TOPPER’S STRATEGY: Naman Upadhyaya, Rank 106 CSE – 2015

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“Thank you Insights. I am regular follower of Insightsonindia since 2014.I  regularly wrote answers from insights and it has helped me to score 106th rank.” – Naman Upadhyaya (AIR 106, CSE-2015)

Hello friends,

I scored 106th Rank in UPSC in my 5th attempt and its credit goes to my family for their support and small group of friends who inspired me and gave me valuable feedback about my answers and essays.

In between I also appeared for state PCS which i was able to clear thus  boosting my confidence to continuously persist with UPSC preparation. So I’ll suggest fellow aspirants to appear for state services which can act as a shock absorber if you face failure in UPSC.

For prelims

I stuck to basics like laxmikant for polity , NCERTs, ART and Culture Ncert , and plenty of questions from various test series.

For Mains

I am following Insights ( since 2014. I used to write answer regularly and I was able to reduce my answer writing time from 12-13 minutes to 7-8 minutes in next few months. I used to follow newspapers regularly (The Hindu extensively, Indian express selected news – C.Rajamohan, and for few months before mains Business standard, and most importantly GOI publications India Year Book,Yojana)

Revision and Time management are crucial.

Without which you are not expected to complete mains paper. Further, among  my friends we used to check and give feedback of our answers to each other. I also used to watch discussions on TV.

Study the newspapers consistently without any gap and try to link the topics with the syllabus and make proper notes/cutting according to papers for at least 6 months.

For Interview

Prepared DAF thoroughly.  Read each and every word carefully. Always fill DAF with caution. Because your interview will be driven by this. It should be genuine. No FAKING. BE HONEST. If you don’t know anything just say NO confidently. Anticipate and frame questions regarding DAF. I didn’t give any mocks this year.

Last year I gave few mocks. Don’t waste time after mains waiting for the result. Read newspapers regularly.  Don’t be relaxed. Brainstorm on topics – think about them and form your own opinion and think how will you say it to the board in minimum possible words.

BE SHORT to the point and specific and optimistic and futuristic. Have clarity of thoughts – it gets reflected in the words and your answers. Don’t get distracted by the rumours and don’t dwell into unnecessary things like which board is strict or cordial – because it’s not in your hands which board you will get and irrespective of board you have to score good marks.

Finally don’t be disheartened/demotivated. Hard work always rewards you. I could not succeed in earlier attempts but after few days of gloom/break I again with full determination worked and rectified mistakes. You cannot maintain the same momentum throughout the year.  You gain it only for 2-3 months prior to exams, so don’t waste time after prelims. Irrespective whether you are clearing or not start preparing for mains.

Always remember “Gyaan hi aapko aapka Haq dilaata hai” 🙂

Thanks Insights.

  • raman

    I’m also approaching this year’s attempt by sticking to basics and revision. Was really confused since day before yesterday but your strategy gives me some confidence. Hope upsc sticks to basics as well. Thanks Naman & Insights.

  • Mayank

    Congratulations Naman sir and thanks Insights for sharing this. Beautiful line from KBC’s poem “Gyaan hi aapko aapka haq dilaata hai”…:)

  • Congratulation dear all the best for your splendid future. You are the Perfect example of persistence.

  • Target UPSC 2016

    Thanks for sharing..

  • ajay

    congratulation sir and all the best for future..sir can we get copies of the answers and essays u wrote if possible…

  • N.KD


  • Mahi

    Hats off to you sir …ur perseverance paid off finally ..all the best for the future..

  • Vishal Rana


  • Arvind Kumar

    Congrats Naman ji…did u only follow insights regularly like us ? Can we see ur answers written on insights so that we can understand the way answers shud be written?

  • Dilkhush

    Congrats Sir.. Could you please share your mock essay and ethic answer sheets please. Thank You So Much.!!!!!!!

  • Undaunted

    hi naman..congratulations..please share your strategy and experience for pub ad..

  • Saint Shambhujs

    Congratulations sir. Can you please share how used to be your daily schedule in a typical day.
    And by which name you used to write your posts/ answers on Insights. Thanks.

    • neha

      Hie iv been following ur posts.. iv scored bad in gs mains dis year n especially bad in ethics. Any strategy for ethics?Thanx..

      • Saint Shambhujs

        Hello Neha… There cannot be a general strategy. It’s better write and post our answers of ethics in the secure initiative and discuss there. I know most of the time our answers plunge into the bottom and not reviewed. To overcome this you can ping me or even mail me. I would be happy to review your answers as honestly as possible to me. And you would get even better reviews from many other coaspirants.
        So let’s co-evolve. ☺ Thanks.

        • neha

          Yes uv rightly pointed out.. There s no “one size fits all strategy ” for ethics i gues! Sure lets co evolve? Thanks

  • Kept6363

    i really appreciate the consistency in your marks 🙂 speaks volumes about evenness of ur preparation
    Many many congratulations
    could you share your strategy for essay

  • Nicky

    Great consistency in GS papers. Excellent performance.

  • The Leiter

    5th attempt…!! Respect for your perseverance…:)

  • Sherif

    Congratz…………great performance

  • Ankur Singh

    topper’s trait..salute to consistency…
    he should have been given extra marks for that…you are real rank 1 for me boss…

  • sher shah

    congrats bro..your strategy is simple,smart and clean.

  • Deepak

    Congratulations Naman. Can you share your Pub Ad prep strategy and some of the answers that you might have written in mock tests.

  • Harsh (Learning Unlimited!!!)

    Congratulations Sir , You are really a role model for those who losses their hopes after 1-2 failures.

    Thanks a lot ….

  • rajashree

    Congrats……all the best sir…plz share ur strategy before prilims

  • G.

    I can see this year again pub ad got beating. Other subjects would have propelled your score.

    I don’t know why there is step treatment with pub ad from years now. Hope they improve and relax criteria little bit.

    • abhi

      same is the case with geography also.maybe they want to scare aspirants from taking these subjects as optionals.

    • Pahari Lafandar

      No matter how much is said about this exam, there is great element of subjectivity involved which is visible by comparing marks of optional of recommended candidates, it show the considerable range and variation in marks obtained in optionals.

      Irony is that there is cut-throat competition for even one marks.

  • Jaya Swatantra

    Congrats Naman ji… 🙂

  • Abhiknowledge_is_free

    Congratulations, Sir! Simple yet sincere strategy!! 🙂 Thank for sharing! 🙂

  • abhi

    congrats naman. could you please share the strategy you adopted in gs-4 and essay paper,along with the choice of your essay and what points you incorporated in it

  • moraya

    Congrats naman…!!

  • Congratulations Naman,
    You’ve scored brilliant in GS papers and essay 🙂 🙂
    Your story is motivating. 🙂
    One should never give up on his/her dreams 😀
    Would like to see another post from you regarding strategy for public administration 🙂

    • Just remember the name !

      I guess
      PUB AD
      Let him down , otherwise he was bound to be among the toppers given his score in other papers…!! Definitely
      High up there !!

  • mfrd

    Yr GS ansers on insight by what name

  • Eklavya

    Congrats Naman…
    You had done justice with all papers almost equally, great work 🙂
    All the best for future !!

  • Vali

    congrats ,,,naman

  • Hope

    “Gyaan hi aapko aapka Haq dilaata hai” (Y)

  • Naveen Shekhar

    Congrats ,Sir

  • minaxi

    I will give him some more marks for his consistency. IT is good that, people succeed in first two or three attempt. But to sustain the zeal, enthusian and motivation for long period to achieve the objective is sign of Heros. Congrats Sir… Wish you a very meaningful career ahead.

    • AK

      Hey minaxi , how is prep going on?

  • Abhishek Kr

    More than 100 marks in all subject specially GS paper…How it is possible… Very tough to score

  • Boom Magician

    Awesome ! Congrats Naman !

  • phoenix

    Congrats Sir…

  • Raman

    Hard work paid the success in your hand well done and congratulation

  • sumeet kumar

    please share your optional paper strategy. thank you.

  • DreamIAS

    Congratulations And thanks Naman,For sharing ur valuable experience and strategy with us.

  • Nupur

    Congrats Sir and best wishes for your future. Your marks in ethics are nice so can you share your strategy? In your opinion which part of the ethics paper helped you to fetch more marks. part A or PART b. Some tips as how you framed your options for the Case study part and in the Part A did you wrote only philosophical or you linked it with examples as in the ques. of the quotes given of Gandhi and some other thinker.

    • Hope

      Nupur ! tere kitne number bane ethics main is baar ?

    • Naman Upadhyaya

      strategy i have shred on i think part a helped me to fetch more marks, for case study usually write positive options first and the escapist type of options in last and don’t give just 1 line options. slightly elaborate them for this learn from upsc previous year ethics paper options. in part a i linked with common and simple and day to day examples which are more real.

      • Nupur

        Thanks sir for replying. This will help me to improve my marks :))

  • Charm

    Very Neat. 🙂

  • Gohan

    Virat kohli of CSE 2015! Congrats 🙂

  • Siripuram


  • tilak hk

    wow !! those are just incredible GS marks!!

  • DSR

    Congrats Naman sir!!
    It would be really great if you can please share your strategy for Public Administration

  • neha

    Congratulations sir!?? Guidance for ethics? Any institution or books? This years questions how did u approach them – strategy for ethics if u cud share! Thankq?

  • Anurag

    Congratulations sir, please share your Pub ad strategy with details of Books/coaching etc. Thanks..

  • Divyansh Pathak

    Hello naman sir I saw your notice on warden’s glass and also told by kailash mehendale sir. Please, would you like to give any tips to your junior’s i’m in 2nd year 2nd sem.

    • Naman Upadhyaya

      hi… can u send me the pic of that notice!!!

      • Divyansh Pathak

        Sir, now it has been replaced by teekay tanker’s shortlist.

        • Divyansh Pathak

          But I remember the context till some extent.
          “Dear TMIans our 08 batch cadet Naman Upadhyay has brought laurels…
          By scoring AIR-106 In Upsc civil services. …………….**
          He has thanked tmi and facilities for the success and also said will visit TMI and thanks faculty.

        • Naman Upadhyaya

          No problem.thanks got it.

          • Divyansh Pathak

            Sir, Any Guidance for the beginner, as you know our college schedule. So any tips according to that.

            • Naman Upadhyaya

              hi..take some time and read newspapers regularly..indianexpress , the hindu… and read ncert books from 6th to 12th.. but dont compromise your sem exams because they also matters..

  • Laxmi


    • Just remember the name !


      • Laxmi

        thank u

        • Just remember the name !

          Your welcome

  • Naman Upadhyaya

    @ all thanks a lot friends…for your warm wishes.. as far as ethics is concerned i read few selected chapters from subbarao (first 3-4 chapters and moral thinkers) , then i read DOPT manual, discussed case studies with my father(who has administrative background) for basics i read gktoday material. i attempted case studies first and then part1. i ensured that in 1 and half hour i complete case studies anyhow.

    • baba_rocks

      Hello sir , congratulations for your phenomenal feat . Please outline your strategy and thoughts for paper 2 and 3 , where it is very difficult to score more than 100 marks .

      • Naman Upadhyaya

        for both the papers i depended on newspaper – hindu,express,business standard(only for few months). pub ad as optional helped me a bit in paper 2. regular revision(newspaper) and answer writing practice were the only things i focussed. sometimes i read idsa articles + watched tv discussions also. rather than static portion in mains i focussed on current issues and made their notes from cuttings and revised 1 week nespaper on sunday without a miss..

    • Alexander_MessiahOfGarib

      Can i get the link of DOPT Manual?

  • Naman Upadhyaya

    for pub ad. i joined lukmaan ias test series. i read basic books again and again – sharma and sadana (not cover to cover but only few chapters in which i was weak) , ARCs , GOI reports,mohit bhattacharya (complete cover to cover – blue cover) , rajni arora and goyal ( most of the chapters), selected chapters from stephen robbins(leadership) and nicholas henry along with my personal classnotes of mohanty sir class. after pre i daily studied almost 4hours for optional subject.

  • Naman Upadhyaya

    Earlier in 2014 i used to write on insights with same name “Naman”… but later on i used to write answers on my notebook.. i’ll soon upload some of the answers which i wrote in pdf form

    • MJ

      Congratulations Sir !!! Please kindly provide your answers . It will be a great help.