If you Face Failure, let your Plan take a Detour to bring a Pleasant Surprise; says Karnati Varunreddy (AIR 7; CSE 2018)

For Karnati Varunreddy (AIR 7; CSE 2018), it has been a gradual move toward dream career that took 5 attempts to reach destination - Indian Administrative Service.

After choosing Geography as optional subject for initial two attempts and failing; in third attempt as needed Varun’s plans took a detour as he finally showed faith in his own subject Mathematics that helped him succeed (AIR 166; CSE 2016) that got him IRS (IT).

Though he succeeded in fourth attempt also (AIR 225; CSE 2017); but, this 5th attempt finally got him 7th rank in CSE 2018.



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"It is not that difficult to Identify Winners from Talented and Hardworking Youngsters who have Big Dreams and have Plans to convert these Dreams in to Reality."

Karnati Varunreddy (AIR 7; CSE 2018), Computer Science graduate from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay has achieved brilliant success by securing 7th rank in Civil Services Examination 2018.

Varun, an avid reader who loves travelling and is in to research as he secured a patent in Cloud Computing; still searching career in ‘Civil Services’. 

Though, for him desired success in Civil Services Examination remained elusive for little long; still, efforts were on.

Looking at successful candidates, especially top rankers, does any success send a message that it is straightforward and effortless?

Answer is No.

Many candidates think of big success, work hard, create the difference with smart work and achieve it. We find many candidates cracking this gruelling competition in first attempt getting more than what one desires.

On other hand some candidates struggle, persevere and reach destination through massive efforts.

Recounting the ups and downs, still unwavering commitment shown to career in Civil Services Varun said, “To accomplish task with top ranks you need to trim down mental clutter and work with a well chalked out plan.”

“In my case, it all begun with hit and trial as in absence of any senior guiding me, my preparation journey has been to learn from my own mistakes and working to improve upon them.KARNATI-VARUNREDDY-IAS-Topper-7th-rank-CSE-2018

In my case Preparation-Plan had been slowly but surely understanding the exam-related requirements; it is mostly learning from my mistakes committed during each successive attempts.

I did watch few toppers talks, read their blogs - however my focus was mainly to find answers to plug the mistakes I am committing and improve further.

First, in my initial two attempts, I made a similar mistake of focussing more on reading and trying to gather more knowledge than focusing on answer writing and presentation in the Exam.

Thus, I could not manage more than average score in General Studies.

Second, I didn't choose my optional wisely. I had given my first two attempts with Geography. I should have chosen Mathematics as I have better aptitude in Mathematics and can compete better in the Civil Services Examination. To avoid the effects of diminishing returns, finally I changed my optional subject in my 3rd attempt.

Third, Essay has been an insurmountable challenge for me, could not manage high scores in that. However will advise Aspirants to practice at least 15-20 essays on major themes including some philosophical essays before you head into exam and not take this paper for granted.

Asked to pinpoint factors that helped him grab single-digit rank Varun said, “I would not say it special; but, something that is needed is mainly persistence especially in the face of failures or repeated disappointments and ability to move forward by learning lessons from it.”

“Moreover, having a balanced preparation life i.e. along with preparation, keeping fit physically and mentally during this long preparation is really significant” he added.

Revealing his penchant for career for life Varun said, “Because of the opportunity Civil Services provides to work at the grassroots level and make an difference in people's lives, I developed fascination for it and got inspired by my parents both of whom have career in public service.”

My father being a doctor and mother a State Govt. employee, both engage with people daily as a part of their profession. Experiences they share of their work, of their seniors and gratitude which people benefitted from their work express when we happen to meet during community gatherings developed interest in me to pursue civil services as career.

Showing gratitude towards family Varun said, “We are family of four; my father is an Ophthalmologist, mother is a State Govt. Employee in Agriculture Department, younger brother is pursuing his MBBS in Kakatiya Medical College, Warrangal.KARNATI-VARUNREDDY-IAS-Topper-7th-rank-CSE-2018-family

My parents are my inspiration to pursue Civil Services and have been my backbone to overcome various failures I had faced during the preparation journey. They were constantly encouraging and motivating to keep me in good mental space to focus on the preparation.

My family deserve most of the credit for this success for having faith in me and supporting me through especially during my low times when I could not clear this exam. As the preparation journey gets longer and longer e.g. in my case its 5th attempt, we need good social support to keep us in good space mentally, motivate, boost our confidence and not allow us to doubt our abilities.

Besides my family, my friends who walked with me through this preparation journey also deserve the credit for this.

Secret of Success

  • Being positive and optimistic,
  • Having a balanced preparation life with active dedication of some time for interests/hobbies like jogging etc. to keep me fit physically and mentally,
  • Having good social support from family and good friend circle during preparation so that I cherish preparation journey and not feel it as a burden.KARNATI-VARUNREDDY-IAS-Topper-7th-rank-CSE-2018

A piece of Advice to motivate future aspirants

Never be afraid to take calculated risks, some bold decisions. E.g. while preparing for my third attempt; I changed my optional subject from Geography to Mathematics just 75 days before Preliminary Examination.

Mathematics is a lengthy optional demanding lot of time away from General Studies and has zero overlap of syllabus unlike other humanities optional therefore everyone advised me against changing optional at that last moment.

However, I went ahead with my gut feeling that I can do it and slogged hard 14-15 hours a day to race against time to complete my optional and finished it in 45 days which usually people take 4 months.

And I had one month for my Preliminary Examination preparation exclusively. And with careful management of time for General Studies and Mathematics for Main Examination I could manage a decent score of 319 in that year Mains in Maths and it helped me secure 166 rank.

Message I wanted to convey is if you are determined and ready to do required hard-work you can turn around things.

Last Update Thursday 8th August 2019     

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