Rank: 18, Batch: 2015
Place: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
My first reaction
I was sure of my selection but during the last week of December when it was possible that result will knock your door any day any time I went through sleepless nights because until the result comes you are surrounded with all sorts of questions in your mind like “If not selected, if not get a good rank what will you do etc ” but finally on the 30th December evening result came. And first thing I could remember was that wherever my father is at present he must be looking at me and smiling that I did it. I was in a class that time and I came out in between and firstly called my mother and told her about the result and then in an hour I was surrounded by my cousins friends.
The situation I was in, I think there were many people without whom it would not have been possible. Firstly, my father Late Shri K K PANDEY who has been my sole inspiration and then my mother KALPANA PANDEY and brother SATVIK PANDEY who are the people for whom i aspire. My cousin brother AKSHAY TRIPATHI (IES 2011-AIR 1) provided me with the guidance on how to go for preparation and there are many relatives especially Mausi and Mausajee all of them have a significant contribution to my success.
For general ability, I relied on MadeEasy classes and solved previous years paper of GS. And for English I also went through CDS papers of last 5 years because their English questions are pretty much same.
Objective Paper: I kept revising my notes and did not refer books for any subject. Once in a week I used to revise a particular subject and try to solve the objective questions based on those topics from the last 20 years question papers.
Conventional : I think its the most important part of exam where most people lag behind because they go with the approach of solving objectives questions only till GATE exam and then after go for conventional. I, on the other hand, practised conventional questions in a well defined approach, from the starting itself. I solved last 20 years IES questions + 10 years civil services questions, I think that is more than sufficient and one should not go for solving questions from book until they have command over these. I recommend to practice as much as possible because during exam you don’t have much time to think so one need to have both speed and accuracy which can come with practice only, and moreover with the change in pattern scheduled from 2017, conventional part will carry 600 marks.
I used to revise my madeeasy class notes and then solve the questions based on the topics taught in the class. In later days I made short notes of subjects for quick revision.
Strong and weak subjects (How did you prepared them?):
As one has limited time therefore it is to be ensured that you allocate more time to subjects which have more weightage. But one thing I will suggest that don’t leave any subject as the competition is high and often from subjects like railways, airport and tunnel, questions asked are limited which one can prepare in 2-3 days.
Books and e-sources
IMPORTANT SUBJECTS – SOM , SOIL , STEEL , RCC , FM , ENVIRO , CPM PERT AND BUILDING MATERIALS. But do prepare all subjects like in paper2 although there are many subjects but questions asked are limited in coverage.
I did not referred any books, I relied on madeeasy classes and wherever I have a doubt I used to ask questions directly from the teacher.
Detailed Application Form is the most important part of your interview from where all non technical question arises. Technical questions are based on basic concepts only and it is okay if you don’t know many answers too, but avoid giving wrong answers. For working people preparing for job profile is most important.
My panel was of Mr. Manbir Singh and interview lasted around 15-20 mins. I scored 130 marks in it. The Chairman asked the 1st question “why you are not working anywhere” and 2nd about my hobby which he found fascinating (watching English TV series). I had prepared all these questions so was able to answer them.
Technical experts (3 were there) asked around 14-15 small questions of which I could not answer 3-4 questions. Most of the questions were simple like stone pitching, concrete, ambient air quality and particulate matter (as DELHI POLLUTION WAS IN NEWS).
I would suggest to prepare basics of all subjects and 2-3 subjects in detail like building material, soil, som. Scoring good in interview helps you in getting rank.
Self-Study or Coaching
I had joined MadeEasy in Delhi, and I feel coachings provide comprehensive syllabus and approach for exams, but we can not say it is necessary to join a coaching as students do get selected on their own too. Today e-platforms like ExpStreet are there where you can get to know about approach for a exam and prepare on your own.
I had joined madeeasy test series. They are very much necessary as you get a chance to match your performance with others and improvise in areas where you fail.
Rank and preparation
Rank matters a lot because there are multiple departments in engineering services. I had a simple formula, that is to ensure written marks bring you to the mark of selection and interview act as a rank improvement tool rather than elimination or selection tool.
Advice to fellow students
One should go for smart work along with hardwork (UPSC requirement) and have patience and belief in himself and parents.