[MPPSC] Rank 4: Ashish Sharma (TCS) shares Preparation Strategy for Prelims, Mains, Interview for Madhya Pradesh Public Services exam

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  1. Candidate Profile
    1. Mains: Books/Sources
    2. Answer writing for Mains
    1. Transcript of the interview
    2. Mark sheet
  5. Concluding words

Candidate Profile

  • Hello everyone, I am Ashish Sharma, an engineer by profession. I planned on appearing for civil services in the final year of my engineering. But lack of preparation hindered my chances and I ended up working for TCS.
  • After approx 2.5 years, I quit my job and focussed entirely on the MPPSC 2013 exam.
  • Hobbies- playing snooker, watching hollywood movies.
  • Hometown- Jabalpur.


I had just over a month for Prelims and as such I dedicated as much time as I could for cracking it. (I could not get through in the 2012 MPPSC prelims)
Madhya Pradesh MPPSC Ashish Kumar
The strategy for Prelims is a blend of hard and smart work. You need to grasp the IMPORTANT news events of past 8-10 months, without compromising the Static portion of GS. Also, one of the most ignored aspect is question solving. It is of prime importance to solve model/previous papers frequently appearing in general Magazines to get the wittedness requisite in the actual exam.
The general books/magazines I referred were:

  1. NCERT Class X-XII Social Studies, Economics and some Culture topics.
  2. Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth
  3. India Year Book(GOI publication)
  4. Chronicle magazine
  5. Mrunal.org for Current affairs and Misc.

Books specific for MP:

  1. Madhya Pradesh ek parichay(Macgrawhill Publication)
  2. MP general Knowledge(Arihant)
  3. Samsamyiki semi-annual(Maheshwari)
  4. Pratiyogita Nirdeshika magazine past 6 months issues
  5. PDF of the ACTS(see syllabus) from govt. sites, Wikipedia
  6. Mp.org website for updated info
  7. Previous papers

Apart from these I read Dainik Bhaskar(for state news) and The Indian Express  regularly, and this helped in Mains too.

I did not prepare specifically for general Science part and CSAT as I didn’t feel the need to being my Maths background and all. Regular magazine reading and mock tests in them are enough.


Generally it takes 2 months for the result of pre to be out and then there is a time of 2-3 months at most for Mains. So it is better to start preparing for mains immediately after prelims.  The preparation strategy is solely based on one rule of the thumb: READ MORE, WRITE EVEN MORE.
Now being selective in reading is the Smart and tricky part. Be very specific as to what you read and what sources you ultimately refer. The market is flooded with books, and the MP GS part is what confuses students. Lack of accurate data, misplaced and redundant facts is common in nearly all the books. It’s better to refer govt sites and daily newspapers for this.
Another problem for some students is the unavailability of material in English medium. I too faced this issue and initially it was frustrating. But as you are appearing for MP civil services, you must have good command over Hindi, there’s a separate and high scoring Hindi paper as well. I read in Hindi, translated to English in writing and then prepared the topics in my own revision-friendly format.
Now the HARD WORK part. Everything you read must be jotted down in short key-word friendly format to remember and then expanded in your own language. The drafting of answers is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT and this is where you can stand clear of the normal answers and get those extra marks. Practice speed writing and use simple language. Continuity and clarity of thought always impresses the examiner.
Some very important topics must be prepared for all marking formats- 3, 15, 25,30 or even 60 marks, whatever the case may be. This is helpful when a long question is asked for shorter one with lesser marks. Make sure that you write apt answers avoiding the unnecessary details. Quality answers coupled with neat work fetch good marks.

Mains: Books/Sources

Although in the 2013 exam there was the old syllabus with 2 optionals, I like the new syllabus with no optional as it is quite dynamic. Students must prepare all topics from at least 2-3 different sources to get a holistic view in their answers. The books used for Prelims help in mains too. Internet remains the biggest saviour.

  1. NCERT 6-12 history and Bipin Chandra.
  2. Culture NIOS material (Free Download)
  3. Spectrum: Brief History of Modern India – to some extent.
  4. Geography NIOS material (Free Download)
  5. Other topics- Internet and self-wit.
  1. Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth for the entire Polity.
  2. Prepare topic wise notes from internet for others parts.
  3. PIB and govt websites for schemes/programs.
  4. Mrunal.org is of immense help here.
  5. India Yearbook
  6. Regular updates from newspapers/ Chronicle/ Yojana magazine.
  1. Mrunal.org for the entire Science section.
  2. Environment and Biodiversity NIOS material (Free Download)
  3. Special Economy edition- Pratiyogita Darpan/ any other magazine.
  1. Mrunal articles on ethics
  2. Arihant Ethics Book
  3. Internet for philosophers(don’t prepare all of them)
ESSAY Nothing specific. Articles/editorials and a lot of writing practice would sail you through. Strictly adhere to the word limit.
  1. Any Grammar book from 10-11th class.
  2. Solve previous papers.
  3. Nibandh Manjusha (Macgrawhill Publication (Mandatory for English medium students)

This paper is extremely high scoring and you’ll hurt your selection pretty bad if you don’t take this paper seriously.

Apart from all these, the topics of MP wherever mentioned need to be prepared specially from MP govt sites, local newspapers, Books I mentioned for Prelims, the Vision 2018 MP document and any other source you can lay hands on, and accurate data should be at hand to supplement these answers.

Answer writing for Mains

Answer writing is an art and you may be a craftsman but the papers in the new format are VERY lengthy. So focus should be on attempting the paper fully with average answers and a few high quality answers. Points or paragraph-your choice, I never struggled and it does not matter as long as you write apt and according to the demand of the question.
‘Neat work with legible handwriting, use of Flow and pie-charts, diagrams and effective sub headings, simple jargon-free language are add-ons that make the examiner happy who then returns you the favour.’
I suggest you take plenty of Mock tests with serious preparation to constantly be on your toes, and improvise with each passing day. A feel of the exam prior to the exam is impossible but trying one’s luck never hurt anyone.


This is the most versatile part of the exam process where you can get high marks with comparatively less hard work. Primary focus is on bio-data (home town, academics, hobby etc.) and the chain reaction of questions is triggered from your answers. Apart from this Current affairs and views on burning topics, Situation Reactions are frequently asked.
Prepare a flow chart of questions from your bio-data, and the questions that may emerge from your answers and prepare all of them. Interviews are conducted in Hindi, so a good command over it is mandatory. Debates/programs on RSTV and LSTV may help here.
I strongly suggest you take Mock interviews as it helps in correcting many sub conscious mistakes that otherwise remain unattended.
Crisp dress-up, confidence in body language and speaking, and a humble smile is the absolute necessity for a civil servant.

Transcript of the interview

  • Board- Chairman Dr.  Bipin Beohar sir
  • Members- 2 gentlemen +1 lady
  • Work exp. – 2.5 yrs TCS.
  • Interview- In Hindi throughout.
  • I went in after seeking permission, wished all of them a very good morning and sat when told.

H’nble chairman- General bio-data based.

  • Sir started out with some basic questions about my hometown, its history, some religious places, demography and then a question on Bargi dam in my district.
  • You are English medium student, comfortable in Hindi interview?(why not!!)
  • He then opened the hobby page from my PIF and asked some questions on Snooker, its invention, history, scoring and if i played during my preparation times.🙂 (Satisfied with a smile).
  • Hollywood movie questions on golden globe awards and not oscars, year of initiation, a particular incident in this year’s golden globe(said sorry) and director of ‘the revenant’ , his nationality and other awards to the film.
  • -also asked my fav movie, its theme, repeat the most famous dialogue( I recited the V’s introduction from ‘V for Vendetta’ movie😁) and tell other similar movies made in bolly/holly.
  • Questions on Tata grp, its hierarchy, chronology of all its chairman,work exp in TCS etc.
  • What is JNU issue, your views.(quite satisfied)😊

Member 1- Facts

  • You like movies,tell me the name of lyricist, music director and movie name of song ‘ae mere watan ke logo’. (Could tell only the movie name😞).
  • NCC utilities for youth, its present chairman, army vs navy ranks name, what is patriotism, define war, the names of Generals- India,East Pak in ’65 war, role of field marshal Manekshaw in war, his achievements. (said sorry in some ques, but still he was smiling).
  • PSC powers and Constitutional articles,provisions, some questn i dont remember.(satisfied)🤗

Member 2- Psychologist I guess

  • Why coming from private to civil service?
  • Told 5-6 core factors but he kept asking more..more
  • Family background and their occupations.
  • Why so much economic disparity in India.
  • Social differences in Mr. Ratan Tata and a commoner.
  • As a civil servant what would be your first goal in service?
  • Views for election reforms. (poker-faced, could not tell satisfied or not).😑

Lady member- general ques on current topics

  • Mr Bachhan and Mr Rajnikanth got awards these past few days. Were they same?( Told Padma vibhushan,and national movie awards)
  • Tell about national awards,prize,categories and current winners.
  • Do you know Bankim Chanda Chatterjee?(who doesn’t) Tell his 2nd best work?😯
  • Games at Rio,is Snooker in it too? Some follow up quest i dont remember.(smiling)
  • After this, 1st member Sir said Ashish you are intelligent, Chairman sir nodded and everyone smiled and asked me to leave. Wished them thanks and Good day and left.

Mark sheet

Written 1390/2100
Interview 163/250
Total 1553/2350.
Rank 4

Concluding words

  • Remember the entire exam process is a long journey and if you pack well and move swiftly, your wisdom increases at every milestone and as do your chances of selection. In the end we must be a good humble human before being a civil servant, isn’t it?
  • Every aspirant faces challenges one type or of the other. There may be phases where you black out and wish to drop all of it out of frustration. Keep your head cool and take a break-watch a movie, enjoy with friends and come back rejuvenated to study. Only one positive result at your end would pass over all those IT sector on-site or foreign university MS guys from your college/school.
  • Just believe in yourself, work hard, maintain your study hours daily without fail, and keep a positive outlook.

Mrunal recommends

87 Comments on “[MPPSC] Rank 4: Ashish Sharma (TCS) shares Preparation Strategy for Prelims, Mains, Interview for Madhya Pradesh Public Services exam”

  1. Congratulations. Can you please share mains papers

    1. sir, please provide the question papers of prelim and some tips for preparation of MPPSC pre exam

      1. Go through the Mppsc website you will find all the previous year question papers

  2. Sir please provide strategy for RAS Mains 2016 . Mains is in December.
    Thanks in advance !!!

  3. Sir ,provide question paper of mains mppsc as it is not possible to get it from any other sources .plz

    1. Amit MPPSC Mains Paper is so easy and bogus , MPPSC depends on Luck .
      and you know you can also see your Mains Answer book through RTI.
      always remember my experience , in MPPSC mains write like 11-12 th Board style and never never use UPSC strategy .

      I get my 2013 Mains Answer copy , and you know what happen, what mistake i do –

      1. MPPSC में परीक्षक अपनी व्यक्तिगत पसंद पर बहुत जोर देता हैं। ये जरुरी नहीं आप प्रशासनिक नजरिये से लिखे तो आपको अंक मिलेंगे। मैंने उत्तर में समसामयिकी जोड़ कर लिखी , केस स्टडी भी दी। लेकिन एग्जामिनर ने मेरे उत्तर को पसंद नहीं किया।

      2.संक्षिप्त , सारगर्भित भाषा अक्सर कठिन हो जाती हैं अमित , जैसा की आप रोमिला थापर , शेखर बंधोपाध्याय , द हिन्दू के लेखों में देख सकते हैं। MPPSC में पता हैं जब मैंने अपनी कॉपी देखी और दुसरो की कॉपी देखी , तो मैं चौक गया। मेरे संक्षिप्त और सारगर्भित कथनों को एग्जामिनर ने काट दिया था और 0-3 अंक दिए। वो कठिन सी भाषा लिखने में समझते हैं कि उम्मीदवार होशियार बन रहा हैं। THIS IS VERY WRONG

      3.हैडिंग में लिखो , और ज्यादा लिखो। कई जगह मैंने देखा की किसी उत्तर में ज्यादा पॉइंट लिखने पर , भले वह साधारण से हो , एग्जामिनर ज्यादा नम्बर देता हैं। जबकि उस कैंडिडेट को जो कम लेकिन मौलिक पॉइंट लिखता हैं कम नंबर मिलते हैं।

      EXAMPLE – भूगोल में प्रश्न आया था – ” मध्य प्रदेश में वन संरक्षण के उपाय बताइये ”

      MY answer – 1. ओरछा , जहा मैं रहता हूँ , की केस स्टडी लिखी , और नवाचारी उपाय बताये की कैसे संरक्षण दिया जाये। ( चित्र भी बनाया )
      2. विशेष तौर पर वन संरक्षण की प्रसाशनिक मसीनरी , मध्य प्रदेश वन विभाग में परिवर्तन , जो मैंने वन अनुसंधान संस्थान की रिपोर्ट में पढ़ी थी , लिखी।
      3. मध्य प्रदेश में ” , पड़ती भूमि ” की कुछ विशेषताओ जिससे वह आर्थिक उपयोग के लिए पेड़ लगाने के लिए उपयुक्त हैं , जिससे आर्थिक और पर्यावरण के बीच सामंजस्य बने। जैसे पॉइंट लिखे , ऐसे मैंने SIX नवाचारी बिंदु लिखे

      परीक्षक ने मुझे 11/30 Marks दिए

      दूसरे कैंडिडेट ने – वन न काटने देना , जागरूकता , जैसे सतही ज्ञान टाइप पॉइंट लिखे एग्जामिनर ने 19/30 अंक दिए।

      3.. व्याख्या , चर्चा , परिक्षण , आलोचना कमेंट जैसे शब्दो पर ध्यान न दे। मैंने जो पूछा केवल वही लिखा , और मुझे कम अंक दिए गए।
      उन लोगो को जो टॉपिक पढ़ कर ज्यादा लिखते हैं अच्छे अंक मिलते हैं।
      SEE ASHISH SIR INTERVIEW mains answer writing he say- “it does not matter as long as you write apt and according to the demand of the question.”

      जैसे – प्रश्न – लोकतंत्र की मूलभूत लक्षणों की व्याख्या करो।
      – मैंने केवल व्याख्या की मुझे 4/10 अंक मिले , दूसरे कैंडिडेट में व्याख्या की जगह फैक्ट लिखे उसे 7/10 अंक दिए।

      ४. विश्लेसहन की जगह फैक्ट पर नंबर देते हैं।

      1. Aptly written brother, I feel MPPSC promotes rote learning and likes candidates who crams more than has his own set of mind.

      2. bhai if you are talking about MPPSC 2013 then mera bhi geography optional tha but paper me 30 number ka koi question nhi aaya, rather it was of 60 marks.
        secondly koi 10 marker bhi nhi tha.
        I agree with you on many points, but afte rall it is all about luck.

        1. आये थे .
          भूगोल में 30+30=60 , में तोड़ कर प्रश्न किये गए थे

          सामान्य अध्धय्यन प्रथम पेपर में लास्ट क्वेश्चन = 10+10+20+20=60

    2. कुछ प्रश्न , जो मेंस में पूछे गए –

      निबंध – ESSAY PAPER –
      MAINS 2014
      1.पर्यावरण प्रदुषण – कारण और निवारण
      2.कंप्यूटर से लाभ और हानि
      3.महिला सशत्तिकरण
      4.विश्व के सर्वश्रेष्ठ कवि तुलसीदास

      MAINS 2015
      1.आपदा – कारण और निवारण
      2.परहति सरसी धर्म नहि भाई
      3.लोकतंत्र में मीडिया की भूमिका
      Amit GS II Paper 2015 is so easy and difficult to belive. MPPSC always gives Simple and Bogus paper but 2015 MPPSC creates Record –
      Part I – some 3 marks Question
      1.लोकसभा अध्यक्ष का नाम बताओ ?
      2.संविधान सभा के स्थायी अध्यक्ष का नाम बताओ?
      3.उपराष्ट्रपति किस सदन का सभापति होता हैं ?
      Some 6 marks Question
      1.गैर सरकारी संगठन किसे कहते हैं ?/ what is NGO
      2.राज्यपाल की स्वविवेकी शक्तिया लिखिए ?
      3.सूचना का अधिकार नियम 1905 क्या हैं ? ( शायद ये गलत प्रिंट था अधिनियम 2005होना चाहिए था )
      some 15 marks question Mains 15
      1. IAS की विशेषताए लिखो in 300 Words
      2. संसद वित्त पर नियंत्रण कैसे रखती हैं ?

      The Most Bogus and unrevelant Part of MPPSC
      PAPER II PART II (health Education and Society )
      3 marks question –
      1.वृद्धाश्रम किसे कहते हैं / what is Old age Home
      2.वृद्धवस्था पेंशन से आप क्या समझते हैं ? / What is old age pension
      3.विकलांग कौन हैं ? Who are Handicapped ?
      4.पैरामेडिक्स से आप क्या समझते हैं ? / What you understand by Paramedics
      SOme 6 marks Question
      1.पोलियो की बूंदो से आप क्या समझते हैं?
      2.पेनिसिलीन का अविष्कार कैसे हुआ?
      3.सर्व प्राथमिक शिक्षा क्या हैं ?
      History Paper I Part I
      write one or two lines each topic
      मोहनजोदारो का स्नानागार
      माखनलाल चतुर्वेदी
      अफजल खान घटना


      1. hello FAILURE sir tell me what is procedure to find xerox of mains ans copy ….
        even i don’t write the exam can i ask for it through RTI OR not…
        is there any time limit… to apply for it ?

        1. Contact MPPSC
          I was also apply RTI , with ID card.

  4. Mrunal sir UPPSC waale ka bhi koi interview de do …………PLEASE

  5. Congratulations Ashish Sir.. Its gud to read U.. God blesss..

  6. Sir, please help me about uppcs exam…

  7. kya ye satya h ki is varsh ka prashna patra lok seva ayog ke itihas ka sabse saral prashna patra tha …aur esa anumanit h ki cut off marks 140 ke kareeb honge?mere sabhi mitro ke lagbhag 140 se 150 aa rahe h …

    1. aap kis year and kis state ke aayog ki baat kar rahe hain.

        1. never bro………..cut off 109 rahega.

          1. NAHI MITRA MPPSC 109 bahut kam h
            mere sabhi mitro ke 150 ke kareeb h …kisi bhi stithi mein 140 se upar hoga…mera 140 ke kareeb h

          2. Amrit, please help me for PRELIMS preparation, give your contact number, FB ID , Email ID , jo aapko theek lage…………

  8. Maine 10th tak math padi h …………….but maine math ka syllabus dekhe bina math is fer mein le li ki math ssc ki tarah hogi 10 th level ki…mujhe math samajh nahi a rahi …kya koi mujhe simple book bata sakta h …pre mein 138 hain mere ….

  9. Thanks you Ashish & mrunal for sharing the list of books and magazines specially MP related.

  10. sir,

    can you please share the material (questions, facts) etc that you prepared while preparing for hollywood movies part of your interview.
    It will very helpful for my interview preparation as i share the same hobby.

  11. I will be 32 next year …I am UR …I have done BA in 2005 ..I want to write UPSC CSE …Please advice me the books ..so that I may clear it in the only remaining attempt…

  12. SIR please provide syllabus of mppsc state civil services examination.

  13. I am working as civil engineer in Chandigarh. And want to get coaching for Haryana civil services. Please guide me for statergy, optional subject and and time schedule which can be followed with job.

  14. CAPF result declared!

  15. Congrats Dear…Wish you all success for your future Endeavours…Too good to hear to strike out IT sector on-site as sometimes we get diverted becz of this option…:)

  16. Hope this platform helps.

  17. Well Defined Strategy…
    Proud of you.. Ashish Bhaiya..

  18. Valuable message

  19. Amrit please be honest you are not an upsc aspirant. Had you been you won’t be talking this nonsense.

    1. Yes Nidhi, Amrit is wrong .
      maine dekha hain , un logo ka selection kabhi nahi hota jinke kuch jyada hi marks hote hain.

    2. Paper is not easy and i think Last year se tough tha paper. aap kya kahegi

  20. { GPSC (Gujarat State PSC) mains exam me merit kese count karte hai? Kya optional paper minimum qualifying marks hote hai? nd agar hote hai to.

  21. When will mrunal sir be back

  22. Hi sumit kya hal hai

  23. Hello,

    I wish to know the latest pattern of mains of MPPSC exam. I also wish to know about the age limit.

  24. Mrunal sir! Please update us with the new strategy for mppsc prelims+ mains…..
    There are alot more students plus me for a favor from your side…..
    Thanku sir

  25. Sir please update some useful prepartions tips about BPSC and which books to buy online ..

  26. Ashishji, did you ever regret for your decision to step out from TCS . If you really like coding and technology i think you would have .

  27. Hello sir ,plz share stragity for mppsc2017 , mains me ajectly kis type se abs likhna chahiee ?

  28. Hello sir ,plz Plzzz share stragity for mppsc2017 , mains me ajectly kis type se abs likhna chahiee ?

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