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Toppers Talk – Shreyas Kumat | AIR-4 , CSE 2018

Shreyas Kumat bagged AIR-4, emerging as one of the top five rankers.

In an exclusive interview with Study Iq, Shreyans talked about the Civil Services Examination.

He cracked the prestigious UPSC Civil Services Examination in his very first attempt. His optional subject in the CSE Mains was Anthropology.

Interviewer: Many congratulations for clearing civil services 2018 please tell us something about yourself.

Shreyans: I hail from Kishangarh near Ajmer, Rajasthan. I did most of my schooling in Kishangarh and studied Class-10 at Ajmer’s Mayoor School.

I pursued a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) and graduated from the institute in 2015.

I also worked with Ernst & Young (EY) for about two years before giving Civil Services a try. Around mid-2017, I left my job and started preparing full time.”

Interviewer: Ernst & Young (EY) is a very big firm and provides a good income, from where did the thought of leaving the job come to you?

Shreyans: I gave my 12 to 14 hours to my job and thought why I should not devote my much time in something that will be very beneficial for the society and IAS is a job that provides satisfaction.

So i left my job and started my full time

Interviewer: How much time did you take for the preparation of examination?

Shreyans: I left my job and started my full-time preparation from then only.

Interviewer: Is it good to leave a job and then prepare for the exam, as you left your job and then prepared.

Shreyans: It totally depends on the nature of the job; my job demanded 12-14 hours and was unable to give devoted hours to the IAS preparation.

Interviewer: From an extra source I came to know that you were part of the dance group of your college, so were you part of the extra curriculum in your college? Many aspirants are not able to fulfill their hobby while preparing for the exam, were you able to continue your hobbies.

Shreyans: I made some changes in my hobbies, I started exploring meditation, which helped me a lot during my preparation, I also explored some trekking routes which helped to get somewhat closer to nature. I felt a different type of gratitude for mother earth.

Whenever I was stressed; I danced in a freestyle manner which helped me to reduce my stress.

Interviewer: From where did you prepared for the civil services, from Delhi or home?

Shreyans: I stayed at both the places, sometimes in Delhi and sometimes at home, nothing is fixed as such.

Interviewer: Which among offline coaching classes and online programs is helpful, on which sources you relied?

Shreyans: I had a few online as well as offline coaching programs from institutes for some time; thereafter I did self-study.

I like to read books in printed form, for better retention not in pdf form. So, for clearing basics offline and for add-ons and text series online.

Interviewer: Were Study Iq’s videos helpful for you in any forms?

Shreyans: Yes when I was preparing for CSE, in my study breaks I used to refer Prashant Dhawan sir’s burning issues videos.

Interviewer: Please share your views on the three phase of the CSE examination; how you went through it, what was your strategy for it?

Shreyans: All three of them were challenging because I was doing it for the first time.”

In a way, subjective-papers for Mains and the Interview were on the tougher side. I had given objective-papers earlier during the IIT and CAT times. I had a pretty good idea. But subjective-papers needed more work.

In prelims general studies were the main thing, coming from engineering background CSAT is quite easy and full focus is required in general studies paper.

On my calculations, my prelims score was coming 120+.

Interviewer: Now coming on Mains, what changes you made in the Mains exam?

Shreyans: After 10th and 12th, I did not have a habit of writing long essays and paragraphs and writing habit became quite difficult for me.

So, we group of 4-5 friends made a strategy of finding questions and then writing answers for those questions and then checking off those answers was done by among us only.

I wrote answers to 5-6 questions daily for 3 months.

Interviewer: Yours was the first attempt, and syllabus for prelims and mains is so vast. how did you manage this?

Shreyans: I used to understand the basic aspect of every topic. The strategy was to ensure that all the topics are covered in a way that I am able to reproduce during the exam in a concise way.

Interviewer: How was your interview?

Shreyans:  Bhosle sir took my interview, the board was very cordial and open-ended questions were asked.

Interviewer: What was your optional?

Shreyans: Anthropology was my optional it was a mixture of biology and humanities. I hoped humanities because it would have helped me in general studies paper also.

Interviewer: Were you expecting single digit rank?

Shreyans:  I never thought about getting a single digit rank. But I was aware that I will get my name on the list.

Interviewer: CSE preparation itself takes a time of 1 to 1.5 year, it is very challenging for people, how did you handle this?

Shreyans: Have trust in yourself and have positivity throughout the process. You have to be very consistent throughout the preparation…that requires a lot of motivation and affirmations regularly.

Interviewer: Did you have any backup plan?

Shreyans: If not civil service then I would have joined government consulting related aspect.

I think people should use their respective skills accordingly and if they want to contribute to society, they can do in a respective manner.

Thank You