Ananya Mittal cleared IAS Exam 2014 in his first attempt. He has secured 85th rank. He has shared his experiences and strategies which will help aspirants during their preparation for IAS Prelims Exam.
Jagranjosh.com: What do think about the change in the IAS Prelims Exam Pattern?
Ananya Mittal: See, this change look good to me because I thought that CSAT, most of the student who had good aptitude who are from engineering background, they are doing better in CSAT. So, this put more stress on general studies and you need to that in better way now.
So I think its a good change. However I still feel that 33% in CSAT is too easy until and unless they make that exam of CSAT a little more difficult. So, I would say the change is funny.
Jagranjosh.com: Does joining coaching helps in clearing the IAS Prelims Exam?
Ananya Mittal: Coaching will not help either in Prelims, Mains or interview. You have to take help from coaching by yourself because you have to clear the exam yourself. It is not like that they do something to you so that you can pass the Prelims Exam. From there the generated help for you and you can utilise those help for your own results. So, I would not say it is necessary for Prelims or Mains but if you feel the coaching is necessary for you then it is necessary.
Jagranjosh.com: How far the group discussions are helpful in clearing Prelims Exam?
Ananya Mittal: Group discussions are much helpful. I would not say, there should be group discussions, this is not necessary that there should be 3 to 4 people. You can discuss with you friend alone or I will say you can discuss with your family members if they too have interest to keep knowledge about current affairs.
I always say, discussions must helps to keep remembering things. The things which have been discussed already will remain in mind for a longer period. From discussion you came about to know the perspectives of others, important issues.
Sometime, we did not studied the syllabus carefully then we might not have idea that this news has important according to our syllabus. If you are not discussing with friends then you came about to know that such news are also be helpful.
I used to keep at least half an hour in a day for newspaper discussion. I used to call any of my friends and we used to discuss about what happened today, what happened in India today and what the important issues are for the day.
Jagranjosh.com: When did you start the Preparation for IAS Prelims Exam?
Ananya Mittal: I have started preparation for IAS Prelims specifically 3 months before in April which went around April, May, June and July. In August was mainly for revision but this preparation was not individually exclusive preparation.
My preparation had been started since June, 2013 at that time I was studying already same thing which was ultimately revising prelims in those 4 months. So, I will not say that I have prepared for IAS Prelims only for 3 months but prepare for whole year but revised for 3 months only.
Jagranjosh.com: What was your strategy for General Studies for the IAS Prelims Exam?
Ananya Mittal: For Prelims General studies, I did not join coaching. I referred their notes as base and I have prepared their notes properly.
After that some standard books like Laxmikanth for polity, Spectrum for Modern History, for Economics I referred notes of Sri Ram along with the coaching materials of the coaching of which I was taking. While revising these study materials but I will say that once or twice revision of such material is very important. So I did.
Jagranjosh.com: What was Strategy to Prepare for the GS Prelims Paper II (CSAT)?
Ananya Mittal: I belonged from engineering background, so, I was confident that I will do better in CSAT and I have neglected this for long time but when I have started doing I felt, I would have devote little time.
I have neither taken any particular coaching for CSAT nor referred study material, I have tried on test papers of UPSC‘s Previous Years and few materials of institutes available in market. I have tried these and tried to analyse my position.
Jagranjosh.com: How did you make balance between the General Studies and Aptitude Paper of IAS Prelims?
Ananya Mittal: It was difficult step for me because when I was involve in GS Papers, always face problem CSAT would not be cover in a complete day and on the day when I was involve in CSAT, there was scarcity of time for GS.
Such worries were always there in that what are the things more important and which section you will score better. So, Make a balance that in a day, 7-8 hours for General Studies and in night provide 2 hours for CSAT. It is very essential in this preparation, problems will always be there but this is required for this exam.
Jagranjosh.com: How far is English necessary fulfilling the work responsibilities of Civil Servant?
Ananya Mittal: I would say, Basic English is required for any kind of job but I won’t say that English is the sole necessity for this Exam.
Jagranjosh.com: What suggestion would you like to give for the future candidate for IAS Prelims Exam?
Ananya Mittal: For Prelims, I will say, to put focus on your prelims and don’t put focus on the uncertainty that you will crack prelims or not because the nature of Prelims is very uncertain and you cannot ensure you will crack it for certainly. And must try test papers because from this you get the knowledge of you are proceeding in right direction or in wrong direction.
I will say it too that while you are attempting questions, don’t go for the only answers when don’t know but also try to eliminate those answers which are not possible. From this you will get help when you don’t know the exact answer but you are sure that some options are not possible any sense in that way sometime you will solve questions.