‘Once upon an IAS Exam’ – Book Review

Dreaming Success in IAS Exam, with it you would be able to see things from a much clearer perspective

Dr. K. Vijayakarthikeyan, IAS, at present Commissioner, Coimbatore Municipal Corporation has narrated a story revolving around life of a common IAS Exam aspirant in recently launched book ‘Once Upon an IAS Exam’.

This work of fiction portrays things so effectively that it seems real and each frame reflects day-to-day life of an IAS Aspirant.


Handling preparation for Civil services Examination is not that easy and road to success is not straightforward.

Moreover, defining ‘ins and outs’ relevant to Civil Services Examination preparation is very challenging to express in words; but, Dr. K. Vijayakarthikeyan has done it successfully in ‘Once upon an IAS Exam’.

The work of fiction ‘Once Upon an IAS Exam’ is an exceptional effort that conveys a simple message that with focus and self-believe, you can control your destiny wherever you are.

The story revolves around 25 years old Vishy for whom life has become a disoriented fog as he encounters an unpleasant result in Civil services (Preliminary) Examination.Dr. K. Vijayakarthikeyan, IAS

Lakhs of candidates can draw parallel to how devastating it feels when failure comes out of nowhere and uncertainties associated with Civil Services Examination leaves you completely perplexed. All you need is to prepare from scratch again and wait for next year exam.

It has all what candidates need in real life as support-system – care and encouragement from family, mentors, friends, and peer-group that helps you sail through such testing times.

It is quite interesting representation of a candidate’s challenges in resetting and rebuilding preparation-plan by breaking free from all the fears and threats. After reading it you will realize how sometimes failures can be a positive process and brings your focus back on things that really need attention.

And coming to interesting part – depiction of Coaching Institutes and hint at facts how some of them work. It delivers a clear message in uncomplicated manner about significance of being rational and clear-headed while choosing the one that meets your objectives.Dr. K. Vijayakarthikeyan, IAS

I have been tracking Civil Services Examination for more than 3 decades and have seen how things have evolved; I can say with conviction that this book frankly talks about the life of a youngster aspiring for top jobs and author has presented things in an open, honest and objective manner.

As I had interviewed Dr. K. Vijayakarthikeyan few years back after he cracked Civil Services Examination 2010 having secured 22nd rank and now, when I was going through ‘Once Upon an IAS Exam’, I could spot some similarities between him and Vishy, the protagonist who writes first attempt with own subject, but fails.

I am really amazed to read some expressions that come straight from his heart and are like golden words for any IAS aspirant.

“Dress or appearance doesn’t matter, boss, but efforts do.”

“No matter how much we read, we will still end up missing something!”

The way author has narrated change in pattern and candidates’ mind-set when such change struck, one simple sentence offers a solution.

“Nobody is behind, or ahead. The race begins only now and the early bird will catch the worm”Dr. K. Vijayakarthikeyan, IAS

In the end, it reminds you about the complete Exam-Plan you need to look at; Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination is just the first stage and ticket to Mains.

A strong recommendation for ‘Once Upon an IAS Exam’ to have an opportunity to relate to characters Vishy, his girlfriend Rithika, Ashok, Vinod, Neena, Madhan and the world of coaching institutes.

This book is surely going to take the IAS world by storm. 


Last Update Sunday 11th November 2018     

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