1. Candidate Profile
  2. Education
  3. Introduction
  4. Electronic Vs Paper material
  5. Typical day in your Online life?
  6. Style of Preparation and notes making
  7. Prelims (CSAT) Paper-1: General studies
  8. Prelims (CSAT): Paper-2: Aptitude
  9. Prelim accuracy
  10. Mains: Compulsory language paper
  11. Mains: Essay
  12. Essay#1: Best for individual is not necessarily best for the society
  13. Essay#2: Biased media is a threat to democracy
  14. Mains General studies paper 1 to 4
  15. General Studies (Mains) paper 1
  16. General studies (Mains) paper 2
  17. General studies (Mains) Paper 3
  18. General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude
  19. Mains answer-writing from DAY1
  20. Mains answer-writing- real exam?
  21. Mains Optional Subject
  22. Before the interview
  23. During the interview
  24. CSE-2019 Marksheet
  25. Career Backup
  26. Struggle of a Senior player
  27. Struggle of Working professional
  28. Corona Exam Cancellation
  29. Message to Failed Candidates
  30. Credit: Friends/family
  31. BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Candidate Profile: Dr. Jitendra Agrawal

UPSC Rank #128: Dr.Jitendra Agrawal, Last Attempt, Medical Science

Q. Details
Name Dr. Jitendra Agrawal
Rank in CSE-2019 128
Roll No. 0111017
Age 32
Marital Status Married
Total attempts in CSE (including this one) 4
Optional Subject Medical Science
Schooling Medium Gujarati
College Medium English
Medium chosen for Mains answers English
Medium chosen for Interview English
Home town/city Vadodara
Work-experience if any
  • Tutor in Pharmacology:
  • 2012 to 2014: Shri MP Shah Medical College, Jamnagar
  • 2014 to 2015: GMERS Medical College, Vadodara
  • 2015 to 2018: Smt NHL Medical College, Ahmedabad
  • 2018 to till today: Gujarat Administrative Service (GAS)
Details of other competitive exams, including success/failures
  • GPSC 2014 : Failed in Prelims
  • GPSC 2017 : 18th Rank, Allotted GAS
  • UPSC CSE 2016 : Failed in Prelims
  • 2017: Couldn’t clear Interview stage
  • 2018: Reserve List 13th rank
  • 2019: 128th rank
Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used) I did not attend any Coaching Classes for Prelims or Mains. I subscribed for Vision IAS Prelim and Mains Test series in 2017. I have attended Prelim test series seriously but wrote only 4 Mains paper. I subscribed for Deccan Chronicle as postal material for 2016 attempt , but it wasn’t suitable for me. I have solved Vision IAS Prelim test series and InSighntonIAS test series for 2018 and 2019 attemp.
Service preferences (Top-5) IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS IT, IAAS. (Allotted to IPS)
Preference for the first states in top-3 zonal cadres. Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh


Education fill the details here
% in class 10 84.71
% in class 12 85.50
Graduation course and % MBBS 66%
Name of college, city, passing out year Shri MP Shah Govt Medical College, Jamnagar

Passed out in 2010

Post-graduation MD in Pharmacology
Any other professional courses no
Hobbies & Extracurricular achievements Badminton


Q. Tell us something about yourself, your family, when and why did you enter in this field of competitive exams?

I was born in Rajasthan. Soon after my birth my family shifted to Gujarat.


Electronic Vs Paper material

Q. In recent times, there is spur in electronic material- blogs, sites, pdfs, RSS-feeds. Many aspirants feel bogged down by this information overload. So, how do you balance this i.e. electronic material vs. paper material (Books, newspapers)

It is very important to not to lost in the world of information. I used to stick to material I used to prepare. I revised it frequently. I used to read Indian express regularly but stopped before 20 days of exam date in prelims and mains. As far as electronic material is concerned I find videos on youtube are very helpful. But one need to take care not to lost in youtube.

Typical day in your Online life?

Online life Answer
Daily hrs spent on online platforms for predicting cutoff / syllabus change / age-attempt limit change and other “peripheral-bolbachchan“ related to civil services. no
Daily hrs spent on whatsapp and telegram studygroups no
Daily hrs spent on online for exam prep. 2
Primary Device for online study: desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile Mobile

Style of Preparation and notes making

Q. What is your style of preparation and notes making? (e.g. I continue making notes no matter what I’m reading, I just read multiple times but don’t maintain notes, I make mindmaps on computer, I use xyz software etc.)

I read multiple times . I made very few note on ethics. Otherwise I relied on revision.

Prelims (CSAT) Paper-1: General studies

Topic strategy/booklist/comment
History Ancient Lucent GK, old ncert, new ncert class 5,6,7
History Medieval Lucent GK
History Modern (Freedom Struggle) Spectrum,  Lucent GK
Culture and society Nitin Singhania, ONLYIAS youtube video
Polity (theory + current) Laxmikant, VisionIAS (Current affairs)
Economy (theory + current) Mrunal sir Youtube video, VisionIAS (Current affairs)
Science (theory + current) VisionIAS (Current affairs), OnlyIas Youtube video, random videos topic wise on youtube
Environment (theory + current) Shankar IAS for theory, VisionIAS (Current affairs), youtube videos as per topic
geography physical PMFIAS
geography India PMFIAS
geography world PMFIAS
other national/international current affairs VisionIAS (Current affairs),
Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff VisionIAS (Current affairs),

Q. Candidates are complaining that compared to earlier years, Prelim 2017, 2018 and 2019’s GS papers were very tougher, Tickmasters’ 90+ strategy (and its perverted & populist version known as Guessmaster-giri) and E-learning materials had limited utility. What are you views and wisdom on all these? If you were to prepare for the Prelim-2020, what changes would you make in the strategy?

I restrict myself to attempt between 82 to 88 questions based on my feeling regarding toughness of prelim paper during exam. In 2017 I attempted 82 , 2018 around 86, and 2019 around 88. I realized that there are certain questions which I will not be able to answer  irrespective of my level of preparation. I just skipped those questions and never tried to attempt. I felt that I need to control my temptation to attempt all questions. This has helped me to crack Prelims consecutively 3 times. My score prelim is as under.

Sr. no Year No .of questions attempted


1 2016 95 100
2 2017 82 110
3 2018 86 105
4 2019 88 120 to 125 (predicted)

 Prelims (CSAT): Paper-2: Aptitude

Topic strategy / booklist
Maths Previous years paper
Reasoning Previous years paper
Comprehension Previous years paper
Decision Making Previous years paper

Q. In the recent prelims, the comprehension portion becoming quite tough and lengthy. Candidates struggle even to finish the paper-II. Kindly provide some words of wisdom:

In fact I just scored around 80 to 90 marks in CSAT paper. It was very difficult for me to pass in CSAT. I am not the right person to advice upon this. I just played safe in CSAT paper. I was able to attempt up to 45 questions barely in CSAT.

Prelim accuracy

Q1. Did you attend any ‘mock tests’? do you think they’re necessary for success?

I believe it is very very important to attend mock test. Prelim exam is more about temperament.  It is about reading between the lines. One also need to check on his temptation at attempting questions  on which he/she has zero knowledge. I think that can be controlled by practice. Also mock test let us know where our understanding is weak regarding a particular topic. It allows one to put him/herself in actual situation like examination. I believe one never ever afraid oneself to check him/herself.  It may not be necessary for success but definitely necessary to improve oneself.

Q2. Approximate no. of attempted answers vs. correct answers. in Prelim-2019

  Attempted Q. Correct (Expected) Official Score
Paper-1 (General Studies) 88 69 125 expected
Paper-2 (Aptitude) 44 37 86 expected

Mains: Compulsory language paper

Compulsory language paper Your preparation strategy / booklist?
English paper Not prepared specifically
your regional language


Not prepared specifically

Mains: Essay

Q1. How did you prepare for the essay paper?

Not prepared specifically. Just wrote two essay in 4 years of preparation (not advisable). I just relied on preparation of General Studies to write essay. My main focus in writing essay to include diverse aspect of the topic asked in essay. I gave attention to write positive aspect and to be optimist. I believe while examiner reading your essay should not have feeling that you are a pessimist.   I wrote essay like 10th std student is writing. I used very simple English as my English is not so strong. So tried to focused on content and structure. I am weak in remembering quotes. So never used in essay in all 3 mains. My score in essay is as under.

Sr. no Year Marks
1 2017 149
2 2018 126
3 2019 Not known yet

Q2. Which two essays did you write and What key points did you include in it?

Essay#1: Best for individual is not necessarily best for the society

I started with how individual makes society and play role in society.  Why individual is important for society and society is important for individual. Then focused on examples how a good for individuals may not be good for society like breaking a signal for reaching on time to office may be useful for individual but not good for society. Then focused on it is not necessary that best for individual is not  always bad for society. Then concluded on positive note.

Essay#2: Biased media is a threat to democracy

I started with what is media, what is its role in society, 4th pillar of democracy, its interrelation with democracy. Then what does mean biased media. Its effect on society and democracy. How it weakens democracy. How can we prevent it . what measures are taken by government. What should be future strategy. What should be role of citizen. Conclusion .

Mains General studies paper 1 to 4

General Studies (Mains) paper 1

Topic How did you prepare?
Culture Nitin singhania , onlyias youtube videos.
Indian history spectrum
world history Pratik Nayak world history lectures from youtube. I downloaded ppt from mrunal.org  for 2017 mains.

But I found all the topics are not covered. Hence I also used visionIAS world history notes in next two attempts. These notes are very lengthy , so one should be careful.

post-independence India Not read
Indian society VisionIAS  value addition material
role of women, poverty etc. VisionIAS  value addition material
globalization on Indian society VisionIAS  value addition material, Pratik Nayak video
communalism, regionalism, secularism VisionIAS  value addition material, random videos on youtube to understand concept.
world geo physical http://www.pmfias.com
resource distribution http://www.pmfias.com
factors for industrial location Mrunal.org
earthquake tsunami etc http://www.pmfias.com
impact on flora-fauna http://www.pmfias.com

General studies (Mains) paper 2

Topic How Did You Prepare?
Indian Constitution, devolution, dispute redressal etc. Laxmikant
comparing Constitution with world Visionias value addition material
parliament, state Legislatures laxmikant
executive-judiciary Laxmikant
ministries departments Not read specifically
pressure group, informal asso. Visionias value addition material
Representation of people’s act Visionias value addition material, google
various bodies: Constitutional, statutory.. Laxmikant
NGO, SHG etc Visionias value addition material
welfare schemes, bodies Vision IAS current affairs
social sector, health, edu, HRD MAINS 365
governance, transparency, accountability MAINS 365
e-governance MAINS 365
role of civil service Not read specifically
India & neighbors MAINS 365
bilateral/global grouping MAINS 365
effect of foreign country policies on Indian interest MAINS 365
Diaspora Not read specifically
international bodies- structure mandate Mrunal  sir economy video

General studies (Mains) Paper 3

Topic How Did You Prepare?
Indian economy, resource mobilization Mrunal  sir economy video, vision 365
inclusive growth Mrunal  sir economy video, vision 365
Budgeting Mrunal  sir economy video, vision 365
major crops, irrigation PMFIAS.COM
Magro produce – storage, marketing Mrunal  sir economy video, vision 365
e-technology for famers Mrunal  sir economy video, vision 365
farm subsidies, MSP Mrunal  sir economy video, vision 365
PDS, buffer, food security Mrunal  sir economy video, vision 365
technology mission Mrunal  sir economy video, vision 365
animal rearing economics Mrunal  sir economy video, vision 365
food processing Mrunal  sir economy video
land reforms Mrunal  sir economy video
Liberalization Mrunal  sir economy video
Infra Mrunal  sir economy video
investment models Mrunal  sir economy video
science-tech day to day life VISION 365
Indian achievements in sci-tech vision 365, Specific chapters from arihant GS book.
awareness in IT, space, biotech, nano, IPR vision 365
environmental impact assessment Google baba
Disaster Management Specific chapters from arihant GS book.
non state actors, internal security Vision 365
internal security – role of media, social networking site Vision 365
cyber security Vision 365
money laundering Vision 365
border  Management Vision 365
organized crime, terrorism Vision 365
security agencies- structure mandate Vision 365

General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude

Topic How Did You Prepare?
ethics and interface, family, society and all the hathodaa topics Lukeman IAS handwritten notes, random videos on topic from youtube,G subbarao
attitude, moral influence etc. Lukeman IAS handwritten notes, random videos on topic from youtube,G subbarao
civil service: integrity, impartiality, tolerance to weak etc Lukeman IAS handwritten notes, random videos on topic from youtube,G subbarao
emotional intelligence, its use in governance Lukeman IAS handwritten notes, random videos on topic from youtube,G subbarao
moral thinkers of India and world Lukeman IAS handwritten notes, random videos on topic from youtube,G subbarao
ethics in pub.ad, accountability, laws, rules etc. Lukeman IAS handwritten notes, random videos on topic from youtube,G subbarao
corporate governance Lukeman IAS handwritten notes, random videos on topic from youtube,G subbarao
probity in governance, work culture Lukeman IAS handwritten notes, random videos on topic from youtube,G subbarao
citizen charter, ethics code, work culture etc. Lukeman IAS handwritten notes, random videos on topic from youtube,G subbarao
challenges of corruption Lukeman IAS handwritten notes, random videos on topic from youtube,G subbarao
case studies on above topics Case studies not prepared specifically

Q. In ethics, Most of the serious candidates (both topper and non-toppers) have received marks in similar ranges. What are your observations and tips for future aspirants regarding preparation of this paper?

Most important thing in ethics is to understand terminology. Aspirant should read the topics mentioned in the course. It is important to understand each and every topic and differences between them. Remember the definition of terminology. Also prepare the relevant example related to topic. One must not ignores the moral thinkers. I have prepared moral thinkers seriously and used them as example few times. For example Plato’s wisdom, temperance, justice and fortitude. Please go through G.Subbarao at least once. If not possible than at least go through synopsis given at the end of the chapter of G.Subbarao.  Then read Lukeman IAS handwritten notes.  I scored 82 in 2017, but improved to 116 in 2018 in ethics.  This time I could not perform well in ethics due to time constrain in exam. So my sincere advice is to have writing practice for ethics at least.

Mains answer-writing from DAY1

Q. Some toppers and coaching classes are advising students to start mains answer writing from day1. Your inputs/suggestions in this regard- when exactly should a candidate start practicing for answer mains?

I have not practiced mains answer writing practice as I did not like to write. I only wrote 4 mains papers during 4 years of preparations. But I think one should start mains answer writing, but not from day 1. Please make your foundation strong first. Initially I would like to advise first see the question paper, prepare answer and write. Once you are confident that you can attempt paper then slowly move towards writing in real exam like situation. As I have myself not written mains paper for practice I am not the right person to advice upon this and restrict myself for limited advice.

Mains answer-writing- real exam?

Please tell us how many marks worth attempt did you give? along with comments if any, in the following cells:

Paper Best attempted Average quality namesake answer Total attempt
GS1 07 11 2 20
GS2 08 10 2 20
GS3 06 12 2 20
GS4 08 10 2 (one of them is case) 20

Q. What was your approach in the exam (I wrote all, I only focused on the questions where I could answer perfectly, I just not to high quality points to reach the word limit etc.) Because the UPSC aspirant Community is divided over what counts as a ‘good’ paper. Some experts claim you should attempt all- even if it involves “making up” an answer with filler lines, some claim attempt only those questions you know perfectly. Where do you stand on this? [Based on your experience and of your seniors/buddies]

I would like to just share my experience. I have not written single word in 140 marks in GS in 2017 attempt and scored 392 marks. In 2018 I attempted all and scored 427 in GS. This time also I attempted all. I think one should go for all attempt. This is a race. You need to score. In my experience it is important to understand the questions. Most of the aspirant failed to understand the demand of the question and write whatever key word they found important. I think one should make heading out of question itself and write relevant to it even if you are little aware about it.

Q. How was your experience with the ‘fixed space’ answer sheet?

I think that is the beauty of the examination. We know many things, but do not know what to write. It checks our understanding of question and how we utilize the space.

Q. Did you write answers in bullet points or in paragraphs? Some players (who cleared mains and got interview call letter) were claiming that they wrote entire paper in bullet points, so it doesn’t matter…. whether examiner is asking ‘examine, comment, discuss or xyz’….simply write in bullets and points.

I mostly wrote paper in points. But I divided answer in headings according to question. ( I learned this during medical education. We were told by our seniors that headings are important. ). If you gives heading it makes work for examiner more easy. It is also important what is asked as mentioned below.

  • COMMENT : Here examiner asks you to be more specific regarding question. Your answer should be hitting core of the question rather than more peripheral view
  • DISCUSS: Here examiner wants to check your broadness and scope in thought. So you need to cover question with various angles
  • Examine : Here examiner wants you to examine the statement. You need to take a stand in such situation.

Q. Did you follow the “introduction-body-conclusion” format? because some mains-qualified candidates claim they simply wrote the points they could recall within the time, instead of bothering with proper introduction and conclusion.

Yes. In most of the question I started with Introduction of topic which is asked. Then addressed the main demand of the question. At the end I wrote conclusion. I made heading out of the question itself and also made conclusion at the end. Structured answer will prevent you deviating from the demand of the question.

I don’t like asking following rudimentary questions, but these are the most frequently asked questions by new aspirants.

Q5. Did you use highlighters / sketchpens in your answers? No
Q6. Did you draw any diagram in any paper? (e.g. in GS1 Geography)  Not in GS. I draw one diagram in medical science optional.
Q7. If yes, Did you draw diagrams with pencil or pen? Not applicable
Q8. Did you use ruler to draw the lines in diagram? Or did you just make it by hand? Mostly no.
Q9. You wrote the answer in blue pen or black pen? Blue

Mains Optional Subject

Q. What’s your optional subject and why did you chose it and not something else?

My optional subject is Medical science. I chose it because my graduation is in medical science. I was also working as tutor in medical college, so I was in touch with it.

Q. If a new player wants to pick your subject, would you advice for it or against it?

300 score is possible in medical science provided aspirant must have grip on it. Question of medical science optional are slightly different than those we used to in under graduation. Mostly questions are based on applied medicine.  Good thing is course 13 subjects and very specific points. It gives certainty about questions asked. Mostly repeated topics are asked.

Sr. no Year Marks
1 2017 303
2 2018 286 (misinterpreted two major questions)
3 2019 Not known yet

Q. First the essential book/resource list. (Also mention which one is the “Base book” for covering the theory? + Whatever comments you’ve for a particular book e.g. “my seniors said read xyz book but I found that ABC book was better”.  “xyz topic not given properly in this book, so prepare from xyz website or book…” OR and so on.)

I have used Dr. Parikshit sir’s notes as primary resource  for all subjects excepts Pharmacology and Pathology. For Pharmacology I used KDT and For Pathology I used Harsh Mohan. Otherwise most of the topics covered by notes. The topics not covered by notes I read from subject specific notes. It is also important to retain the things we read as medical science is technical subject. One must need to be very specific in writing answers like specific diagnosis, treatment and investigations.

Q. How much of internet-research / current affairs is necessary for this optional? OR can one simply rely on the books and be done with this subject?

Mostly relying on book/notes is enough. But Medical science is ever-changing subject, so one need to updated about recent advances to particular topic. But first complete primary course. Do not search for every recent update. And also not search for every topic for recent update. You will never be able to finish it. It is also important to retain the things we read as medical science is technical subject. One must need to be very specific in writing answers like specific diagnosis, treatment and investigations. Most of the student end up in reading vast material, but at the time of examination not able to remember, this will lead to counterproductive and end up in marks around 250s.

Q. How many months did it take to finish the core optional syllabus?

It depends how you have studied under graduation. But on an average it will take almost 6 to 8 months for beginners .

Q. How many days/ weeks before the exam, you started answer writing practice?

I did not practice answer writing. I just relied on revision and retaining content. I tried to frame question from particular topic based on previous year’s questions and read a topic like that. I also made framework of answer in my mind like what I am going to write if this questioned is asked.

Q. Do you maintain self-notes for revision of optional? In which format- electronic or paper?

I think Parikshit sir has made an excellent effort. I felt no need to make notes. Rather I spent time to revise it frequently.

Q. Your observation about the difficultly level of 2018 mains vs previous papers. And what precautions / rectifications are necessary in the future strategy for given optional subject?

I think difficult level has increased compared to last years. Many questions were applied based in paper 1 also. There are more difficult questions in compulsory questions from unconventional topics.

Before the interview

Q1. How did you prepare for the interview? – for college grad, hobbies, place of origin, current affairs at national and international level?

I read newspaper regularly. I revised current affairs for international relations from vision ias mains 365. I prepared theoretical aspects of hobby (badminton), place of origin from internet.

Q2. Did you attend any mock interviews by coaching classes? How were they similar / different than official interview? Do you believe it is necessary to attend such mock interviews?

  • This year I attended mock interview of KSG and GS Score for once only. Previous years I attended mock from SANKALP, DRISHTI , SPIPA (Mrunal sir) etc.
  • Interview are generally different from mock. In mocks there is generally question answer round while in actual interview it is mostly about discussion. (that is what I feel).
  • I believe that one should attend mock interviews but do not take them seriously. At every mock interview you will get different advise . It will confuse you a lot. So attend mock but not too many.

Q3. Where did you stay for the interview? (Hotel / friend’s home …) and what books/material did you bring for the ‘revision before interview’?


Q5. Describe the formal-dress worn by you in interview.

Formal coat and suit.

During the interview

Q1. Who was the chairman of you interview board?

Air Marshal Bhonsale Sir

Q2. How long was the interview?

Around 30 minutes

Q3. Why do you want to join civil service? Why don’t you continue in your graduation field? Social service can be done from private sector too.  [Since I don’t know whether they ask you this question or not. But if they had asked- what will be your reply?]

I was asked this question. I replied that civil service provide opportunity to work in diverse field also it provided social recognition.

Q4. Please narrate your entire interview- what questions did they ask and what did you reply and other pleasant or uncomfortable experiences during the interview. (Earlier some toppers only tell me their question but not their answer. I would appreciate if you give both Question + your original answers]


  1.  Tell me about  LaQshya: I replied LaQshya is about improving labour room infrastructure in hospital. He was not satisfied as my answer was technical. He provided me hint so I replied about improving attitude of staff towards patient and family and treating them with more compassion and empathy.
  2. Tell me about PCPNDT act and its purpose : this was fact based question, I replied with full form of the act and its purpose about preventing female feticide.

Member 1:

  1. You are doctor , then why join civil services? I replied that civil services provide opportunity to work in diverse field also provides social recognition
  2. There is impression that doctors are unsatisfied with government. How do you see this?  I donot remember how I have answered this exactly. The question was also very vague  and before question there was monologue. So I couldn’t understand question well and fumbled here.
  3. It was followed  by other questions on the same aspect

Member 2:

  1. The question was followed by monologue. The essence of the question was what do you understand by rural infrastructure? I replied that it means rural connectivicty, housing , toilets, irrigation, electricity etc
  2. Then it was about rural economy: I replied it is about agriculture and industries based on it. Labor work and self Help group. Here in this question I couldn’t make proper answer.
  3. Then there was discussion about covid and what would I do as DM? I informed about covid and replied that I would like to ensure public participation. As of now we have not confirmed treatment so we need to rely on preventing the disease. Government can not ensure everything, until and unless there is no public participation it is difficult to fight covid.

Member 3:

  1. He first told me provided some information regarding ISRO in india and then asked me to discuss about chandrayan 2 mission. He asked my point of view whether it was successful or faileure. I told him that it is both success and failure. He told me to elaborate failure. So I replied that it failed to land safely on surface of moon. He asked me about the technical term about it. I humbly said I don’t know about it. Then he replied that it is called soft landing. Then asked what is soft landing? I did not know in technical term so he asked to reply generally. I said it is called soft landing when while during decent satellite decelerate its speed and land in such way that its parts and functionality remain intact.
  2. Then he shifted to covid asked my view about tracing of contact and its relevance. He also aked me to what should be our priority to prevent it apart from social distancing and masks. I replied that our priority to develop vaccine and produce herd immunity. Then he asked abut herd immunity which I replied that it is stage in community where certain percentage of community infected and become immune to disease so that it does not transmit disease further. Follow up to this he discussed about percentage of herd immunity.

Member 4:

  1. He asked me about status of Gir Lion in Gujarat. I replied that there is increase in no.of  lions and our Honorable Prime minister has congratulated Govt of Gujarat. Then he asked about status of transfer of lions. I replied that there is talk about transferring lion in to kuno wild life sanctuary in Madhyapradesh. Then we discussed about supreme court judgment.  Then he asked whether there is genetic inbreeding in gir lions or not. To which I replied Yes. Then he asked about same thing about tiger and asked name of species of tiger. To which I replied I don’t know sir.

Chairman : what did you do SDM? I replied that primary duty was to manage covid. We established covid hospital and covid care center.

Interview was over here.

Disclaimer : answers provided here are refined as it is difficult to remember the exact answer. I also forgot many questions what they asked. Panel was co operative and it was mostly discussion based and wanted to know my opinion.

Q5. Was your interview on the expected lines of what you had prepared or did they ask you totally unexpected questions?  Was it a stress interview, did they ask any uncomfortable questions? If yes, how did you handle it?

It was on expected line.

Q6. Any side details about technicalities like “make sure you bring xyz document or do xyz thing, or you’ll face problem”?


CSE-2019 Marksheet

Q1. Please provide both prelim and final mark sheet:

<will be updated when released>

Subjects (Max. Marks) Marks secured Cutoff ranges

(PH to General)

Prelims P1-GS (200m) 122 Cutoff: 40-98
Prelims P2-Aptitude (200m) 75 Passing Marks: 67
Mains Subjects Marks secured  
Essay (250m) 119 Passing Marks: 25
GSM1 (250m) 103 Passing Marks: 25
GSM2 (250m) 100 Passing Marks: 25
GSM3 (250m) 092 Passing Marks: 25
GSM4 (250m) 141 Passing Marks: 25
Optional Paper-1 (250m) 146 Passing Marks: 25
Optional Paper-2 (250m) 138 Passing Marks: 25
Written Total (1750m) 839 Cutoff: 561-751
Interview (275m) 151 N/A
Final (2025m) 990 Cutoff: 708-961


Career Backup

Q1. If you were not selected, what was your career backup plan?


Q2. When were you going to “execute” that backup plan? (e.g. after __ number of failed attempts/ after I cross __ age/ after dad retires/ after girlfriend dumps me etc.)

It was my last attempt.

Struggle of a Senior player

Q1. How did you survive through this mental prison of UPSC  and what’re your words of wisdom to other senior players? If any specific inspirational incident(s), please share.

You should have a backup plan.

Q2. What went wrong in your previous attempt? What changes did you make in this current attempt?

In 2017 I did not attempt around 140 marks question in mains. I scored very low in 2017 and 2018 interview.

Struggle of Working professional

If you’re a working professional, share some tips on how to manage studies with job

Focus on specific reading. Focus on revision. Atleast  have a 4 hours a day for reading.

Corona Exam Cancellation

Q. Many candidates not preparing because of dilemmas over exam cancellation / postponement due to Corona. What is your advice to them?

Prepare for exam. There is no other option if you are serious candidate.

Message to Failed Candidates

Q. Many hardworking candidates have failed in Mains/Interview of CSE-2019. They’re feeling cynical, hopeless and depressed- what is your message to them?

Treat exam as process not as an end. Many who failed succeeded in their next attempt. I cleared it on 4th attempt and 3rd interview. Last time I missed the list just by 1 mark. It is about perseverance. You have worked hard so far, so let’s have one more attempt and keep faith in yourself.

Credit: Friends/family

Q. Behind every topper are many people who stood by during those uncertain times when he/she was merely an ‘aspirant’. Would you like to tell the world, who were those people in your case? Any specific incidence that you would like to share with the readers?

  • I started preparation after my marriage and having a kid. So when I started preparation I was father to a kid. In such situation my wife’s support is very crucial. Without her support I wouldn’t have even appeared in examination. She prepared for UPSC once and couldn’t clear it. So she knows the path of UPSC. I am working as GAS officer I was transferred away from home. So she had a double duty as father and mother. She is also working in ISRO and she had to manage her work also. I even can not think how she had managed all these things without me while I was working and busy in preparation. Even when I was at home I was busy reading for UPSC. She took all the responsibilities and her dedication paid off.
  • My mother and my father raised me in a very tough situation. They made me capable enough to appear for the examination. Whatever I am today is because of them. Without them I would not have ever got admission in to medical. Even becoming doctor was a distance dream. I am happy that I could live up to their dreams. Their happiness on the day of result says everything. They made me believe that no amount of hurdles can prevent us from making and effort irrespective of result.

BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Q. You are well aware of the sacred rule of conducting toppers interview- the last questions must be about self-marketing. So, Did you use Mrunal.org for your preparation and if yes, how did it help you?  And you can even reply “No”. I’ll still publish your answer without tempering.  

Yes, I’ve extensively used this website and its youtube lectures, as mentioned in my study resources tables. I also benefited from Mrunal sir’s mock interviews at SPIPA, Ahmedabad.

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