Many a times it is Perseverance that delivers; Success in Fifth Attempt for Md Jawed Hussain (AIR 280; CSE 2018)

With a strong academic background Md Jawed Hussain had dreams to make something big. He got his first job through UPSC ESE and was in services since 2013.

As a career progression, he was confident of making it in to ‘Civil Services’ but, setbacks followed him one after another and ultimately in his fifth attempt, he accomplished his goal by securing 280th rank in Civil Services Examination 2018.

He had shown faith in his own subject Electrical Engineering by choosing it as Optional Subject.


When we talk of career opportunities available, career in ‘Civil Services’ is a dream for educated youth.

Dreams are precious assets and in today’s fast paced world and amidst grueling competitive environment, keeping dreams alive is a big challenge.

Talking about chances of success in Civil services Examination, not everyone has Midas touch that just by chasing your dreams you get instant results.

Most of the times some obstacles, some stumble cause failures or repeated setbacks; but, only those who show strength to stand up again and again reach their final destination.

It has been a mix of innate talent and perseverance that helped Md Jawed Hussain in accomplishing the task in fifth attempt by securing 280th Rank in Civil Services Examination 2018.

His preparation journey had so many ups and downs that once during successive failures he thought of quitting; but, the very next attempt helped him taste the sweetness of success.

A cricket enthusiast, Md Jawed Hussain, a B.Tech (Electrical Engineering) from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal (MP) cracked UPSC Engineering Services, 2013 and got AIR 24 and also got selected in GATE 2013 (AIR 123) and had opportunities open with PSUs like SAIL, CIL, ONGC, IOCL.


Responding to query why career in Civil services Jawed said, “I am an already serving Engineering Service officer working in Indian Railways. The service provides multiple opportunities to deliver public service. However Civil Service provides a much better platform to contribute towards societal cause. One is in direct control of things which affect the common mass and able to make positive changes. The challenges and opportunities provided in the service are incomparable. And that attract me the most.”

Recounting the fall of events Jawed said, “When I commenced preparation, I was lucky that some of my college seniors were already preparing for this exam who gave me the right advice on preparation plan. And they helped me throughout my 5 attempts. I must mention the name of Manish sir (IAS 2018) and Abhishek Sir ( IES 2013) who supported me like elder brothers. Further I met some wonderful people during preparation who were my partners in crime. Abinash (IPS 2018), Shailesh (IFoS 2019) and M K Yadav Sir constantly helped me during my entire journey over the last 4-5 years.

In my first Attempt I appeared in Interview. I didn’t have much idea about the preparation and I could clear Main Examination only because of my optional subject Electrical Engineering and Essay marks.

Second Attempt was a bolt from the blue as I failed Preliminary Examination. My weak foundations came haunting and were enough to break me as after reaching Interview in previous attempt, I fumbled at the very first stage.

However, I found solace in third attempt as I overcome all the issues I faced in second attempt and again reached interview. I worked upon my weaknesses, practiced answer writing. But, I was just doing the bare minimum and was not trying to be different from others and hence would have improvised.

Some embarrassing moments were in the offing as in fourth attempt again I failed Prelims. Being a working professional, I had to face the consequences as I didn’t get much time to prepare.

(Here, my advice to the aspirants is to take Prelims very seriously as it often proves Achilles heel)

Though, once I imagined it is not my cup of tea; but, my inner voice said to try once more. In the end, this fifth attempt proved to be lucky as I got what I wished for.

When asked after consecutive failures what contributed the most in getting desired success in this attempt Jawed said, “There were few factors which I feel worked in my favor during this attempt:

  • Notes making in both GS and Optional.
  • Answer writing practice through test series. I wrote close to 20 GS papers, 10 essays and 8 Optional papers and was very much at ease during the examination. Time management also improved courtesy incessant writing practice.
  • Improved my presentation vis-à-vis inducting flowcharts, maps, diagrams in my answers.
  • 5 days gap just before the optional paper also helped in revising the entire syllabus which earlier used to be a major concern.”

Jawed candidly admitted that if I could transform my fortunes that is because of one big factor - the Job security from my previous employment.

Though one could find many successful candidates who achieved success without having any job security; but, for me it did play a big role. I was aware that in worst situation I would be happily working in my current position.

So, this big factor indeed eased my pressure a little bit.Md-Jawed-Hussain-ias-topper-280-rank-Engg-upsc

Revealing the role of his family Jawed said, “Myfamily is based in Koderma, Jharkhand. My father is a Group C servant in Forest Department while my mother is a housewife. We are three brothers and a sister. My Elder brother Abid Hussain is an Engineer at BSNL, while my younger brother Majid and sister Gulnaaz are preparing for competitive examinations.”

“I am fortunate enough to have a supportive family. My parents despite their limited resources provided good education to us. Selection in Civil Service I would say is just a reward to all the sacrifices that the whole family underwent since our childhood.”

Secret of Success

Support of family, friends, seniors and faculties is the secret of my success. One more thing that I kept on improving in all my attempts and despite the repeated failures, I was aware of the reasons why I was failing; and that helped in working in right direction

Credit for Success

My family, seniors, faculties and friends like Poonam, Danish, Sushil, Aaditya, Arjun and many more.

Advice to motivate future aspirants

Few which I always concentrated upon and would advise:

  • Focus on the journey rather than the end result. Just do your preparation as well as you can rather than focusing on the uncertainties of the examination process.
  • Never underestimate yourself. Few failures would seed the thought in your mind that you are not competent. I had this thought after my 4th failure. But believe me after the success I could confidently say that only your hard work and perseverance pay in the end.
  • UPSC is a great leveler; so, if one puts his/her head down and study one is bound to get results.
  • Restrict your friend circle to 3-4 serious aspirants. If possible avoid Social Media. You would get plenty of time to be socially active after your selection.
  • Indentify the reasons for your failure and work upon it.
  • Change the strategy and style of answer writing if not fetching good marks; for example - writing in bullet points, including diagram, quoting fact, case studies etc.
  • Remember this is not the end of journey. Had I failed this time I would have reverted back to my previous job and contribute as efficiently as I could. There is life even beyond UPSC.
Last Update Monday 5th August 2019     

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