Shubham Chaudhary (AIR 11)

STRATEGY :

For Preliminary exam, I focused on the core areas – History, Geography and

Polity. I read the Wizard series for all three subjects, and also NCERT

books. I did not focus much on Economics as it was my optional subject and

I was more comfortable with it. For current affairs, I read The Hindu, the

editorial of Economic Times and magazines like Frontline and Wizard. As

for CSAT, I was comfortable with both Mathematics and English, so did not

feel the need to focus too much on it. However, past years’ questions

papers and test series available in the market helped a lot in practicing

CSAT-related questions.

For, Mains exam, I preferred to revise core subjects from the same books

as for the Preliminary exam. I felt it was better to read and re-read the

same books rather than get engaged with multiple sources. For Economics, I

read the standard Honors level textbooks, and updated myself using

Economic Survey and Economic Times. I feel that updating oneself must not

be ignored at any cost.

For Interview, I did not get much time to prepare as I was at NPA in those

days. There were days when I could barely glance at the newspaper, or not

get the chance at all. However, I installed some news application (APPs)

on my phone, whereby I got intermittent updates, and I also read some

online portals, especially for current affairs related to Economics.

Thankfully, it was enough and my interview went quite well.

I tried to revise GS 3-4 times before Prelims. I was extremely thorough

with the optional, and updated the core topics in that. Some answer

writing practice or taking mock tests also helped.

OPTIONAL STRATEGY :

I took up Economics as my optional (in last attempt, I had Economics and

Public Administration). I spent around 2-3 months before the Preliminary

exam, revising GS, including current affairs. There is a book on current

affairs by Wizard series, which is published around a month before

Prelims, I recommend that. I was confident about CSAT, so did not spend

too much time on that. But one may practice past year CSAT question papers

and any test series papers available in the market.

After the Preliminary exam, I focused on updating current affairs, and

revising the optional. I read the newspaper and a couple of magazines

regularly. For core areas of GS, I used the same books I had for the

Prelims.

INTERVIEW PORTION:

I was given Mr. AP Singh’s board. He asked me about the difference of

opinions between Prof Amartya Sen and Prof Jagadish Bhagwati in a lot of

detail. I was also asked questions on demographic transition, the lack of

faith and confidence a common man displays in the police, entry of foreign

universities in India. I was also asked some bio-data based questions on

my profession, including how I found teaching to be different from

policing, my hobbies and the history of Poland (where I spent two years).

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