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  • 26


     Rank:  26
    Civil Services Examination  2012
     Roll No.:  281143
     Profile Viewed:  13280 time(s)

    Marks Obtained

    Total Marks Marks Obtained
    Essay 200 118
    General Studies 600 223 (109 + 109)
    Economics 600 277 (116 + 161)
    Geography 600 206 (63 + 143)
    Total (Written) 2000 824
    Interview 300 240
    Total 2300 1064 (46.26%)

    Optional Subjects

    In my opinion choice of optional subjects should be governed by your interest and aptitude for that subject. CSE demands in-depth preparation and intelligent analysis. Only when you like a particular subject you can devote that much time to master it.

    If you chose the right subject as per your aptitude and master it well it will fetch you very high marks.

    Optional Subject 1: Economics
    Optional Subject 2: Geography

    I kept the same optional subjects in all my attempts. But I have seen candidates changing optional frequently which is not healthy. If you have erred once correct it in your second attempt. But changing optional every year in search of high marks is a mirage which one must avoid.

    Success Plan

    I got the right advice from my seniors who were preparing for Civil Services. Also, the interviews of previous years’ toppers were a big help.

    Over the years I had read the success stories of a number of aspirants coming from humble and rural background and securing top ranks in Civil Service Examination. This gave me confidence and motivated me to achieve my goal.

    Honestly speaking, I would have been more confident in normal circumstances; but, presently I am working as an IPS officer in Madhya Pradesh cadre. I did not have the time to prepare for exam.

    I decided to write only 20 days before the start of Main examination last October and PHQ granted me 12 days leave. In the small time that I had I went through the notes prepared by my friends Amar Gahlot, Awanish, Rajeev, Sanjay Vaish, and Yogendra Singh as well as my own old notes. But with such a small time it was a herculean task.

    Language Medium of writing examination

    Language Medium for Personality Test

    Number of attempts
    It was my 4th attempt. I had secured 97th rank in CSE 2009 in my 2nd attempt when I joined IPS. In my 3rd attempt in CSE 2010 I secured 462nd rank.
    I was not well prepared in my first attempt and did not get interview call after writing Main exam. In my second attempt I worked really hard and was more than satisfied with my preparation. But unfortunately I got a little less marks in interview and could secure 97th rank. Overall, it was hugely satisfying.

    In my third attempt there were lot of distraction and I could not study well due to poor health and could secure 462nd rank. But I was very happy when results were declared because my wife Rijula Uniyal secured 231st rank. She is an IRS officer today.

    This was my fourth and final attempt. Since I was already in service (IPS) I hardly had time to study. I relied on the wonderful notes prepared by my friends. We are a small group and we call it Backbenchers. All the backbenchers cooperate and help each other which generate synergy. It was this combined effort which produced this wonderful result.

    'Time Management'
    This was the most challenging task. I never had the luxury of spending 8-10 hours a day for studies because during my 2nd attempt as well as during this attempt I was in full time employment. This time it was all the more difficult because being in police you hardly get free time.

    I was well aware of this constraint. Therefore, I decided to use every minute of what I had in the most effective manner. This requires sacrifice in terms of sleep, rest and good health. But more importantly, this needs lot of determination, single-mindedness, and courage. It would have been very easy for me to go to bed after a tiring day’s work. But since I had set this high goal for myself I sacrificed everything and pursued my goal in whatever time I had with single minded devotion.

    My wife played a key role in being a pillar of support all through. I owe this success to her.

    I am not good at managing time in the examination hall so please look at the advice of other successful candidates. I never faced time constraint in the preliminary exam. But in the Main exam I have never answered questions worth more than 250-260 (out of 300) in each paper.

    Secret of success
    I have always believed that ‘To Work Hard is Glorious’

    Long distance running (10-20 km), watching movies, watching sports, and reading

    Previous Selections
    Civil Services Examination, 2009 (Rank 97, joined IPS)
    Civil Services Examination, 2010 (Rank 462)

    ‘Backbenchers’ played a vital role in my success, says 26th rank Ajit


    The new pattern of Preliminary Examination allows you to prepare in very short time. You have to prepare for GS Paper only. CSAT Paper does not require preparation as it evaluates your aptitude and demands logical thinking for which no preparation is required. One just needs to go through couple of mock test papers.

    Approach towards Paper I (General Studies) and Paper II (Aptitude Test)
    GS Paper in Preliminary examination has become very demanding in recent years. It requires thorough preparation. It’s a misnomer that it’s an objective test. One needs to prepare herself as though she is preparing for the main examination. At the same time it’s tough to answer 100 questions in 120 minutes so aspirants should work on their speed in order to manage their time well during the examination.

    Aptitude Test requires a little practice. Candidates should go through some of the mock-test papers to acquaint themselves with the kind of questions they may encounter in the exam. Also, one needs to be thoroughly logical in her reasoning to answer these questions with accuracy.

    ‘Negative Marking’
    This is very important. I have been very conscious about my answers. One should answers only those questions where he/she is confident. Also, candidates should read question as well as all the options carefully before answering. One should avoid haste.


    Prelims one can clear with the knowledge but Main exam requires a lot of practice of answer-writing. In my first attempt my focus was on reading. As a result I could not give sufficient time to practice answer-writing. I realized this mistake and for my second attempt I made it sure that even if syllabus is not fully covered I must devote sufficient time for answer writing. Weekends were reserved for this.

    Candidates should know that this exam is as much a test of your ability to write as it is of your knowledge. You can’t ignore former for the latter. Once you come out of the examination hall you leave your words behind. Therefore make it sure that those words and sentences are good enough to attract examiner’s attention.


    To write good essay one should keep following points in mind.

    • First, choose a topic on which you can write without much effort. This will give a natural flow to your thoughts.
    • Second, plan before you write. After selecting your topic devote 30-35 minutes in designing the structure of your essay and also think of a good conclusion and introduction for your essay.
    • Third, language should be simple and lucid.
    • Fourth, maintain a logical and natural flow. Don’t be repetitive.
    • Finally, your essay should neither be too short nor too long. Short essays tend to be lighter on substance and longer essays become boring.

    My topic was, “Managing home and work, are working women in India getting their due?”

    I opted for this because it did not require much effort to write on this topic. You see this all around and get affected in the process. So I had to write what I feel with a little bit of analysis of my own.


    For interview, I focused on three things – personal profile, home State, and interests and hobbies.

    With the experience of previous years I knew that board will focus on these three things only with a little bit of current affairs.

    I faced the board of Shri I.M.G. Khan. Members were very cordial. Interview was on the expected lines.

    It went smoothly and lasted around 25-30 minutes.

    Interview Questions

    Initial questions were related to my educational background, my school Netarhat, IIT, and JNU.

    Later, on they asked questions about the nature of police work and my experience as an IPS officer in the field.

    They also asked questions related to the underdevelopment of my home State Bihar and my present cadre in IPS - Madhya Pradesh and the major challenges facing Indian economy.

    Finally they asked questions related to my hobbies.

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