I secured Rank 42 in CSE 2017. This was my Second Attempt.I reached till interview in the first one, last year
I was clear about my career that I have to go into civil services.I always felt that I belonged there. So, I never thought about IIT, B.tech48 or MSC as I just wanted to have the minimum qualification and write this exam as quick as possible.I knew,I will make it with my hard work . So,I started preparing for this exam after I completed my BSC from Delhi University.I had no second thoughts.
I started my preparation in January 2015 for UPSC CSE 2016 . I was “underage” for 2015 attempt.There was noone even in my distant relative or circle who had cleared this exam.And i didnt take coaching too for GS . So,I had to make my way myself.
I will tell my timetable in 2 ways -
- Overall study plan.
- Daily timetable
I studied with full passion,fire and dedication for 10 months from january 2015 to october 2015.
I started with my optional Sociology in January 2015,and completed it fully till April by studying basic books and made my own comprehensive notes in 4 registers . My optional was fully done with.I really toiled day and night to fully understand the subject and extract juice out of books in my own notes.Foundation120 was laid strong.
Then I picked GS and started reading newspaper too diligently.I studied it incessantly for next 6 months and completed all GS syllabus thrice and made my own notes too.Simultaneously,I also started making notes for current issues from newspapers and other sources.
So till October 2015,I was nicely done with Sociology and GS with 3 readings of all syllabus.Also I had my own notes made for these.Also I had base of notes ready on almost all important current topics on Evernote and also hard copy.
I was so indulged in studies in starting 10 months that i felt each passing minute and was very productive.I felt that how much could be done even in 5 minutes,when you have 100% concentration and fire in belly . My focus was top notch which allowed me to grasp everything quickly and intricately
I made “to do plan” for everyday in the morning and maintained a diary in which i wrote daily that how much hours I put in the day . It mostly read 10–11 hours.
From November 2015 to March 2016,i refuelled my mind by refreshing a bit with a lighter study schedule of 5 hours daily.I again studied hard till Mains and put in required efforts.I reached till interview in this attempt.Did the same in 2017 attempt where I had just 4 months but I gave my best and eventually got Rank 42.
I believe that your first attempt must be your “best prepared” attempt in CSE because then you dont get trapped in Pre-Mains- Interview cycle. And it makes your base rock solid.
I started studying early in Morning at 6 am . I started with newspaper always by reading it for 30 minutes and making notes out of it My schedule was to study till 9 pm,in 3 sittings of 3 hours followed by 1 hour rest.This made around 10 hours of quality study.
Then from 9 -11.30 was my enjoyment time….I used facebook,forumIas and whatever I wanted to watch on youtube.This recharged me for the next day.
I studied 6 days in a week.I didnt touch any study related material on Sunday ,not even newspaper….I played football,cricket.This was to keep myself rejuvenated and happy during the preparation.I kept a balance time table because I was happy studying for this exam and it was never a pressure.I was always positive and had tremendous self belief becaise I was fully sincere in my efforts.
However,I too had my off days and off sessions where I didnt study straight for 7–8 days.But I made sure that when i am back to studies,I will make every second count.I was determined to clear this exam.
So I had a guilt free schedule.If I am playing,using social media,I will be indulged fully in it .And when I studied,I was fully focussed . So,I did something all the time to utilise time efficiently.I worked in interstices,using every minute . So, I felt full 24 hours of the day.Also,I took power nap in the day,setting alarm of 20 minutes when i felt that I am about to doze off.This refreshed me and saved time.I never used cooler or A.C, in my room as I felt that it hampered my concentration.I mean,you have to find your way out,whatever suits you.I had a balanced diet and exercised or played almost daily for 40 minutes atleast.I rewarded myself for studying sincerely .
So,you have to keep Civil services at core of your day and life,till you are preparing for this exam.However,rest of the things are also important but focus must be on preparation.
And I didnt cut myself off from friends or relatives.I had time for everything as perhaps I used time nicely.I believe that one must be clear that why is he preparing for civil services.Then everything will fall in place and the journey becomes an enriching and happy experience.
Finally,no matter how great your talent or efforts are,some things do take time.Trust63 the timing of your life.Give your best and things will fall in place.