My ‘Personal Preparation Manifesto’ helped me crack Civil Services Examination says Gandharva Rathore (AIR 93; CSE 2015)

Gandharva Rathore has secured 93rd Rank in Civil Services Examination 2015. It was her second attempt and her optional subject was Commerce & Accountancy.


While choosing a career, in today’s world youngsters have infinite possibilities.

For the talented youth it can be anything and sometimes career choice is difficult; but, for majority of them the final choice is about what really matters to them.

One such girl from Jaipur (Rajasthan), a Commerce post-graduate from Delhi University, Gandharva Rathore has secured 93rd Rank in Civil Services Examination 2015.

Gandharva’s father is in to apparel exports in Jaipur and mother is a house-wife. She is the eldest; and her siblings – one completed graduation and other is in school.

My conversation with Gandharva begun with ‘why career in Civil Services’ and her answer was, “Money was never my priority; I wanted to do something productive as well as enjoyable. I was looking for something creative that matches my academics. I found Indian Administrative Service (IAS) to be the best thing to try.”

“It gives you lots of exposure; one should pick a career that matches with your personality and I precisely did that” she added.

Her Schooling was in Jaipur and she graduated in 2013 from Delhi University (Shri Ram College for Commerce-SRCC); post graduation completed in 2015.

Elaborating about her preparation-plan Gandharva said, “I did not know anything about this examination and I knew as much as most of youngsters know about Civil Services Examination in the beginning.

The first thing I did was to make ‘Personal Preparation Manifesto’ that covered the complete work I need to undertake for facing this examination confidently.

These guiding principles were really helpful throughout my preparation and helped me counter earlier shock I faced in my last attempt.

I started preparing after graduation in 2014 and prepared for just 2-3 months and as the pattern was new; I wanted to have a feel of it. My first attempt was in haste and I missed my prelims by just 2-3 marks.

I spend quite some time enquiring about it and talked to lots of aspirants, friends and successful candidates about what to study and I was told to perk up my efforts and make it meaningful.GANDHARVA-RATHORE-93rd-rank-ias-topper-upsc-cse-2015

In this attempt, I was open to learning new stuff and I flocked on to some motivational sites for information.

Since I was preparing with Self-help, I needed good resource and environment that is conducive; so, for Civil Services Examination preparation, I came back home and was seriously indulged in it.

While planning for it, I collected selected books and lots of study-material sourced from friends in Delhi.

NCERT Books and one extra standard text-book for each constituent was my resource. I felt that NCERT book are for beginners and stuff is school level; for better understanding, I need extra stuff to update and understand interlinking concepts within and across disciplines. This extra knowledge helped in attempting questions that are tricky and helps in making an educated guess.

I didn’t go for multiple sources. My aim was to read from authentic resource; kept reading and rereading them. One should read so many times that it is stuck to your mind and you don’t forget them and recall when required.

I made short notes as it is difficult to visit thick books again and again”, she added.

Sharing her secret of success, she said, “I am a positive person and believe in my capabilities; I was optimistic throughout the journey and constructive approach helped me enjoy the journey.”

Well done Gandharva. All the best!


Last Update Thursday 18th July 2019     

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