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Question: What were the basic mantras of your success?

JEYSUNDHAR: Consistent preparation from selected sources.

Question: When did you start preparation for the IAS Examination? When should one ideally begin thinking about preparing for this exam?

JEYSUNDHAR: I started preparing after my graduation. One can begin thinking about preparing for this exam at any point in his life, but optimally one needs to start in the final year of his graduation.

Question: What were your optionals? What were the bases of selecting these optionals?

JEYSUNDHAR: History and English Literature. I chose History because I was interested in it during high school but English Literature was due to avoidance. I was trying to get away from optionals I considered difficult or boring, such as Geography and Psychology and found English Literature to be relatively easier.

Question: Tell us something about preparation of essay paper.

JEYSUNDHAR: In my opinion, one does not have to prepare for Essay paper. It often hinders the natural flow of thought. Anybody can pick one out of the four topics and write a decent essay out of it. Any facts or figures one needs, can be provided by his preparation for GS and optional papers.

Question: How did you manage your time in both prelims and mains examination?

JEYSUNDHAR: Managing my time in Prelims examination was not a problem at all. In fact, I had more than half an hour at my disposal after I was done with the question paper. I merely revised my answers twice after I was done. The Mains exam however, was a different game. I was perpetually short of time as I found it very hard to complete the exam within 3 hours. I would take half the time to write just one question and try to finish the remaining four in the other one and a half hours. But weekly tests and constant practice improved my writing speed and I found it manageable.   

Question: Which is the most difficult part of this examination and why? What was your strategy to tackle this difficult part?

JEYSUNDHAR: The most difficult part of this three step process is the Mains Exam. Because, not only you have to know the answer, you also have to write it within the prescribed word limit and also within the prescribed time. You also need to make sure your answers have the punch to impress the examiner. To do all this within 3 hours needs a lot of mental strength not to mention physical stamina.

Question: Did you integrate your Prelims and Mains or was it separate?

JEYSUNDHAR: It was separate. My Prelims preparation was often mediocre as I only had to choose the answers from a list of options. But Mains requires a more intensive approach especially in case of optionals as you have to know what you plan to write, head to tail, before you start writing.

Question: What are your suggestions for fresher who want to join coaching institutes for preparation?

JEYSUNDHAR: Enquire about the Coaching Institute, their recent performance and the teaching methods. Choose the institute and teacher that match your learning style. Once you join, adhere to their plan. Do not bunk a class and more importantly, never bunk a test. A regular evaluation and appropriate course correction is mandatory. For GS, use the internet frequently and intensively. I personally will not advise a student of a coaching institute to focus on any third party material including the magazines and others available in the market because that defeats the purpose of going to an institute and also takes up a lot of time.

Question: 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?

JEYSUNDHAR: I adopted a writing style that suited my speed. It was a minimalist, no-frills involved approach. I would split the question into parts, prepare bullet points on the question paper itself in the space available and then begin writing the answer. In the answer I would merely expand upon the points I had noted down on the question paper. This, I found, provided me with a good flow and once started I did not have to stop or backtrack anywhere in the middle. This made my answer seem coherent and not contradicting with itself. I developed this writing style through a trial and error approach during the practice tests which once again stresses the importance of writing regular tests.

Question: Before getting down to actual preparation, what kind of reading should one do to prepare one’s suitability for this exam? What is the outside one should do?

JEYSUNDHAR: One doesn’t need any special reading to be suitable for this exam. One just has to have been an observant student in school, able to understand concepts and retain facts with ease. It also helps if someone has been reading out of interest than out of compulsion as that is the nature of preparation this exam requires.

Question: What is your advice to the freshers who are going to appear in this exam?

JEYSUNDHAR: I would quote Steve Jobs here and say “Stay hungry; Stay foolish”. Never get the feeling that you have learnt too much or gained too much. Everybody has certain strengths and weaknesses. While it is essential to work on one’s weaknesses, one shouldn’t ignore their strengths in the process. Focus on your strengths and modify your preparation accordingly.


Name                                               : Jeysundhar D                       

Date of Birth                                   : 17.05.1988                       

Father’s Name & Occupation      : S Deviprasadh; Retired Fitter

Mother’s Name & Occupation     : Bavani D; Housewife

















State Board


Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science




Madras University

English Literature



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