July 24th, 2017       IAS Interview

CANDIDATE PROFILE : Miss Supriya Das ,UPSC CSE Rank:236,Optional:PSIR,Attempt:2nd,Written Marks:874


APTI PLUS: Tell us something about yourself, when and why did you choose Civil Services Examination as a career ?

Supriya Das: I am an undergraduate from Brown University where I pursued a double major in Political Science and International Relations. Since my childhood, I wanted to contribute to the development of the country especially since I was born amidst the optimism of the 90s. In college, I grew a deep interest in policymaking. To follow my interest, I wanted to work at the grassroots level and understand the different challenges in policymaking and implementation. All in all, I decided to take up the challenge of appearing for the exam and thereafter work with the government in implementing policies at the grassroots.

APTI PLUS: What were the basic keys of your success ?

Supriya Das: The syllabus of UPSC is vast and looking back I feel what worked best for me was to first understand the demands of the exam and do my research to create a good and comprehensive booklist. I was clueless when I started as I had not been in the Indian curriculum since class 11.This however helped me take a step back after failing my first attempt at prelims and take some time to first find out what the examination is testing and how to prepare.

APTI PLUS:As per your opinion how much time is sufficient for civil service examination preparation and what is the best time to start ?

Supriya Das:I feel 6 months to one year is good enough for appearing for one’s first serious attempt. If you are interested in taking coaching, then 1 year is required or else if you have done your research on which books to study and how to prepare, then 6-8 months is also sufficient. Either way, one should solely focus on self-study from the January before the Preliminary examination you are appearing for.

APTI PLUS:How to keep consistency during preparation ? How did you keep study momentum going on?

Supriya Das: The months far away from the examination can get tedious and may cause you to loose interest.Hence, I spent this time reading new books. You should try to finish your booklist and make noteson them at this time. Then when the pressure builds up in the last leg you may simply keep revising these notes.

APTI PLUS:What is the best way to develop answer writing skills ?

Supriya Das:Reading the notes of different UPSC focused coaching centres and teachers and the Hindu daily helped me imbibe the language required for answer writing.

APTI PLUS:How to Clear the civil service examination in 1st attempt ?

Supriya Das:I sat for my first prelims after a month of arriving in Kolkata and failed as I had little idea of the exam. So I consider my second attempt as my first real attempt. I feel making a booklist and knowing it inside out, without expanding my reading boundlessly helped keep my preparation focused. Completing my intended study targets also helped me build confidence before every exam which I thought was very important in both preliminary and mains examinations since many aspirants break down under the stress of the exam in their first attempt. Completing study targets is possible only when a comprehensive booklist has been built before hand.

APTI PLUS:Comments on the difficulty level of General Studies papers in CSE(Prelims)-2017.

Supriya Das:GS Paper in Prelims is difficult as it requires conceptual clarity as well as an expansive factual knowledge to crack the examination. Hence, having sufficient amount of practice in MCQs and having a good strategy is important to crack the GS preliminary examination.

APTI PLUS:What was your optional subject? What should be the priorities while choosing optional subjects?

Supriya Das:My optional subjects were Political Science and International Relations.While choosing your optional subjects the following should be considered:

  1-Your graduation subjects
2-The syllabus of the optional subject
3-Past two year’s papers of the optional subject
4-The number of toppers from the optional subject that you are inclined towards. Some subjects will have very few toppers and are hence seen as less scoring
APTI PLUS: How many months did it take to finish the core optional syllabus?

Supriya Das: 6 months

APTI PLUS: How much of internet-research / current affairs was necessary for Your optional?

Supriya Das:Not much research was required for studying for Political Science Optionals. Shubhra Ranjan ma’am’s notes are very comprehensive and she gives current affairs supplements.

APTI PLUS:What are the importance of attending Mock Tests ?

Supriya Das:Mock Tests are very important to understand the demands of the examination and build a strategy for the real examination.

APTI PLUS:What is your advice to the candidates who are preparing for this examination?

Supriya Das:Create your own comprehensive booklist, stick to it and know it in and out. Be true to your conscience with regard to your preparation.

APTI PLUS:comments/reviews about Apti Plus Academy For Civil Services.

Supriya Das:It is a great institution where you find your UPSC family. Thank you for all the guidance and motivation!


  1. Himanshu says:

    Very Nice Information

  2. Andrey GolubDok says:

    I being a student of Apti Plus Academy For Civil Services have no hesitation in saying that it is a benchmark Institute for UPSC examinations in Kolkata. It is Eastern India s premier coaching institution which provides emphasis on the student s verdict and thus, provide with free career counselling before the joining of any student at the institute. In accordance with the newly designed syllabus pattern of the examination, the Institute has always offered comprehensive teaching guidance for UPSC exams.

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