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IBU SANJELLA GARG

CSC: What were the basic mantras of your success?
IBU SANJELLA GARG: There is only one mantra for this exam and that is “Incessant hard-work in the right direction”.

CSC: When did you start the preparation for the IAS Examination? When should one ideally begin thinking about preparing for this exam?
IBU SANJELLA GARG: I started preparing from final year of my engineering. Ideally, students should start their preparation from final year of graduation.

CSC: How did you start the preparation of the IAS Examination?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
I started with NCERTs and other basic books.

CSC: What were your strategies for the lengthy syllabus of General Studies for both Prelims and Mains?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
One should ‘Stick to the syllabus’. It is very tempting to read a lot on topics but one should restrain.

CSC: What was your Optional? What was the basis of selecting this optional?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
I had HISTORY as my Optional.  Availability of good guidance and scoring nature of subject were the deciding factors. Moreover History optional has become almost a compulsory subject now a days because of its increased significance for General Studies Paper.

CSC: Please give a list of important books, magazines and papers followed by you.
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
The Hindu, Indian Express, Yojna, World Focus and Civil Services Chronicle.

CSC: Tell us something about the preparation of Essay paper.
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
For me it was a natural extension of GS.

CSC: How did you manage your time in both Prelims and Mains examination?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
I divided my time between optional and GS. I fixed targets topics week-wise and month-wise.

CSC: Which is the most difficult part of this examination and why? What was your strategy to tackle this difficult part?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
Prelims was most difficult for me. I took test series to cut down negatives.

CSC: Did you integrate your Prelims and Mains or was it separate?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
Yes.

CSC: Did you prepare notes? How helpful are the notes? What is your advice on notes-making?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
Yes, they were helpful. One should make them come handy in exam.

CSC: What are your suggestions for fresher who want to join coaching institutes for preparation?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
Coaching institutes help those who do not have much idea. Good guidance makes process easier and more fruitful. You have to be much better than others to clear this exam.

CSC: What was your style of writing in the exam? How was it distinct from the general writing style? How did you develop this writing style?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
I was “simple and to the point”. This has been by general writing style.

CSC: Civil services Exam process is quite strenuous. It requires long hours of constant study. How did you maintain your tempo and what did you do to break the monotony of preparation?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
Telling myself I have to do it. I sing alone.

CSC: The trend suggests that professionals are more successful in this exam. Does this exam prove difficult for Humanities and Social Science background candidates?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
No. I don’t think so.

CSC: How helpful is one’s background in his/her success?
IBU SANJELLA GARG: Not much, its equal for all.

CSC: What should be the best strategy to tackle negative marking?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
Good question! Practice and practice as much as possible, especially for CSAT.

CSC: Does this exam provide a level playing field for the rural or poor economic background candidates?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
Yes.

CSC: Which types of questions were asked in interview? Did you answer all?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
I was asked more on Assam (my home state). I think I did decent.

CSC: Was there any specific area they emphasized upon?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
They focussed more on Assam’s volatile nature.

CSC: Whom would you credit your success?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
God, Parents, S.BALIYAN Sir and Friends.

CSC: What is your advice to the freshers who are going to appear in this exam?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
Work hard and you will do it. I failed Prelims twice. I wrote Mains first time and I cleared. Have faith.

CSC: What is your advice to the candidates who have failed in this exam?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
You don’t fail till you believe you have.

CSC: Had you thought of another alternative apart from the Civil services?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
Yes, if not civil service, I would have joined politics.

CSC: Are you satisfied with the current pattern of exam? If not, what are your suggestions?
IBU SANJELLA GARG: Yes. It is fair and transparent.

CSC: Do you think Civil Services exam is true test of a candidate’s merit?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
Not merit but perseverance and hard work. There is no true test for merit. We all are good in something.

CSC: Since when you have begun reading Civil Services Chronicle magazine? What are your suggestions to make it more useful for civil service aspirants?
IBU SANJELLA GARG:
From engineering 3rd year. It’s a great magazine and has great content. Improve paper quality if you can.

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