What were your strategies for the lengthy syllabus of General Studies for both Prelims and Mains?
Ques. What were your strategies for the lengthy syllabus of General Studies for both Prelims and Mains?
Ans. Dont study a lot of books and materials. Stick to some basic materials and revise them again and again. It is very important to enjoy the subjects which you are studying because it is the only thing which will help you in completing the syllabus with ease.
Ques. GS paper was altogether new. How you prepare for all the 4 papers?
Ans. All Subjects were not completely new. For the subjects which were added we followed standard books like NCERT and class notes. Paper 4 was made easy with the help of S.K.Mishra sir.
Ques. What should be the basis of selecting optional?
Ans. Avoid those subjects which are not scoring marks for last few years. If you have grip over your graduation subject, you can go for it. For the last few years technical subjects like engineering papers, PCM etc are also doing good. But what ever subject you choose, make sure that you are comfortable while studying it and not forcing onto yourself.
If you are choosing a graduation subject, first download the last 5 years question paper of UPSC CSE Mains and see that the command you are claiming is good enough or not , or can you make it upto that level.
Ques. Did you follow the myth that only so called popular optional should be opted?
Ans. No, If you have command over a non popular optional, you can go for it. But as i said if some subject is not scoring well in last few years, try to avoid it.
Ques. How did you plan your optional strategy?
Ans. Clear your basic concepts and orient yourself towards application based questions. Dont study a lot of material, go for standard ones. Try to feel the subject and matter. Do writing practice for mains and go for a good test series if you can.
Ques. What were the sources of information for general reading? How did you come to know that which sources of reading materials are standard?
Ans. Internet and standard books and magazines.
Standard doesnt mean that there is only one standard book. It means that any good book matching the level of exam recommended by a good teacher or senior who cleared the exam. There are more than one good book in every subject and you cant read all. For example- for history some read spectrum, some read bipin chandra and both are good books.
Ques. Tell us something about preparation of essay paper.
Ans. After studying general studies paper you will gather a lot of knowledge to write content of eassy but it is very important that how do you write an eassy. Do write eassy on some topics and show it to you teachers. Essay has three parts- Introduction, body and conclusion and all the parts have special purpose that you should understand. Improve your grammar if possible.
Ques. How did you manage your time in both prelims and mains examinations?
Ans. Fix the targets and complete them on time. It is not that you should not enjoy your life rather you should fix the timing that you want to study for “x” hours and will go out for some y hours and stick to the plan. Consistent smart work is necessary. Managing time will not be a problem when you know your priorities.
Ques. Which is the most difficult part of this exam and why? What was your strategy to tackle this difficult part?
Ans. I think its clearing mains with good marks. Study smartly and consistently for this. Go for revisions as many times as you can. Give tests and evaluate yourself to improve after each test.
Ques. Did you integrate your Prelims or Mains preparation or was it separate?
Ans. The subjects which were in both stages need a integrated approach of preparation. The subjects which are only in mains can be prepared for separately.
Ques. How helpful are the notes? What is your advice on notes-making?
Ans. It depends upon the student and the time he/she has. I never made notes apart from class notes. But if you have problem in remembering things and if you are not able to keep the knowledge in a systematic way, you should go for notes making.
Ques. 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?
Ans. I started every question with small introduction showing the relevance or background of the question and supporting with data if required. I wrote in point wise format and concluded with opening different dimensions which are possible for the question other than asked one.
Test series under the guidance of Manoj Jha sir and team was very helpful.
Ques. Did you take Mock Test. Is it of any help?
Ans. Yes. It will help you in gaining confidence. Leave giving mocks when you develop a good level of confidence. Personality cant be changed in few days so work on it from begining if you can and interact with different people you come across during you preparation.
Ques. 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?
Ans. If you have the deep desire to crack the exam, you will enjoy it. I enjoyed my evening with my friends everyday. Group of good and supportive friends itself is a source of relief.
Ques. What should be the best strategy to tackle negative marking in prelims?
Ans. Dont bluff blindly. One cant be 100% accurate but if you have studied well, your accuracy level itself will go up.
Ques. The trend suggests that professionals are more successful in this exam. Does this exam prove difficult for Humanities and Social Science background candidates?
Ans. No. One can find many example where students from all background are excelling in those exam. So dont worry for any such thing and focus on your preparation.
Ques. How helpful is one’s educational background in his/her success?
Ans. I belong to a small village in Jharkhand. I studied upto class 9th in my village in government hindi medium schools and was not able to write or speak in good english even in class 10th. My family is also not rich. Even then I passed 12th board with 94.4% marks and cleared IIT and Civil services in my first attempt which no one was expecting. It was possible due to support of my family and my smart work. So educational background may put some difficulties before you but it cant stop you from achieving what you want.
Ques. How did you prepare for interview?
Ans. I prepared for possible questions which can be asked from DAF form and also gave some mocks. Pay attention on the way you dress up, you walk and talk.
Ques. Which types of questions were asked in the interview?
Ans. Some questions were related to may state and also national and international affairs. They asked my opinion on issues like reservation, right to education, Jammu Kashmir issue etc.
Ques. Was there any specific area they emphasized upon?
Ans. My state but not a lot of emphasis.
Ques. What is your advice to the candidates who have failed in this exam?
Ans. Evaluate why one has failed, identify where the problem lies and improve those areas. Dont lose confidence and keep patient. For such candidates.
असफलता एक चुनौती है, इसे स्वीकार करो,
क्या कमी रह गई, देखो और सुधार करो।
जब तक न सफल हो, नींद चैन को त्यागो तुम,
संघर्ष का मैदान छोड़ कर मत भागो तुम।
कुछ किये बिना ही जय जय कार नहीं होती,
कोशिश करने वालों की कभी हार नहीं होती।