The Choice of Optional Subjects
Q7. After a person decides to appear in civil service exam, the first big obstacle is "Choice of optional subjects". What factors did you consider before selecting your optional?
In my case as I have a background in Economics so that was a natural choice and for my second optional my keen interest in Anthropology was the sole reason for selecting it as my second optional
Q. People initially prepare with much enthusiasm but then a boredom phase comes - they don't even find the motivation to read the daily newspapers, let alone studying the books.
Sometimes they get diverted because of external factors e.g. heavy workload in office, family responsibilities and so on. How did you sustain the study-momentum throughout the year?
I prepared a balanced strategy at the very beginning of preparation. I roughly made a mental preparation plan and ensured on a daily basis that I am following it thoroughly.
Any person who is preparing for CSE faces the frequent bouts of enthusiasm and boredom. Even I faced it especially in the evening hours.
When I was bored or lacked enthusiasm ,I took a break..saw TV ,went on Facebook etc-did anything that diverted my mind but only for max 10 mins.
After that I reminded myself of my dreams and was back on my study table.
On an average, How many hours did you study per day? How many months did it take you to complete the core syllabus of GS and optional subjects?
I studied till the time I was able to concentrate..roughly 8-10 hrs daily and I was preparing for CSE since 2009 December for my first attempt in 2010(AIR Rank-640).
However I feel 1 year of intensive study is sufficient.
How did you use computer and internet for your exam-preparation?
Since I did my preparation from home (ranchi) Internet was the only source of information and guidance for me. I used internet for keeping myself updated on the front of the news and world affairs,for updating myself on recent developments in the field of economics and anthropology and also for Science and Tech portion.
- How did you prepare yourself for the essay?
- Which Essay did you write in Mains-2011?
- What were your keypoints in that essay?
- How many marks did you get in that essay?
I did not do anything special for Essay.I used to read the editorials of newspapers seriously and in case I found some interesting quote etc I noted them down. I also made a tentative list of essay topics and practiced writing on one of it.
I attempted the essay on the topic "creation of small states and its implications".
I tried to keep my language very simple. I also ensured that my essay is very comprehensive. I got 100 marks in essay.
Q. Serious players get mentally shattered and depressed after failure in competitive exams. How did you cope up with failures and rose from the ashes again? What had gone wrong in your previous attempts? How did you fix those issues in your 2011's attempt?
Yes, I did went in depression after my first attempt's result in 2010(though I got AIR 640 then) .Maybe I had more expectations. But thanks to my parents who helped me to regain back my senses .In my first attempt paucity of time and associated superficiality in my preparation was a major problem.In this attempt ,I tried to rectify this.
Many aspirants fear the interview, thinking that "my profile is not good because
- I've low marks in SSC/HSC/College,
- I don't have any extra-curricular certificates,
- I don't have work experience,
- I graduated from some unknown college,
- I'm from non-English medium and so on…"
So, How important or relevant is the profile of a candidate during interview?
I believe CSE interview is solely "PERSONALITY TEST" and as it is CSE is a great leveler where a post doctoral is competing with a simple bachelor's degree holder.So one's profile doesn't play a much important.In stead its You and your dedication that matters. As far as I am concerned ,I would accept that I had a "so called relatively better profile" but with my two years of CSE interview experience .i can say that at the end of the day ..its your personality test..that's it.Varied medium people should never feel that they are at any disadvantage.If you are confident about what you are and can be original in the interview room …you are bound to succeed.
Q. In case you had not cleared the Union Public Service Commission exam, what was your career/future backup plan?
I would definitely be disheartened. However, in case if things would have gone in different direction than I had expected, I would have moved towards a career in academics.
Family and Friends
My elder brother and sis –in-law were always there for that much needed "confidence boost" ,my friends who were there as my "vent for frustration" and most importantly some of my professors /teachers who were my true friend,philosopher and guide.
One instance , I would like to share….usually by the night , I was so drained out that I did not had the strength to read out loud (and I would admit I am in the habit of reading out loud)my GS and Anthropology materials. At that point in time , my mom would just read them for me and I used to hear them while laying down.At the end of a chapter, I used to summarize it and that was how I covered some portions!!!!In the evenings , when any aspirant is facing that bout of frustration, my dad would take me to a close-by ice-cream shop for that much needed "Ice-cream dose"…these are small instances but would like to say these instances mattered a lot !
Your Study plan
CSAT (Paper I) General studies
CSAT (Paper II) Aptitude
Compulsory Language papers
General Studies paper I
General Studies paper 2
Optional Subject #1 and #2
For both my optional I emphasized on making my concepts very clear and re-read the textbooks. I read all of these books, different books cater to different portions of the syllabus so i have just enumerated them
For Paper 1
For growth and development i followed Mishra and Puri/there is another book by lekhi on it(it covers the syllabus so its bit handy)/ debraj Ray-development economics[/URL] an extensive use of internet for some new developments in same
- The comprehensive list of Anthropology books i followed was
Extensive use of internet for keeping myself updated about any new anthropological development.
For my interview ,I brushed up every small aspect of my background,my home state,my optional etc(all the information furnished by me in DAF).
I was in Vijay Singh Sir's Board.Interview board was very cordial and cooperative. Questions were mixture of World economics+my hobbies+world affairs+some decision making questions and some questions on my home state ,Jharkhand
CIVIL SERVICES (MAIN) EXAMINATION, 2011
Q. What is your message to the aspirants?
Dream a dream and make a determined effort for that….you will surely succeed. Never get disheartened. CSE preparation is a beautiful and life changing experience. Live it and you will enjoy and relish it forever. All the very best for all your endeavors.
Read more: http://www.indianofficer.com/forums/content/toppers-interview-harshika-singh-air-8-cse-2011-without-coaching-economics-anthro-shares-her-journey-booklist-studyplan-69/#ixzz28Y43ogBg