IAS Score: Which is the most difficult part of this exam and why? What was your strategy for tackling this difficult part?
Joginder Singh: For me difficult part was to get success in Prelims as this was my grey area. I was more confident in mains.
My strategy: mainly I read on polity, modern history, economics, ecology from one source that too repeatedly.
IAS Score: How did you manage your time for both Prelims and Mains examinations?
Joginder Singh: I started prelims oriented preparation 60 days before the prelims exam, rest of the duration I used to focus on mains , because it is the marks of mains exam that matter most.
IAS Score: What was your strategy for covering the lengthy syllabus of General Studies for both Prelims and Mains?
Joginder Singh: Prelims: I gave emphasis on revision. For prelims one need to be confident and it is the revision that gives much needed confidence.
Mains : I used to write The Hindu on daily basis apart from this I prepared sector specific notes like education, health, women issues, etc. From the syllabus on each topic I prepared at least one page notes.
For optional: Apart from my coaching notes I preferred standard books since everything is not covered in such notes.One has to add current issues ,as my optional was geography. So it was much needed.
IAS Score: Did you integrate your Prelims or Mains preparation or was it separate?
Joginder Singh: Yes it was integrated. Though, before 60 days from prelims you should be in mode of prelims.
IAS Score: What would be the best strategy to tackle negative marking in Prelims?
Joginder Singh: I followed elimination rule and took chance where I had eliminated two options.
IAS Score: GS Mains was altogether new, as current pattern is only two years old. How did you prepare for that?
Joginder Singh: For paper 2 and 3 one should follow current issues religiously even you can quote such issues in ethics for example Malala issue, etc
Paper 1 is more about static syllabus….one should prepare everything . This is the paper I found where one can score as maximum as he can.
IAS Score: Have you completed the GS mains papers?
Joginder Singh: I planned to give around 7 min for every question. Apart from this a test series and writing practice at home is must. Simple mantra is “write as much as you can”.
IAS Score: Can you share some idea/strategy about attempting GS paper as it is not easy to write answer of all questions in given time-frame?
Joginder Singh: One should follow point and paragraph format answer writing simultaneously along with flow charts.
IAS Score: What was your style of writing in the exam? How was it distinct from the general writing style? How did you develop this writing style?
Joginder Singh: I wrote my answers in combined format of point and paragraphs.
IAS Score: How did you prepared for essay paper.
Joginder Singh: For essay paper one should focus on optimistic and constructive writing. My last year score in essay was 90 and this year I got 138. It was because of above strategy.
IAS Score: What should be the basis of selecting optional?
Joginder Singh: Optional choice depend upon three things…..Interest – Aptitude – Attitude
IAS Score: Did you follow the myth that only so called popular optional should be opted?
Joginder Singh: NO
IAS Score: How did you plan your optional strategy?
Joginder Singh: I gave value addition to my notes from standard books. Apart from this issues from current affairs that were related to Geography were added.
IAS Score: How helpful are the notes? What is your advice on notes-making?
Joginder Singh: Notes making is very helpful as it helps in revision. Thus one can save time.
IAS Score: Civil Services Exam process is quite strenuous. It requires long hours of constant study. How did you maintain your tempo and what did you do to break the monotony of preparation?
Joginder Singh: I used to go for movies to break the monotony.
IAS Score: How helpful is one’s educational background in his/her success?
Joginder Singh: To some extent but not that much.
IAS Score: How did you prepare for interview?
Joginder Singh: We formed a group of 5 aspirants and conducted mock session. Some other techniques like mirror speech was very helpful.
IAS Score: Which types of questions were asked in the interview?
Joginder Singh: Question were from my Hobby,graduation, subject(biotechnology) and current affairs like NJAC issue,AMRUT scheme, etc
IAS Score: What is your advice to the candidates who have failed in this exam?
Joginder Singh: Go for next attempt without hangover of last year exam.
IAS Score: Can you disclose your marks in detail?
Joginder Singh: Essay 138
GS 352 (109+93+71+79)
Geography 269 (131+138)
Interview 151( Vinay Mittal sir)
IAS Score: What is your suggestion/advice for future aspirants?
Joginder Singh: Have faith in hard work.
Don’t break your continuity.
Stay away from negativity.