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Sorabh Babu Maheshwari - IAS Topper 2000

The path to the coveted Civil Services is full of ups and downs and is a highly uneven track to traverse. Before taking a decision about Civil Services as your career, it is expedient to check up oneself and remain determined after wards. The first and foremost thing to decide while aspiring for Civil Services is the judicious choice subjects for the Prelims and the Mains. This is the most important and first step of your journey and should be accomplished most carefully as coming things hinge on it and a wrong decision may prove to be disastrous. Careful analysis of syllabus, previous years’ papers, your calibre, requirement of subject (Visionary, Numerical, and Theoretical), comfort level with the subject and past trends should be done. Advice from seniors and fellow candidates should also be sought. To avoid dithering in choice at later stage, initial deep thinking and consultations are a must. Having decided the subject, it is advisable to stick to your choice even if the perception of others about it is not favourable. Preparation for General Studies can be done hand in hand while preparing for Optional papers. Good mix of study hours for General Studies and optionals makes study enjoyable and it becomes easy to sustain for long hours without losing interest and enthusiasm. Before Prelims result, one Optional can be exhaustively prepared so as to have an edge during study for the Mains and also to ease out burden during these busy days. General Studies, though does not have any limits, yet syllabus as outlined by UPSC gives quite good understanding of the question paper. General tendency about General Studies paper is to devote much more time on unproductive readings which, in reality yields little returns. Concentrate on what is more probable, followed by probable, then less probable if time permits. Even if you do not cover less probable ones, you are not at much of loss. So, be secure and study systematically. Being a regular reader of newspapers and magazines gives good command and writing skill, hence, this should be made a habit. Trend now-a-days has shifted more towards current issues; hence a thorough awareness of recent happenings is mandatory. Once you achieve the threshold in General Studies, more efforts should be put on optionals (Especially in Prelims) as it is more scoring and is the hub of success. For Mains, syllabus is quite beautifully elaborated and we know before hand the study topics. Ready reference material as published in some magazines is of great help. I believe that the preambles of UPSC Question Paper are the instructions on the front page of the paper. Give some time in reading the instructions and follow them. By doing this, you are averting a possible source of error which could creep in if you do not read them. Follow the world-limit as prescribed at the end of the question to the extent possible. Try to confine your answer within that limit, never exceed it. The art to express many contrasting views in a confined word space comes through practice, so practise some previous years’ question papers. Be your own while writing, never try to imitate anybody. Your expression needs try to be limited yet comprehensive while writing General Studies paper. In Essay paper, your imagination can reach zenith but with a purpose, never divert from the main topic. To ensure, work out the sub-titles, rearrange them if necessary and once you are satisfied with the rough work, elaborate are satisfied with the rough work, elaborate on this outline after wards. There is no standard word-limit yet. What one can effectively write in 3-hour duration is good enough length. My essay consisted of approx 2500 words. Conclusion should be drawn only at the end, take a balanced approach and write whatever good comes to your mind at the end, take a balanced approach and write what ever good comes to your mind at the moment. Devote initial 40-46 minutes on preparing rough outline. Next 2 hours for writing inflow and last 15-20 minuets for review and corrections. In addition to Competition Success Review and standard books, I studied History Polity of Spectrum Series books, Economics, Science & Technology and Geography through MnM Series books which I found quite useful. Approach to Optional paper is not universal and is individual specific, adopt such strategy which you are comfortable with and which fits into your constraints.

I was often told that it is just impossible to think for IAS while working. polite. I managed to come out with flying colours despite all these hiccups’ kudos to good planning. so be careful about it. efforts can be made to overcome major deficiency and polish p views and opinions. motivated. my faith in Almighty. Those interviewing are highly experienced persons and know much better than us. you could show that your approach is flexible an amenable the world is yours. All would agree that personality is a life-time asset and expecting miraculous alterations in personality in a span of a few days or weeks is not possible. . General perceptions around the Civil Services aspirants’ regarding Mechanical Engineering is highly discourage. unless asked to do so. Students sometimes ignore basics and it costs much. Arrogance. Remember. Believe in yourself. Yet. parents’ blessing. politely ask for more information. I would like to quote Swami Vivekananda (often my eldest brother reminds me of it): Arise awake and rest not till the goal is achieved. If at any point of time. as these steps are the links and missing or weak links can never ensure good strength of the answer. it is when a person’s qualities are on test and they emerge as winners who have these qualities. A lot depends upon the Almighty. flicking round the issue should be avoided. To cite my example. There are many ups and downs during the course. state all the assumptions involve and try to give minutes plausible details. never start giving history of an issue. see that no vital step is left in between. I have read somewhere that winners are those who manage their hardships effectively and do learn from our mistakes makes us successful. All this sequential and systematic answering comes through a lot of practice and analysis of standard answers. Strong Will Power and Dogged Pursuit Do Bear Fruit. It is not the factual knowledge but your views which are on test. “How to write an answer” is equally vital for Mechanical Engineering/Mathematics paper as it is for General Studies & Essay. For the Personality Test one should better form a group of 3-4 people as the preparation for Interview cannot be done in isolation. I am working with maruti Udyog. honest. Work hard as there is no short-cut to success and hard work never goes unrewarded. yet I took it and got success. Always observe interview etiquette and be honest. I have to evolve and fine tune my strategy to cover up such a huge Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics syllabi apart from General Studies & essay. It is the ‘downs’ which need to be tackled more vigorously and skillfully. Of the question put is not clear t you. no one is omniscient and non-awareness of something should be admitted with politeness. So never get carried away by others. therefore one should be expressed only if asked so. so pray often. rigidity. Before proceeding. Be self confident but not complacent. I did not have plenty of time as against my fellow candidates. convincing a modest. Profound Faith in God. Simulate the actual examination hours at home to judge your performance and to plug any loopholes.Since. Yet. Never feel depressed. Only those people learn who have an urge to change a willing to accept new ideologies. self confidence and inner strength are the two basic requirements for anybody to appear in this examination. I was advised sometimes even to quit the job. hard work and God’s grace. It is better to say ‘No’ than to bluff around. You are your own best judge and you know which areas are weak and need reinforcement. have patience and be optimistic. adopt step-by-step approach.

Ms. till you have the high aim of standing first or coming out victorious there in. It is very easy to inherit a dream. I never agree with those who think failures synonymous with lick. it is better to stick to your original after rectifying your drawbacks. shape their future with their own deeds. Always use authentic and dependable study material brought out by standard publishers. believe me no obstacle on the way can ever waver you from your path. the pinnacle of success remains a distance dream.these lines appearing in the Preface of Shiv Khera’s Book “You Can Win” touch the very fathom of success or failure in life. Therefore. one of the criteria for selection for Civil Service is that how for a candidate succeeds in expressing himself . Some subjects are considered scoring and that the chances of success therein are rated quite high. If the decision to join Civil Services is your own. I have seen many candidates studying a lot which is hardly necessary. Manju Rajpal. instead the thorns in the way are the biggest truth of life. Take a decision on the basis of the nature of your Optionals whether extensive or intensive study is required. Those who keep faith in their capabilities. assuming that you would be successful in the exam. the first question that you should put to yourself is: Whether you want to become the same of which you are making efforts. then assess your suitability in the context of your capabilities to see whether you passes the requisite self-confidence. availability of study material and your ability to understand the nature of the subject as a first reaction. dedicated efforts. Therefore. don’t waste your energy. whether it is a competitive exam or a sundry struggle in day-to-day life. better evaluate your deficiencies in the subject and try to remove them. but they do the things differently” . the reason being that the lack of constant and hard work leading to initial setback or failure to achieve the desired success engulfs the whole personality into darkness. mother has a dream or it is a pressure from your social circle or family that you have to be a shining star in the firmament of civil Services but you are planning. it is ‘Time’ only. At the same time. This is a wrong method of subject-selection. quite a different a career for you. We have to take exam/test at every step of life. You must be quite serious in the selection of your subjects. strong determination and commitment. an aspiration or a goal but to muster courage to convert it into reality is surely a difficult task. then proceed towards your goal in right direction and. I mean that in cases you are selecting Civil Services as your career. If there is something more valuables than time. Therefore. Then at the time for General Studies and the other Optional. if father desires. If your decision is backed by an honest assessment of positive aspect of your capacity or capability. I mean that if you want to ensure your success in Civil Services. my advice to you would be to reconsider your decision for making Civil Services as your goal. then it is desirable to make a right selection of study material. Preparation for civil Services demands right timemanagement. instead of wasting the interlude between completion of prelims exam and its results. Therefore. In my opinion. IAS Topper among Women 2000 “Winners don’t do different things. By honesty. There are no roses always strewn on the path of those moving towards their goal in life. keeping in view the moral disequilibrium and fall in performance level as a result of such frequent change of subjects. Subject-selection should be always based on your interest in the subject. for your job satisfaction. prepare at least one Optional. The first step towards success is to choose your goal honestly and thereafter to make dedicated efforts backed by strong determination to achieve it. Every sweat of your brow through hard work bears the splendor of your bright career and this ensures your Golden Tomorrow. By right direction.

Therefore. While selection topics in the Essay Paper. thereby you acquire the moral prop to face difficulties To sum up:. keep in view that no Training institute can improve your personality completely although some of these Institutes provide an avenue to be helpful through well-planned preparation and Group Discussions. logical and fact-based and to the point answer are desirable. make constant efforts to develop your expressive power. always be careful that it should contain not only factual or informative data but there should also be analytical presentation. if you do not know the answer to a particular question. Your destination will reach you automatically: O grumbler with your forethought and planning. then only you can attempt the Question Paper in a reasonably logical way. excellence and analytical presentation via effective writing. while it may be alright to answer objective questions on the basis of intelligent guesswork but in the Mains.through originality of thoughts. In prelims. During Interview. You can even change your destiny) you will find that a stone” thrown up with right intent could make a hole in the sky”. Whatever you are. Go on your chosen pathwith positive state of mind. Have faith in life and have positive outlook towards various developments. it is risky to attempt it with guess work or on the basis of wrong information. keeping faith in yourself.(No mater whether you take only a few steps. keep in mind that the members of the Board are more experienced than you. an attempt of focus your personality is to invite risk. Keep your self-confidence intact while appearing for the Prelims and the Mains. During interview. have a balanced view of the questions put to you. . it is better to understand their true content. Select Questions after utmost thought and instead of making hurry in answering the questions. therefore. In General Studies. An indepth study of the subject is desirable but there is a world of difference between “knowing all” and “effective presentation of requisite knowledge”.

. If you always focus on Prelims result and don’t think of Mains till the Prelims result are out. it is your responsibility to bring out your very best in front of the board.e. ‘Dare-to-Bare’ Attitude for your Personality Test: Given the extremely short time (25-30 minutes) in which your personality is assessed.Hard Work. Don’t go by any stories doing rounds in your campus corridors. Focused Approach and Faith in God Are Instrumental In Achieving Your Goal Santosh Kumar Misra. the subject you’ll opt in the prelims) thoroughly. So form a small group with your friends. 7.. Your efforts are bound to succeed. Overall: Be patient and maintain your pace. Speed is of utmost importance in this examination 4. They are usually very senior and learned people. (iii) Never make any sweeping statement (iv) Accept your mistakes boldly.. Here is how I recommend going about it: (i) Start in December 2000 (ii) December 2000-February 2001: Finish your Optional (i. Don’t lose heart and work hard. (iii) March & April 2001) : Devote fully to the Preparation of Optional 1 (i. (ii) Have no biases for any Board. General Do’s & Don’ts for the Interview: (i) Be utmost respectful to the board. The risk in baring yourself in front of the board is that you will also be exhibiting your weakness. 5. 3. Try to monitor you speed. Have a Small Group : Preparing alone is extremely boring and at times frustrating. and have regular discussions. in History. 2001. etc. you will end up as a loser because there is hardly any time left for a thorough preparation.e. So do it in a pre-planned and well-planned way. e. Practice and Practice (Especially for maths) : Go through the unsolved papers of the previous years and solve them. This examination is all about tenacity and perseverance. Focus on Mains : Always target the Mains Exam and make passing the Prelims a critical but incidental objective. Revision is a must : Always remember “anything you could not revise prior to the examination is as good as not having prepared at all” So always make sure that you’re able to revise whatever you’ve prepared just prior to the examination. 8. Practice. 2. IAS Topper 2000 (2nd Rank) 1. Suggested study Time-Table: Say you are appearing in Civil Services Examination. the Optional other than the one you’re taking in the Prelims. So always aim at the Mains. This should be done in a very modest way and it should not appear as if you are boasting. 6. Polity. it helps to keep your tempo up.g.

Interview: Interview preparation does not require one to stuff oneself with facts. (xii) In March the results come out and immediately afterwards you should start your interview preparation. all you need is a collection of Competition Success Review issues from December to May. Speak honestly. Just keep reading Newspaper/Magazines (Hindu & Frontline’s international events are a good combination).2 August.1 and General Studies from June. still it pays to be prepared). take a break for say a month or so. (ix) Prepare all your General Studies including current events in September and leave October for Revision. you should be fully prepare to tackle the Mains once again (hopefully you won’t need it. Many a time what happens is that your answer is misinterpreted. so do not hesitate in clarifying it. (xi) From January 2002 you should start preparing for your round two.(iv) May 2001 should be spent exclusively for Prelims.2001 March .2001 Mains point of view May 2001 Optional . Prepare the topics you could not do in your lst attempt and try to cover any. (vi) Take a break after the Prelims for 10-15 days. (x) After your Mains are over.2001 & September . By March 2002. A selective and precise coverage of syllabus is required. . Understand the questions before answering them and clarify the points if you did not understand them. if you don’t feel confident. Time Table For The Preparation Of Civil Services Examination : 2001-2002 December.2001 General Studies October. I can guarantee that. (viii)Give second half of July and August to your Optional -2. ability to analyse and to critically examine an issue is what actually counts. You should be in touch with magazine like Competition Success Review. new areas where you feel you were weak. truthfully and with modesty. This should be done by the middle of July.2001 Optional . (v) For General Studies in Prelims. Framing your own questions and answering them (especially recording them on to a tape and listening them) is a very useful technique.2000 January – 2001 Optional February. Just go through them and try to pick as many facts as you can. (vii) Complete the Optional-1 where you left it at the time of Prelims. Otherwise also it is extremely helpful in making a correct choice of words while answering a question. Relax and re-energise yourself for the last four months of the year-long battle.20001 Prelims point of view July.2001 Revisions During revision or otherwise in nay spare time you should go through al the issue of magazines like Competition Success Review (of that particular year) and it will be extremely rewarding. Facts you may not know and there is no harm in saying so to the Board but you must be able to think laterally and analyse all dimensions of the topic under consideration.2001 Optional 0 1 from April . once again. Also solve the previous years’ General Studies Prelims and Model Papers published in competition Success Review.

I feel that it is the performance in General Studies paper that tilts the scales. one has to practice writing good essays. The first attempt ought to be the best attempt. But he is not made one overnight. positive Approach and Faith in God Ensure Success. Hence. 90 to 100/150 (G. The study should begin with understanding of the first principles and the basics. Preparation should be focussed on the Mains 3 months solely devoted to Prelims. revise. Preparation for Mains should not be on the basis of past years’ Questions papers only. General Studies. No part can be afforded to be overlooked. One should be . No part can be afforded to be overlooked. For the subject paper. This dictum should guide every IAS aspirant throughout the 3 stages. : The subject is more important than G. do not write more than 500 words. A 10 to 14 months programme is a must for this Exam. Many of the questions can be answered through intelligent guesses. spend more time on the subject. one should aim at projection an optimistic outlook. Explain all the differing and opposing schools of thought and with logical reasoning explain your viewpoint. My observation has been that he candidates are extremely thorough with their Optionals and level of knowledge is improving s the years pass by. Our arguments should not resemble rhetoric but should be persuasive. regular map reading and group discussions are a must. a genius or a super-specialist. Never take an aggressive stand while attempting your Essay papers. For General Studies. IAS Topper 200 (5th Rank) A civil servant is one of the most balanced and normal personalities in a country. All papers should be prepared simultaneously. Making notes. Interview : A civil servant is not born.Jacob.Prelims. Vinod K. hence.L. practise with the help previous years’ papers. First. he/she has to be an average man/woman of pleasing nature and personality with a flair for leadership and administration. One should refer only to the standard text-books and noted classics in the concerned subjects. Humility is a quality that has no peers. I believe. Good Planning. re-revised and mastered. one has to go through NCERT books and the Hindu and Frontline. English paper and Language paper are no easy sailing affairs. I used to take off and Sundays but used to spend 2 hours reading the Hindu even Sundays. P. Writing and presentation skills count for much. I even took classes in Law in my M. Likewise. complete the syllabus and then one month preceding the Mains. I could not succeed in my first attempt (1998) because I failed in Hindi compulsory paper. In case of long answers.Hard Work. Remember. So it is always advisable to brush up one’s grammar and vocabulary. One should not attempt the first Prelims as a trial. Target : 1150 to 1250/2000.S. Taking part in debates and extempores is a must. Prelims: A three-month exclusive preparation for Prelims is a must. keeping paper cuttings. one should spend atleast 2 hours a day in reading the newspapers. first complete all mental ability questions and then go onto the rest. Target : 95/120 to 115/120 (Subject). makes or mars your chances. Keeping focussed is often a tall exercise but with the help of our family and few reliable friends we can always recharge our betteries and stay on course. Equal importance should be given to all papers. He/she need not be an expert. Mains and Interview. Mains : On an average atleast 6 to 8 hours of study a day is a must.S. One should always stick to the word limit. Hence General Studies alone makes or mars one’s chances. the whole syllabus should be thoroughly studied. Choice of Optional should be the first step the choice should rest solely on aptitude and bent of mind.S).

Q. But. In Civil Services Examination. Emotional Quotient (E. he who rules the mind is greater than he who rules the city. patient and in a proper frame of mind. .) is as important as I. Remember. we should never try to give ad. you should stay focussed. stalling for time is a very good way of overcoming a problem. Remember.hoc or quick. hence.fix solutions.Q.prepared for analysing any issue of current importance. calm.

is way ahead of many such contemporary periodicals. For the Civil Services Exam. graduation study.S.taking one topic at a time but main emphasis was on General Studies especially Polity and Modern History. work. Then comes the stage as to what is required to be done. But still.Dedication. I would like to remind the aspirants the words of Swamy Vivekananda. Here again Competition Success Review. At times I had to compromise with my B. I managed to devote the Whole one month just to study Indian Polity . -Maths and then Math. I decided sometimes in January 97 during my sixth Semester at IIT Kanpur. Also because I was getting more number of days in between G.for I got sufficient time for lastminute revision. “Stand up. This went on till April ’98 When I gave my Final Semester exams. Start the practise of regular reading of a newspaper. You can decide about it based on your own interests. before jumping into th fray. Time Management & Hard Work: Secrets of My Success . I just studied the Brilliant Notes on Maths and read the . Bhawna Garg. it need not necessarily be t popular choice. You have to be self-motivated. Also the choice of the optional is very crucial. The criteria to choose Chemistry as against Physics was entirely based on my self-analysis because I have more liking for the subject plus by better scoring abilities in it. I decided about it. With the number of vacancies dwindling each year an the competition getting tougher and at the same time. one must consider all the pros and cons of the situation. Competition Success Review is indeed providing an appropriate guidance to student aspiring for the civil Services. by publishing answer to the latest such test papers in various Competitive exams including civil Services as a regular Feature. I was singlemindedly concentrating on my goal. consulting the previous years’ question papers. I started on for Prelims from mid-March. IAS Topper 1999 It is indeed a pleasure to write this column which I remember to have been very particular in reading. this also was favourable and encouraging which did later prove beneficial . a very different kind of approach is required. it must be atleast a year before you ought to be appearing for the Prelims. So despite the fact that there was hardly any guidance available for chemistry as against Physics. By September ’98. Apart from this.the subject I feared the most in GS and its in-depth study instilled self-confidence in me for an otherwise tough subject for me.Ms.Tech study. By this column. be bold and take the whole responsibility on your shoulders and know that you are creator of your own density. once I decided to go for this Exam. In between.Chemistry papers (atleast 10 days break in between).this year around three lakh students has appeared. I was regular with The Hindu and I found it fairly useful. I must candidly admit that this column has been greatly helpful in ensuring my success in this premiere exam. Due to the demanding B. the collection of the reading material becomes crucial. etc. I had Maths and Chemistry as my optionals. After the self-convincing choice of optional. I used to make a time schedule and a work schedule for the next day and also note down my time analysis and work progress if that particular day and introspect my shortcomings and possible improvements. the number of aspirant increasing.Tech studies. then deed. I was not able to give a lot of time exclusively for this Exam. the university level books are consulted for they match the style of the Paper. All the strength and success that you want are within yourself. Th study of the previous years’ Test Papers together with solution is very useful to understand the trend and type of questions set and how to answer them. and not anyone of them being less important than other.” Once having decided about going in for the exam. There are three stages in this Exam Preparation -Though. aptitude. I started on with some optional subject study .

be consistent and work zealously. general concepts of Public Administration. Dress comfortably. You should be so dedicated that no external coaxing should be needed to sit and study for long hours have faith in yourself and the Almighty and your concentrated sincere effort will never betray you. I divided into three slots of 20days. The next two months. So a sufficient gap in between the Exam proved really beneficial to me. However. there may be a tendency of lethargy creeping in quite unwittingly. Interview is more of a psychological test than just content based. I feel that you must have a very systematic approach. also you can brush up the Mains GS material like Polity. Have good sleep. by July end. Still I devoted one full month of May exclusively for it to avoid any risk so that later I can prepare comfortably for the Mains without having any apprehensions about my clearing the first stage. etc. one can never be sure of the comfortable conditions. you must take light diet during the Exam days. Generally. I knew that revision is very important. During the crucial six months duration after the Prelims. my tendency during the Practise Test was to complete the paper 10 minutes earlier than the scheduled time (Duration: 2 hours) for in the Exam Hall. i. For the Essay paper about 45 minutes can be given for planning out. The execution step is the last but he most cautious one. I couldn’t do any special study for the Essay paper. But I must admit that it wasn’t the case with me. then two hours of writing (on 200 words) and later 15 minutes of overhauling. The work limit prescribes for the GS paper should be largely conformed with. good .e.4 days’ rest break. I felt that I was out of the race. district your college. I got the previous years’ solved Test of Mathematics to develop a good speed and maintain it as well. be disciplines and sincere. The night before the Exam for two papers during a day can be very exhausting and during the second exam. the high caliber essays for Civil Services published by CSR proved immensely useful in giving me an insight of the methodology to attempt the next 15 days for Math Paper exclusively and then the next 10 days for the Chemistry Paper. Reach the Exam centre well in time. But along with good communication skills and self-confidence. in the Hot Summers. each for the three subjects. (Each day I would aim at attainable limits of 10-12 hours of study time.your whole personality counts. still it was only by August end that I could finish off my syllabus once. Still you must acquaint yourself with your home State. With just two months before the Exam. etc. At first. Work out the time plan for the Exam beforehand for the Exam pattern is very well known. Interview preparation is not just a matter of a few days . Economy.NCERT books on History. maintain a diary. for it helps in good time management as well. Be calm and positive.) be calm and positive. Prelim is just a qualifying Exam. Geography and Spectrum Guide for Current Affairs. This was a bit demoralising and at times. your hobbies. so some deep breathing to maintain your cool and be charming during the interview. I prepared a work plan for the next 5 months. The generally accepted strategy for this Exam is that one must have studied the whole syllabus for the Mains before the Prelims or at least before its result is out.. I worked mechanically till the last. After my Prelims taking a 3. History. still I was determined not to let my spirits go down (Swami Vivekananda quotations and anecdotes never let me down). and sustained my consistency and without letting any negative thoughts overpower my mind. so my eyes were always directed on the Mains. Also signing the Attendance sheets and certain few announcements being made by the invigilators at intervals may be distracting and time-consuming. But keeping my expectations low. go for some physical work-out for 30-40 minutes in the evening to refreshing myself. I revised Maths wholly followed by Chemistry and then GS till the General Studies paper on 30th October.

I did not join any Academy either. I feel that the first attempt should not be taken lightly for the enthusiasm and the dedication for the first time may be difficult t sustain on for the next time. . Here again. On the whole. “Facing the Interview Board” published by the Competition Success Review helps prepare oneself accordingly. Also one must keep his options open while going in for this exam . However.for with the decreasing number of the seats each year and increasing competition. With good wishes and good luck to all future aspirants of this coveted service. Group Discussions and Mock Interviews are equally important. I myself could not make a group and go for any mock interview but I think this may prove helpful especially to those who feel less self-confident and have some difficulty in communication. an alternative job security can give one more selfconfidence and thus a wholehearted effort is possible.knowledge base gives you an upper hand. I solely relied on this important feature in Competition Success Review. reading certain articles like.

This will ensure that you have sufficient time to revise. Also do a very systematic study.Self-Confident. in time. Thus you can develop your writing skills and make sure that you can cover lengthy papers. This single decision has the potential to alter your life. Work out your study schedules in a planned and orderly manner. especially GS Paper-1. so that you may avoid them and save your precious time and energy. Try to have a feel as to what constitutes important portions of the syllabus and what is irrelevant. in Mathematics and Physics one can make a formula note-book in which one should write all the important formulae and their derivations. Maintain a daily routine of studying in a manner suited to you and stick to it. This will expose your weaknesses and give you an idea about the extent of your preparation. The syllabus in the Civil Services is very hazy and vast with no clearly-defined boundaries. This is important as this will enable you to view things in a balanced perspective and avoid taking extremes. Not only the easy you should also attempt previous years’ Optionals Papers and General Studies Papers. try to write an essay on post topics covered in the Civil Services. So it is necessary that you get a feel of what the examiner expects from you. Compare them and see what types of questions are repeated every year. Try to choose subjects in which you have some background knowledge. Work out your syllabus and finish it in an ordered manner. IAS Topper 1999 (2nd Rank) To achieve glorious success in the Civil Services Examination. Some time when you are free. writing . talk to them and listen to their views. For example. which are not important from the point of view of examination. So plan your preparation in such a manner that before the prelims you should have completed your both Optionals and General Studies right up to the Mains level. Try to from boundaries of the syllabus. Choose your Optionals carefully and with due care. your knowledge base. Discuss with your friends. Always keep an open-mind. For this keep a copy of syllabus and side by side keep the previous year’ papers. It is always useful to maintain a note-book to jot down all important developments happening in the National and the International scene. This will make you understand which topics need intensive study. Only choose those subjects which are scoring and also with which you are comfortable. Information from any source relevant to your goal is always welcome. This will also enable you to identify unnecessary portions. no matter what happens. Also if possible one should make short notes for Optional Paper as well as General Studies. Plan your whole preparation well. This will expose you to your lacunae as well as make you understand the things involved: writing a good essay. Always do a planned and systematic study. So it is imperative that you must have interest also in your Optionals. This analysis will give you an in-depth insight into the paper and the examiner’s mind. So planning at every stage of the examinations important. such notes are also very useful and handy during revision stages and save a lot of time. Besides making it easier to remember. proper approach and excellent guidelines are indispensable. So. Planning And Systematic Study : Stepping Stones To Success – Amit Negi. Remember you’ll have to do both intensive and extensive study of Optionals. I think this whole preparation should last about 12-15 months. Your Optionals are the things which can make all the difference. Remember in the Civil Services. This will expand your knowledge base and also expose you to different views. it might happen that you end up reading things which are connected with the syllabus but are practically irrelevant from your preparation point of view. Make it a habit to go through magazines (especially competition Success Review and General Knowledge Today) and newspapers regularly and read as many as possible. your speed and accuracy.

you will not be able to concentrate on your studies and your whole idea of the Civil services will go haywire. the following four elements are the pre-requisites for success in the examination: (1) Hard Work . Quality of hours put in is more important than quantity. So. Remember. No genie is coming to help you. You have to finish the whole course by yourself. just don’t change your views because of the fact that the Board is differing with you. You will coolly pass them. so do your study according to your needs. Do not get nervous before the Interviews. Ask your friends to grill you. Take mock-interviews. Remember. Give balanced answers and avoid taking extremes. Most of the people appearing for Mains Examinations have a lot of knowledge. and you don’t need to waste your time preparing for them. They are not able to present all the information present in their mind in a coherent and logical manner as expected by the examiner. You will need this energy at the time of your Examination. Remember that without a good health. Build up reserves of energy in yourself. You might go in for a walk in the evenings. Be polite and courteous. it is your preparation. your mental alertness.e. . Improve your communications skills by giving mock-interviews. Answer in an orderly and logical fashion an always look into the eyes of the interviewer while answering. Remember that they are only testing you and often even try to provoke you. for Interview read as many newspapers and as many magazine as possible. Don’t be too much argumentative. Remembers hours do not count. It is always better to do study when one’s mind and body are fresh. Be consistent in your views. Alongwith your preparation for the Civil services Examination. you know yourself better. your views on varied topics and also your knowledge base. Always pause a bit before answering even if you know the answer. You should use your energy and time in an efficient and effective manner. Do not give a hasty reply. So channelise your preparation in such a manner that you don’t burn yourself out before the Examination. So. i. Do not get nervous whenever necessary. For Interview. The attitude that I will write directly in the Examination should be done away with. It is always better to peak at the time of Examination. your acumen. Don’t go by the claims of other persons who say that they study more than 18 hours a day. your response to some situations. Interview is of a personality test. Take due care of your health. you should develop your writing skills. Do not worry much about the compulsory Hindi and English language papers. Do not get depressed if you are unable to achieve their targets. some of them have been preparing for the last three or four years. Try to find loop-holes in your arguments and plug them. so that you can face pressure from the Board easily.skills matter a lot. The Board will check certain traits in your personality such as your honesty and integrity. These will also open you up. also maintain a hobby which relaxes you during your preparation like listening to music etc. Form your views on various subjects in a very logical and rational manner supported by data whenever necessary. from a group of friends who have offered the same Optionals. this helps in easy grasping of things a swell as in retaining them.Remember that there is no substitute for hard work. even then such candidates are not selected sometimes. take sleep as required by your body and mind. Discuss with your friends. One of the reasons for their failure is their writing skills. you are the one who will appear in the examination.

So to pep up your confidence level say t yourself everyday in front of the mirror that you can do it and you will do it.Dedication towards your duty always pays in life. Also while talking and discussing with them you’ll be exposed to different views. (3) Patience . If you don’t believe in yourself and your capacity to achieve then no matter how hard you try. This will make sure that if you are facing some problems in any subject then you can approach some one.As the civil Services Emanation spans a whole one year right from Preliminary stage to the Interview stage. but don’t throw the towel as yet. You will end up in failure. good friends are always a source of inspiration and motivation. They’ll provide you with the muchneeded emotional support. talk to friends and parents. To take out your anger and frustration. You will have to sacrifice something like movies. (4) Self. Just work day and night and go on and on. . but a good self-esteem matters. Maintain your cool and patience and go on. At times you may feel tired and sick of further studying during the course of your preparation. Keep a group of close friends with you who are as determined t make it to the Civil Services as you are. I don’t intend to say that you should become over-confident. Be totally dedicated towards your study.your self-confidence can make the whole difference. at this stage of your life to achieve bigger things. parties. This will also ensure that you can vent out your frustration by talking to some one.confidence. Besides. So your self-confidence should be at a very high level.(2) Dedication . You should be in the surroundings of the people who could constantly motivate you and inspire you. etc. it requires a lot of patience to maintain your tempo.

the presentation of the answer becomes more important. On the other hand. For such questions. IAS Topper 1993 (3rd Rank) The first and the foremost step to achieve success in the Civil Services Examination is to aim high and have a belief in oneself. there is no cause for panic and one can do without them. Economy & Science and Technology. In the prelims. it always helps if one already such questions. If one feels that he is confident enough to take his own. But in general preparation can be broadly classified as long-term or short-time depending on the available time for preparation. For History & Indian Polity. Here again the major thrust should be on preparing for optional subject more thoroughly and give them more time. As far as possible. It always helps if the choice of Optionals for the prelims is one of the subjects chosen for the Mains. For the knowledge-based questions. The most important thing to know about the Interview is that it is not a question-answer session and what they are looking out for is different aspects of one’s personality. A quick study of different areas of the General Studies is enough if one has prepared thoroughly for the Optionals in which attempt should be made to score more than 225 marks. the best approach is to think there and also to be seen thinking. it depends on the Particular individual as to what he feels about the method best suited to him and his instincts. One should rather than how scoring they are. one is prepared to give it a go. One need not get carried away by the flood of books and coaching institute. One should not make himself appear as . he can do without them. based on what I did. Once that is done. one should begin with one of the Optionals for the Mains and try to finish as much as possible until about 15 days to 2 months depending on the comfort level for the Optional chosen for Prelims and whether one began with the same subject or not. it always helps if one already such questions. if one is following short-term preparation either because of lack of time available for studies or because he feels more comfortable with it. there is no feels that there is a lot of available time. Most of the questions asked in the Interview are opinion-based. The first step involves a suitable choice of the Optional subject for the Preliminary Examination and the Mains. there are some suggestions for books from my side. selected portions of Unique’s Guide and for Current Affairs. It helps if one has read magazines and newspapers regularly but if he is unable to do so. This should be follolwed by preparation for the prelims.Motivation And Confidence Secrets Of My Success . There is no harm in taking extreme views if one is able to justify them. it is the best thing that can happen in an Interview. If the candidate seems to be applying his mind in an effort towards reaching the solution. Of course. the answer given should reveal a particular aspect of one’s personality and attempts should not be made to present a make-up appearance or politically correct answers. I think that the choice subject be based on interest and comfort level rather than how scoring they are. A major part of the preparation should go towards the Optionals.Deepak Tayal. After this. it always helps if one already has some views on the issue and he can present them spontaneously. there is no need to give undue emphasis to the General Studies and to waste time in order to attempt to cover everything. Spectrum’s current affairs are good enough to score more than 325 marks if one has the ability to grasp them quickly. If it is a relatively new issue. The preparation for General Studies can be highly selective and one can easily see that there is a similar pattern in the questions asked in different years. One should have a natural inclination and aptitude towards these subjects. For a longterm. Preparation for Mains should begin soon after the Prelims is over and one should not waste time waiting for the Interview.

Once that happens. There is no need to panic for the Interview and even “I don’t know. Sir” should be said with confidence and cheerfulness. An individual should be the best judge of what he thinks as the best way to prepare. Finally.having crammed be presented in a conversational manner. one has to have faith and confidence in himself. . He should not follow the crowd if it doesn’t suit his instinct. One is not expected to know everything under the sun. he is bound to success and excel. whatever the stage might be.