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     Rank:  6
    Civil Service Examination  2015
     Roll No.:  0105343
     Profile Viewed:  61109 time(s)

    Marks Obtained

    Total Marks Marks Obtained
    Essay 250 136
    General Studies I 250 112
    General Studies II 250 100
    General Studies III 250 113
    General Studies IV 250 119
    Optional I (Public Administration) 250 132
    Optional II (Public Administration ) 250 115
    Total (Written) 1750 827
    Interview 275 168
    Total 2025 995 (49.14%)

    Success Plan

    Prior to preparation, one of my friends advised me some basic books.

    I joined coaching in Delhi, where I was advised what to read and later on my own experiments provided me insights on what to read.

    Optional selection was done with help of my friends Anupam Singhal.

    How much to read was my own planning, I knew my threshold and optimum, on the basis of that I came to know 6-7 hours a day will do it for me.

    I had planned that I will give maximum of 2 serious attempts for Civil Services, CSE 2014 was a beginners attempt to have a taste of examination; so maximum time frame was up to CSE-16, fortunately it did not come to this.

    Optional Subject: Public Administration

    Basis of selecting the optional subject

    • Zero-in on 2-3 subjects which can be your probable optional.
    • Read atleast a chapter or two for the most interesting topic on the subject.
    • Compare and contrast what intrigues you and then bring in secondry parameters like scoring, time required to finish the syllabus to break the tie-in.
    • If already prepared for IES, GATE or if you are a Doctor, even technical subjects may be chosen.

    A subject has to be read for 3 hours a day, one and half years at least and yes, you need to score at least 250 in optional to get IAS, this cannot be done if you do not have interest in the subject, an optional must be such which gives you a sense of delight, which you love to read again and again.

    In my opinion, easy scoring, less syllabus must not be the criteria.

    Number of Attempts: Two (2)

    I was fortunate enough to write mains in my last attempt, after mains examination, I got the confidence that cracking this examination is not impossible and marks only seconded that thought, also I could pinpoint what weakness I had at that time, which I corrected later on. So it was a good learning experience, on which I wrote this year’s Mains.

    Time Management: I always followed a weekly timeline during preparation, which I tried to comply strictly. During examination, everyone needs to have a closer look at watch and I was not an exception, I modified the length & content of my answer as per available time.

    Secret of success: Hard work along with effective linkage of facts, events with syllabus of Main examination which were later used in answer writing, consistent answer writing, limited sources yet repeated readings and maintaining high level of confidence throughout the preparation.



    Gathering factual data one month prior to Prelims, attempting as many mocks as possible and focusing on NCERTs were key elements.

    Rest of knowledge came from integrated preparation for prelims and mains preparation.

    This time, for General Studies Paper II (Aptitude Test) in place of 10 Mocks, I attempted only 2, once this was made as qualifying exam.

    Negative Marking: I had done 52 questions as right for sure,  So I sensed that cutoff will be going above 100, thus some extra marks are required to secure the success, so on the basis of calculative risk with intelligent guesses, I attempted more questions.



    I tried to make summary of opinion and editorial in my own words that helped me improve writing skill as well as internalize the concepts.

    Whenever any news reporting was read, I linked it with the portion of the Mains syllabus, so that it can be used to quote in a Mains answer, which gives an extra edge in mains scoring.

    I also did answer writing practise daily, because answer writing is absolutely necessary to clear mains.


    I did coaching for essay but it did not help me; so, 10 days before Mains, I made a collection of facts and quotes on few topics just to have an extra edge. I chose

    1. Can capitalism bring inclusive growth?
    2. Education without values, as useful as it is,seems rather to make a man more clever devil.

     I chosethe above topics:

    • because I had good quotation and content for it
    • because I did not have any other choice.

    Interview Questions

    I faced Prof. P.K.Joshi’s board on 9th march 2016 afternoon.

    It lasted around 25 minutes and went very cordially.

    Most of the questions asked were mainly opinion based and related to my job profile. Some of the questions were:

    • Should we use armed forces to tackle left wing extremism.
    • Should be abolish Rajya sabha.
    • Should we attack all the terrorist outfits in Pakistan?
    • Should we abandon fossil fuels?
    • Questions about aadhar controversy.
    • India’s Nuclear Doctrine.
    • Octane number/cetane number, pollution from refinaries.(I work with IndianOil, so naturally it had to come)

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