MOTIVATION: Failed in 4 Prelims, Rank 300 in 6th Attempt – Amazing Story of Vivek Chauhan, a Insights Follower

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My Journey

Vivek Chauhan

Rank – 300, CSE – 2015


                                    My journey starts with running after train at 5:30 am in morning every day, I lived in Ghaziabad but my school was almost 35 km away from my home, it was a government school (at civil lines Delhi), every day I spent 5 hours  on travel time to go to school and come back to home (struggle continued from class 8th to 12th), I had a dream to become a doctor but as of many middle class boys it was just a dream, I got selected to BTC/JBT/ETE (TEACHER TRAINING), after training joined as a teacher at MCD school Delhi (September 2003). I was 19 then.

Then I strained my energy in (so called) struggle for marriage – as love marriage is a taboo in Indian society, it took me almost 7 year to marry in 2008. I was almost 25 year old then.  I started thinking about taking up civil services exam. Being a general candidate it was already late to start preparation to use all four attempts (then we had 4 attempts), but I also had family responsibilities to look after. After arranging marriage for my younger brother and younger sister and after my own marriage, it was time to start focus on my dreams and needs (but it was almost March 2011 by then). I had given one attempt without preparing well and had lost one precious attempt in 2010.  I started serious preparation for Civil Services after relieving myself from home responsibilities, with one attempt already down. Meanwhile,I had passed BA, MA,B.Ed from correspondence mode and in addition to these pursued LL.B and LL.M

                                    During my service as a teacher in MCD School, I joined Teacher’s Association in 2009 as a nominated General Secretary (of Shahdara south zone), there I worked for issues of teachers and this work was one of the motivations for civil services, as working with association I came in contact with higher officials and came to know that what a bureaucrat can do with his authority(this encouraged me to go for civil services). Hence, I tried my luck in 2010 Prelims. 

                                    Now the great leap for the upsc started in 2011, with one attempt already down, my second attempt was a lost by 7 marks in prelims (CSE 2012).  After losing , I felt bad but got courage that if I could came so close, maybe I could clear upsc in another attempt. (This is the dilemma of all the aspirants, it’s like YA TO ATTEMPT KAHATAM YA AADMI KHATAM HO TABHI MUKTI MILEGI).

                                    For third attempt, I prepared well with the help of my Wife (POOJA RANI) and my friends. I was expecting score around 216 in prelims and committed a mistake by exaggerating my score with friends and relatives.  This kind of mistake is being committed by so many aspirants (I request them to please not to do this at any cost). In this attempt I got only 206 and cutoff was 209 (CSE 2012).  I wept so hard at that moment that some of my friends came to see me at my home (Naveen, Jitendra, Dr sunil). They came to ensure that I did not commit any wrong! My exaggeration was the reason of my grave pain. Nevertheless I had lost battle for the THIRD time with only ONE attempt left to go.

                                    Now it was the D Day moment for me. Final attempt with Zero Mains experience. This time one of my friend Neelotpal (AIR 98, CSE- 2013) helped me a lot and I again tried to work hard for the upsc. I scored 232 in the prelims (CSE 2013) and was very optimistic for the mains.  But destiny had  another shock for me, in the history of upsc, first time cutoff crossed 241 marks and it was my final attempt and hope at UPSC civil services.

 I wept whole night, but not alone this time, my whole family was weeping too, my mother , father, wife and even my brother. They all had high expectations from me.  Their Dream had shattered with my failure. Dream was important as I would have been the first civil servant from whole of my family and relatives. But my final battle was lost, at this point what I had experienced can’t be summarized, it was agony, pain, failure all around, and flood of tears, it was all over for me w.r.t. UPSC. All my four attempt for general candidates was over without clearing any prelims. I was 30 year old by then. I was ineligible to write this exam henceforth.  

                                    When I came back to teaching with empty hands. Colleagues taunted me, laughed at me , and started teasing me with sarcasm. I had created a hope and hype around my civil services dream. After my failure, people around me didn’t respect me much.  I was considered a non- serious aspirant because I did not even clear prelims. At that moment I thought about giving State PCS exam.

                                    But “JAKO RAAKHE SAIYAN MAAR SAKE NA KOI”, then came the opportunity of my lifetime.  UPSC gave 2 extra attempts. It was my Daughter’s 5th Birthday.  My Daughter’s birthday brought me a new hope for me in my life.  These two attempts were a life for me. I was 31 by then. It was like this opportunity came from heaven for me.

I gave my heart to this attempt and could clear not only prelims but could reach upto interview level. But when the final result came , I was out of the game once again. I lost in interview (got 102 only), but this loss also brought another flood of tears and sadness and madness to me and to my family.  Because failure after reaching at interview level is not an easy ordeal to bear with. My Fifth attempt was over and I was a failure for 5 years in a row. (CSE 2014)

                                    Now in CSE 2015,  my another final attempt, I gathered myself for another final fight. It was do or die for me (aged 32 now). I worked hard with more focused study, proper strategy for PRELIMS, Mains and moreover for INTERVIEW, & committed to myself that I would crack exam this time. Learned from my past mistakes and worked hard.  

The DAY of 10th May 2016, brought me that gift for which I was fighting for a last 6-7 years. It was AIR 300 Rank. The joy,  happiness I can’t express. I think you all can feel this joy of mine. Result was like an oasis for me.  It was everything for me. I proved with this result that simple middle class family boy with no formal education (all correspondence) can crack UPSC civil services.

                                    I think my never say die attitude, perseverance, parents blessing and continuous effort toward my goal made me successful @ UPSC 2015 exam.

                                    I would request to all my fellow aspirants that never loose ur hope , your perseverance, consistency and your passion will definitely pay for you. In my struggle for upsc I went through many ups and downs but I did not quit.


Exam Strategy:-

For History optional I referred Balyan sir notes and teaching only. Got 263 marks in CSE 2014 and 239 marks in CSE 2015)

For General Studies:-

One word solution:_ INSIGHT ON INDIA WEBSITE. I followed thoroughly and did well enough (360 in GS CSE2014, and 359 in GS – CSE 2015). I thank insightonindia for the single most score of mine in GS mains. Follow standard books only with focus on NCERT.

In interview I score 168 this time.

                                    My best wishes to all aspirants and this exam is test of all your skills and perseverance is one of those, this exam is bigger than we can think & brighter than we can expect, GOOD LUCK!!!

My best wishes for all Aspirants. May god bless u all!!!


Vivek Chauhan

AIR 300

CSE 2015

[email protected]

  • swami vyas

    Truly an inspiration

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks swami

  • Atom

    Hats off to your perseverance. You have become a great role model for many of us.

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks sir!!…

  • Monisha

    This is the best motivation I could get! Hatsoff to Mr.Vivek..I could see dedication in every word here.. if you are serious God will always be with you and God blessed in the form of extra attempt..All the best for your future 🙂

    • vivek chauhan

      rightly said Monisha … thanks

  • anand kumar

    real fighter ; so much patience and hard work salutes you man .

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks anand

  • MaverickNaga

    The best so far…Don’t worry, I cried with your family too and it was tears of joy…Big Congratulation!

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks Maverick

  • Bhavika

    Amazing story and writing skills as i could feel every emotion of yours.A true fighter and inspiration for us.Thanks for sharing it with us.Many congratulations for your success,you deserve every bit of it and good luck for your life.

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks Bhavika

  • Really a great inspiration. Your the real gladiator of UPSC.

    • vivek chauhan


  • Dreamz Unlimited

    Hats off!!
    Learnt one thing from u and that’s “perseverance”.

    • vivek chauhan

      so true… best wishes

  • Piyush Gambhir

    ‘tu hai aag Milkha’.
    maan gaye bhai.

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks Piyush

  • Abdullah

    A truly inspiring story :). I hope that you never forget your humble beginnings and remain thankful to God and your loved ones

    • vivek chauhan


  • Shekhar Gill

    What a man very very inspirational story hatsoff to vivek ji this one truly mind shocking .Good luck for your future .

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks shekhar

  • Sheryl

    Bhagwan bharose na baitho ,ka pta wo tumhare bharose baitha ho..awsm story…

    • vivek chauhan


  • SAN

    Very inspiring…all the best bro…

    • vivek chauhan


  • Shaan

    Couldnt stop my tears… you are truly great

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks shaan

  • Anshul Varshney

    Many2 congratulations sir!
    Sooner or later, perseverance does bring sweet fruits. Infact the sweetness enhances with time!

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks anshul

      • Anshul Varshney

        If you don’t mind, may I ask where do you reside in Ghaziabad?

        • vivek chauhan

          mail me i will tell the address

          [email protected]

        • vivek chauhan

          I live in pratap vihar Advocate colony Ghaziabad

  • Swathi

    Epitome of inspiration!!

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks swathi

  • Pal

    You are a true example of Hard work and Perseverance. All the best!

    • vivek chauhan


  • Praveen Kumar

    Only one word “RESPECT”

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks praveen

  • Khagendra

    I salute you sir!! This will definitely work for us in this pressure time

    • vivek chauhan


  • DB

    Well what can I say… Truly amazing. You are a Spartan. And Rank 300 is just confirming that.

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks DB

  • phoenix

    A truly inspiring Story….Hats off!!!

  • Ruchi p

    Plss review..

  • Vishal Rana

    Many many congratulation…..You deserve this bhai….Im speechless

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks vishal

  • SKB

    a real success story…

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks skb

  • Nitya

    Perseverance and patience of yours paid off sir.. Congratulations.. u r success story gives hope for many aspirants including me that hardwork never fails.. Thank u

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks Nitya

  • Aravind R

    hearty congrads sir,
    your article gives immense boosting to our morel.
    i’m about to touch age 30 by this november and i have decided to give first attempt just now and your motivational experience gives a lot of confidence to me.
    thanks a lot and all the best for your future successes.

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks arvind

  • KAutilYA

    Ye hoti hai spirit…Consistency..lot of hard work …kuch bhi ho jaye chodunga nahi…AIM ke prati Lagan…really really amazing story…heart touching experience…tri salute sir….biiigggesst congratulations….thanks for sharing your experience with us…this is Everest MoTivaTioN for all of us…lot of thanks sir…also good luck for future life…also thanks to Insight Team for sharing such MoTivaTioNal story with us….Thank you sir…???????

    • vivek chauhan

      pleasure kautilya

  • Gaut1609

    Hats off sir for your perseverance and fight.

    • vivek chauhan

      so much of thanks

  • Rakesh jaiswar

    really amazing ,,,trully inspiring,,,,congratualtion,,,,,

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks rakesh

  • shiv

    dont loose hope upto last moment really inspiring story hats off u sir!!!!

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks shiv

  • Mayuresh Pawar

    Great….Vivek….really awesome!!!!!….what an Inspiration, at this crucial juncture two months before prelims, reading such a inspirational journey is one of greatest moral booster for an aspirant…..Thanks for writing…

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks Mayuresh

  • Arvind Sharma

    inspiration for all the general candidates , so many times i heard its not over until i win but you did it. god bless for your rest of the life. thank you insight for share this story with us .

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks arvind

      • Arvind Sharma

        sir i have a question , how did you stay motivated during your preparation days ?

  • rajashree

    Heartly very very congratulation sir……….really very inspirational artical it s so usefull at ths peak mvmt f prilims time so many r started thnkng yar ab nahi hoga but it proves wrong by ur journey sir u deserve salute……..all the best for ur brght future

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks rajashree

  • CaptainCool

    please elaborate on how to improve history optional score…

  • ruth kipgen

    Thanks Vivek for sharing,truly insiring!
    “Never give up on your dream,live your dream”

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks ruth

  • Fighter

    It made me cry….really very motivating….congratulation sir

    • vivek chauhan

      u r a fighter bro… Thanks

  • annjins

    Congrats for ur grt achievement.Truly inspiring…..plz share a detailed strategy on history optional

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks… surely… give me some time please

  • Hats off to this perseverance of yours. You truly deserved it Sir.
    All the Best and congratulations!!

    • vivek chauhan


  • Narendra Modi

    Big Congratulations Sir. I know how did you felt during your failed attempts. As I am also in the same condition like yours, waste attempts, increasing age and frustration.
    Thanks for writing this beautiful article. Your family must be proud of you now. You are an epitome of Greatness. Best Wishes for the bright future ahead 🙂

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks GP

  • The Leiter

    You proved..Hard work will never go waste…:)and following one’s dreams will always reach you there…Congrats sir..:)
    In between,thanks to RAHUL GANDHI..for giving 2 more attempts..:P

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks sir!!

      • Lubna Sehar

        Your story of perseverance and courage, brought tears in my eyes. This is one of the most inspiring and motivating stories I have ever heard. Congratulations Sir. All the best. Have a bright future ahead

        • ” फ ” से Phantom

          This actually bought tears… Salute to you Sir….

          • vivek chauhan

            So much of thanks

        • vivek chauhan


          • Blossom

            Vivek Sir..

            Hats off to you.. It was indeed a heart touching story

            Rula diya aapne 🙂


            • vivek chauhan

              Thanks Tommy singh

      • astha

        sir..ur mail id plz..

    • Sudanita Sanchez


      • The Leiter

        Please translate into English…I’m a south Indian..:P

        • Varadaraya Mallya

          Dont say you are a south indian…say you dont knw Hindi….Hum sab ko kyo khamakhaa ghaseete jaa rhe ho!! 🙂

          • warlord


          • flyingsquarrel


  • gr8 success

  • this year one fake candidate came up rank 780 see news hindu on 19 may .express 21 may his name is sandeep wankhede and candidate is sai sandeep kumar if anyone know sai sandeep kumar plz post


    SALUTE SIR!!!!!!!!!

    • vivek chauhan


  • Kumar

    Yours is the most inspiring story chauhan sir. I wish you keep up the same fighting spirit in solving the problems of our country. Congrats and all the best for your feature endeavours.

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks sir!!…

  • Keshav Singh

    jab tak torenge nahi chhoregne nahi……..

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks keshav..

  • Saint Shambhujs

    Salute to your courage.
    You are the real topper.
    Your story is much more inspiring than the first ranker. congratulations and have a great future ahead…

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks sir!

      • Saint Shambhujs

        You are always more than welcome sir.

        • NEVER_GIVE_UP

          “Your story is much more inspiring than the first ranker” — SO TRUE

          • vivek chauhan

            Thanks for such appreciation…

      • P.s

        Salute to your courage and confidence sir.

        • vivek chauhan

          Thanks p.s

      • P.s

        Sir is Balyan sir notes available in market.

        • prudhvi

          Yes they r available in Delhi old rajendra nagar……

          • P.s

            Thank you.


    Great efforts Vivek ji …..your story motivate me so much …thumbs up for u …

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks mastani

  • Sonu Bhatt

    For you only, I am writing my First Comment although I am a part of insightsonindia for last one year. YOU MADE MY DAY SIR. THANK YOU SIR FOR SHARING YOUR PRECIOUS EXPERIENCE. You have proved that failure is not fatal, only thing matters is ability to FIGHT again.

    • vivek chauhan

      pleasure Sonu

  • priya

    congrats sir

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks priya

  • Navni Tandon

    much inspiring ..thank you for this post and wish you good luck for the present as well as future

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks navni

  • Karma will pay back…..

    you are an inspiration sir,true example of never say ‘no’,never quit attitude…thankyou for sharing an exemplary story..

    • vivek chauhan

      So much of thanks

  • Rahul

    Respect Sir.

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks rahul

  • Keratam Ala

    Ur journey is really really great I know I’ll do best for the society and mother of India ur the real son to get her blessings

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks Keratam

  • Abinda

    I salute you sir for your indomitable spirit.. epitome of perseverance.!!

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks Abinda

  • Pradeep Yadav

    solute to you boss

    • vivek chauhan


  • Santosh

    My one word comment ———mind-blowing

    • vivek chauhan


  • Bhu_Vana


    • vivek chauhan


  • Champion

    Well done,Vivek Sir!
    All the Best for future endeavors.

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks gaurav

  • fife

    Hats off !!
    God bless u too sir.

    • vivek chauhan


  • Jugal

    Hi, Vivek sir… your success journey is really an eye opener and an epitome of inspiration for those candidates who are facing the reality of UPSC. one thing you showed the candidates never say the spirit… Here I recall one beautiful qoute by Swami Vivekananda- “Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached”.
    Getting shortage of words how to express my feelings.
    Congrats…….hats off! !!!!!

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks jugal

  • Witty S

    Congrats Bro for the much needed and desired achievement..U rocked the Show..Keep going

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks witty

  • Omkar

    What an inspiration Sir you are for people like us and for society…you proved it Sir hardwork and determination pays …Congratulations Sir from me and my family

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks sir!!.

  • Yooms

    Salute…Hats Off..Respect…Awesome!!!!

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks sir!!

  • shamal

    RESPECT ..!!

    • vivek chauhan


  • Bubidibabadi

    My deepest respects to you sir!!??

    • vivek chauhan


  • Himanshu nn

    this poignant, amazing, super-inspirational story of yours can motivate anyone. you r a true real life example of perseverance. hatsoff to u champion and congrats for ur success. i hope u will treat this as your beginning and will further set examples with your honest and dedicated work.

    • vivek chauhan

      will try my best himanshu… thanks

  • I salute your courage and perseverence, you deserve every bit of this success! Congratulations to your and family.

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks cityboy



    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks sir

  • SBS

    Congratulations sir…U r true inspiration….ur hard work finally bore fruits…
    All the best for ur future…

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks sbs

  • ninja

    An amazing story of perseverence

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks ninja

  • channe v

    truly inspiring story..congratulations sir..
    wish u a great life ahead..

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks channe

  • Gohan

    True champions always overcome adversity! AIR 300..this is spartaaaaaaaaa!!!!

    • vivek chauhan

      Haha… thanks GOHAN

  • nivedita

    A true motivation story.Congrats sir,Plz tell ur Prelims strtegy

  • Arshad Khan

    Amazing story!!!

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks arshad

  • Usha T N

    Thank you sir

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks to u

  • Elsa

    A true inspiration …..really awesome.. Wish u all the best for your future endeavours and thank you for sharing your amazing journey with us.

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks elsa

  • congrats !! your extremely good you aced this time its amazing your my inspiration, i think not only me but also many of youth of India and please post your practiced answers bro…..

    • vivek chauhan

      will do … give me some time

  • Naveen Shekhar

    Super enthusiasm n perseverance…
    Standing ovation !

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks Naveen

  • PS IAS

    Truly inspiring… Thank you for sharing your experience…

    • vivek chauhan


  • John Victor

    I think its a difficult as well as worth remembering experience that “LIFE” gave you and I hope it serves as an inspiration to many of young aspirants who are on the same track…..I WISH YOU ALL THE VERY BEST and pray that GOD blesses you abundantly in your future endeavors.

    • vivek chauhan



    congrats sir!! ……yo showed your strengths!! …INSPIRING!!!….just few sec think abt past tht sir yo just crossed the struggle to show strength….then yo r so proud & happy……WISH YOU HAVE A NICE LIFE & BE HAPPY & SPREAD HAPPINESS!!!


  • pink


    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks pink

  • Nikhil

    You are a true Hero with ocean of courage & preservance

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks Nikhil

  • Puja

    Hats off to u.. Congrats… I almost cried.. Ur perseverence in a span of 5 years is unbelievable.. Very inspiring!! Have an awesome future…

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks puja

  • Meiji

    All the Best and Congratulations. You are a fighter..

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks meiji

  • Anand

    congrats sir.

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks anand

  • One punch man

    congratulations on your success sir!!!
    you have shown extraordinary courage and patience…thank you for guiding us!!

    • vivek chauhan

      My pleasure sir

  • Moniks

    U deserve this success sir….best wishes for u in future…..

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks moniks

  • AT145

    Wah kya bat h. .. when i was reading. .. i also cry with tears. …….
    Very very emotional and motivational. …

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks atul

      • Focus

        Hello Vivek Sir,

        Firstly Many Many Congratulations for your success!!!
        I read ur long and struggle full journey of this achievement I can understand very well because i am also from lower middle class family and i am doing struggle to survive in Delhi for preparing this exam. I am a Hindi medium student. how i can improve writing essay in English? Kindly give me some guidance. I am waiting for ur reply.

  • vivek chauhan

    I heartily thanks each and every one of u…

    will try to answer ur other questions…

    thanks a lot buddies


    Vivek chauhan

    • SultaN

      you are the real hero…i m also from village with govt school background….failed in 2 attempts but still fighting….thanks for hopes..

      • vivek chauhan

        My best wishes for u

  • Ashish Redhu

    your story will be a rock for aspirants who dnt make it even after long struggles. all the best for your future endeavors

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks Ashish

  • rahul gawade

    Great salute sir….!! Truely the test of patience and Hardwork….!!Salute!!

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks rahul

  • Gauri Shankar Jaiswal

    Hi Vivek
    I am really happy for you.You just remember we met last time in the month of November 2014 when we both were at an examination centre appearing for PGT( HISTORY) examination.I felt some drastic changes in you.You were so humble that time.Despite my frequent requests, you did not allow me to pay for chhole bhature we had on that very day.That time , I did not get the reason behind those pleasant changes in you.
    You were not at all enthusiastic for PGT(History ) examination.Now, I have got that you had been focussed for something bigger.
    One thing, I must mention before you that your humbleness shall bring not only more successes for you but ultimate happiness too in your life.
    May God bless you!
    Regards- Jaiswal

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks jaiswal ji

  • Challenge

    A testimony of doggedness, dedication and tenacity. Great effort sir. You deserve a standing oblation. Congratulations.

    • vivek chauhan


  • Sri Krishna Mishra

    Vivek sir u r a real hero for me. Very close story is running behind me. It is my last attempt. Your success at this point of time is really pushing me. Thanks

    • vivek chauhan

      muy best wihes for u sri…
      all the very best

  • Abhishek Naik

    you proved that “No matter how bad it is or how bad it gets ,you are going to make it”. Heartly congratulations.

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks abhishek

  • Tom

    Vivek Sir…………….you proved it that if there is a will there is a way…………..

    You are lesson for those who shattered by mere failures……..Some one has been testing your patience from above……………You had not only cleared exam of UPSC but exam of life………..hats off for patience and persistance

    Sir one doubt ………………how much time did you spend for mains answer writing and did you regularly write in Insights or just following there answer compilations………
    and Is it possible to fetch good score in mains by sincere writing practice just after pre………..pls reply

    • vivek chauhan


      plz have a look at this article..

      if still ur query persists
      plz mail me at [email protected]

      • Tom

        Sir I went through your encouraging article…but as I am self preparing without any guidance and group and even without having any source other than insights……….so please clear my only doubt………….Is it possible to fetch good score in mains by sincere writing practice just after pre exam and how to get vision GS2 and GS3 mains related material..

        Waiting for your reply sir……

        • vivek chauhan

          Tom writing practice + content knowledge will fetch u good marks
          For GS2 and 3 go for vision monthly magazine and for other vision supplement u can buy then at rajendra nagar delhi

          U can mail me on [email protected]
          I will send contact no of person who can courier u material from delhi if u reside outside delhi
          Take care
          Good luck

  • Debabrata Mishra

    Vivek Sir, your story is very very inspiring. I think before your story my thinking was this exam is only for those who could drop from their job and prepare separately but after reading your story now I am confident that one day my trip to Mussorie’s LBSNAA will definitely end on a winning note. Thanks for sharing your story sir. You are a real inspiration for people like us. Best of luck sir. You are a rockstar.

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks mishra ji…

      my best wishes for u

  • Tan15

    Heartiest Congratulations.
    Sir, the courage and never give up attitude is most inspiring and motivating.
    Thank you.

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks TAN15

  • Sri Kanth

    What a Commitment Sir….True Inspiration
    Wishing You the best in Your Adminstrative Career ahead.

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks sri

  • Veera Chauhan

    exellent sir…. great
    salute to u r Courage and perseverance….

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks veera

  • Yog Yoda

    I was reading your story and the only lines going in my mind were galib’s Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi ki har Khwaish pe dum nikle, Bahut nikle mere armaan magar phir bhi kam nikle… All the best for your future ahead.. and congratulations!

    • vivek chauhan

      beautiful lines… thanks

  • seepathi venkata chiranjeevi

    Congrats sir and Thank You for sharing your experiences and struggles you have gone through.
    It was truly amazing and inspiring
    kindly share your prelims and optional strategy

  • sandeep chahal

    I find no words to describe your journey sir..
    how hard and painstaking work u had done to clear this exam sets as an example for those who hail from every stream….
    thanks a lot for inspiring us…

    • vivek chauhan

      pleasure is mine!!!

  • lakki89

    Superman Chauhan !!!
    Congrats 🙂

    • vivek chauhan


  • Anoop Krishnan

    MY SALUTE TO YOU VIVEKJI.I was ignoring insightonIndia .But you changed my perspective of life.I failed twice for HSEE exam.I dream to learn in IITM.My poor maths skills destroyed my dreams.I lost the all chances.Now I plan to get a PhD from IITM.You are the real topper.Please make us proud again and Iam asking you to write a book on your life. Iam deeply moved by the simple language .Salutes to you.May god shower all blessings to you and your family members.Stay blessed!

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks Anoop

      i will to write a book as possible
      thanks for ur kind words

      • Anoop Krishnan

        happy to know that you responded so fast.So sir take the pen burn the midnight oil and go on writing your story.,

        • vivek chauhan

          Will try to do so..
          Now u r my inspiration
          Take care

          • Anoop Krishnan

            please inform me the date of your book launch!.I will be there.

            • vivek chauhan

              sure definitely i will inform u

  • Madhu Mathi

    Your journey towards upsc made me cry. You are a real hero with lots of courage, perseverance, hope, confidence. Congratulations sir.

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks Madhu

  • Caroline Touthang

    Dear Vivek, your story is one of the most inspirational among all the toppers stories I have come across so far. I salute your perseverance, dedication, hard-work and above all, Courage to go for your dreams despite the mounting odds against you!

    Good luck in your future endeavors and may more people like you clear the IAS in the future too! I believe that there is no success that is sweeter than a success that comes after many failures!

    • vivek chauhan

      really true,, thanks for ur kind words

      • Caroline Touthang

        You are now my role-model

        • vivek chauhan

          Feeling privileged
          My best wishes for u
          Good luck

  • Amandeep Saini

    what a sheer will.. we need officers like you..

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks amandeep

      • Amandeep Saini

        From where u bought this will..I daily thought of you when i m in stress..U r areal motivator..salute

      • IAS

        I want to talk to you..I need guidance from you… i want to meet u personally..U tell me the place i will come there..I will only take 30 minutes

  • Sumit Sharma

    I cried when you cried, got excited when you gathered yourself again and again, and what happiness when you did it. I wish someone had captured that moment in a video. A documentary can be made on your story of human courage and perseverance.

    On a pragmatic note: Sir, Please share your optional strategy more elaborately. Like which parts of which were your strength and how can we improve answer writing without coaching and how to approach Mains questions.

  • Amandeep Saini

    In my point of view UPSC should have given you more marks in interview for your never die attitude..You are the real topper as compared to rank 1 candidate..You are a Hero..

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks aman for ur kind words

  • Durgesh Waddepalli

    Hard work always pays. Congratulations for the brilliant success!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks durgesh










    • vivek chauhan

      thanks ,,,,,,,,,

  • Siripuram

    congrats sir, yours story is more inspiring and motivated me, you have proved hard work never fails, as I am also same background like you it is my final attempt, prelims is very draw back for me.striving hard for success while doing job, all the best for your further career….

    • vivek chauhan

      my best wishes for u
      good luck

  • DSR

    Respected Sir…the story of your struggle and life is the ultimate dose of motivation that one can get. No words would be enough to commend your perseverance, dedication and hard work. I salute Sir!!
    I am an aspirant myself and have been going through many motivational and strategy related posts on this website from a last couple of days. One goes through these posts in a normal and emotionally unattached way and tries to pull out some important info or expert gyaan that can be useful in future, but when i finished reading your story Sir……i felt a sense of happiness and satisfaction within myself. I had never felt the same after reading success stories. You are what legends are made of!!
    Keep this fire burning Sir!! I congratulate you again and wish you all the success and happiness in life ahead. 🙂

    • vivek chauhan

      So much of thanks DSR

  • ravindaran

    ye CSAT hatne ka karishma h …
    Ab saare bande vahi select honge jo 2011 se phle hota tha…..

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks ravindaran… yaar tum jaise logo ne hi jo patthar mujh par pheke usi se maine upsc ke liye mahal banaya… thanks for ur contribution

  • ASD

    Salute to you sir. Real inspiration…much more than even the rank 1.

    • vivek chauhan

      so much of thanks

  • Avtar

    It will definitely be remembered as one of the most inspiring success stories of all times .. You are a super hero !!

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks Avtar

  • fooze

    You nailed it bro. All hats to your never say never attitude

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks bro

  • DreamIAS

    Congratulations and A Lot of Respect Sir …..thanks for sharing your experiences..!!

    • vivek chauhan


  • lovepreet singh

    sir can you please tell the sources for history optional that you refer

  • lovepreet singh

    sir can you please tell the sources which you refer for history optional

  • lovepreet singh

    sir can you please tell the sources which you refer for history optional

  • Aman Gupta

    U r a epitome to that adage ‘man is sculptor of his own life’.

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks aman

  • Ias Ji

    you are the true example of perseverance. this story will give life to even those who have never dreamt of CSE . YOUR BLESSING WILL ALWAYS REMAIN WITH US.
    Congrats sir your are the true hero .
    salute from side , please accept it.

    • vivek chauhan

      heartily thanks ias ji

  • Madhu

    Salute to your zeal,consistency and burning desire..All d bst for your future endeavours

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks madhu

  • prudhvi

    Congrats sir….. you deserve your success …..can you please explain me the revision strategy and notes making for history optional ……and how did u cover different sources for single topic……thank u please reply when. U r free…..

  • prudhvi

    Congrats sir….. you deserve your success …..can you please explain me the revision strategy and notes making for history optional ……and how did u cover different sources for single topic……thank u please reply when. U r free…..

  • prudhvi

    Congrats sir…. can u tell me the strategy for optional ….how do u make notes and revision before exam……..I will be help full thank u sir…..

  • rajesh

    I have read many success stories and about their preparation strategies…but have never come across the story like you brother…..I can sense the agony that you must have undergone after all your attempts were exhausted….but you did not let your morale down and scripted your own history….. you will truly remain an inspirational figure……My heartliest congratulations…

    • vivek chauhan

      Heartily thanks Rajesh

  • prudhvi

    Sir can u tell me how u made notes and how u have done you revision for history optional ……..

    • vivek chauhan

      revision is the key… notes making may differ but basic thing is that u note down key points which u think u r not able to remember

  • Akshay Sharma

    respected sir,your story is very inspiring and congratulations on your is my story,i hope you may like it.

    May 07, 2015

    My Story – Akshay Sharma

    Name – Akshay Sharma

    Exams given – Uncountable since April 2013 but without preparing. 

    Exams given this year – 

    UIICL AssistantNIACL assistant (interview result awaited)SSC Tier I (2013 ) cleared,NABARD PreNICL AO-         all cleared.nicl assistant,oicl ao- result awaited

    Selected – UIIC Assistant from Punjab.Nicl AO

    Now preparing – RBI, SSC

    I was one of the toppers of the school and also one of the most rich in the city. My parents dragged me to the after 10th non medical + btech = good job world. I scored 4%in 10+1 and 65% in 10+2 by cramming method(ratta). Then got admission to b tech civil . I always had a dream of studying b com and then prepare for rbi exams.but my father said I will not pay your fees if you don’t study non medical and b tech. my brain’s strength and creativity was buried. I got 20 back logs in the whole degree. And till the last semester I was having 9 backlogs in my account.then cleared all by ratta method thanks to Punjab technical university’s bad checking system I cleared my degree at 62% which I still don’t believe.

    But during my btech my whole life got into shambles. My father sold our house and took all money. He is a mes contractor and lives in Gwalior and has other family to which he gave all money and still gives his money and give us only an insignificant money. He put us from a lavish house to a small home of his friend who was living on the top floor.i had two dogs at time then and I was 19. They were also not used to that tight place with a sewage smell coming out daily.i suffered from insomnia i hadn’t slept since six months due to pressure of future that was to be made by me + tensions of homelessness .in the last semester I started a ngo street dog club in bathinda to help stray animals specially dogs after watching the sufferings they have to go through and also met a girl who changed my life forever. Then I started daily helping animals from 4am to 2 am every day.everyday I used to bury the dead dogs and treat the ill dogs.i buried more than 1000 dogs in 1 year and treated more than 3000. I was aimless and always ready to die as I didn’t have any interest in engineering and then civil also. But my circumstances lead me to apply for a lecturer job at Chandigarh.

    I worked there and it was hell .i had to deliver 8 hours continuosly lectures daily and no holiday. I was ranked 1st in one month my college in teaching by students , but the college’s pay policies was a trap. I often had footsore .then I left that college.and an idea about a government job came to my mind.i started filling forms of government exams of all types.but failed all. Then I joined another college in ambala .worked there for 4 months.again ranked 1st for all four months.but college authorities were torturing students by hefty fines and penalities just for the attendance shortage. Stood with the students for their cause forced the authorities to take back the decisions and left as they didn’t give me salary of two left. On the other side pressure from my partner’s parents was increasing day by day on her to marriage.she took admission into a college in Chandigarh in mba for me so as I will get time to settle.she used to give me half of her money she used to get as pocket money to fill forms and buy some books.

    My low points – daily humiliation by parents and relatives, slept in park for some nights, there were some times when I was in so much agony that I start crying but at that time either you can cry or do practice and some of my practice books are filled with tears,when my dogs were dying of pain and I didn’t have money to treat them,slept starving many days,when I had no money to even get medicine,I could never afford to ill as I had to spend the money on medicines which was for books and forms.and also being general every form costs 450,500,600.i would use some references a movie hope many of you have watched it,the scene accident ,missing shoe,when will smith used to run away from lenders ,mostly all scenes from the pursuit of happyness . I don’t say I suffered the most,but I suffered.

    My inspiration – stray animals, daily taunts by family ,missing cut off by 1 or 2 marks. my partner who always trusted me and kept saying you can do anything.i owe my success  to her .

    My advice – respect everybody, practice hard and believe in yourself,no matter what is takes always remember what is at stakes ,many times there are some people who criticize the reservation quota,it is not right,hard success always taste great,many times I have seen many sc/st candidates in shambles and many sc/st candidates enjoying reservation even whose parents are in IAS,SSC.we just have to focus on what we want and do it.RIDE OR DIE.

    I also send my story in detail to a production house in Mumbai for a series they want to make on real life and got a green signal from them but all other things are not  decided yet. The post I got may be small but it will give me some hope and oxygen for sometime. I wish all the best to all candidates and I pray to god may all you get what you want and do help working in Nicl as ao,now preparing for upsc.

    • vivek chauhan

      My best wishes for u

    • vishwa reddy

      Hei Akshay ,
      Both of your stories are eye opener for many.You guys have fought through the hardships ,swam through very tough times and still managed to concentrate and push hard towards your goal . Kudos guys . Your stories remind me of my life and those tough struggling days trying to make all ends meet . I tried last year which was my first and only attempt available , which was an unsuccesful one. Since you are working ,. Ensure that you are taking atleast 1 month off before prelims and have your finances planned well ahead , since i didn’t plan all this which cost me my prelims . hope this helps you.
      Good luck for your preperation.

      • Akshay Sharma

        Thanks alot sir for your words.

  • Amandeep Saini

    I have no words for your perverseness..Great work done….There should be a movie on you

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks Aman!!!

  • Ashutosh Srivastava

    Congratulation sir… truely inspitring story… I am also travelling in same type of journey: an engineer in sick PSU, failed in 3 prelims …left with 3 attempts including 2016 attempt. Still want to go for the exam but same constraints…Kindly guide…..9559088796

    • vivek chauhan

      plz mail me with reference to this conversation
      i will try my best

  • Anmol Phutela

    Congratulations Sir. You are synonymous of inspiration.

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks Anmol

  • Apercu

    Respect from the core of the heart!
    Please take bow, Sir! 🙂

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks a lot

  • Rangrezz

    one Word…”UNBROKEN” …

    • vivek chauhan


  • Sharmila

    Never felt so inspired before. Have read hundreds of interviews since childhood. Never felt so connected and so moved by someone’s hard work as much as your story made me feel. Thank you for sharing your story with the world. Topper or not, you sir are the epitome of hard work. And perseverance. I don’t remember saluting anyone before. But I do to you! _/_

    • vivek chauhan

      It sheer my pleasure Sharmila…
      Thanks a lot


    Really,, heart touching story,,,,

    • vivek chauhan

      thanks kajal

  • Amar

    Undying saga i have ever read of any successful candidate..

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks Amar

  • IronMan

    First of all sir, many many congratulations to you and your family….salute to your hard work,your patience , your courage and to your family for their support to you…..Honestly speaking …..reading your story felt like that it is any bollywood film or any novel…..but it is real life and there you are real hero…..Once Again ….. many many congratulations to you and your family…..Salute to your spirit and determination…..May you achieve all your dreams and a huge success ………Give me your blessing, so i too can fulfill my family & mine dreams

  • Sooraj Nalloore

    Great Sir……really great………This is not a motivational story…….this is real life…..Life is always stranger than fiction

  • Deepak Kumar

    hard to believe that its a true story
    hats off (Y)

  • rahul kumar tiwari

    Really sir, you r not only ias topper bt life topper,

  • Nilanjana

    I’m so very touched. All the VERY VERY best! 🙂

  • harshad

    one of the best motivational story i ever read…truly it made me cry..

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks for ur kind words

  • Kiran JP

    Sir,Your story is even better than any Bollywood movie…But Good thing is that a happy climax…..Congrates sir for your victory….All the best for reaming life…Keep inspiring young minds…. 🙂

    • vivek chauhan

      Thank you

  • vishwa reddy

    Congratulations!! Vivek , its an awe inspiring and amazing experience that i have ever heard of . There is a lot that we have to learn from you which we can apply for our Lifes. Never give up!! attitude. Way to go ..

    My heartful wishes once again ..

    • vivek chauhan

      Thanks a lot bro

  • InsperGenesis

    Wow..iam in awe and out of words..sents a chill down my spine as i read your words.
    Simply proves that ‘human spirit always triumphs’.
    Congrats and have your moment under the sun.

  • Dream chaser


  • Dream chaser

    Hiii..congrts..vivek sir…after reading your story i can’t stop my tears . u r my inspiration ..i have started my preparation for 2017 i m doing job ..please guide me how can i utilise my precious time in very effective way ..i m new to this site also ..pls also tell me how to use this site to get my dream..

  • SatchaFunkilus

    Glory . I am taking a bow down at you for your lion heart . You have encouraged me to a word that has not been invented yet . God bless you . from one chauhan to another —
    chaar baans chaubis tasur
    angul ashta praman
    te par baitha hai upsc
    mat chuke chauhan .

  • Subhajeet Chakraborti

    Wow this almost makes me cry. I come from a very good background with a well-off family and foreign education and graduation from NIT-D and one failed attempt at UPSC Prelims made me give up on my dreams to be in IFS someday. I am a working professional now and I don’t know how to balance my work/life/studies. If you could share me your strategy of action or studyplan I’d be very grateful. Also some information regarding your two interview rounds would be great motivation.

  • Priya

    A very very CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Sir. Your patience, perseverance, courage, hard work, Faith won so passionately and by putting endless efforts. After coming across your story I felt so happy and your experience has helped me building my confidence on my efforts and hopes for this exam.

    Wish you a Prosperous and beautiful future . 🙂

    You have set a remarkable example for many aspirants like me.
    Once again thanks ! Sir for sharing your inspiring story.

  • Madan

    You have much more guts than even the top rankers. As the most hard hearted will also dont have so much endurance.

  • Sagy007

    awsm sir salute n a huge respect 4 u n ur family…

  • kiran bendigeri

    Sir, ur story is very motivating.Congrats to u and ur family jo har waqt aap ke saat the.U r lucky to have ths kind of family.:)… I am 30 year old. I am also going through same phase of life which u had been…yesterday I had prelims exam.I attempted 92 but chote chote silly mistakes ki vajah se total marks is coming around 85+ nd it is very clear ki iss baar ye attempt toh fail hogaya… agle saal shaadi hai toh soch raha tha bas ab zyaada paise kamaayi pe dhyaan dunga…magar aap k story dekhne k baad lagta hai ki agar itna door aaya hoon toh ek aur attempt kyun na doon…:). So sir,ek request tha. can u share how did u prepare for exams and all the books u referred?

  • jeet


  • NoTimeForCaution

    “Never ever ever ever ever ever give up” such an inspiration…

  • 2017_it_is

    Thanks a lot Insights for sharing this heart warming story of Mr. Vivek. Definitely Sir hard work & perseverance always pays off 🙂 Congrats Sir !

  • Raj Verma

    So inspiring the last movement u cleared,what a situation would it be for u,i cant even imagine..