Rohit Sissoniya, Rank 93, CSE – 2016
Hi , myself ROHIT SISSONIYA , I am from MP , sagar district , did my schooling from sagar . I did my graduation from IIT ROORKEE in METALLURGY in 2013. I began preparing for CSE from my college days itself and focused on basics like NCERTs . I joined a coaching class in DELHI and before joining it had already gone through all the required NCERTs and also prepared notes from same.
I gave my 1st attempt in 2014 and secured 1165 rank and was allotted AFHQ civil services and got posted in DELHI itself . In my 2nd attempt 2015 could not qualify pre, this was a big jolt to me. I would not say that I was not disappointed , I was ,but I never gave up and started my preparation again. This time I rectified my mistakes and focused on areas I was weak.
- NCERTs (10th , 11th and 12th ) – Geography , History (old NCERTs for ANCIENT, MEDIEVAL AND MODERN),Economy .
- Spectrum modern India.
- Budget (self notes from newspaper ).
- Economic survey (self notes).(rather than going thru summary ,I would suggest going thru survey and self notes because it not only helps u in pre but also gives fodder for ur essay and GS papers ).
- Polity (Laxmikant) (is sufficient and one should go thru it multiple times so as to clear ur concepts, if possible make notes)(also read newspaper carefully for polity topics and keep tab on current topics like ARTICLES of constitution coming in news and other related topics ,this will also help in GS papers).
- Ecology and environment SHAKAR IAS book and also from THE HINDU used to make self notes on related topics.
- Art and culture (self notes prepared from various sources) also focus on topics in news .
- Test series (should focus on it , it is very useful for PRE . Try to solve as many tests as possible ) (personally speaking I liked Vision and insight test series and in case of Insights Prelims Tests on NCERTS was very helpful also insights’ incorporation of TAMIL NADU history book’s questions were very good and boosted my confidence)(there were many questions directly or indirectly from these test series . also remember that the difficulty level is deliberately kept higher in these test series. In case of difficult questions just go thru the solutions and try to remember that ).
- Current affairs (THE HINDU)( used to prepare daily notes . I would suggest making self notes because there cannot be substitute for it . Having said that I am not saying that I have not gone thru current affairs material myself but I used it as a complimentary source to my own notes .Making notes keeps a topic fresh in ur memory )
- RATHER THAN GOING THRU MULTIPLE BOOKS AND MATERIALS MY ADVICE WOULD BE TO FOCUS ON UR BASICS AND REVISING MULTIPLE TIMES.
I never practiced essay before exam but made sure that I know some quotes and for it used internet.
- This was my personal approach and I would suggest that if u r not confident then go for essay practice tests and write few essays and share it with ur friends for feedback.
- Try to incorporate multiple angles like socio , economical , political etc in ur essays and keep it simple and avoid using unwanted jargons and tough words.
- Be positive in ur approach and always end ur essay on positive note , write about problems but don’t forget to mention their solutions .
- Try giving balanced points and try to show various qualities that a person aspiring for civil services must posses because thru essay they are judging ur personality .
- Geography – NCERTs(11th and 12th), coaching notes ,newspaper (keep tab on topics in news).
- World history – NCERTs old ones are the best source alone with few selected topics like IR , FRENCH REVOLUTION ,RUSSIAN REVOLUTION etc in details.
- Modern history – BIPIN CHANDRA (India’s struggle for independence)
- Art and culture – same as in PRELIMS .
- Other topics were covered from newspaper , net etc
- POLITY (LAXMIKANT) +news important topics + acts in news +policy related to governance etc .(latest trend of mains questions shows focus on issues in news )
- Important articles of constitution .
- Social justice – provisions in constitution , govt schemes (related to women, children, divyangs etc).
- IR – completely from THE HINDU (self notes) (one should simply keep tab about news related to different countries and how it affects INDIA’S interests + special focus on our neighbours) (avoid going in too much historical facts related to relations ).
- Vision current affairs notes.
- PRS monthly review
- Self notes from THE HINDU related to S&T.
- Vision current affairs notes.
- Biodiversity and environment followed news and basic concepts related to them.
- Acts and rules related to environment etc (just few points)
- Economy –RAMESH SINGH + economic survey + budget imp points + govt schemes +basic terms etc
- Economic survey gives you fodder for ur answers .
- Disaster management from net + keep tab of important topics related to it in news
- ALSO INSIGHTS SECURE DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS QUESTIONS WERE VERY USEFUL (I used to practice them daily and it really helped)
- Mohanty sir’s class notes are THE BEST
- Also this paper is about what u feel , so try writing accordingly
- Case study – practice as much as possible.
- Completing full paper is very important and it could improve ur marks.
- Give examples from daily life
- Give balanced answers
- Newspaper + mock tests