When I got to know my result, I was seriously preparing for my next Prelims; says Gunjan Dwivedi (AIR 9; CSE 2018)

For Gunjan Dwivedi if difficulty in learning facts and data proved to be a hindrance in cracking Preliminary Examination in first two attempts, her patience helped her stay in the race and with some timely advice from one of her friends, she achieve splendid success in Civil Services Examination 2018.

Here, she narrates her success-plan that helped her move step-by-step towards her dream.


Gunjan Dwivedi

(AIR 9; CSE 2018)

Medium (Language)

Language for Writing Examination: English

Language for Interview: English

Nature of Examination

Knowing the uncertainty of the exam I was in no way confident of my success. I could not believe my ears when my friend broke the news that I have secured 9th rank.

It was my third attempt and in my previous attempts I could not clear the Preliminary Examination as I was lacking a coherent strategy and detailed plan of action.

Till the day of the declaration of the result I was studying for UPSC CSE 2019 Preliminary Exam to be held on 2nd June 2019.

To overcome uncertainty, I made a detailed Preparation-Plan that included monthly, weekly and daily targets and I ensured these targets were realistic and achievable.

Views about Preliminary Examination

In previous two attempts, difficulty in learning facts and data proved to be a hindrance in cracking Preliminary Examination. It was my patience that helped me stay in the race.

With some timely advice from one of my friends, I cracked Prelims this time and the good show continued at Mains as well as Interview and ultimetely I achieve splendid success in Civil Services Examination 2018.

Role of Optional Subject

Optional Subject has its own role to play and when you strategize, you have an important choice to make. I opted for Political Science and International Relations as optional subject.

Preparing for optional subject is like completing complete graduation syllabus in almost 3-4 months and above all, you have to update your knowledge with the latest.

Such preparation can happen only if you have a liking for the subject and you develop genuine interest in the subject. This would naturally induce a desire for in depth analysis which is exactly what is needed to score good marks.

Targeting General Studies

Preparing for this exam is an arduous task. The right guidance and understanding of the exam is extremely important.

I took the advice of my Father- AKD Dwivedi, Sister- Umang Dwivedi and mentor- Saumitra Singh. Along with this I read a lot of toppers strategies and watched their videos. This helped me frame my own strategy.

However the foremost and most important step is going through the syllabus and previous years’ papers on a regular basis.

Mine was an extensive preparation that covered static as well as dynamic sections of the syllabus. This approach helped me perform well in Preliminary Examination as well.

Developing an analytical insight is the need of the hour. This requires answering questions keeping in mind factors like “What, When, How, Why etc”. Further adopting a multidimensional approach i.e. taking in to account the political, social, economic, environmental, cultural implications etc. really assists in answer writing.

Essay Paper

I made a list of quotes and anecdotes.

I chose the following two topics because of the diverse and in-depth knowledge and understanding I had on these.

  1. Poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere.
  2. A people that values its privileges above its principles loses both.

Interview (Personality Test)

The foremost thing is to be calm and composed even during the preparation at this stage.

It is not a test of knowledge but your personality and ability to be a civil servant.

Date of interview- 19-02-2019

Duration- 35 minutes

Although I was a little nervous in the beginning, my interview went good.

Questions were asked on DAF, International Relations, problems of Indian economy, ponzi scheme , women empowerment, essence of Gita, patriarchy etc

Evaluation of my efforts by UPSC

I got balanced marks in each paper. Though, my Essay and Interview marks helped me find my name among Top 10. 

Last Update Saturday 30th November 2019     

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