct answer (taking into account scaling etc)

  • Best way is to prepare model answers for all your tutorial sheets. Get model UPSC answer booklets from market and start writing answers for previous year questions from tutorial sheets. Tutorial Sheet, Previous Year Papers
  • Make it a habit to add a line or two in the beginning and end of the answer. This could be related to the physics/definition of the concept asked in the question or a comment on the answer (like for HUP – you can write that such value of answer make it improbable to witness it directly). You can also write real world application for the concept asked or some meta data like who is the discoverer or which experiment led to the discovery of the concept
  • Draw diagrams as far as possible.
  • Use a different coloured pen (black if you are using blue for writing) for diagrams and underlining
  • Be very neat in your presentation. Reduce the cutting
  • Most critically, choose the questions carefully. Prepare at least 3 topics out of 4 in each paper thoroughly so that you can attempt 90% paper.
  • You can have a look at these model answers by Supreet Sir – Model Answers by Supreet Sir

Notes making – You should ideally take notes in Vajpayee sir class on one side of A4 sheets. Leave the other side blank to add further notes from books or other sources

Revision – Prepare revision notes (summary sheets – 3-4 pages for each units). Cant emphasize the importance of this. If you don’t have these, you’ll be overwhelmed just before the exam by the sheer size of the notes. Have a look at Prateek Jain blog for these flash notes.

I got 303/500 last year and 327/500 this year. On the other hand my preparation last year was much better than this year. But you never know what works in your favour.

All the best!

 

 

 

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106 thoughts on “CSE Physics Optional Strategy

  1. I am Mohit from IITbhu, congrats on your success. 
    Sir I had been preparing for civils since december 2017 and my polity, govt schemes via pib and economy are well prepared. I could only manage a fast reading of Geography ancient medieval history and art and culture while environment (with ncert 12 biology without shankar ) and modern india(spectrum) is mediocre level.
    Sir even being from backward class I find my chances of selection very low due to involvement in college studies I could only manage 5/6 mock tests of vision with abt 80-85 marks. Sir given my condition I am having 2nd thoughts about whether I should give exam on 3rd or not and should I waste my 1st attempt.
    If I should give any special advise for Me now(apart from ur blog),also will csat be a cakewalk for engineers or any special preparation is needed.
    Awaiting a reply.
    A fan a well-wisher a friend

  2. Mohit, apologies for late response. I was traveling for last week. How did prelims go?

  3. Cutoff 110+ no chance this year
    Great learning experience
    2019 is eyes now.

  4. Preliminary 2018 ended with sorrows and disappointments,

    I am getting 90-95 marks based discrepancies in ForumIAS and Vajiram Answer key.

    Speculations on social media etc. say I may clear it or miss by a narrow margin.

    (P.S. I am from OBC category)

    I believe it will take 2/3 months for UPSC to declare Mains eligible students list.

    WHAT SHOULD I DO KNOW, (THANKS FOR GUIDANCE FOR PRELIMINARY EXAM) but never thought I would reach this crossroad.

    My Situation:

    Preparing since December 2017 in Preliminary point of view, 
    Mains preparations 0
    Writing practice 0
    Essays written 0
    optional (philosophy) start from scratch  

    Options with Me:

    1. Forget about 2018 Mains Aim at 2019 don’t give mains this year and prepare in depth.

    2. Prepare for static portions of Mains and Philosophy ( do answer writing of static GS Optional and Essay) give Mains 2018 enrich ques. with preliminary preparations though chances to clear Mains 2018 are very low but would be a learning experience and will remove exam fright for 2019.

    On one hand, I can focus on depth and understanding aiming 2019 in mind; while I would be able to do superficially focusing on the broad spectrum than the depth.

    Given that If I start preparing for Mains 2018 I will leave No stone unturned nor put my sword down till Mains 2018 and work as hard as possible but

    I am afraid that doing so It may happen that I may not able to clear Mains and waste 4 precious months due to superficial study wrt 2019 examination.

    Awaiting reply and support.

    I know you are very busy take your time in the meantime I have started GS4(ethics) and optional preparations.

    Fan and Wellwisher.
    Mohit

  5. You must start mains preparation and Wait for prelims results. Clear hua toh mains achhe se dena hai. For now Join GS test series and prepare optional on your own. After Prelims result, if it is positive, join optional test series.

  6. How should I approach for mains 2018 read fast to cover whole syllabus ( which won’t be good wrt 2019) or understand topics achche se( which would be beneficial for 2019) though i wont be able to cover whole syllabus.
    And pre result kab tak aata hai??

  7. Thank you so much Sir ⚘⚘⚘ .
    Sir can you please upload your test series answer booklet.

  8. you should join a test series. it helps in building confidence which is needed for this optional

  9. Sir you have mentioned in your post to have a look over on model answers of supreet sir but the questions aren’t mentioned there .Also question paper is not available anywhere on the internet and any topper you have mentioned has the questions of the year 2008 either in their blog or in their notes and no such book having previous year questions of physics optionals are available around my local place .Could you help me in this regard

  10. Sir i have done it in my previous atttempt from dias, prof vajpayee. Should i redo it or just re-revise and practise my stuff and correct my mistakes.

  11. Thankyou Sir for your valuable suggestions. You have shared tutorial sheets for physics optional. Can u share previous year mock test papers conducted by DIAS? It would be really helpful.

  12. Aditya, There’s a book available in ORN which contains all the previous year question paper upto 15 years ago. Also DIAS tutorial sheet have these questions too. You can connect them with the solutions provided by Supreet sir. Idea here is to learn answer writing.

  13. Sir, i am an undergraduate in physics from iit delhi and i have idea about the subject. should i attend dias classes or will dias test series will wholly suffice?
    (in terms of answer writing also)

  14. Would suggest you to solve the tutorials on your own. Sharing solutions would not help you with preparation.

  15. 1.sir will abhijeet sir notes suffice instead of dias notes as i am preparing from my home (allahabad) and i am not able to join dias coaching???
    2. sir how to get those brilliant tutorials sheets that contains answers of previous years??

  16. 1> use abhijeet sir notes for reference as they are from 2009 when pattern was different. rishav sir notes should be your main source.
    2> you can ask jawahar book depot in ber sarai, delhi. they will courier it to you.

  17. Yup , I started solving tutorial sheets but Lacuna is that i don’t have answers of numerical portion.
    Only for that I’m asking thereof

  18. One thing how to go through Current affairs of One year in the last month of may albeit when one went through them
    on daily or monthly basis ?

  19. Do more favour ….
    When you went through TN BOARD 11 book (ancient+mediaeval+culture) +Ncert fine art ….why one need Nitin singhaniya book (which appended the preliminary questions of preceded year in next edition)…eventhough prelims questions are seldomly solved with the aid of this book….

  20. 1.sir are dias notes not available at some shops?
    2. i found its number on google but thats not connecting…do you have link or something from where i can place an order

  21. sir i am referring rishav sir notes that are available on his site but they are kind of revision type material is there any other link for his notes?

  22. Jullie ….
    1). JUST follow rishav sir notes ( to a great extent it’s similar to classanotes).
    2). Kumar book centre , old Rajendra nagar… ,you can get it from here through courier…

  23. @reach pravin- is it so that referring rishav sir notes i should makes my own notes using books..and solve the dias tutorial sheets?

  24. @abhishek sir-how many questions did you attempted in mains physics 2017…in both the papers?

  25. Because the other two books does not cover everything that UPSC has asked in last 15 years. Culture portion of syllabus has ample scope to become extremely factual – they may ask you about some exotic performing arts from North East – how are you going to tackle that?

  26. Sir for Mechanics-J.C. Upadhyaya there are 3 different books(classical mechanics, Mechanics, Fundamentals of mechanics) available on amazon. Can you please specify the title or publisher of the book.

  27. sir one more thing… vajpayee sir says u have to right 30 lines (200 words) in one page. if not 200 then atleast 150. how is that possible sir ? because in gs we try to get a structure first not much focusing on words. so i complete one answer of 200(suppose) words in 2 pages giving sufficient space( to maintain a structure) in gs. And in physics it seems very difficult. sir i hope u get my query. If so, plz suggest something.

  28. In physics at times you’ve to write not leaving much space. It all depends on the space provided for answer and the question asked. Both of them are seldomly related unfortunately

  29. Sir In future
    If I need your aid regarding some physics topic , by which media and how I could contact you

  30. Hi Sir,
    Given the optional exam pattern as you said one can manage to attempt 90% with 3 topics thoroughly covered.
    How did you handle this ? Did you complete all syllabus with same level of preparation or there were some weak areas? Is it a good idea to completely skip any part of syllabus ? How one can smartly handle this. Also what should be minimal effort for weak area?
    Regards,
    Prashant

  31. I complete 100% syllabus for paper 1 and 95% syllabus for paper 2. The weak area was electronics in paper 2. It is never a good idea to skip entirely a topic because there might be a question which is just asking fundamentals and you might loose marks there. So when I say thoroughly cover 3 topic I mean that you should be able to do almost all question on that topic for last 20 years and for the fourth one you should be able to do 80%.

  32. There aren’t many Birendra. Most of them are repetitive with value change. You can solve few of them in that case. Usually numericals aren’t tough but you can’t predict. This year I felt that there were unusually higher percentage of numericals. And some of them were unconventional.s o there is that.

  33. Sir, do we really need to solve all the numericals/problems, that is solved plus unsolved, of all the books mentioned by you?
    Also what is the toughness level of numericals in the mains exam?

  34. congrats sir. i could not clear prelims for 3 time.not able to comprehend whats wrong. Guide me sir.Physics optional.

  35. Please read post on prelims prep on the blog. May be you might figure out what’s wrong. All the best

  36. Good Evening Sir..
    I just wanted to know Do I need to read all above mentioned physics books again again, as we do for GS Books… or Should I make notes out of them by reading once or twice , to continue my preparation just with class notes+ Books notes..
    I am attending Vajpai sir’s classes and I have read syllabus this syllabus before in my MSc too.
    Please suggest.

  37. Namaste sir , many congratulations for your success.
    I am from ajmer Rajasthan . Doing msc in physics from ajmer only . I wish to go with physics as optional , somehow feel positive and build up confidence but as what i have seen majority of the selected aspirants from this subject have proved/cracked tough exams such as jee and others and an belong to iits .this thing brings my morale down as to whether i have potential to go with it (which i believe i have by seeing old papers).
    1.Please bring light upon that , can non engg. Background especially non iitians or nitans go and succeed with it ?
    2.And lastly can you please share where it is best to stay in old rajinder nagar (or dias hostel dwarka)…. Where did u stayed in o r nagar?? This would be of much help …
    All the best for your new journey
    If u got a chance plz visit pushkar (ajmer) … It will be a privilege for me to host u in our town
    My email- vishuparas@yahoo.com

  38. Namaste sir , many congratulations for your success.
    I am from ajmer Rajasthan . Doing msc in physics from ajmer only . I wish to go with physics as optional , somehow feel positive and build up confidence but as what i have seen majority of the selected aspirants from this subject have proved/cracked tough exams such as jee and others and an belong to iits .this thing brings my morale down as to whether i have potential to go with it (which i believe i have by seeing old papers).
    1.Please bring light upon that , can non engg. Background especially non iitians or nitans go and succeed with it ?
    2.And lastly can you please share where it is best to stay in old rajinder nagar (or dias hostel dwarka)…. Where did u stayed in o r nagar?? This would be of much help …
    All the best for your new journey
    If u got a chance plz visit pushkar (ajmer) … It will be a privilege for me to host u in our town.
    email- vishuparas@yahoo.com

  39. Good evening sir…
    I just started preparing few months back for Upsc 2019..
    I have Joined PT Testseries …Should I join Mains Test series too or should I focus on self answer writing as of now ..
    Will it be ok to join mains test series after prelims exam..?
    Thanks.

  40. 1> it will be difficult but not impossible. Many have cleared before too
    2> recommend to stay in ORN

    All the best.

  41. Sir, suppose I am a hardworking aspirant with normal grasping power. I want to make near full proof preparation of physics optional in 9 months time.So how many hours do I need to spend daily, on physics preparation(excluding vajpayee sir class duration)?

  42. sir can u please tell me how to prepare solid state physics as vajpayee sir did not take that topic.also electronics part should be left and if not that how much to be prepared from electronics..i am writing mains this year and joined sir’s test series.

  43. Sir , if one can’t afford to stay in delhi and also have some helath issues (taken 4 live classes in classrooom)…..
    1.How good is the online coaching option for physics optional (dias ) .
    2. Can u guve what extra efforts one have to do with online class program to match up the regular class environment output?

  44. You can refer to the book by Puri and babbar for solid state physics. Try to solve all the previous year questions from tutorials for electronics portion. That’ll suffice. You can take help of Google or brilliant tutorial notes for that.

  45. I’ve no idea about online module. You’ll have to make notes and be very disciplined to cover physics in an online module.

  46. Sir, before joining Vajpayee sir class,do I need to read some books or prepare some topics/concepts?

  47. 1.Also Sir, my preparation level is , I have read the optionals syllabus once. Ideally how many readings have to be done before prelims sir?
    2. As I’m working full time , how to balance physics and GS sir ? Please guide.

  48. 1 two or three readings if possible
    2 can’t suggest much except that try to finish physics once and then focus on GS. Not sure how can both be managed along with job and current affairs.

  49. Sir , I have started with physics online module and watching one class everyday . I’m working full time , so I don’t get time to update the class notes, as I have to manage studying GS also. Classes can be finished by October. So sir , if I start solving tutorial sheets and value addition for the class notes from October onwards , will this time be sufficient to cover whole syllabus before prelims?

  50. Sir, I have done simple B.sc(PCM) n have interest in physics .Can I m able to take physics. As optional ,is it reliable?? because most of the vedios uploaded of toppers are from IIT.
    Plz sir resolve my query.
    N what is the time duration for covering whole syllabus especially for DIAS?

  51. Sir, I have done simple B.sc(PCM) n have interest in physics .Can I m able to take physics. As optional ,is it reliable?? because most of the vedios uploaded of toppers are from IIT.
    Plz sir resolve my query.
    N what is the time duration for covering whole syllabus especially for DIAS?

  52. sir i am preparing for upsc 2019..could you please tell ideally how much of the physics optional course should be over by december 2018 ??

  53. Please upload your answer sheets and tutorials solution for physics optional. It will be of immense help for all aspirants with physics optional.

  54. hello Sir, I am Rohan from Jaipur..Can you tell me that from where i can get CSE Physics Optional Previous Year Solved Papers

  55. Brilliant tutorials notes have those. They can be found at Jawahar book depot in Ber sarai. Issue is they ahve not been updated for quite some time now.

  56. Sir, is the topic of Motion of Particle also included in the Mechanics of Particles section(for example, projectile motion, motion of particle under gravity etc.). Do i also need to prepare these topics?

  57. Sir i am going to appear for pre 2019 as my 1st attempt. I have prepared my gs but regarding my physics optional i have just prepared notes of paper 1 and paper 2 still not touched.
    Moreover,i made a mistake of not solving many questions of the chapters i made notes.
    Sir,i now feel that even if i clear prelims,i wont stand a chance at mains because of lack of preparation in physics. In that case i want to ask whether i should skip prelims?? OR is preparing physics after pre is possible (since only notes of paper 1 physics is prepared) ???

  58. Sir can you please tell “ATLEAST” how much physics optional should be prepared before prelims if one has started late as i am appearing for pre 2019

  59. you will very rarely fully confident of your preparation simply because there is too much to cover. Thus I would suggest your appear for prelims and try your best for mains.

  60. They are not explicitly mentioned but yes, there have been instances when such questions were asked in past. so no harm in preparing those topics.

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