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IAS Toppers Interview: Vakul Jindal Rank 174

  • Categories
    CSE 2015
  • Published
    06th Jun, 2016
Name Vakul Jindal
Rank in CSE 2015 174
Total Attempts in CSE 3
Optional Subject Physics
Medium English



Class 10 percentage of marks 95
 Class 12Percentage of marks 90.6
Graduation: College and marks B.Tech.(Computer Science)(IIT Delhi)


Post graduation: College and marks N.A.
Any other course


IAS Score: What were the basic mantras of your success?

Vakul Jindal: Civil services is an exam which requires hard work and patience above everything else. It is a process which teaches a person many things. I enjoyed the process because it gives you an opportunity to learn so many things which you otherwise won’t and which make you a better person.


IAS Score: What were your strategies for the lengthy syllabus of General Studies for both Prelims and Mains?

Vakul Jindal: I didn’t do any special preparation for Prelims. I think the preparation for Mains takes care of Prelims. There are some topics like Polity and History which form a large part of GS paper in Prelims in which there are many things like dates, article nos., amendments etc. which can be revised in the last few weeks before prelims which can increase your score.

For mains, it is very important to focus on the optional, and particularly in science optional (physics in my case) because the syllabus is too lengthy. In my opinion, the return on efforts is much more in optional than GS.

Of course, one has to cover the syllabus of GS but one needs to know the amount of time needed to be devoted to every topic. Because time is always limited and you have to cover everything reasonably well. The time to be devoted to each topic depends on the individual and I can’t prescribe any fixed formulae.

Paper 1 has the most lengthy syllabus, so it has to be given more time for static part. For paper 2 and 3, once I covered the basics, the newspapers kept me updated. Most of the questions in paper 2 and 3 are related to current affairs and are analysis based, newspapers were the most important for them.

Paper 4 can give very good returns for your efforts, so it is advisable to give sufficient attention to this paper.


IAS Score: Did you integrate your Prelims or Mains preparation or was it separate in the changing scenario?

Vakul Jindal: I didn’t do any separate preparation for Prelims, so it was integrated in my case.


GS Mains Preparation (Summary)

Paper Study Material/Guidance Current Issues Source Answer Writing Practice
GS Paper 1 NCERT, Bipin Chandra, Vajiram notes, Synergy and Vision Test Series
GS Paper 2 Laxmikant, Newspaper, Notes of Vision and Vajiram
GS Paper 3 Newspaper, NCERT, Notes of Vajiram
GS Paper 4 Ethics Online Class at GS Score GS Score Ethics Test Series


IAS Score: How did your prepare for essay.

Vakul Jindal: There is no separate preparation required for essay in terms of content. But I joined GS Score essay test series for Essay which helped me a lot in terms of writing style and presentation. Manoj Jha sir has been a big help in my preparation.


IAS Score: Did you adopt any specific strategy for GS Paper 4?

Vakul Jindal: I think doing answer writing and case studies is the best strategy for paper 4


IAS Score: What were the sources of information for general reading? How did you come to know that which sources of reading materials are standard?

Vakul Jindal: I got to know the standard sources from the successful aspirants, seniors and people preparing for the exam.


IAS Score:  What is your advice on notes-making for other aspirants?

Vakul Jindal: Every person has their own way of studying. I didn’t make notes as I personally don’t find them very helpful. It is a personal choice.


IAS Score: How did you manage your time during the preparation?

Vakul Jindal: I was preparing full time for the Mains as I hadn’t joined IRPS till mains in which I got selected last year. But I made sure that I find some time for some exercise and relaxation always.


IAS Score: What was your style (paragraph or point format) Of writing in the exam? How was it distinct from the general writing style? How did you develop this writing style?

Vakul Jindal: I wrote in a mix of paragraphs and points. I developed this style keeping in mind the advice of successful aspirants and teachers and the need to communicate in a limited space and time.


IAS Score: So much focus is being given to Test Series, both for Prelims and Mains, in your opinion how useful are they, in the course of a preparation process? Which Test Series did you join and how useful did you find it to be?

Vakul Jindal: I think the Test Series are very important in the process as they help you in developing the ability to express your knowledge and ideas in the given space and time. I joined vision and synergy test series for GS. GS Score’s test series for ethics and essay.


IAS Score: Civil Services Exam process is quite strenuous. It requires long hours of constant study. How did you maintain your tempo and what did you do to break the monotony of preparation?

Vakul Jindal: It is very important to maintain your motivation and drive in the process. It was the prospect of making a difference in the lives of people and the fact that I had left a very lucrative career in Computer Science that kept me going.

I usually broke the monotony by going out, watching movies etc.


IAS Score: The trend suggests that professionals or working people are more successful in this exam. Does this exam prove difficult for Humanities and Social Science background candidates?

Vakul Jindal: This exam is not difficult for Humanities and Social Science students and there are many examples of successful candidates from these fields.


IAS Score: Which sources you referred to prepare for Contemporary Issues.

Vakul Jindal: Newspapers were the main source to prepare for contemporary and current issues.


IAS Score: Given the recent boom in online initiatives to support an aspirant, which were the platforms that you find useful enough during your course of preparation. Please list the sites.

Vakul Jindal: I occasionally referred to mrunal.org and insightsonindia.com


IAS Score: What is your advice to the candidates who is still in the process of preparing for this examination?

Vakul Jindal: I would advise them to work hard and give it their best. Try to be calm and patient. This exam is not the end of the world. There are many other opportunities in life which come in a person’s life. Being calm will only enhance their performance.


Vakul Jindal Mark sheet

Paper Year 2015
Prelims 158.66, 186.51
Essay (Paper 1)  121
GS 1 (Paper 2)  88
GS 2 (Paper 3)  76
GS 3 (Paper 4)  94
GS 4 (Paper 5)  71
Optional 1 (Paper 6)    137
Optional 2 (Paper 7)    131
Written Total   718
Personality Test   195
Total Score   913

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