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IAS Toppers Interview: Ananya Sinha Rank 259, First Attempt

Name Ananya Sinha
Rank in CSE 2015 259
Total Attempts in CSE 1
Optional Subject Law
Medium English



Class 10 percentage of marks 94%
 Class 12Percentage of marks 96.75%
Graduation: College and marks 64.7% Shri Ram College of Commerse
Post graduation: College and marks 61% Faculty of Law, University of Delhi
Any other course N/A


IAS Score: What were the basic mantras of your success?

Ananya Sinha: Success is getting what you aim for… I haven’t achieved my aim so far. However, as far as cracking this examination goes, I feel that there is no substitute for consistent hard work with a focused approach.


IAS Score: What were your strategies for the lengthy syllabus of General Studies for both Prelims and Mains?

Ananya Sinha: Prelims: Practiced as much MCQs and test paper as possible because more or less, every candidate has the same sources of study.

Mains: I don’t know about strategy but I know where I lacked. I lacked answer writing practice in Mains.


IAS Score: Did you integrate your Prelims or Mains preparation or was it separate in the changing scenario?

Ananya Sinha: My preparation for prelims and mains portion of the examination was integrated and I linked it particularly with newspaper and daily govt. reports.


GS Preparation for Prelims (Summary)

Study material / Guidance
Basic Books Laxmikant, economic survey, budget, ncert for history and geography, XII bio, Shankar ias for environment.
Current Affairs Hindu, Indian express and any good monthly magazine. GS Score Prelims current affairs classes and material was very helpful for me at last time of my PT preparation.

GS Mains Preparation (Summary)

Paper Study Material/Guidance Current Issues Source Answer Writing Practice
GS Paper 1 NCERT, Bipin Chandra The Hindu Biggest loophole and mistake of my preparation
GS Paper 2 Laxmikant for Polity, Governance ARC The Hindu Do
GS Paper 3 Summary reports, Datt & Sundaram + TMG on security issues+ ARC on disaster management The Hindu Do
GS Paper 4 Various thinkers + few case studies + Michael sandel videos on youtube Do


Optional Subject Law Preparation  (Summary)

Study material / Guidance
Basic Books Law – Stake + S. K. Mishra, Pillai (crime), Bangia, Avatar Singh (conhacts), M. P. Jain


IAS Score: How did your prepare for essay.

Ananya Sinha: No preparation. I worked mostly with material that I had acquired during my mains exam preparation. Again a mistake.


IAS Score: Did you adopted any specific strategy for GS Paper 4?

Ananya Sinha: I can’t comment on any strategy for paper 4 as I scored 72/100 –  one of the lowest.


IAS Score: What were the sources of information for general reading? How did you come to know that which sources of reading materials are standard?

Ananya Sinha: In my opinion summaries of government reports are the most reliable sources for facts and figures. We have to focus on issues that are current and link them with our preparation. All the other reading material is fairly common to almost all aspirants.


IAS Score:  What is your advice on notes-making for other aspirants?

Ananya Sinha: No advice as I never made notes.


IAS Score: How did you manage your time during the preparation?

Ananya Sinha: Time management was one of my strengths in this preparation as I completed law in June 2015 and wrote the examination in Aug – Dec 2015. Focus on few key sources and do them multiple times. Utilize every moment effectively.


IAS Score: What was your style (paragraph or point format) of writing in the exam? How was it distinct from the general writing style? How did you develop this writing style?

Ananya Sinha: If you get bored then watch videos or solve papers.

Again – Can’t comment on writing style as I didn’t writhe any answers.


IAS Score: So much focus is being given to Test Series, both for Prelims and Mains, in your opinion how useful are they, in the course of a preparation process? Which Test Series did you join and how useful did you find it to be?

Ananya Sinha: Test series are absolute must for this examination now as they help develop precision and pithy answer writing. I didn’t join any for mains. For prelims I did gs score and vision ias test series.


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?

Ananya Sinha: All work and no play makes jenny a dull girl. Always find time to do what you love. It maximizes your efficiency in the rest of the time.


IAS Score: The trend suggests that professionals or working people are more successful in this exam. Does this exam prove difficult for Humanities and Social Science background candidates?

Ananya Sinha: I am a humanities background student. I had humanities right from 11th – 12th. In fact, I feel that subjects like history, political science, economics, etc. should be a cake all for students with humanities background. I took humanities in +2 because I aspired to write the civil services examination. Also most professional and working people take up subjects which are humanities subjects.

IAS Score: Which sources you referred to prepare for Contemporary Issues.

Ananya Sinha: GS Score contemporary issues, vision ias monthly magazine and The hindu.

IAS Score: Given the recent boom in online initiatives to support an aspirant, which were the platforms that you find useful enough during your course of preparation. Please list the sites.

Ananya Sinha:


Iasscore.in Downloads

Rstv videos


IAS Score: What is your advice to the candidates who is still in the process of preparing for this examination?

Ananya Sinha: Those who dare to fail are the ones who achieve greatly. If you have achieved thing in your mind, you will achieve it in reality as well so long as you are committed to your dream. So just go on.


IAS Score: Your word for future aspirants.

Ananya Sinha: Just believe in yourself and work towards your goal.


Ananya Sinha Mark sheet

Paper Marks
Essay (Paper 1) 133
GS 1 (Paper 2) 100
GS 2 (Paper 3) 72
GS 3 (Paper 4) 100
GS 4 (Paper 5) 72
Optional 1 (Paper 6) 120
Optional 2 (Paper 7) 110
Written Total 707
Personality Test 195
Total Score 902

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