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UPSC CSE 2019 preparation starting from today ?

Before you disregard the question calling it foolish and label me yet another troll , at-least go through this.

I was occupied with my job as a trader at a proprietary trading firm (which I couldn't name obviously * reason in the end) till around second week of March 2019, when one night I started seriously thinking about my career choices. It dawned upon me that I was slogging for nothing, and the only motivation that the job gave me was to make more money as compared to the day before. I would be lying if I say I hate money, but the whole idea to ascend the earning-more-everyday curve felt way too alien to me, suddenly. I would also be lying if I say that this demotivation in the job was sudden, but I suppose the reason I remember this very peculiarly and writing about it here is pretty self evident.

To cut short, I started looking for career ideas which precisely did two things. One, they filled this huge void of providing a meaning to my otherwise very self-centered life. And second, give me some sense of great satisfaction (the materialistic world of finance doesn't provide an iota of contentment, except meritocratic encouragement). You might have guessed it already that the answer which I got from most people (mom, dad, dad's friend, sister, my friends etc almost everyone) was the three letter acronym. In fact, IAS was so statistically significant that I started seriously considering that and once I exhaustively went through most of the literature (haha! dearth of a suitable word) about the service I could find on the internet, I was mesmerised. Earlier, I just had a foggy idea of the service, which might have as well encouraged that demotivation in my regular job, I suppose. Actually I had coincidentally been curious about the service since the starting of this year (maybe time spent on quora would have amounted to it since I started following UPSC there, also it was some video I guess which forced me into creating account on this forum around January). January and February are typically busy months considering trading, so kinda forgot about this completely. It was only the above mentioned incident which inspired me to take the plunge and found the impetus of seriously considering to prepare only after I talked to my parents about it. I cursed myself to never even toy with the idea of this snacc (context : Hasan Minhaj) service before.

Clueless about the form filling dates (never serious about this exam, didn't even remotely consider it until now), I checked, and found out I was just 3 days from utmost contrition. I was so relieved that I didn't have to wait another year for this, and filled the form a day later on 16 March. Also opted for the forest service exam, while I was at it. Didn't interest me as much, but decided to give it a shot anyway. It is only now, that I realize that the prelims cutoff for IFoS treads on a much higher elevation than the CSE. From 16 to today i.e. 29, I have been delving deep on what works and gaining familiarity with the exam.

So, is it possible ? I don't want to put more than a year into this, (today to CSE 2019 interview = roughly an year) and also, I believe I could do it.
The question primarily aims at finding equivalents of this feat earlier. Has anyone been able to become an IAS in this short a time frame ? The minimum I could find was 4 months before prelims, the plan I am already two months late for, but am pretty sure, the community would know someone who has been able to do it in two months before prelims, and slightly less than six months before Mains.

Why I believe I could do it ?
1. Maths optional -> Have been a math-nerd my entire life, and the optional question papers don't look too tough at first sight. They sure need practice, but I am sure, optional won't be a problem.
2. Have been a generally aware person my entire life. Have read more than around 500 novels (most of them self improvement (don't laugh !) and non-fiction).
3. Coming from a finance background, around 25% of Economics is covered. I could be highly mistaken, but the sense I got while going through the previous years questions was that 1 in 4(min) or 5(max) questions wanted some detail I either knew, or knew where to seek out.
4. Energy level and a fresh approach, obviously more than the ones that have been preparing for months already
5. Self belief, loads of it

Why I believe I couldn't ?
1. Everything except Maths (optional) and 25 % of Economics needs to be completed.
2. Fear of failure which leads to point 3
3. Procrastination and dawdling
4. Lack of proper guidance (disregard this mostly, I don't find this to be that big a handicap)
5. Time, very very scarce

Thanks for being patient. Best wishes to all of you who are preparing. I hope I could get suggestions of people cracking this exam considering preparations one months before prelims, let alone two.


• - couldn't name my trading firm since I am planning to leave the job in a week's time, legally bound to not advertise my resignation on public forums. Also, for anonymity purposes.
«1

Comments

  • The biggest problem that any fresher faces when he/she starts preparing is not the lack of time but the lack of clarity about the set of resources that one needs confine himself/herself to. This was the problem I faced when i started to prepare.

    If you have made up your mind to clear prelims this year, then stop looking for answers from outside because they will not help you. I can bet that 90% of the comments after mine will be about skipping this year's attempt and it's a practical advice too.

    But if you want to do something and surprise yourself then you just need to blindly do the following. Just do it and give the exam, dont think about the results because outcome is a result of process and not an independent event. So, concentrate on executing the process.

    1. Use this booklist, its my personal booklist. You wont need anything else. Because you are starting late, you may/should skip these books from the booklist : Ramesh Singh and Majid Hussain. But other books are a must. These are for static portion.

    2. If you are a voracious reader, you definitely have an advantage. If you can cover about 200-250 pages per day, you can finish the above booklist in roughly 40 days.

    3. Use vision IAS monthly magazines for current affairs. Jan 2018 to March 2019. Also there are some compilations (Environment, organisations etc) of Ias4sure, just go through them too. They're really good and you can bank upon them. Just follow this and forget everything else because you have limited time.

    4. Number of revisions will ultimately decide your performance in the prelims. So when you are reading, make sure you highlight important stuff (facts + concepts). At least 3 to 5 revisions are required after your 1st iteration (40 days).

    5. Solve previous year prelims papers (last 20 years) and learn the art of elimination.Do not make the mistake of just blindly skipping the question if you dont know about the question. You can use common sense and your pre-existing knowledge to eliminate options and arrive at an answer, the competition is high and this is the only way to be above the cut-off. Tip: When eliminating the options, think like the question paper setter. Why does he have that particular statement or a specific word in that place, sometimes things are too obvious to arrive at an answer.

    6. Dont go around buying test series and mugging the solutions. That wont help you in this and future attempts. Just stick to standard books in the above booklist, highlight them, revise and solve previous year papers. This is the way you can give your best shot for this years prelims.

    All the best.
  • edited March 29
    I couldn't thank you enough, mate.
    I will make sure I justify your efforts of typing those gems of suggestions.

    Thank you ! Best wishes if you are appearing too.

    Also, is prelims preparation coincident with Mains ? Should I solely focus on Prelims these two months ? Or should I organise my prelims preparation in a way that helps Mains ?
    I am right now apprehensive of covering Mains minus Prelims oriented stuff, and want to exclusively focus on Prelims, arising out of the sense I get that Prelims is in a way tougher (relative to Mains) for someone who hasn't thought of preparing yet. Not saying I would solely focus on facts, but I would leave topics that are specifically in Mains syllabus and not in Prelims, like, for example, World History.
  • I couldn't thank you enough, mate.
    I will make sure I justify your efforts of typing those gems of suggestions.

    Thank you ! Best wishes if you are appearing too.

    Also, is prelims preparation coincident with Mains ? Should I solely focus on Prelims these two months ? Or should I organise my prelims preparation in a way that helps Mains ?
    I am right now apprehensive of covering Mains minus Prelims oriented stuff, and want to exclusively focus on Prelims, arising out of the sense I get that Prelims is in a way tougher (relative to Mains) for someone who hasn't thought of preparing yet. Not saying I would solely focus on facts, but I would leave topics that are specifically in Mains syllabus and not in Prelims, like, for example, World History.

    I would humbly suggest you to focus only on prelims at the moment. It's needs a lot of effort. Also, the books you study for prelims will cover about 60% of the syllabus for gs mains. So you will be on track if you focus on mains right after prelims.
  • @thelatecomer pizza is a tested and experienced member. If he believes that its doable, then there is a chance.
    PSIR
  • Sowmya sharma started in Feb. All the best
    2017,2018 : P+M.
    Anthropology
  • few things regarding your post -
    1. being aware and reading non fictions may not help at all. even if you've 'read' all the required books throughout your life, it will not matter until you consolidate, revise & practice.
      2. if you continue to procrastinate in this situation - your 'loads of self belief' won't matter a bit. it will be more strategic, if you first try to be disciplined. otherwise, the whole process will be futile.
      3. regarding your timeline - it is very much unlikely for you to get through this examination considering that your case is different than other successful aspirants - keeping in mind that you are absolutely beginner & haven't acquired the clear picture & strategy yet. others who started preparing in January - February, were equipped with specific period wise target along with static resource-list.
      4. but reality can be fictitious than a novel. very low probability & non existing examples - have been defied for ages.
      5. you may clear prelims - with extreme hard work & cramming the syllabus, but mains is separate game. you will get 3 months to prepare for 4 gs papers, 1 essay paper & 2 optional papers along with answer writing practice. information without appropriate presentation doesn't bear marks. if you are not in practice of writing subjective answers - you have to improve your writing speed too. all these from the scratch in 3.5 months- a gigantic workload indeed
      6. knowing some detail - even for every questions will not bring enough luck. more or less every aspirant is able to do so. presenting the core idea with related information & presentation is the basic requirement.
      7. in this situation, if you are not lottery winning lucky - it is unlikely to crack this examination. as you are not "willing" to spend more than one year - it will be more ground to reality if you aspire for next year. because, the requirement doesn't care about one's will.

      Sorry if you were expecting motivation. But again, every practicality can be defied.
      even for that, factors should be aligned with themselves. for example - one can not work even moderately hard if (s)he is procrastinating.
  • edited March 30
    Phagocyte said:

    Sowmya sharma started in Feb. All the best

    A law graduate that too from one of the finest college....optional aur Puri polity to Bhai prepared hi thi inki....toh wo Feb m start ki thi ye baat halki si fit nhi baithti Bhai....offend mat hona please...just shared my thoughts on this.
    :)
  • edited March 30

    few things regarding your post -

    1. being aware and reading non fictions may not help at all. even if you've 'read' all the required books throughout your life, it will not matter until you consolidate, revise & practice.
      2. if you continue to procrastinate in this situation - your 'loads of self belief' won't matter a bit. it will be more strategic, if you first try to be disciplined. otherwise, the whole process will be futile.
      3. regarding your timeline - it is very much unlikely for you to get through this examination considering that your case is different than other successful aspirants - keeping in mind that you are absolutely beginner & haven't acquired the clear picture & strategy yet. others who started preparing in January - February, were equipped with specific period wise target along with static resource-list.
      4. but reality can be fictitious than a novel. very low probability & non existing examples - have been defied for ages.
      5. you may clear prelims - with extreme hard work & cramming the syllabus, but mains is separate game. you will get 3 months to prepare for 4 gs papers, 1 essay paper & 2 optional papers along with answer writing practice. information without appropriate presentation doesn't bear marks. if you are not in practice of writing subjective answers - you have to improve your writing speed too. all these from the scratch in 3.5 months- a gigantic workload indeed
      6. knowing some detail - even for every questions will not bring enough luck. more or less every aspirant is able to do so. presenting the core idea with related information & presentation is the basic requirement.
      7. in this situation, if you are not lottery winning lucky - it is unlikely to crack this examination. as you are not "willing" to spend more than one year - it will be more ground to reality if you aspire for next year. because, the requirement doesn't care about one's will.

      Sorry if you were expecting motivation. But again, every practicality can be defied.
      even for that, factors should be aligned with themselves. for example - one can not work even moderately hard if (s)he is procrastinating.
    +1
    realistic reply!!
    :)
  • ekdam falatu baat hai.... jo bhi sabhi bol rahe hain.... aur us bechare ko kuan me kudne ke liye protsahit kar rahe hain...

    jiska bhi udaharan diya ja raha hai... wo sabhi ke paas self-confidence tha issiliye unhone ye mushkil kaam kar liya... sare kathnaiyon ko paar kar ke...

    par iss inssan ke paas self-confidence hi nahi hai... yani khana pakane ke liye gas hi nahi hai ...
  • ClickHere said:

    ekdam falatu baat hai.... jo bhi sabhi bol rahe hain.... aur us bechare ko kuan me kudne ke liye protsahit kar rahe hain...

    jiska bhi udaharan diya ja raha hai... wo sabhi ke paas self-confidence tha issiliye unhone ye mushkil kaam kar liya... sare kathnaiyon ko paar kar ke...

    par iss inssan ke paas self-confidence hi nahi hai... yani khana pakane ke liye gas hi nahi hai ...

    let us agree to disagree. confidence can be a variable, but not a requirement. if this aspirant doesn't have the confidence right now - it doesn't mean that (s)he will never have the confidence.
    it is a perfectly normal for a beginner to be afraid / confused. in contrast, if someone is always hyper confident - even before participating in the process, it generally smells fishy.
  • edited March 30
    My two cents -

    Quite unrealistic target if you don't have an ultra strong grip over your optional, proper guidance, very strong basics, tier 1 college background, been reading newspaper for years, wonderful articulation and insane level of luck.

    It doesn't matter what anyone did before. This is a very individualized process based on your strengths and weaknesses. Don't let the outliers fool you into thinking that is the average. There were many underlying factors that made things work for them. You don't know them personally to actually understand, beyond what they said on media platforms. The information is incomplete at best.

    If you are serious, please give the exam the time it needs. Don't live under this notion of under 1 year. What if it doesn't work this time at some stage? Will you give up so easily?

    Apologies for sounding like negative Nancy.
  • ClickHere said:

    ekdam falatu baat hai.... jo bhi sabhi bol rahe hain.... aur us bechare ko kuan me kudne ke liye protsahit kar rahe hain...

    jiska bhi udaharan diya ja raha hai... wo sabhi ke paas self-confidence tha issiliye unhone ye mushkil kaam kar liya... sare kathnaiyon ko paar kar ke...

    par iss inssan ke paas self-confidence hi nahi hai... yani khana pakane ke liye gas hi nahi hai ...

    let us agree to disagree. confidence can be a variable, but not a requirement. if this aspirant doesn't have the confidence right now - it doesn't mean that (s)he will never have the confidence.
    it is a perfectly normal for a beginner to be afraid / confused. in contrast, if someone is always hyper confident - even before participating in the process, it generally smells fishy.
    :)
  • Uske pass 6 attempts h..agar vo gen h n 32 se kam h..mast backup option hai..toda padh k try krne me luck uska loss hai b tp kya..fayda hi hai agar vo isi exam ko hi sabkuch na maan le
  • Thanks everyone for taking out the time to comment !

    If I am not wrong, Saumya mam started in February, while prelims exam was around mid June, so roughly 4 months, I wanted to know about someone who had just two months before Prelims. Just to know that it's doable, although @pizzza 's suggestions above already made me realise that it is. Thanks anyways.
  • edited March 31

    Thanks everyone for taking out the time to comment !

    If I am not wrong, Saumya mam started in February, while prelims exam was around mid June, so roughly 4 months, I wanted to know about someone who had just two months before Prelims. Just to know that it's doable, although @pizzza 's suggestions above already made me realise that it is. Thanks anyways.

    Bro,people like Saumya ma'm and all are too good too believe. I have Rank under 100 from my Town,she claims she studied for 10 months,but In reality,she has been staying at delhi for last 4 years,She claimed she is 24,but in reality she was 27,she claimed she belonged to LWE affected region(indeed she was born there)but she from 5th schooled and did her engg from one of the premier institutes.So please,dont fall over the foot steps,while mimicing them.
    I am in this preparation journey from over 3 years now,and Yes,I do agree people make it soon,but 9 months,I mean c'mon,just look at the syllabus once!! Need not to say anything else..
    Prelims=1 ,Mains= 1, Interview=0
    Essay-141 , GS-396 , PSIR Optional.
    Ex-Geography.
  • I met a guy in my gym. He is a St. Stephens Graduate. He has cleared C.A with an All India Rank, Cleared all the levels of CFA in his first attempt, has done his M.B.A from IIM-Calcutta, worked in Morgan Stanley, New York for 3 years.

    He apparently came to India because his parents suggested him to appear for the civil services at least once in life, and being an over-achiever, he was very much confident of clearing it in his first attempt.

    Even I expected the same, after hearing his credentials.

    But, this year, he will appear for the third time. He started his journey, thinking that he is smart and can go about it very easily but there are some exams in India where your determination and consistency matters more than your smartness.

    He wasn’t able to clear Prelims in his two previous attempts.

    Artika Shukla, who was All India Rank-4 in CSE ( 15 ) said once: “Unless or until you bow down in front of this exam, you ain’t gonna pass through.”

    It’s the truth.

    This exam doesn’t justify one’s smartness. This exam justifies one’s patience.

    Thanks for reading.

    Source : quora
  • yes you can !!
    UPSC need highly motivated, young, smart, individuals like you. Dont let the deadwoods on this thread fool you out of it , they're just jealous of your enthusiasm and high spirit.

    Go! Go! Go!
    lock stock and barrel!!!


  • edited March 31
    @latecomer
    1st go find sm1 who is their to guide you at every corner about where to put ur nest step ...and you just have to study ... if its not possible then bhul jao... YAHI SACH HAI...
    manana hai to maano varna yahin milna pre ke baad...if u clear this time without a thorough guidance...

    jo tumko chane ke jhaar par chadha rahe hain ... lol... u r better judge....
    you have to qualify among around 3000 seats .... just calculate

    i feel really sad when senior people never tell u the actual nuances...
  • Thanks everyone for taking out the time to comment !

    If I am not wrong, Saumya mam started in February, while prelims exam was around mid June, so roughly 4 months, I wanted to know about someone who had just two months before Prelims. Just to know that it's doable, although @pizzza 's suggestions above already made me realise that it is. Thanks anyways.

    Bhai sowmya ma'am ka optional + polity , preparation start krne see pehle hi tyar tha.

    Baki try krle, 3 June ko btana ki yaha k log galat the Kya.
    ATB !!
    :)
  • _k_ said:

    yes you can !!
    UPSC need highly motivated, young, smart, individuals like you. Dont let the deadwoods on this thread fool you out of it , they're just jealous of your enthusiasm and high spirit.

    Go! Go! Go!
    lock stock and barrel!!!


    deadwoods? so much insights, so much wow!
  • edited April 1
    Vagarant said:

    Phagocyte said:

    Sowmya sharma started in Feb. All the best

    A law graduate that too from one of the finest college....optional aur Puri polity to Bhai prepared hi thi inki....toh wo Feb m start ki thi ye baat halki si fit nhi baithti Bhai....offend mat hona please...just shared my thoughts on this.
    Personally i don't think it's possible. I felt that the person who started the thread was just looking for positive push in spite of the odds
    2017,2018 : P+M.
    Anthropology
  • Phagocyte said:

    Vagarant said:

    Phagocyte said:

    Sowmya sharma started in Feb. All the best

    A law graduate that too from one of the finest college....optional aur Puri polity to Bhai prepared hi thi inki....toh wo Feb m start ki thi ye baat halki si fit nhi baithti Bhai....offend mat hona please...just shared my thoughts on this.
    Personally i don't think it's possible. I felt that the person who started the thread was just looking for positive push in spite of the odds
    Ohh...then it's fine!!...my bad :smile:
    :)
  • _k_ said:

    yes you can !!
    UPSC need highly motivated, young, smart, individuals like you. Dont let the deadwoods on this thread fool you out of it , they're just jealous of your enthusiasm and high spirit.

    Go! Go! Go!
    lock stock and barrel!!!


    deadwoods? so much insights, so much wow!
    thnkz :dizzy:
  • pizzza said:

    The biggest problem that any fresher faces when he/she starts preparing is not the lack of time but the lack of clarity about the set of resources that one needs confine himself/herself to. This was the problem I faced when i started to prepare.

    If you have made up your mind to clear prelims this year, then stop looking for answers from outside because they will not help you. I can bet that 90% of the comments after mine will be about skipping this year's attempt and it's a practical advice too.

    But if you want to do something and surprise yourself then you just need to blindly do the following. Just do it and give the exam, dont think about the results because outcome is a result of process and not an independent event. So, concentrate on executing the process.

    1. Use this booklist, its my personal booklist. You wont need anything else. Because you are starting late, you may/should skip these books from the booklist : Ramesh Singh and Majid Hussain. But other books are a must. These are for static portion.

    2. If you are a voracious reader, you definitely have an advantage. If you can cover about 200-250 pages per day, you can finish the above booklist in roughly 40 days.

    3. Use vision IAS monthly magazines for current affairs. Jan 2018 to March 2019. Also there are some compilations (Environment, organisations etc) of Ias4sure, just go through them too. They're really good and you can bank upon them. Just follow this and forget everything else because you have limited time.

    4. Number of revisions will ultimately decide your performance in the prelims. So when you are reading, make sure you highlight important stuff (facts + concepts). At least 3 to 5 revisions are required after your 1st iteration (40 days).

    5. Solve previous year prelims papers (last 20 years) and learn the art of elimination.Do not make the mistake of just blindly skipping the question if you dont know about the question. You can use common sense and your pre-existing knowledge to eliminate options and arrive at an answer, the competition is high and this is the only way to be above the cut-off. Tip: When eliminating the options, think like the question paper setter. Why does he have that particular statement or a specific word in that place, sometimes things are too obvious to arrive at an answer.

    6. Dont go around buying test series and mugging the solutions. That wont help you in this and future attempts. Just stick to standard books in the above booklist, highlight them, revise and solve previous year papers. This is the way you can give your best shot for this years prelims.

    All the best.

    How much insights ca necessary with vision ca ?
  • edited April 1

    _k_ said:

    yes you can !!
    UPSC need highly motivated, young, smart, individuals like you. Dont let the deadwoods on this thread fool you out of it , they're just jealous of your enthusiasm and high spirit.

    Go! Go! Go!
    lock stock and barrel!!!


    deadwoods? so much insights, so much wow!
    Aree yara...Jane do...itna hta toh ye Gyan jo yaha de RHA wo khud pe apply krke civils first
    attempt me nikaal leta (wo b 1 year study k baad, yaha toh for bhi baat 2 month ki ho rhi, aise logo ko serious na lete) :neutral:
    :)
  • _k_ said:

    yes you can !!
    UPSC need highly motivated, young, smart, individuals like you. Dont let the deadwoods on this thread fool you out of it , they're just jealous of your enthusiasm and high spirit.

    Go! Go! Go!
    lock stock and barrel!!!


    forgot to add somehting. Change your optional to anthropology. Very concise syllabus, easy to understand, and less competition.
    I suggest everyone to take anthro. it's the best the thing that an upsc aspirant can do for himself.
    Now GO GOGO GO
  • _k_ said:

    _k_ said:

    yes you can !!
    UPSC need highly motivated, young, smart, individuals like you. Dont let the deadwoods on this thread fool you out of it , they're just jealous of your enthusiasm and high spirit.

    Go! Go! Go!
    lock stock and barrel!!!


    forgot to add somehting. Change your optional to anthropology. Very concise syllabus, easy to understand, and less competition.
    I suggest everyone to take anthro. it's the best the thing that an upsc aspirant can do for himself.
    Now GO GOGO GO
    Is it that easy? Really?
    Prelims=1 ,Mains= 1, Interview=0
    Essay-141 , GS-396 , PSIR Optional.
    Ex-Geography.
  • Beuce said:

    _k_ said:

    _k_ said:

    yes you can !!
    UPSC need highly motivated, young, smart, individuals like you. Dont let the deadwoods on this thread fool you out of it , they're just jealous of your enthusiasm and high spirit.

    Go! Go! Go!
    lock stock and barrel!!!


    forgot to add somehting. Change your optional to anthropology. Very concise syllabus, easy to understand, and less competition.
    I suggest everyone to take anthro. it's the best the thing that an upsc aspirant can do for himself.
    Now GO GOGO GO
    Is it that easy? Really?
    ya ya thousand times easier than psir i tell you :triumph:
    psir sucks. Boo!!
  • _k_ said:

    Beuce said:

    _k_ said:

    _k_ said:

    yes you can !!
    UPSC need highly motivated, young, smart, individuals like you. Dont let the deadwoods on this thread fool you out of it , they're just jealous of your enthusiasm and high spirit.

    Go! Go! Go!
    lock stock and barrel!!!


    forgot to add somehting. Change your optional to anthropology. Very concise syllabus, easy to understand, and less competition.
    I suggest everyone to take anthro. it's the best the thing that an upsc aspirant can do for himself.
    Now GO GOGO GO
    Is it that easy? Really?
    ya ya thousand times easier than psir i tell you :triumph:
    psir sucks. Boo!!
    Ohh,1000 times?? Have you appeared in Mains with PSIR?
    Prelims=1 ,Mains= 1, Interview=0
    Essay-141 , GS-396 , PSIR Optional.
    Ex-Geography.
  • edited April 1
    B
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