When it came to choosing career for Gunjan Dwivedi (AIR 9; CSE 2018), the inspiration came from her father who is a retired IPS officer. He has been her childhood role model.
This success came in her third attempt as she couldn’t find the right strategy in her first two attempts. This time valuable advice came from one of her friends who helped her with planning for Preliminary Examination and after that she didn’t look back. This helped her accomplish the task as she secured 9th rank in Civil Services Examination 2018.
Her optional Subject was Political science and international relations.
Civil Services Examination is big and ups and downs are a part of the journey.
While preparing, you make mistakes and that is a sure sign that you are trying. If you cannot handle your activities in your troubled times, it becomes really challenging to manage your things.
There is no template for success and you need to learn from your mistakes and make your own path.
For Gunjan Dwivedi (AIR 9; CSE 2018) the first two attempts she worked hard; but, lacked strategy. That led to failure; but, her efforts were on and this time she ensured that her strategy works.
Putting in the picture her efforts for this attempt Gunjan said, “I wrote down my monthly, weekly and daily plan as part of strategy. No doubt there were some changes; but, I made quick amendments and I ensured that I completed at least 90% of it.”
This time the things that worked for me were; first, clear cut mentorship from a friend who helped me understand the exam and second,a constant support and motivation from my family.
My father is a retired IPS officer; he was my childhood role model. My mother and brother made sure I stayed happy no matter what. My sister is placed as a Commercial Tax Officer in Saharanpur, UP.
While preparing, optional subject selection is one of the major decisions; in my case this was a easy choice; subject of my graduation Political science. It is a subject which really helps with General Studies too; but, in my case I liked the subject. I did read the subject during three years of graduation in. For me it comes very naturally.
With Political Science background Paper 2 was easy to comprehend and managing preparation for General Studies was executed as per plan.
As far as other papers are concerned, the resources are available everywhere. I used basic books that every topper recommended; but, one thing which I did was read, wrote, amended and ensured that I keep revising these.
There were few subjects like art and culture, environment in which I made my own notes.
This time, no doubt I worked hard still, after Preliminary Examination I calculated my marks and I wasn’t sure that I would clear and I wasted a month. Reason was - on earlier occasions I couldn’t clear my Preliminary Examination, I got really demotivated.
Once you come back from Prelims, you calculate your score, you get an idea whether you would clear it or not. My score was right at the border and after knowing my Prelims result, I didn’t look back.
Fortunately, at that time I had my PCS Mains Exam; so, I did not stop studying and that helped me in handling General Studies. Continuity in study-plan for PCS Mains also helped me in my optional subject; I had to study Political Science for that as well.
For Essay I knew I didn’t practice a lot of Essays. So, I learnt quotes and sayings which I could use in my essay and I used to read toppers’ essays.
If I have to chart factors that contributed the most in getting the top ranks, biggest of all is one of my friend who helped me with Prelims, how to go about it and proper strategy.
Another factor was Test Series; I took a lot of tests. I didn’t go to Delhi for that. I just sat at home and practised those exams honestly. Practice teaches you thinking and writing simultaneously.
But, at the end of the day everything is strategy and its meticulous execution.
Credit for success
My parents, my father especially who kept faith in me.
Secret of success
I didn’t get negative at any point of time as it only brings us down. Forced myself to be constantly positive.
Advice for future aspirants
Don’t give up. Follow your strategy, put in your hard work and 100% efforts.
On Saturday 4th May 2019