Strengthen your Basics and Understand Subjects in an Interdisciplinary Manner; says Yognik Baghel (AIR 340; CSE 2017)

Yognik Baghel (AIR 340; CSE 2017) outlines his strategy for Civil Services Examination preparation. Here he talks about the ways to handle it effectively.

Optional Subject - Philosophy

No. of Attempts – Three (3)


Yognik Baghel

(AIR 340; CSE 2017)


Medium (Language)

Language for Writing Examination: English

Language for Interview: English

Nature of Examination

One should first analyze last 3 years papers first of all to understand the areas from where questions are being asked and what kind of questions are asked. Then, one must prepare from around those areas.

Since the paper is designed to bring parity between “coached” and “uncoached” students, no straightforward question is being asked. Therefore students must strengthen their basics and understand subjects in an interdisciplinary manner. In exam hall they must use IQ and Common sense to eliminate wrong options.

The better their basics are, better is their chance to solve maximum questions right.

Views about Preliminary Examination

Preliminary Examination is not pure luck. If you are well prepared then you will definitely crack it however today yardstick of preparation is not just studying or gaining knowledge.

Preparation also means knowing how to attempt the questions, how to eliminate the wrong options, how to use IQ and common sense in exam hall, how many questions to attempt so on and so forth.

Be mentally ready for unexpected pattern in prelims and prepare accordingly. You will increase your chances of clearing it.

Role of Optional Subject

Optional subject can make or break one’s civil service dream. Each mark brings a difference of an average of 8-10 ranks, which can affect your service and cadre.

One might have to take the entire exam again just because of one mark! And optional subject is the most scoring one therefore it is important to utilize it properly.

One must chose optional primarily on the basis of interest in the subject, availability of study material and past year papers. Factors like which optional is performing good or bad must not affect your decision because even if the optional is performing well but you are not comfortable with the paper in exam hall then you won’t be able to score well.

Targeting General Studies

General studies must be prepared from newspaper, Raj Sabha TV videos and Internet.

It is important to link your answer multi-dimensionally and analyse it politically, socially, economically, scientifically, morally etc.

My approach towards each paper:

For GS Paper-1 World History and post independence History, they can be prepared from special-edition modules of magazines.

For GS Paper-4 rather than studying books for ethics try to compile examples from your own and other’s lives and mention them in your answers to get better marks.

Always right very practical answers.

Rest of the contents in GS Paper 1, 2, 3 and 4 should be managed with the help of your own notes prepared from newspapers, Internet and RSTV.

Essay Paper

I have a habit of watching youtube videos. I watched some documentaries on important thematic issues related to our syllabus and they helped me a lot. Although GS preparation itself prepares one for essay, if possible we should supplement our notes with documentaries for essays.

Topic I

“Farming has lost the ability to be a source of subsistence for majority of farmers in India.”

Topic II

“We may brave human laws but cannot resist natural laws”

Interview (Personality Test)

My interview was scheduled on 7th March 2018 - I was interviewed by Ms. Smita Nagaraj’s board.

I was asked around 26-27 questions in total and it lasted for 35 minutes.

Role of Essay & Interview marks in success

Essay and interview played very important role in my success; I secured 138 and 182 in them respectively.

Evaluation of my efforts by UPSC

The score in essay was a little below my expectation; however, in interview my score is well as per my performance.

Last Update Monday 29th October 2018     

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