Topper's Interview

Rishita Gupta, Rank 18, CSE 2018, 1st Attempt, Pub Ad Optional, IAS Toppers Strategy


“FIRST ATTEMPT: Public Administration Optional”

What’s my motivation behind becoming a Civil Servant?                                        

  • I cleared the exam in my first attempt because of my dedication and hard work.
  • I decided to give only one attempt and will give my 100 percent in it.
  • Exam is more about our attitude to be an Administrator, how aware we are about our surrounding instead of which coaching and which books to read.

How did I approach the preparation?

  • First step is the UPSC Syllabus Also Previous Year Questions are very helpful.
  • My whole aim was to make concepts easier and clear for me. I did this for one year and strengthened by Fundamentals through NCERTS, help from teachers and integration of current Affairs after daily reading from News Papers.
  • One of the most difficult and primary task is to simplify the process and strategy.
  • I referred common books for General Studies.

How did I make study notes and revise?

  • I divided the syllabus into Topics.
  • I ensured to make notes.
  • For Current affairs – 10 Topics in each section which are very important in the previous year.
  • I read and made notes only of what I can revise in the future.
  • It helped in REVISION. Revision is the most important thing as the syllabus is very humongous.

How important is Answer Writing in GS?

  • Answer Writing is very important because it helps in getting better marks in MAINS
  • I made a habit of practicing answer writing every day after Prelims.
  • Be very Precise and do not compromise on Quality.
  • I regularly collected current affairs from News Paper and integrated them with the syllabus.
  • To view my answer copies please click on the

What was my approach for Public Administration Optional?

  • Don’t be scared about the subject based on rumours.
  • First thing is to simplify the syllabus in the most simple and most comprehensive manner.
  • Link theories in paper 1 with paper 2
  • Don’t try the generic approach as General Studies because it is an optional subject and requires specific approach to understand the theories and subjects.

Why TEST SERIES is important for Prelims as well as Mains?

  • It helps a lot in assessing your preparation. I made a habit of attempting 100 questions for Prelims a day continuously for 5 months starting from January.
  • For Mains, most important pillar of preparation is ANSWER WRITING.
  • Do as much answer writing as you can possibly.
  • Attempt Previous Year questions.
  • Read news from the perspective of Public Administration optional also.
  • Write at least 2 questions of Pub Ad per day after Prelims.
  • Do not lose on your quality in Mains exam. Ensure that your quality does not get down while you are writing answers.

What’s my strategy for Interview?

  • From the very first day, try to prepare yourself for the interview.
  • Why I have to do it? What’s my life journey?

GS SCORE extends heartiest congratulations to Rishita on her great achievement and we are gratified to have been a part of her journey to Success (Rank 18)  in CSE 2018.

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