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Prelims Capsule

Toppers Talk

Toppers Talk – Suman Nala | AIR- 508, CSE 2019

UPSC 2019 Topper Interview – How to prepare for UPSC when married? Suman Nala AIR 508

  • Interviewer-Tell us something about your educational background.

Suman- I am a Computer Science Engineer and graduated from BITS Pilani in 2012 and worked with Oracle for three and a half years.

My fourth attempt at the Civil Services Examination was in 2019.

  • Interviewer-What kind of hurdles did you face?

Suman- My challenges were similar to those faced by the other candidates.

The UPSC CSE syllabus was challenging.

I was not familiar with the subjects required to pass this exam because I come from an engineering background.

  • Interviewer- What was your strategy for the prelims exam?

Suman- For my preliminary examination preparation, I had a clear strategy: solve as many mock question papers as possible. For my current affairs revision, I also preferred reading the monthly current affairs compilation.

Because the UPSC syllabus is so complex, taking exams is the only method to figure out what content you should memorise and what you may skip.

Taking mock examinations allows you to assess your potential while also ensuring that your preparation is well-structured and balanced.

  • Interviewer- How did you overcome the pressure for 4 attempts?

Suman- In 2016, I passed the UPSC prelims in my first attempt, however, I was unable to pass the mains exam.

Despite being invited to interviews for the second time in 2017, I did not make the final cut.

The repercussions of this failure followed me into my third attempt in 2018, and I was once again unable to pass the mains exam.

But, with the help of my parents and in-laws, particularly my husband, who had passed the exam while we were both studying for UPSC, I worked even harder and passed my fourth attempt in 2019.

  • Interviewer-What was your optional?

Suman- Computer Science is not listed among the UPSC’s optional subjects. And, really, even if it had been, I would have picked an option closely similar to the General Studies preparation, rather than studying a radically separate subject, as many other Science topics that UPSC does allow.

The history books were the ones that grabbed my curiosity the most. This is why I selected History as an optional. I insist that you enjoy the optional subject you select.

  • Interviewer-How did you manage your time in the Mains examination?

Suman- Preparation for both the prelims and the mains should be combined.

Three to four months before the preliminary examination, one should devote all of one’s attention to preliminary mock examinations and prelim-specific research.

Because there is such a little period between the preliminary and mains exams, the mains curriculum should be finished and, if feasible, updated at least once before the preliminary exam.

Between the preliminary and major exams, students can focus on additional revision and practise test papers. And always take your own notes; otherwise, you won’t be able to finish your revisions.

  • Interviewer- What was your strategy for the interview?

Suman- Interviews are a way of determining your personality. It’s a good idea to do a few mock interviews to improve how you convey your ideas throughout the interview.

It’s a good idea to be familiar with your state, your district, any previous jobs you’ve held, and your educational history.

Interview questions may be factual, as in the prelims, or analytical, as in the mains.

  • Interviewer- What message would you like to give to IAS Aspirants?

Suman- For this exam, consistency is crucial.

The challenges of getting married and settling down are frequently a part of the journey. As a result, marriage should not be considered the end of your job path. Instead, accept it as part of the journey and continue to pursue your IAS dream.