CSC: What were the basic mantras of your success?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: Perseverance and focus on the aim.
CSC: When did you start your preparation for the IAS Examination? When should one ideally begin thinking about preparing for this exam?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: I dreamt of it since my schooldays. One should start preparation while doing graduation.
CSC: How did you start your preparation of the IAS Examination?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: I started with the basics from NCERT level and joined coaching for the proper systematic preparation.
CSC: What were your strategies for the lengthy syllabus of General Studies for both Prelims and Mains?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: I focused on integrated approach and carried both Prelims as well as Mains preparation together.
CSC: What was your optional subject? What was the basis of selecting this optional?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: I wrote Mains examination with History optional. I did my graduation with History just because I was sure of taking it as my optional in civil services examination. History is very interesting subject. It covers a major part of General Studies and now-a-days it is very scoring as well.
CSC: Tell us something about the preparation of essay paper.
LUCKY CHAUHAN: I did not do anything special for essay paper. I participated in debates and essay writing during my school and college days and moreover if one can evolve his/her thoughts on an issue, then there is no need of any extra preparation for essay paper.
CSC: Which is the most difficult part of this examination and why? What was your strategy to tackle this difficult part?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: I found General studies preparation a quite tough task because it is entirely unpredictable. My strategy was to get the thorough knowledge of its basic components and I kept reading newspaper without any gap.
CSC: Did you integrate your Prelims and Mains or was it separate?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: It was a combined process.
CSC: How helpful are the coaching institutes? What is your overall opinion about the coaching institutes?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: A good coaching institute is of great help because the civil services examination requires perfection in almost every field. You have to compete with the best. A good coaching institute provides continuity in preparation; it maintains focused approach and helps in regular practice for the examination
CSC: What are your suggestions for fresher who want to join coaching institutes for preparation?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: First get the basic knowledge of the exam and then join a good institute for focused preparation. Look for an institute where personal guidance is possible.
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?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: Writing poetry is my hobby. It helped me a lot in unwinding after long study hours.
CSC: How helpful is ones background in his/her success?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: It does matter if there is someone in the family who is in services as one would have advantage of knowing its details and demands. Otherwise all are at equal footing.
CSC: What should be the best strategy to tackle negative marking?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: Negative marking is only there in Prelims. Being sure of what you have studied is very important and this confidence comes from systematic preparation, especially by focusing on basics.
CSC: Which types of questions were asked in interview? Did you answer all?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: My 80% questions were related to English language and its connection with development, politics, bureaucracy, regionalism, upliftment of Dalits, etc. Rest of the questions were on corruption, RSBY, Hyderabad blasts, my city and district, and red tapism. They didn’t ask a single question on my job and hobbies or interests. I answered almost all.
CSC: Was there any specific area they emphasized upon?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: Yes. It was the use of English Language.
CSC: Before getting down to actual preparation, what kind of reading should one do to improve one’s suitability for this exam? What is the outside one should do?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: One should take interest in what is going on around in political field, economic field, and scientific field. One should be aware about his surroundings, culture, and environment and must read everything on such issues which one finds interesting.
CSC: Since when you have begun reading Civil Services Chronicle magazine? What are your suggestions to make it more useful for civil service aspirants?
LUCKY CHAUHAN: Right from the early days of preparation I am reading Civil Services Chronicle, though I could not follow it regularly. The special issues dealing with different subjects were very helpful.