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Mains: Geography & Public Administration
Comfort level, understanding and availability of study matter should determine the choice of optionals. Subjects studied sincerely at the college level can be a very good choice as it already provides a premise of pre-existing knowledge.
Geography was my subject in post graduation and Public Administration for its practical utility.
It was during my school days that my father had asked me what I wanted to do in life. I used to read magazines related to civil services and see interviews of toppers which gradually gave me ideas about what this service was. It was then that I had realised I wanted to be in civil service. Though my efforts towards the exam started only after post graduation .yet my goal in life was set very early.
Our parents give us the best advice in our lives. But the advice becomes a decision only by individual choice. In my case also it was an inspired decision. I had in mind that I do not want to give all 4 attempts to succeed. Success should come as early as possible
I had geography as my post graduation subject and I have a natural interest for it. Public administration was a natural choice because of its practical utility. As far as how much to read and what to read I had some help from coaching institutes . but there is no limit to knowing in this exam so reading as much as one can improves the overall perspective..
Number of Attempts
This was my 3rd attempt. I was at sea in my first attempt. Second attempt I consolidated and cleared it but not as good as I would have liked it to be. Third attempt I was very relaxed and gave my best to every step of the exam.
Joining civil services was my goal in life. Achievement here cannot be equated with lucrative remunerations of other opportunities. I had no second thoughts about where I wanted to go.
Time management is very crucial at all stages of the preparation. A large variety of subjects have to be covered and develop proper understanding. Too much attention to one at the cost of another can prove to be fatal. Also while writing answers a lot of questions have to answered. Care should be taken to stick to the word limits as far as possible.
Also, brevity in expression can have better impacts than long winded answers.
Repetitive coverage and understanding of fundamental concepts, and practicing previous year question papers, and timing oneself on tests.
Consolidation of knowledge of optional, improved expressions and language and working on weak areas to bring them to competitive levels.
Balanced division of time for all parts. Effort is proportionate to level of comfort and ease of understanding.
I do not prepare for my essay paper. When I see the question paper I write on the topic which stimulates me to express my views on it. So essay paper reflects the true thought process.
I was already in probation period of IRS (C & CE). When call for this interview came. I had around 14 days to prepare. So I just fine tuned some areas of current affairs and checked my basics, did 2 mock panels and went in for my interview.
A few friends who had performed very well last year gave some useful pointers which helped immensely. I am grateful to them.
I faced Mr. P. K. Mishra’s board in the afternoon session of first day i.e 22nd march,2010.
It was a very cordial atmosphere during the interview and questions were holistic ranging from hobbies, to current affairs to social issues to international relations.
The interview lasted for 30 min.