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Toppers Interview

IAS 2016:

Book Title

SUMAN NALA

CSC: What were the basic mantras of your success?

Suman: I focused on developing good understanding of each topic mentioned in the syllabus. Timely revision and good guidance kept me on track to succeed in Civil Services Examination.

CSC: When did you start preparation for the IAS Examination? When should one ideally begin thinking about preparing for this exam?

Suman: I started my preparations for the IAS examination in 2014. It is a matter of personal choice and circumstances to decide the commencement of preparation, but, I think one should start in college days to have an edge over others.

CSC: What were your strategies for the lengthy syllabus of General Studies for both Prelims and Mains Examinations?

Suman: I focussed on solving more and more questions for both Prelims and Main Examinations.

CSC: What was your optional subject? What was the basis of selecting this particular optional subject?

Suman: I took ‘HISTORY’ as my optional subject. It is very interesting and it covers a major part of syllabus of compulsory papers of General Studies. It benefits in Essay paper and in interview as well.

CSC: Did you follow the myth that only so called popular optionals should be opted?

Suman: No, I opted purely on basis of interest, current trend and relevance. Now a days History is very safe and is scoring very well.

CSC: How did you come to know that which sources of reading materials are standard? Please give a list of books, magazines and Newspapers.

Suman: I followed the guidance of my teacher Shri S. Baliyan Sir. I read whatever Sir suggested. Toppers’ strategy shared on their blogs and magazines also benefitted.

CSC: Tell us something about preparation of ‘Essay’ paper.

Suman: I practiced by writing many essays and tried to include as many dimensions as possible in my essays.

CSC: How much time did you devote for the IAS Examination?

Suman: It took me a total of two years to prepare and crack IAS Examination.I studied 10 to 12 hours daily on a consistent basis.

CSC: Which is the most difficult part of this examination and why? What was your strategy to tackle this difficult part?

Suman: I think Prelims stage is the most difficult part of IAS Examination. I tackled it by solving lot of questions. I had a set of 4000-5000 questions to practice.

CSC: Did you attend any coaching institute? How helpful are the coaching institutes? What is your overall opinion about the coaching institutes?

Suman: I attended ‘INSIGHT IAS ACADEMY’ of Shri S. BALIYAN Sir at Delhi. The coaching classes helped me a lot.Continuous support, motivation and guidance provided by S. BALIYAN Sir played a crucial role in my success in Civil Services Examination. Sir was always accessible. Due to coaching classes I could consolidate such a vast syllabus in a very short time.

CSC: What are your suggestions for freshers who want to join coaching institutes for preparation?

Suman: I think coaching classes are almost compulsory otherwise such a vast syllabus will be difficult to cover. Mentorship plays an important role towards success in Civil Services Examination.

CSC: What was your style of writing in the exam? How was it distinct from the general writing style? How did you develop this writing style?

Suman: I followed a mixed format of writing in which both bullets and paragraph were used. I developed it during practice while writing test series.

CSC: What should be the best strategy to tackle negative marking in Prelims exam?

Suman: Elimination method should be followed to remove wrong options in those questions where one is not sure about answer. One should practice at home and find out his/her way of guessing.

CSC: How helpful is one’s academic background in his/her success in IAS examination?

Suman: I think it plays an important role in ‘Essay’ and ‘Ethics’ paper atleast.

CSC: How did you prepare for interview?

Suman: I took lot of mock interviews and followed toppers’ strategy.

CSC: Which types of questions were asked in the interview? Did you answer them all?

Suman: Questions were mostly related to my educational background and events of that day. Analytical History questions were also many. I answered most of the questions asked by the interview board.

CSC: Was there any specific area they emphasized upon?

Suman: My educational background and my optional subject.

CSC: Whom would you give credit for your success?

Suman: My parents, my husband, friends like Anuj Tare and my teacher Shri S. Baliyan Sir.

CSC: What is your advice to the freshers who are going to appear in this exam?

Suman: Be consistent and take small steps daily.

CSC: What is your advice to the candidates who have failed in this exam?

Suman: Life is the biggest exam. UPSC tests not just your academic knowledge but also patience and perseverance. Keep moving ahead.

CSC: Since when have you been reading Civil Services Chronicle magazine? What are your suggestions to make it more useful for civil service aspirants?

Suman: I read Civil Services Chronicle magazine during the days of my preparation, though I could not follow it regularly. It is very informative magazine and covers issues in detail.

CSC: Ms. Suman, thanks a lot for giving your valuable time and sharing your insight on civil services examination.

Suman: Thank you very much.




Read More... Created On: 18-04-2018,8:53 AM

IAS 2016:

Book Title

SAHIL DIGRA

CSC: What were the basic mantras of your success?

Sahil: Repeated revisions and smart work were the basic mantras of my success.

CSC: When did you start preparation for IAS Examination? When should one ideally begin thinking about preparing for this exam?

Sahil:I started my preparation for the IAS Examination during third year of my Graduation. I think it is great idea to start preparation as soon as possible. College days should be used for preparation.

CSC: How did you start your preparation for the IAS Examination?

Sahil: I started with basic NCERT books. First, I finished Optional subject and then moved to General Studies preparation.

CSC: What was your optional subject? What were the basis of selecting this particular optional subject?

Sahil: ‘History’ was my optional subject. I selected it as my optional subject because it covers a major part of syllabus of compulsory papers of General Studies and Essay. Good performance of ‘History’ optional over last few years was another reason behind selecting it.

CSC: Tell us something about preparation of ‘Essay’ paper.

Sahil: I wrote many Essays for practice to get command and expertise.

CSC: How did you manage your time in both Prelims and Mains examinations?

Sahil: I focussed on extensive coverage of topics for Prelims examination. For Mains examination, I studied deeply with limited coverage of topics.

CSC: What should be best strategy to tackle negative marking in Prelims Examination?

Sahil: One should practice as much as possible. Last years’ UPSC question papers of Prelims examination should be solved properly. I did not guess much to avoid negatives in Prelims Examination.

CSC: Did you prepare notes? How helpful are the notes? What is your advice on notes-making?

Sahil: I did not make separate notes. I relied on class notes which were dictated by S. Baliyan Sir and other teachers in Class. Notes are extremely valuable for last minute revision at the time of exam.

CSC: Did you attend any coaching institute? How helpful are the coaching institutes? What is your overall opinion about the coaching institutes?

Sahil: I attended INSIGHT IAS ACADEMY of S. BALIYAN Sir at Delhi. The classes were just awesome. I could get selected only because of personal guidance, constant support and motivation provided by S. BALIYAN Sir.

CSC: What are your suggestions for freshers who want to join coaching institutes for preparation?

Sahil:Coaching classes are necessary but one should join only good coaching institute. Joining any institute randomly just by looking at the advertisement could be disastrous.

CSC: What was your style of writing in Mains examination? How was it distinct from the general writing style? How did you develop this writing style?

Sahil: I wrote point-wise in Mains examination to ensure that I do not exceed word limit. I learnt it during test practices at the time of preparation.

CSC: How helpful is one’s academic background in his/her success in Civil Services Examination.

Sahil: I believe that one’s academic background does not play much role in this examination. Anybody having determination and dedication can succeed in Civil Services Examination.

CSC: Does this exam provide a level playing field for the rural and economically poor background candidates?

Sahil: Yes. This exam demands persistence and focused effort. Rural students do not lack these qualities in any way.The questions being asked by UPSC do not discriminate between the urban and rural candidates. Anybody can succeed in this competition with good guidance and hard work.

CSC: How did you prepare for interview?

Sahil: I took a lot of mock interviews to get rhythm and confidence. I practiced every dimension of DAF (Detailed Application Form).

CSC: Which types of questions were asked in the interview? Did you answer them all?

Sahil: Questions in interview were purely analytical and I answered only 60% of the questions.

CSC: Was there any specific area they emphasized upon?

Sahil: My subjects of graduation were main focus area. Many questions were asked from graduation subjects.

CSC: Before getting down to actual preparation, what kind of reading should one do to improve one’s suitability for this exam? What is the outside reading one should do?

Sahil: One should be aware of general happenings around him/her. Habit of reading newspapers should be cultivated to gain awareness of national and international affairs. One can also read good magazines like Frontline and Civil Services Chronicle to have an in-depth understanding of current affairs.

CSC: To whom would you give credit for your success?

Sahil: My family, teachers, friends and God.

CSC: What is your advice to the freshers who are going to appear in this exam?

Sahil: They should study regularly and smartly. Understand the syllabus and nature of questions being asked by UPSC to anticipate correctly. Read one thing ten times rather than ten things one time.

CSC: What is your advice to the candidates who have failed in this exam?

Sahil: Do not lose your hope and do not stop until you arrive at your destination. Persistence always pays.

CSC: Had you thought of any other alternative apart from the Civil Services?

Sahil: No. I was confident that I will crack it.

CSC: Since when have you begun reading Civil Services Chronicle magazine? What are your suggestions to make it more useful for civil services aspirants?

Sahil: Civil Services Chronicle is a very good magazine though I could not read it much. I got to know about it during my coaching classes. I think it is a complete magazine for IAS examination preparation.

CSC: Mr. Sahil, thanks a lot for giving your valuable time and sharing your insight on Civil Services Examination.

Sahil: Thank you very much.




Read More... Created On: 18-04-2018,8:52 AM

RANK 753, IAS 2016:

Book Title

MANER NASIR IQBAL

CSC: What were the basic mantras of your success?

Nasir: Good guidance, Patience, Smart work and Consistency paved the way for my success.

CSC: When did you start preparation for the IAS Examination? When should one ideally begin thinking about preparing for this exam?

Nasir: I started my preparation in June 2013. I think one should start preparing for civil services examination in the last year of graduation.

CSC: How did you start preparation for the IAS Examination?

Nasir: I joined coaching classes to prepare. I followed the guidance provided by my teachers honestly with full commitment.

CSC: What were your strategies for the lengthy syllabus of General Studies for both Prelims and Main examinations?

Nasir: I divided the syllabus in simple and achievable targets so that the entire syllabus of General Studies can be covered for both Prelims and Main examinations.

CSC: What was your optional subject? What was the basis of selecting this particular optional subject?

Nasir: I took ‘History’ as my optional subject. ‘History’ is the most relevant subject from General Studies, ‘Essay’ as well as interview point of view. I analysed that more than 25% of questions in IAS Prelims examination come from History. In Main exam also History covers more than 400 Marks. ‘History’ optional provides background for all the four papers of General Studies and the Essay paper in Mains examination.

CSC: How did you come to know that which sources of reading materials are standard? Please give a list of books, magazines and papers.

Nasir: Guidance of my teachers and the advice of seniors helped me in identifying the right study material and books.

I read NCERTs for basic preparation and then I relied on the class notes provided by INSIGHT IAS ACADEMY, Delhi during my coaching classes. I followed ‘The Hindu’ newspaper regularly.

CSC: Tell us something about preparation of essay paper.

Nasir: It goes hand in hand with the preparation of General Studies because topics and issues are common to both.

CSC: Did you prepare notes? How helpful are the notes? What is your advice on notes-making?

Nasir: For some topics I made notes. I mostly relied on the class notes of my coaching classes. Notes are important because they help in quick revision at the last moment.

CSC: Did you attend any coaching institute? How helpful are the coaching institutes? What is your overall opinion about the coaching institutes?

Nasir: Yes. I took coaching for ‘History’ optional and General Studies. I joined INSIGHT IAS ACADEMY of S. BALIYAN Sir in Delhi. The classes and regular tests helped me a lot in ensuring direction-oriented study. The continuous guidance and support provided by S. Baliyan Sir made my preparation easy and I could crack Civil Services examination.

CSC: What are your suggestions for freshers who want to join coaching institutes for preparation?

Nasir: Coaching classes are necessary but rather than going by publicity, one should cross – check the performance of institute through close friends and seniors. I myself joined coaching after discussing with friends and I found INSIGHT IAS ACADEMY immensely helpful.

CSC: What was your style of writing in Mains exam? How was it distinct from the general writing style? How did you develop this writing style?

Nasir: I focused more and more on what was being actually asked by paying attention to key words, prefixes and suffixes of questions.

CSC: The trend suggests that professionals are more successful in civil services examination. Does this exam prove difficult for Humanities and Social Science background candidates?

Nasir:No, not necessarily. Whoever is hard worker, will clear this exam.

CSC: What should be the best strategy to tackle negative marking in Prelims exam?

Nasir: One should attempt only those questions which are known. Guess work should be avoided.

CSC: How helpful is one’s academic background in his/her success?

Nasir: Academic background does not help necessarily, but sometimes humanities background may help.

CSC: How did you prepare for interview?

Nasir: I prepared my bio-data related questions elaborately. Mock interviews also helped me a lot in preparation for interview.

CSC: What types of questions were asked in interview? Did you answer all?

Nasir:The questions were mostly from my DAF (Detailed Application Form). I did not answer all the questions.

CSC: Was there any specific area they emphasized upon?

Nasir: No, most of the questions were general in nature.

CSC: Before getting down to actual preparation, what kind of reading one should do to improve one’s suitability for this exam? What is the outside reading one should do?

Nasir: One should read Newspaper regularly. General understanding of what is happening around plays an important role in civil services examination.

CSC: To whom would you give credit of your success?

Nasir: Parents, my teachers, myself and well wishes of my friends.

CSC: What is your advice to the freshers who are going to appear in this exam?

Nasir: Follow your dream and commit yourself fully to civil services preparation.

CSC: What is your advice to the candidates who have failed in this exam?

Nasir: Failure is the stepping stone towards success. Never stop, keep striving hard and you will definitely succeed.

CSC: Since when have you begun reading Civil Services Chronicle magazine? What are your suggestions to make it more useful for civil service aspirants?

Nasir: I read Civil Services Chronicle magazine occasionally. It is very good magazine as it covers issues very well. Every aspirant should read it.

CSC: Mr. Nasir, thanks a lot for giving your valuable time and sharing your insight on civil services examination.

Nasir: Thank you very much.




Read More... Created On: 18-04-2018,8:46 AM

IAS 2016:

Book Title

SHUBHANWITA

CSC: What were the basic mantras of your success?

Shubhanwita: Hard work, discipline, consistency and smart study.

CSC: When did you start preparation for IAS Examination? When should one ideally begin thinking about preparing for this exam?

Shubhanwita: I started my preparation for the IAS Examination during 3rd year of my graduation. I think one should start preparing for civil services examination during graduation.

CSC: What were your strategies for the IAS Examination?

Shubhanwita: I began with the basic textbooks i.e. NCERTs and Laxmikant, etc.

CSC: What were your strategies for lengthy syllabus of General studies for both Prelims and Mains examinations?

Shubhanwita: I chalked out a strategy and followed timetable religiously. I attempted a lot of tests.

CSC: What was your optional subject? What was the basis of selecting this particular optional subject?

Shubhanwita: I took ‘History’ as my optional subject. It is very easy and static subject. One can link and correlate the events with present times. ‘History’ optional provides background for all the four papers of General Studies and the Essay paper in Mains examination.

CSC: Did you follow the myth that only so called popular optional should be opted?

Shubhanwita: No. I selected optional subject on the basis of its relevance for General Studies papers, static nature of syllabus and recent performance in IAS mains examination.

CSC: How did you come to know that which sources of reading materials are standard? Please give a list of books, magazines and papers?

Shubhanwita: My parents and teachers guided me to the sources of reading materials. Classes and notes of Shri S. Baliyan Sir were the main source. Additional sources were: Upinder Singh–Ancient India, Satish Chandra-Medieval, Bipan Chandra, Grover and Grover-Modern, Norman Lowe – World History.

CSC: Tell us something about preparation of ‘Essay’ paper.

Shubhanwita: I wrote an essay every 10 days.

CSC: How much time did you devote for?

(a) Prelims -1 month exclusively.

(b) Mains – 4 months exclusively.

(c) Interview -1 month exclusively.

CSC: Which is the most difficult part of this examination and why?

Shubhanwita: I think the Main examination is most difficult part of this examination.

CSC: Did you prepare any notes?

Shubhanwita: No. I did not prepare any separate notes.

CSC: Did you attend any coaching institute? How helpful are the coaching institutes? What is overall opinion about the coaching institutes?

Shubhanwita: Yes. I attended ‘INSIGHT IAS ACADEMY’ of S. BALIYAN Sir at Delhi. Coaching institute help us improve our preparation level.

CSC: What are your suggestions for the freshers who want to join coaching institutes for preparation?

Shubhanwita: Select your institute wisely because you need best guidance to crack civil services examination.

CSC: What was your style of writing in Mains exam? How was it distinct from the general writing style?

Shubhanwita: I wrote in points and followed introduction – main body-conclusion format while writing answers.

CSC: The trend suggests that professionals are more successful in this exam. Does this exam prove difficult for humanities and social science background candidates?

Shubhanwita: NO, I am from humanities background and I cleared the exam in first attempt.

CSC: What should be the best strategy to tackle negative marking?

Shubhanwita: Avoid making wild guesses. Follow elimination method to arrive at the correct answer.

CSC: Does this exam provide a level playing field for the rural or economically poor background candidates?

Shubhanwita: Yes. Every aspirant faces the same questions and has same chances of success.

CSC: How did you prepare for interview?

Shubhanwita: I gave a lot of mock interviews.

CSC: Which types of questions were asked in interview? Did you answer them all?

Shubhanwita: Interview board asked questions on my background, optional subject and some varied questions on Current affairs. Yes. I answered all the questions.

CSC: Was there any specific area they emphasized upon?

Shubhanwita: No. There was no such specific area.

CSC: Before getting down to actual preparation, what kind of reading should one do to improve one’s suitability for this exam?

Shubhanwita: One should read non-fiction books and cultivate newspaper reading habit.

CSC: To whom would you give credit for your success?

Shubhanwita: Parents, god, teachers and hard work.

CSC: What is your advice to the freshers who are going to appear in this exam?

Shubhanwita: They should focus on building their foundations by reading basic books like NCERTs.

CSC: What is your advice to the candidates who have failed in this exam?

Shubhanwita: The candidates should not lose hope, be patient and persevere. They should analyze past mistakes and work accordingly to improve.

CSC: Since when have you begun reading Civil Services Chronicle magazine? How far do you find it relevant?

Shubhanwita: I am reading Civil Service Chronicle magazine from the early days of my preparation. It is a very good magazine and covers issues very well.

CSC: Ms.Shubhanwita, thanks a lot for giving your valuable time and sharing your insights on civil services examination.

Shubhanwita: Thank you very much.




Read More... Created On: 18-04-2018,7:46 AM

IAS 2016:

Book Title

AMAN SINGH LOHAN

CSC: When did you start preparation for the IAS Examination? When should one ideally begin thinking about preparing for this exam?

Aman: I started my preparations just after completing graduation in 2013. Ideally, if one has made up his/her mind to join civil services, then he/she should start at the earliest, say during last year of graduation.

CSC: How did you start your preparation for the IAS Examination?

Aman: I started my preparation by reading NCERT books and Newspapers.

CSC: What were your strategies for the lengthy syllabus of General Studies for both Prelims and Main Examinations?

Aman: I focussed on reading and revising again and again. I made short notes for difficult topics so that they could be revised easily.

CSC: What was your optional? What was the basis of selecting this particular optional subject?

Aman: I took ‘HISTORY’ as my optional subject. It has a well-defined static syllabus. ‘HISTORY’ is very interesting subject and it covers a major part of syllabus of compulsory papers of ‘General Studies’. Now a days ‘HISTORY’ optional is the safest and most scoring optional subject.

CSC: How did you come to know that which sources of reading materials are standard? Please give a list of books, magazines and papers.

Aman: I followed the guidance of my teachers and seniors. Newspapers – ‘The Hindu’ and ‘Business Standard’. Books: Indian Polity and Constitution – Laxmikant; Geography – NCERTs, G.C. Leong; Indian Economy – NCERTs, History – Bipan Chandra, NCERTs, Upinder Singh, Satish Chandra and B.L. Grover.

CSC: Tell us something about preparation of ‘Essay’ paper.

Aman: I collected important points and quotes for various topics. After that I prepared theme wise material for issues like education and women issues. I made the mistake of not focusing sufficiently on writing practice.

CSC: Which is the most difficult part of this examination and why? What was your strategy to tackle this difficult part?

Aman: I think Main examination is the most difficult part of civil services examination. Essay Paper and Ethics Paper (GS Paper-IV) have great fluctuation in marks. They can make or mar your rank and selection.

CSC: Did you attend any coaching institute? How helpful are the coaching institutes? What is your overall opinion about the coaching institutes?

Aman: I attended ‘INSIGHT IAS ACADEMY’ of S. BALIYAN Sir at Delhi. The coaching classes helped me a lot.Although there is no rule that one cannot succeed without coaching but correct guidance always reduces the effort. Continuous support, motivation and guidance provided by S. BALIYAN Sir played a crucial role in my success in Civil Services Examination.

CSC: What are your suggestions for freshers who want to join coaching institutes for preparation?

Aman: Coaching institute should be selected carefully. Don’t ever miss the classes and interact with teachers regularly to get maximum possible benefit.

CSC: The trend suggests that professionals are more successful in this exam. Does this exam prove difficult for Humanities and Social Science background candidates?

Aman: Everyone has equal chance of clearing civil services examination, although optional subjects do create disparities in marks sometimes. Subjects like History are fetching more marks now a days.

CSC: What should be the best strategy to tackle negative marking?

Aman: Do not guess in examination if you do not have any idea about the question. Do not have a pre-determined marks target in mind as the cut off marks vary from year to year. Attempt questions on the basis of their merit.

CSC: How did you prepare for interview?

Aman: I prepared my DAF (Detailed Application Form) properly. I attended mocks interview sessions at INSIGHT IAS ACADEMY.

CSC: Which types of questions were asked in the interview? Did you answer them all?

Aman: The questions were mainly based on my hobbies, optional subject, current affairs and economics. No, I did not answer all the questions.

CSC: Was there any specific area they emphasized upon?

Aman: Questions were more on my optional subject.

CSC: Before getting down to actual preparation, what kind of reading should one do to improve one’s suitability for this exam?

Aman: One should read books related to social and economic issues. Aspirants should inculcate habit of reading newspapers and good magazines.

CSC: To whom would you give credit for your success?

Aman: My family for their constant support and my teachers for their invaluable guidance.

CSC: What is your advice to the freshers who are going to appear in this exam?

Aman: They should be clear about goals and work hard with consistency.

CSC: What is your advice to the candidates who have failed in this exam?

Aman: Failure is part and parcel of this exam. Do not lose heart and tempo. Keep working hard and success will come certainly.

CSC: Since when you have begun reading Civil Services Chronicle magazine? What are your suggestions to make it more useful for civil service aspirants?

Aman: Right from the early days of preparation I am reading Civil Services Chronicle, though I could not follow it regularly. The special issues dealing with different subjects were very helpful.

CSC: Mr. Aman, thanks a lot for giving your valuable time and sharing your insight on civil services examination.

Aman: Thank you very much.




Read More... Created On: 18-04-2018,7:42 AM

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