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Tough nut cracked with ease
- Students decode IAS myths after their success in the 2013 civil services examination. Most believe consistency and smart play can take aspirants a very long way

Paper cuttings go a long way

Kapidhwaja Pratap Singh

Rank: 94

Comes from: Siwan

School: Primary schooling in Siwan, secondary schooling in Goa (Class VI to Plus Two ó state topper in Class X and XII)

College: BTech from NIT, Kurukshetra, and MBA from IIM-Calcutta

Study hours put in everyday:

Two but six hours on weekends

Success mantra: It was my first attempt and I had decided that it would be my last one. I was already working with Tata Administrative Services. I did not take leave for preparation,

I did not opt for coaching, I was just consistent. I opted management as the optional paper and having four years of managerial experience, including that in Tata, helped me a lot. I used to keep paper cuttings of interesting news. It works because even during the interview and I had them all fresh in my mind

Tips for aspirants: Civil service examination is not as difficult as it seems. Two months of consistent study is enough. Those who conduct interviews do not look for job seekers. They want confident people. They try to find out one special thing about the candidate, which s/he could utilise for the countryís welfare

Work hard but smartly

Prashant Kumar Mishra

Rank: 64

Comes from: Samastipur

School: Loyola High School and Kendriya Vidyalaya, Bailey Road (Patna)

College: Gujarat National Law

University (Gandhinagar, Gujarat), BA LLB (Hons)

Study hours put in everyday: Five

Success mantra: Work hard but intelligently. Since the syllabus is very vast, I did selective study. I read newspapers religiously. Consistency is a must. I performed yoga to stay fit. I had very supportive parents and friends. During the interview, the board members try to judge how much a candidate is concerned about bringing positive changes in the country

Tips for aspirants: Consistent studying, regular reading of newspapers and overall development of hobbies and personality. Donít have to become a bookworm. There should be a holistic approach

Use Internet judiciously

Aditaya Prakash

Rank: 79

Comes from: Purnea

School: Class X from Goethals Memorial School, Darjeeling. Class XII from DPS RK Puram, New Delhi

College: MBBS from Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi

Study hours put in everyday: 10-12

Success mantra: I took out one-and-a-half-hour time to download relevant materials from the Internet daily and made notes based on them. I prepared for the Mains and completed its relevant studies by February. The general studies paper is the key to success. They comprise materials on newspaper articles, factual and analytical information, current national and international affairs, government policies, programmes, projects and studies on various committees and their recommendations to the government. I found them on the Internet

Tips for aspirants: Use Internet judiciously and donít get addicted to it. Start preparation for the examination a year in advance. The preparation for the Mains should be over by

February, before preparing for preliminary examination. As soon as prelims is over, start revising for the Mains. Read NCERT books on mathematics and English of classes VII to XII. After the preliminary examination, aspirants should go for writing practice. Opt for the optional paper based on oneís interest. Language plays a pivotal role in the Mains, so aspirants should devote more time in reading newspapers of that particular language.

Compiled by Smita Kumar and Roshan Kumar and Jitendra Kumar Shrivastava in Purnea


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