“This exam requires a broad understanding and not rote learning of facts” says Pratham Kaushik (AIR 5; CSE 2017)

When it comes to Civil Services Examination, securing Rank 5 is a big success. It gains more significance as in his first attempt Pratham Kaushik couldn’t even clear Preliminary Examination.

After completing B.E. from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh Pratham commenced preparation for Civil Services Examination and in his second attempt he has produced this wonderful result.

He had chosen Geography as optional subject.


Inspired by the success of Shah Faesal (AIR 1; CSE 2009) and Gaurav Agarwal (AIR 1; CSE 2013) and an ardent fan of Roger Federer, Pratham Kaushik has secured 5th rank in Civil Services Examination 2017.

During his school days, Pratham got fascinated towards ‘Civil Services’ when he heard a lot about the good work carried out by the Deputy Commissioner in his district and the affect it showed on the town.

Disclosing the intent Pratham said, “Since I had seen how in his short tenure the face of our town changed, IAS’ became my first career-choice as it provides ample opportunity and diversity of work while staying connected to the people.”

Narrating the source of motivation Pratham said, “My self confidence and belief that I will become an IAS officer one day, and my never give up attitude for that helped me in staying motivated during this long journey.”Pratham-Kaushik-ias-topper-5th-rank-cse-2017-Geography-2nd-attempt

As for preparation strategy, I realised it early that the exam requires a broad understanding and not rote learning of facts, and moulded my preparation methodology accordingly. All said, had the support and best wishes of family and friends not been there, I would not be here.

Showing gratitude towards his family Pratham said, “My father is a Haryana Civil Services officer and mother is a Lecturer. My younger sister is a graduate in English Literature from Lady Sri Ram College, Delhi. My parents provided me a constant guidance right from my school days. Their support through the thick and thin during my journey took me on the path to success. The atmosphere in my family is a very positive and ambitious one. Also, since my sister is younger, I had the responsibility to be a good example for her, and this motivated me to work hard.”

It is said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”, Pratham was clear about the endeavour and what all it requires. After going through preparation strategies of various toppers, he analysed all these and as per his requirements, made a strategy of his own. This included books and study-material resource with a clear view that what and how much to cover.

Passing on details about his preparation-Plan Pratham said, “Self-assessment and prioritizing things as per my requirements helped me manage things better. To manage the time devoted to all the papers based on their importance and my preparation levels. I devoted adequate time to my optional subject and tried to have a balanced approach.”

“I divided the syllabus into small sections and prepared the syllabus section wise so as to not be burdened by its enormity. Advice from teachers and seniors also helped me streamline my preparation.”

“I made a lot of time tables and tried to follow them as much as I could. If I was unable to do that, I would make another plan; but, kept on maintaining consistency in my study.”

“I managed to study for long hours and reduced wasting time by staying away from family functions, social media, and had only a few friends who kept on motivating me” he added.

In my first attempt in CSE 2016, I could not clear Prelims; but, the never give up attitude, the ability to learn from failure and consistent hard work in the right direction has helped me in my next attempt.

It gave me enough time to prepare again with a better strategy. Learning from the failure in previous attempt and moving forward with same confidence and enthusiasm helped me secure a good rank in this attempt.

Sharing his emotions, Pratham said, “This time I was anticipating positive outcome; but, Rank 5 is definitely a pleasant surprise and this accomplishment has been extremely satisfying.”

Motivating future aspirants Pratham said, “Believe in your own future and work hard to realize your dreams.”

Last Update Tuesday 16th July 2019     

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