Nothing beats Hard Work, Patience and Perseverance; says Dr K. Vijayakarthikeyan, IAS author of recently launched book ‘Once Upon an IAS Exam’

You have a set destination to move towards; just commit yourself to give your best and achieve desired success.

For your motivation, a valuable advice from Dr K. Vijayakarthikeyan (AIR 22; CSE 2010) author of recently launched book ‘Once Upon an IAS Exam’.


Successful candidates fascinate me and I get really amazed to see their dedication and focus that help them succeed.

 “Strive not to be a success; but, rather to be of value” – Albert Einstein

Talking about Civil Services Examination and aspirant’s mind-set, Dr K. Vijayakarthikeyan (AIR 22; CSE 2010) answered my questions effectively and shared some useful insights.

His recently launched book ‘Once Upon an IAS Exam’ touches many sensitive issues that relate to IAS aspirants who face dilemmas and encounter many ups and downs during preparation journey.

Dr K. Vijayakarthikeyan is a medico turned bureaucrat currently working as commissioner, Coimbatore Municipal Corporation, and is the youngest ever officer to have held this charge.

Q. Aspirants often ignore their aptitude, caliber before exploring a career in ‘Civil Services’. Your take?

Dr K. Vijayakarthikeyan: Very true. But then aptitude and caliber could be built with hard work, patience and perseverance.

If aspirants are not willing to put in that much of dedicated hours into the preparation, they shouldn’t explore a career in civil services.

End of it all, I feel that this three staged exam pattern itself teaches the aspirants a lot about patience hard work and perseverance.

These three traits are again the hallmark of a quality civil servant I have always felt.

So, aspirants should bear all this mind before “jumping “into their preparation 

Q. List some of the issues that immediately surround an IAS Aspirants

Dr K. Vijayakarthikeyan:

1. Uncertainty about the future 

2. Peer pressure 

3. Self doubts / doubting one’s own ability 

4. “Typical distractions of the 20s and 30s” along with family / social situations which are not conducive 

5. More recently, data overload 

Q. Being a successful candidate, voice the perspectives and ideas of individual aspirant while putting together preparation-plan for Civil Services Examination.

Dr K. Vijayakarthikeyan: Generally most of us are slightly hyped up and tend to overestimate ourselves and accordingly prepare an “Extra Optimistic” plan which we may not be able to follow and soon end up with our own plan and deadlines breathing down our neck.

It’s important to be honest about oneself and prepare a simple, followable plan/timetable even if it takes more time to complete. 

Q. Can you list some qualities which a Civil Services aspirant should have and list out some unique traits which help one achieve success?

Dr K. Vijayakarthikeyan: Like I said earlier, nothing beats hard work, patience and perseverance.

Apart from that one special quality is having the ability to remain balanced and take on the situation as it comes.

It’s always important to pay more attention to the process than simply looking at the result alone (have said this in Once Upon An IAS Exam too !) 

Q. What was the best advice you ever got which worked for you? 

Dr K. Vijayakarthikeyan: To be honest to myself and to make changes midway too if I feel that’s right.

Accordingly I changed my optimal from medical science to Public Administration after failing in my first attempt.

Being honest to myself and being balanced right through is the best thing that worked for me. 

Q. What advice did you get that turned out to be counterfeit as you advanced with preparation and things unfold?

Dr K. Vijayakarthikeyan: That Mains will be even more difficult than Prelims and I need to study 20 hours during Main Examination ! 

It’s always important to look at this exam as a whole.

Only the format in which we answer changes, otherwise apart from the optional subject everything remains the same.

I had honestly found things getting easy during my journey from Prelims to Interview!

Last Update Sunday 11th November 2018     

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