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Ramya C S, AIR 46, UPSC CSE 2021 – “Thanks to Vinay Sir” and her preparation strategy





To Vinay sir & Insights,

Thank you for your support during Personality interview process. Vinay sir’s eye for minute details and his hunch on probable line of questioning helped me to cover areas which I couldn’t have done otherwise. This in turn boosted my confidence and I approached the entire process with calmness.

I took two one-on-one interactions with Vinay sir – one immediately after mains results during which he gave me many inputs to work on. I just focused on improving myself based on this feedback and when I did the 2nd interaction with sir, he confidently said that I would score 185+ in interview. And lo! I got 187 in PT just like his prediction.

Hence, I sincerely express my gratitude to Vinay sir for his key role in the crucial moments towards success.


To Aspirants,

Hello everyone!

I am Ramya CS, AIR 46 in CSE-2021 with PSIR as optional. I was also one among you reading topper’s articles & watching their videos to identify preparation strategy and aiming to crack the examination somehow! Hence, in this write-up let me just focus on certain Do’s and Don’ts which has stemmed from my experience.



  1. A self-analysis activity – identify your strengths (in my case my analytical approach), weaknesses (for me it was data memorization) and mould your preparation around this.
    • This is not a one-time activity, try doing it as your preparation progresses and re-strategize yourself accordingly.
  2. Make your own notes (digital or handwritten based on your convenience, for me handwritten worked well) – be it for GS or optional paper – this will help you to refine focus areas, create intuitive memory, prepare for mains too!
    • Handwritten spider notes helped me quite well, as it created a photographic image in my mind and helped to recollect points easily.
  3. For covering current affairs, experiment multiple approaches like creating notes subject-wise, date-wise, handwritten, digital compiling – narrow down to one which is apt for revision and ease of use.
    • I had to do this experimentation and ended up with an approach where I had made base notes for each subject and then added relevant current affairs to these.
  4. Focus on the preparation as a life-experience and as a privileged opportunity.
    • Ignore any negative comments around you as it creates a self-doubt which can hamper your preparation & life too.
  5. Ensure support from your family, create a financial backup for emergency – this can create a positive enabling environment for the preparation.
    • Do consider part-time jobs (if necessary & possible) to have your ends meet without creating any dependency – but please don’t get carried away while doing this.



  1. Don’t blindly follow toppers – make your own strategy, approach and notes based on your self-analysis.
    • Strategy from toppers is just one of the ways to the process that has met with success – this may or may not work for everyone. Hence, take a personalized approach of preparation.
  2. Don’t flood yourself with resources – narrow your study materials and focus on covering them with utmost care. Having multiple books, materials at times confuses, creates a fear and makes us approach the exam with a lower-confidence.
    • This was a mistake I seriously regret as I realized this quite late. Having a de-cluttered preparation table in itself improves your focus, boosts morale and helps you to prepare better.
  3. Don’t view the preparation process from the lens of clearing the examination rather view it as a life-experience – the process will make your personality evolve.
    • Biggest gift the process yielded me is TRANSFORMATION – I have become a better individual across thoughts, actions, personality and character. At the end, it gave me the confidence that I will survive well wherever I go.
  4. Don’t get hard on yourself for failures – in fact success after failures is the sweetest!
    • Examination is given by many from various backgrounds, hence there are people who may be ahead or below you in the process. Hence, RATE YOURSELF ONLY WITH YOU – realize your errors, try modifying them and improve yourself.
  5. Don’t have an isolated solitary life for the sake of examination. Make the preparation as a routine but not at the cost of creating memories with friends & family.
    • In fact, these gives a boost to you psychologically that you tend to excel in that day’s preparation. However, have a defined limit to this and stick to it – an overdose might hamper preparation too.


To surmise, 3C’s matters the most – Consistency, Confidence and Calmness. Try to imbibe these not just for CSE preparation but overall, in your life too.

Whether success or failure, the journey is worth taking. At the end, your own self-satisfaction is what matters the most – you should not repent on anything you have done. And success at CSE is not the summit, it is just a recognition of your consistent work.

Be true to yourself, follow your intuitions, accept genuine feedbacks with the ultimate goal of improving yourself which will gift you success in life one way or the other.