IAS Success Stories of winning candidates Santosh Kumar

Santosh Kumar Misra, IAS Topper 2000 (2nd Rank)

  1. Focus on Mains: Always target the Mains Exam and make passing the Prelims a critical but incidental objective. If you always focus on Prelims result and don't think of Mains till the Prelims result are out, you will end up as a loser because there is hardly any time left for a thorough preparation. So always aim at the Mains.

  2. 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 are able to revise whatever you have prepared just prior to the examination.

  3. Practice, Practice and Practice (Especially for maths): Go through the unsolved papers of the previous years and solve them. Try to monitor you speed. Speed is of utmost importance in this examination

  4. Have a Small Group: Preparing alone is extremely boring and at times frustrating. So form a small group with your friends, and have regular discussions, e. g. In History, Polity, etc. It helps to keep your tempo up:

  5. ‘Dare-to-Bare’ Attitude for your Personality Test: Given the extremely short time (25 − 30 minutes) in which your personality is assessed, it is your responsibility to bring out your very best in front of the board. This should be done in a very modest way and it should not appear as if you are boasting. The risk in baring yourself in front of the board is that you will also be exhibiting your weakness. So do it in a pre-planned and well-planned way.

  6. General Do's & Don'ts for the Interview:

    1. Be utmost respectful to the board. They are usually very senior and learned people.

    2. Have no biases for any Board. Don't go by any stories doing rounds in your campus corridors.

    3. Never make any sweeping statement

    4. Accept your mistakes boldly.

  7. Overall: Be patient and maintain your pace. This examination is all about tenacity and perseverance. Don't lose heart and work hard. Your efforts are bound to succeed.

  8. Suggested study Time-Table: Say you are appearing in Civil Services Examination, 2001. Here is how I recommend going about it:

    1. Start in December 2000

    2. December 200-February 2001: Finish your Optional (i.e.. the Optional other than the one you are taking in the Prelims).

    3. March & April 2001: Devote fully to the Preparation of Optional 1 (i.e.. the subject you will opt in the prelims) thoroughly.

    4. May 2001 should be spent exclusively for Prelims. A selective and precise coverage of syllabus is required.

    5. For General Studies in Prelims, all you need is a collection of Competition Success Review issues from December to May. Just go through them and try to pick as many facts as you can. Also solve the previous years'General Studies Prelims and Model Papers published in competition Success Review.

    6. Take a break after the Prelims for 10 − 15 days. Relax and re-energise yourself for the last four months of the year-long battle.

    7. Complete the Optional-1 where you left it at the time of Prelims. This should be done by the middle of July.

    8. Give second half of July and August to your Optional-2, once again.

    9. Prepare all your General Studies including current events in September and leave October for Revision. Time Table For The Preparation Of Civil Services Examination: 2001 − 2002 December-2000 January-2001 Optional February-2001 March-2001 Optional 0 1 from April-2001 Mains point of view May 2001 Optional-1 and General Studies from June-20001 Prelims point of view July-2001 Optional-2 August-2001 & September-2001 General Studies October-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, I can guarantee that.

    10. After your Mains are over, take a break for say a month or so. Just keep reading Newspaper/Magazines (Hindu & Frontline's international events are a good combination). You should be in touch with magazine like Competition Success Review.

    11. From January 2002 you should start preparing for your round two. Prepare the topics you could not do in your lst attempt and try to cover any, new areas where you feel you were weak. By March 2002, you should be fully prepare to tackle the Mains once again (hopefully you won't need it, still it pays to be prepared).

    12. In March the results come out and immediately afterwards you should start your interview preparation. Interview: Interview preparation does not require one to stuff oneself with facts, ability to analyse and to critically examine an issue is what actually counts. 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. Speak honestly, truthfully and with modesty. Understand the questions before answering them and clarify the points if you did not understand them. Many a time what happens is that your answer is misinterpreted, so do not hesitate in clarifying it. Framing your own questions and answering them (especially recording them on to a tape and listening them) is a very useful technique, if you don't feel confident. Otherwise also it is extremely helpful in making a correct choice of words while answering a question.

Courtesy: Geocities