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     Rank:  15
    CSE  2010
     Profile Viewed:  14848 time(s)

    Marks Obtained

    Total Marks Marks Obtained
    Essay 200 110
    General Studies 600 276 (149 + 149)
    Geography 600 309 (149 + 160)
    Physics 600 375 (177 + 198)
    Total (Written) 2000 1070
    Interview 300 210
    Total 2300 1280 (55.65%)

    Optional Subjects

    Prelims: Physics
    Mains: Physics and Geography.

    I had selected them only because of my science background. I did not select Electrical engineering as it has huge syllabus. I preferred science based courses as I was not confident about my writing skills needed in social sciecnces. But with 358 marks in GS in my first attempt itself, I found that my those fears were not true.

    According to me, interest in a subject and some analysis of competition in that particular subject should be the only criteria. Guidance for all subjects is available now at Delhi. Good seniors need to be found out for those subjects. Aspirants should talk to atleast 7-8 seniors who have written atleast 2 mains in that subject to strategise about their optionals.

    All social sciences are equally scoring. Hard work in right direction is the key to master any subject.

    My optionals were same in all attempts though I was on the verge of changing Physics after my second attempt.

    Success Plan

    Seniors play an extremely important role in the preparation of this exam. I was very fortunate to come across seniors like Mr. S. Nagarajan (2004 AIR 1), Mr. S. Sundarrajan (IRS), Mr. Praveen Selvarajan (IRS), Mr. Udit Prakash Rai (2006-07 AIR 25), Mr. Supreet Singh Gulati (2007-08 AIR 2), Mr. Puneet Nayyar (IFoS 2009-10 AIR 16), Mr. Abhijeet Agrawal (2009-10 AIR 24) and Mr. G Shrikant (IAS 2008-09) who helped me in my journey.

    Stories of each of them always inspired me. Without their help, this was really not possible. Friends like Prakash (IPS), Divya Devarajan (IAS), Praveen Nair (IAS), Parameshwaran (IAS), R.Lakshmi Narayanan (IRS). They not only helped me to get started but also provided continuous guidance.

    Number of attempts

    I had to write three attempts

    When I see my previous attempts, I find that I continuously tried to improve on all the shortcomings I could note in me, many times with the help of friends, seniors and teachers, but most of the times, by working on my own through various experiments, by knowing myself well. But I am very sure that without my friends, seniors and teachers and support from my parents, this whole journey was simply impossible.

    Secret of Success

    Inspiration from my Parents, precious help from my teachers, seniors, and friends, my faith in my own work and sheer hard work.

    'Time Management'

    We need to develop good writing speed first. Then we need loads of writing practice at home. Test series will surely help in getting used to the time-stress. We also come to know about silly mistakes in advance by doing such preparations.

    About word-limits of answers, I think we need not be very strict. Only time limit should be taken into account. But simultaneously we also should see that our answer is tight-worded. We should not beat around the bush just for the sake of length of the answer.


    I always looked for Mains oriented insights even while studying for preliminary exam.

    ‘Negative Marking’

    I would definitely attempt the question if I could eliminate two options. For other questions, I would take a decision based on case-by-case basis



    Mains needs depth and understanding. So, we need to focus on the concepts from the beginning. We also need a very good writing practice and simulations of exam-like conditions. We need thorough preparations through all possible sources.

    Time table of five months between prelim and mains need to be fixed very carefully. Our notes should be well prepared before the prelims itself. Simultaneously, we need to bring innovation and creativity in our own answers and their presentation so that we may get some more marks which could be very crucial in this exam.


    In my first attempt, I wrote only one essay for practice. It was a 3000 words essay. I could get it evaluated by Mr. S. Sundar Rajan (IRS), one of my seniors who had got 145/200 in essay earlier. His inputs were very important.

    In second attempt, I wrote many essays but my performance deteriorated. In third attempt, I could get a very valuable help from my friend Prakash (IPS).

    I selected the topic ‘Should there be a moratorium on mining in tribal areas?’.

    I found other topics to be very difficult. I also felt that the topic on ‘India’s preparedness….’ Was to big a topic to be written satisfactorily in three hours.


    I exhaustively prepared my biodata-based questions. I was very well prepared with current affairs and had worked on almost all the issues relevant at that time. Guidance of my  seniors and many state services officers in Nanded  helped me to finally get 210/300 in my third attempt when interviewed by Let. Gen. Mr. Nirbhay Sharma.

    Very focused interview guidance from Mr. Avinash Dharmadhikari (Ex-IAS, Chanakya Mandal, Pune) in my third attempt proved extremely useful.


    Community work and Playing Harmonica, Mouth Organ

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