IAS Score: Which is the most difficult part of this exam and why? What was your strategy for tackling this difficult part?
Shefali Gupta: The most difficult part while preparing included the scope of study and how to cover the most of syllabus in given time. So the planning and right strategy to have time bound targets helped me the most.
IAS Score: How did you manage your time for both Prelims and Mains examinations?
Shefali Gupta: Bifurcate time for both Prelims and Mains while preparing and study in integrated manner.
IAS Score: GS Mains was altogether new, as current pattern is only two years old. How did you prepare for that?
Shefali Gupta: For Mains I focused on answer writing and practiced by writing answers in tests conducted by GS Score and thereby enhancing speed and form. The pattern of papers were very much on lines of UPSC and thus in real exams, it didn’t seem very new.
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?
Shefali Gupta: While preparing for answer writing I tried 2-3 strategies, like in one focusing on quantity and in other on quality to see which one works. Thereby try built up on your own strategy.
IAS Score: What were the sources of information for general reading? How did you come to know about the standard sources of reading materials?
Shefali Gupta: From friends who also were preparing for civils,
IAS Score: What should be the basis of selecting optional?
Shefali Gupta: The familiarity with subject like educational background is important.
IAS Score: Did you follow the myth that only so called popular optional should be opted?
Shefali Gupta: No
IAS Score: How did you prepare for interview?
Shefali Gupta: For interviews the best way is to read newspapers and be updated. The mocks conducted by institutes helped the most in preparing for interview. The mocks were on very similar lines and it made me feel more confident about real interview at UPSC.
IAS Score: Which types of questions were asked in the interview?
Shefali Gupta: Related to background, budget related schemes, optional and hobbies. Questions were mostly focused on Current affairs.
IAS Score: What is your advice to the candidates who have failed in this exam?
Shefali Gupta: UPSC is very unpredictable, so hope for best but be prepared for worst and keep giving your best!
IAS Score: Can you disclose your marks in detail?
Optional (Commerce)- 245
GS PAPER-1- 82
GS PAPER-2 91
GS PAPER-1 88