Its a great feeling to share when one of our students cracks UPSC with such a good rank. Nitesh was a very sincere follower of our platform and had been very consistently following TLP and other initiatives.
And what better if one achieves a great rank in his last attempt. This proves that consistency and patience play a vital role in ones success.
Read it from the man himself!
My name is Nitesh Pandey. I have done my Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras and completed it in 2008. I have been working in the private sector in solar power for the past few years. Being from the family of an IAS officer, it's been my childhood dream to be a civil servant.
I have been trying to crack civil services for past few years. Finally in my last attempt, I have secured a rank of 141. This was the first attempt in which I gave interview. My optional is psychology.
It has been a long, grueling journey with lots of hard work, pain, failures and finally success and joy.
Mistakes made in earlier attempt
- I tried to cover too many things for various topics. The preparation was inefficient and little bit disorganized. This took a toll on my revision and somewhere in order to cover so much, I missed most crucial aspects of an issue, what some call as "bulls eye".
- I didn't give adequate attention to answer writing.
- Essay was a weak area. It requires practise which I didn't do.
Things which I did differently in this attempt
I had focussed on making concise notes especially for very important topics, even if this was not possible I would at least mark important words or phrases(bulls eye). It is important that in each answer we do mention the core of the question and for that being thorough with the "bulls eye" of each topic is important.
I had written lots of answers by joining test series and writing on iasbaba.
An important aspect of my strategy for answer writing and covering current affairs has been relying on multiple sources. As a result, there is constant revision and also one comes to know and feel what is the most important topic as these get repeated in multiple sources. However, this is only advisable if one has enough time or has some base because of previous attempts.
I had practised over ten essays before mains.
Role of iasbaba
IASbaba is a complete package. I had referred to its daily news analysis and gist of pib and Rajya Sabha videos extensively. This helped in covering the most important topics of current affairs more comprehensively.
For writing practise, the Think Learn and Perform (TLP) proved to be a great boon. It consists of quality questions and regularly practising them and then peer review helped me in improving my answer writing skills. Further even when I was not able to answer the questions, I would at least refer to the mock solutions given by iasbaba. These solutions would give a 360 degree view of the question and this would help me in refining my knowledge base. In the mains GS papers this year, few questions had direct linkage to TLP questions.
For prelims, I religiously followed 60 day plan and daily quizzes given by iasbaba and this helped in systematically revising the syllabus. Here again, many questions asked in prelims were linked to iasbaba questions.
Though I didn't join the ILP programmed but I did refer to economics notes given under ILP (I borrowed it from a friend of mine) and I must say the quality of material was superb. Everything required in order to cover a topic was there in the notes and it was presented in very interactive factor making the material very interesting. The ILP would especially be helpful for aspirants who have just started preparing for the exam, as everything required for GS is provided in it and that too in a very easy, simple understandable manner. Writing from my experience I can say that, in initial years covering such a vast syllabus of GS from a variety of sources can prove to be a big challenge as it can be overwhelming, confusing and disorganized and still all the handwork may turn not yield desired results.
ILP saves time, energy and for those preparing from small towns, it provides quality material in a cost effective manner which can be accessed from the comfort of one's home.
Some words of advice
The process of preparation for civil services can be very long, difficult, painful for many. So before entering the journey, please be prepared to do real hard work, have lots of courage, perseverance and patience. One should be totally dedicated to the goal and it is also necessary the aspirants carry out smart, organized studies. These days so much material is available on the internet and in the Delhi and so many suggestions of "how to succeed in IAS" that it becomes incumbent on the aspirants to be very discerning, intelligent about what to do. They should remember there is no "one size fits all" strategy and each aspirant should evolve their own way of doing things.