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     Rank:  2
    CSE  2011
     Profile Viewed:  59139 time(s)

    Marks Obtained

    Total Marks Marks Obtained
    Essay 200 99
    General Studies 600 311 (0 + 0)
    Sociology 600 324 (0 + 0)
    Political Science and International Relations 600 363 (0 + 0)
    Total (Written) 2000 1097
    Interview 300 230
    Total 2300 1327 (57.70%)

    Optional Subjects

    Ones interest in the subject is prime. One should not pay attention to issues like length of syllabus, scoring or non-scoring and previous success ratios.

    Optional Subject 1: Sociology
    Optional Subject 2: Political Science & International Relations

    Success Plan

    I was preparing for the exam regardless, however the change in prelims pattern is a welcome change for the aspirants as it puts everyone on a level playing field, doing away with subject based discrepancies.

    Number of attempts
    It was my first attempt. I think my consistency and hard work were basis of my preparation and the key to success.

    Time Management
    Time management is the one of the most important ingredient to score well in the exam.

    For Preliminary Examination in Paper-I, I managed my time so that I am able to attempt such that I get 55% marks. For Paper-II in Prelims, I tried to attempt as many questions as possible.

    For Main Examination in General Studies the time management is very important, so one should stick to the word limit and attempt all the questions that one is sure of. The long answers questions should be attempted first and 2 markers should be attempted in the end.

    For optional subject papers our focus should be to attempt the whole paper. If a question is for 30 marks one must try and write in word limit within 15-16 minutes (half to the marks). This will give enough time to attempt well.

    For Essay at least 45 minutes should be spent on brainstorming before one sits to pen down the thoughts.    

    Secret of success
    Hard work, Determination, persistence and consistency

    Writing poetry


    Strategy for the new-look Prelims
    I took the change in my stride. There were apprehensions no doubt, but I did not let them deter me from working hard. Mathematics was my weak point so I paid extra attention to that and made sure that I work with extra intensity.

    Paper II (Aptitude Test)
    Paper 2 like I said before is a welcome change.  As CSAT is a scoring paper the preparation must be in such a way that one is able to attempt the maximum questions by playing on one’s strength.  CSAT also requires repeated practice for all sections so that we reduce the risk of making mistakes on the final day.

    I gave equal time to both the papers.

    ‘Negative Marking’
    I was cautious of negative marking. So first I quickly attempted all the questions I was sure 100% sure of, I took the second round and attempted till I was assured of 55% marks in the first paper and in CSAT my attempt was 70 plus. 


    Specific reading, emphasis on every topics as well as subtopic and repeated revisions was my strategy.


    I did not give much time to essay as I was confident that the extensive reading that I had done in the due course of my preparation would help me in attempting essay well.  My score in essay is less as compared to my performance in other subjects. In retrospect, I regret not having done that and I recommend the CSE aspirants to read essays and attempt various topics before they sit in the exam.

    I chose to write on the topic "Creation of smaller states and the consequent administrative , economic and developmental implication" as I had read about the same in General Studies and Political Science thus had enough information to frame my viewpoints.


    I read the newspapers exhaustively for the interview and attended mock sessions to make myself more confident and reduce my follies. I faced Rajini Razdan mam’s board.

    The interview lasted 25 minutes.

    Interview Questions

    The questions asked were:

    • Who designed Chandigarh?
    • Can you name others who assisted him?
    • Are you aware about peculiar sector layout of the city?
    • Are Indians superstitious? (After a Pause) with respect to numbers?
    • Why did you choose to do bachelors in Social Sciences?
    • Why do you want to become a civil servant?
    • What qualities do you have that you can make a good civil servant?
    • Give an example from your life where your honesty was put to test?
    • What is the meaning of your name?
    • I haven’t heard this surname before can you throw some light on it?
    • Don’t you think corporate social responsibility is a farce by corporates who mean no real social good?
    • What is your opinion on CSR?
    • Any example of efficient effort in CSR field?
    • You have studied in Dalhousie, what do you know about the history of the town?
    • Are you aware of social enterprises in Dalhousie?
    • If I give you 6 months and unlimited money what will you do?
    • Which places do you wish to visit in your life and why?
    • What do you understand by ecology?
    • Why do you think ecology should be preserved?
    • Can you give an example from your area where ecology degradation has impacted human life?
    • There are number of cases in the newspapers about the cities being unsafe for women, if you become part of police services what will you do?
    • Are you aware of some of the movies shot in Dalhousie?
    • What has been your experience in the urban slums of Mumbai?
    • Which is the latest non-fiction book that you have read?
    • You write Poetry, would you share your thoughts?

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