OPEN SESSION ON 17th JUNE at 10:00 AM
“A person who fails to plan, is planning to fail”
The above prescription aptly fits the journey of civil services exam preparation. It is not just advance strategizing but also right planning which makes this journey successful.
Many a times, aspirants of Civil Services Exam do their planning well in advance but what lacks is right guidance. The market of preparation is a chaotic world today, where the aspirant gets lost from the required UPSC mode of preparation. Adding to this, is the multiple number of advices and strategies are thrown at the aspirant breaking his/her consistency in preparation.
STARTING FROM June 2019
Now the important question is What guidance means in UPSC?.
In order to understand the term ‘guidance‘, one needs to understand the two extremes of it which are present in the market today – Self Study and Spoon Feeding.
In one extreme of it i.e. ‘Self Study– without the guidance of experts’, is a flawed method because, UPSC demands a certain bent of mind which is different from an academic approach. Hence even after being a University Genius, it is difficult to crack this exam only by Self-Study. As a method of self-study, only test based learning is being promoted these days, which is based on the flawed model of evaluation without instructed preparation- which can only happen through classrooms.
The other extreme of ‘Spoon Feeding– wherein topics are taught in class’ without empowering the students to understand UPSC way- which includes the art of reading syllabus, defining dimensions, finding the right sources, establishing the static and current linkages, building interdisciplinary integrations and finally reproducing them in a scientific manner in the form of an answer.
‘Guidance is the fine balance of the above two – even a small slip ends the preparation on the wrong side of the road’
To know the right way of preparation, one needs to know what exactly is wrong in the present methods:
- Absence of coordination in Instruction, Assessment and Guidance (continue reading to understand IAG) i.e., Classes, Tests and Personalized Inputs as faculty is not involved in all the stages of exam. This may be due to:
- Non-Involvement of Subject Experts in most parts of the programme
- Lack of availability of all services at one place wherein, the student is forced to go to various institutes
- Limitations with respect to defining the syllabus. This may be due to:
- Not choosing the right sources
- Lack of clarity and current knowledge base of the instructors
- Lack of coverage of the syllabus. This may be due to:
- Instruction in the class does not follow UPSC format
- Lack of thematic integration across disciplines
- Lack of UPSC approach in framing questions and answer formats
In short there is a lack of UPSC way in the preparation
Many a times, it happens due to lack of clarity on what actually constitutes the ‘UPSC way’. Keeping this in mind, Manifest Team has come up with ‘Mains cum Prelims programme 2019 – 2020‘
This programme encapsulates a Synergetic Preparation – through guided study, Qualitative Classes – integrated with tests and Test Discussion – strengthened by personalized guidance
Following are the Unique Features of the course
Permanent faculty with Subject Expertise who lead all the components of the programme- IAG
1. Types of classes
- Concept Building
- Current Affairs
2. Techniques of Teaching
- Chunk wise coverage
- Thematic integration
- Unique bifurcation of Ethics
- Sprint tests – Block Building Method
- Prelims tests – Basic tests, Sectional tests, Revision tests, Subject-wise full revision tests, Simulated tests, CSAT tests
- Mains tests- Module wise full length tests, Ethics tests, Thematic Essay tests
- Test Discussion
- Technology mediated appointments with Faculty
- One-on-one interactions
- Need based counselling
- Individual progress tracking
Significance of IAG
- Continuous and unhindered guidance
- Coordination among the above components of the programme, as the same faculty who deliver the lecture will be involved in question making
- Concept-based mode of learning via tests
- The right balance between classes and tests
Testing only after the explanation of the concepts in class and not vice versa.
Manifest believes in the idea of concepts to questions, not questions to concepts read more here..
600+ hours of Classes spaced over 9 months covering each and every section of Prelims and Mains Syllabus
Many aspirants read sources without complete awareness of UPSC syllabus. Hence, most of them clear the exam in 3rd or 4th attempt only when they understand the demands of the syllabus.
In this programme, it will be done in a short duration of 9 months
4 – hours of class programme integrates:
- Basic and applied dimensions
- Current affair linkages
- Tests based on ‘Revision Readings- Answer writing sprint’ (continue reading to understand Revision readings)
Backgrounder classes – At the start of the course, post independent India and world history topics will provide a strong foundation for other sections
For ex: Nuclear developments in International relations like the North Korean issue will not be understood without the background of the cold war, as Nuke race is a product of cold war
Concept Building Classes – ‘Well ordered and innovative placing of the topics’ with Mains focus initially and gradually moving towards prelims according to the demand of the exam.
For example: Topics related to post-independent India & Indian Society will be covered initially and prelims relevant areas like Art and Culture will be dealt later for better retention and reproduction in the exam.
Avant – Garde classes- ‘Develop the UPSC way’
These classes are named so as they aim to be path-breaking in their approach. They stitch and overlay on the basic components of IAG programme
In IAG, UPSC way is inculcated in you without you being conscious of it and in the Avant-Garde classes, you are made aware of what you are actually learning
In these classes, the students are empowered to learn things on their own. Even after the formal course ends, the students will be independent enough to chart their own course in line with UPSC
Avant – Garde classes include the following:
- Orientation classes – Understanding UPSC art of reading the sources, Note making and consolidation techniques
- Art of understanding the syllabus – Includes dimensions, sub-dimensions of a topic and making thematic linkages across disciplines
- Art of reading Newspaper
- Linking the articles with the syllabus
- Classifying them into 11 sections (Refer to Manifest 11)
- Connecting current topics with static dimensions
- Extracting key points from the newspaper relevant for the exam
- Differentiate amongst UPSC traits and Academic traits
- Art of Answer Writing
- Approaches to Essay Writing and how it differs from General Studies and Optional answers
- UPSC ideology – The outlook that an aspirant needs to nurture in order to not only clear Prelims and Mains, but also to stand out in the Personality Test
- Know your Government classes – These include know-how about the structure of government, their functioning, important government sources for preparation and their relevance for the exam plus expositions on India Year Book, which are usually left out
- Essay classes based on themes mentioned in the syllabus and methods to answer them, especially on Philosophical issues
- Critical thinking in line with the demand of UPSC, which shall help in cultivating tools required for analysis and interpretation of the topics
Current Affairs classes
Current affairs does not exist as a separate discipline.
The biggest flaw in an aspirant’s preparation is to study current affairs separately. Thanks to various current compilations which propagate it as a separate subject. It is not in line with the demand of UPSC. This is clearly visible in UPSC syllabus which has no mention of Current Affairs topic, especially in Mains syllabus.
What does this exactly mean?
Every aspect in mains has a current affair linkage to it. Hence, current affairs aspects related to those topics need to be necessarily done together.
For example: India recently participated in OIC (Organisation of Islamic Conference). This issue can be understood by an aspirant if one has knowledge of the background or static part related to it, i.e; “ Regionalisation of World Politics topic in International Relations”
Once the student sufficiently understands the static portion well, he/ she will be able to:
- Get a firm grip over the topic
- Answer any question in Prelims and Mains
- Write answers with enriched content, fetching more marks
Keeping all this in mind, Current Affairs will be integrated with the respective static topics in regular classes
Despite all this, some current affairs topics may crop up after the static portions has been covered. Also, certain topics for which integration may be possible but not feasible, may arise
For example, Chitosan Nanoparticles which is a very minute issue and hence cannot be a separate question in mains but there is a definite probability of it being asked in prelims
For these sections, extra classes will be held periodically
60+ hours of Classroom Teaching
- 30+ hours for Quantitative Aptitude
- 20+ hours for Logical Reasoning
- 10 hours for English Comprehension
- 4 hours of Data Interpretation
- Classes will accommodate learning, revising and practicing the concepts
- Revision test before each class
- 4 Unit tests and 4 Simulated tests
- Class test in every session
- Pedagogy based on visualization of problems as real-life problems and not based on formulae
- Shortcuts and tricks to arrive at solutions in quick time
- Comprehension is done in a manner to help students to improve their overall reading skills to understand the editorials and other news
Techniques of teaching
A) Chunk wise coverage
Chunk wise coverage of topics within a subject for better understanding
For example: Development aspects in the economy are dealt at once. This gives a holistic understanding of various dimensions associated with the topic
B) Thematic integration
Thematic integration of subjects by placing similar topics across subjects in a row
This is the most unique feature of the programme, where similar themes across different disciplines are dealt together. This can be illustrated via following:
1. History + Economy
2. Post Independence India + Society of India
3. Fiscal Federalism + Budget
The significance of thematic integration
- Efficient coverage of syllabus
- Student gets a proper timeline of growth of any particular idea in the syllabus
For example: Judiciary in Indian polity will make a proper sense only when prior classes on the growth of Judiciary under Indian history is covered in advance
- It gives a firm grip to the aspirant on the topic which helps in developing analytical abilities. Apart from having a unique world view of his/her own, which shall make his/her answers stand out from the rest to fetch more marks
- More importantly, this method of guidance is in line with the recent demands of UPSC, where there is an increase in the number of interdisciplinary questions
For example: Indus Water Treaty of 1960 conventionally is a topic belonging to International Relations but it has been asked in Geography by extracting Ecological and Geographical aspects of the treaty
- Thematically integrated classes of our programme churn and chisel the interdisciplinary instincts of an aspirant
Lastly, having these classes will help in answering thematically integrated questions in the test which follow the lecture
C) Unique Bifurcation of Ethics as a Subject
The general problem in studying ethics today is treating it as a separate discipline
The basic question is, where does not ethics lie? It lies in each and every aspect of life cutting across disciplines. It has its impression in all subjects ranging from History to Science and Technology. Hence, the best way to study it is by linking with different subjects
Keeping this in mind, we have uniquely divided Ethics into four components:
- Integration of Ethics with other subjects
- Ethics with Unique thematic bifurcation for better clarity
- Integration of Ethics with other subjects for holistic interdisciplinary and efficient coverage
- Thematic Case study learning for a better connection between theory and application parts
Sprint answer writing
Short duration tests – Sprint Tests are held every day after the lecture. These questions are based on topics covered in the previous lecture, which Manifest calls Revision Readings.
Generally, a Revision-reading will includes: Class lecture + Class handouts + Standard sources.
Why Manifest doesn’t believe in the concept of Pre readings?
Pre-readings are given even before class lectures are conducted on those topics. It is a flawed method of testing and study because, without a lecture on a topic, the student will not be in a position to focus on the relevant parts of that particular topic in line with the demand of UPSC.
For example: if a student reads the textbook on World History prior to the class, his/her attention is naturally drawn to the nitty-gritty of the events and minor battles, which hold no relevance to the thematic understanding of the topic.
If readings are done after the class, the aspirant will be efficient in reading and extracting notes out of it in addition to class lectures.
Writing answers in mains examination is an art. It demands precision, choice of expression with the right balance of both facts and analysis
If an aspirant is suddenly pushed into answer writing in full-length tests, he/she may not be able to cope. Hence, Manifest has devised Block Building method to answer in simple language.
It is moving from:
1. Small length answers to large length answers
2. Section-wise tests to a full-fledged test paper containing 20 questions
Questions will range from Basics to Interdisciplinary Level
The word inter-disciplining in UPSC has various facets to it ranging from interlinkages between subjects (for instance Geography and Science and Technology – IRNSS question last year) to intralinking within subjects i.e., static and current part, for instance, the 15th finance commission question in 2018 Mains.
Questions for the test will be framed keeping all these in mind as Manifest believes in UPSC way of preparation!
Right ordering with more number of desriptive tests at the beginning and more objective tests later part of the course
Our tests include:
- Basic NCERT Tests (BT) – 4 (In the beginning of the course)
- Prelims Tests (PT) – 16
- Prelims Revision Tests (RT) – 5 (Spaced at 30-45 days)
- Subject-wise Revision Tests
- Simulated Prelims Tests (ST) – 8 (In the last leg of preparation before Prelims-2020)
- CSAT tests – 4 Unit tests (UT) and 4 Simulated Tests (ST)
- Sprint Class Tests
Each test has graded questions with increasing levels of difficulty. This will assess your concepts and prepare you for any challenges which UPSC may throw
Each test will be followed by test discussion on the same day by the Faculty themselves who have prepared the questions. The faculty will not only solidify your understanding of the subject but, also share tricks to tackle tougher questions.There will be ample time for revision before the tests are conducted. The questions will be relevant to UPSC. The test related doubts can be cleared through appointments with the respective faculty.
- Full Length Tests – 6
- Ethics Tests – 2 (After the chunks of Ethics classes)
- Thematic Essay Tests – 4
Each test will have higher relevance with the present trend and scheme of Mains questions. The timely correction will give ample opportunity to do course correction and to improve in upcoming tests. The faculty will do hand-holding with respect to art of answer writing. This will help not only to deliver good content but also to present in a marks fetching fashion
Thematic Essay Tests
Essay is an integral part of UPSC. We find that most students struggle in some aspect of essay writing, be it political, economic, social or philosophical aspects. Previously, UPSC used to give choice among the aforementioned topics. However, in recent times, UPSC has stressed more on philosophical sections where candidates find it difficult to fall back on GS and their optional preparation
Manifest combines domain knowledge with each section being discussed by subject experts. Moreover, the rigorous class format combines with practice tests make for an ideal environment to handle what one has to comprehend when it matters the most!
Individual shortcomings and need of aspirants being different, the guidelines given in class will be customized according to one’s ability via one-on-one guidance
Most importantly, Manifest believes in ‘attacking the thought process‘. Once fundamental changes are made in the thought process by personalized inputs, he/she will be capable of handling any topic
Comprehensive coverage through Foundation and Concept Building Classes to orient thinking, writing and structuring in the required framework
The evaluation is a three-stage process:
The first stage is based on Part Wise and Detailed Evaluation. Here, the question and answer is broken down into subcomponents and marked accordingly. Thus, helping the students to understand their own strengths and weaknesses in each part.
For example: if part wise marking is not done, a student will be left in dark. Which parts he/she is weak in and why he/she has been given fewer marks for a particular question?
Part Wise Marking brings scientific assessment to the process of evaluation. To better understand the importance of part wise marking refer to Manifest Vlog.
The second stage involves the evaluation of the student’s overall performance in the examination. Relevant inputs will be given on ways to improve the attempt (no. of questions) and the places (irrelevant info.) to cut down in order to optimize the overall performance.In UPSC mains, speed of answer writing and intelligent decisions during the examination (choice of questions) make a huge difference
The third stage of evaluation is done by subject faculty through appointments, which will be a part of our Guidance programme.
- Test discussion will be done by the faculty- subject expert on the same day of the test
- Test answers will be discussed in part wise format (to understand click here)
- The discussion will be delivered for all 20 questions
- Varied kind of introductions and conclusions will be given so as to ensure each student’s innovation. (using Brainstorming technique)
- Body component will include a mix of precise factual details and analysis
Personalised Appointment System
- Its an unique component of the programme where the Instruction and Assessment gets personalized
- This component is based on the need of students for expert guidance
- The faculty will discuss individually with the students about their roadblocks and provide them specific inputs on the ways to overcome them
- The methods and strategies to approach the exam and effectively prepare a workable timetable according to the need of a student is provided
- Appointments are technologically mediated so that students get quality time with faculty. HOW..
- Individual oversight, which makes the faculty understand the progress and lapses of students and provide them necessary strategic inputs which can save an enormous amount of time to prepare the UPSC way
This unique combination of Instruction, Assessment and Guidance will put you in a position to have a good shot at UPSC. This course if integrated with dedicated and untiring efforts on students part will ensure good results.
STARTING FROM June 2019
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