U r background in economics from LSE is clearly visible in ur paper 2 marks.@mrunal nice efforts to post this.
This is a discussion on [Toppers Interview] Harshika Singh (AIR 8 /CSE 2011) without coaching (Economics + Anthro) shares her journey, booklist and studyplan within the Chit-Chat forums, part of the Lounge category; Went to London School of Economics Prepared for Civil Service Exam without Coaching Gave Jharkhand and Bihar as her cadre preference to serve the society Got 8 th Rank in CSE 2011 Yes I’m talking about 2011’s topper Harshika Singh. Introduction Name Harshika Singh Roll number 006368 Rank (CSE 2011) ...
Yes I’m talking about 2011’s topper Harshika Singh.Went to London School of Economics
Prepared for Civil Service Exam without Coaching
Gave Jharkhand and Bihar as her cadre preference to serve the society
Got 8th Rank in CSE 2011
Name Harshika Singh Roll number 006368 Rank (CSE 2011) 8 Optional Subjects
Medium for Mains Exam English Mains Examination Centre Delhi Number of Attempts 2 Details of Graduation and Post-Grad.
- B.A Economics(hons)-St.Xavier’s College,Ranchi
- MSc.Economic History(London School Of Economics and Political Science,London,UK)
Schooling (Medium) English Extracurricular activities,
hobbies, achievements etc.
- Classical Dancing(bharatnatyam and Kathak),
- Gold medalist in graduation,
- School head girl,
- Class representative throughout my college days
Are you a working professional? No Did you take Coaching? Prelims: No
Did you buy any postal courses? Yes Did you join any Mock test series? No Did you appear in any other competitive exams? No If yes, provide the details: NA
To be a Civil Servant was a childhood dream for me and especially when I realized and understood the intricacy of the service it became a passion for me.Q. When and how did the inspiration and idea of joining civil service come in your mind?
The Choice of Optional Subjects
Q7. After a person decides to appear in civil service exam, the first big obstacle is “Choice of optional subjects”. What factors did you consider before selecting your optional?
In my case as I have a background in Economics so that was a natural choice and for my second optional my keen interest in Anthropology was the sole reason for selecting it as my second optional
Q. People initially prepare with much enthusiasm but then a boredom phase comes - they don’t even find the motivation to read the daily newspapers, let alone studying the books.
Sometimes they get diverted because of external factors e.g. heavy workload in office, family responsibilities and so on. How did you sustain the study-momentum throughout the year?
I prepared a balanced strategy at the very beginning of preparation. I roughly made a mental preparation plan and ensured on a daily basis that I am following it thoroughly.
Any person who is preparing for CSE faces the frequent bouts of enthusiasm and boredom. Even I faced it especially in the evening hours.
When I was bored or lacked enthusiasm ,I took a break..saw TV ,went on Facebook etc-did anything that diverted my mind but only for max 10 mins.
After that I reminded myself of my dreams and was back on my study table.
On an average, How many hours did you study per day? How many months did it take you to complete the core syllabus of GS and optional subjects?
I studied till the time I was able to concentrate..roughly 8-10 hrs daily and I was preparing for CSE since 2009 December for my first attempt in 2010(AIR Rank-640).
However I feel 1 year of intensive study is sufficient.
How did you use computer and internet for your exam-preparation?
Since I did my preparation from home (ranchi) Internet was the only source of information and guidance for me. I used internet for keeping myself updated on the front of the news and world affairs,for updating myself on recent developments in the field of economics and anthropology and also for Science and Tech portion.
- How did you prepare yourself for the essay?
- Which Essay did you write in Mains-2011?
- What were your keypoints in that essay?
- How many marks did you get in that essay?
I did not do anything special for Essay.I used to read the editorials of newspapers seriously and in case I found some interesting quote etc I noted them down. I also made a tentative list of essay topics and practiced writing on one of it.
I attempted the essay on the topic “creation of small states and its implications”.
I tried to keep my language very simple. I also ensured that my essay is very comprehensive. I got 100 marks in essay.
Q. Serious players get mentally shattered and depressed after failure in competitive exams. How did you cope up with failures and rose from the ashes again? What had gone wrong in your previous attempts? How did you fix those issues in your 2011’s attempt?
Yes, I did went in depression after my first attempt’s result in 2010(though I got AIR 640 then) .Maybe I had more expectations. But thanks to my parents who helped me to regain back my senses .In my first attempt paucity of time and associated superficiality in my preparation was a major problem.In this attempt ,I tried to rectify this.
Many aspirants fear the interview, thinking that “my profile is not good because
- I’ve low marks in SSC/HSC/College,
- I don’t have any extra-curricular certificates,
- I don’t have work experience,
- I graduated from some unknown college,
- I’m from non-English medium and so on…”
So, How important or relevant is the profile of a candidate during interview?
I believe CSE interview is solely “PERSONALITY TEST” and as it is CSE is a great leveler where a post doctoral is competing with a simple bachelor’s degree holder.So one’s profile doesn’t play a much important.In stead its You and your dedication that matters. As far as I am concerned ,I would accept that I had a “so called relatively better profile” but with my two years of CSE interview experience .i can say that at the end of the day ..its your personality test..that’s it.Varied medium people should never feel that they are at any disadvantage.If you are confident about what you are and can be original in the interview room …you are bound to succeed.
Q. In case you had not cleared the Union Public Service Commission exam, what was your career/future backup plan?
I would definitely be disheartened. However, in case if things would have gone in different direction than I had expected, I would have moved towards a career in academics.
Family and Friends
Definitely ,in my case there were many people behind the scenes who helped me to achieve my dream. My parents who stood by me through thick and thin.Their one statement after my first result in 2010 attempt that “You can do it and you will do it,give it a second try” helped me to regain back my senses and I decided to give my 100% for that one dream.Q. Behind one topper are many people who stood by her during those uncertain times when she was merely an ‘aspirant’. Would you like to tell the world, who were those people in your case? Any specific incidence that you would like to share with the readers?
My elder brother and sis –in-law were always there for that much needed “confidence boost” ,my friends who were there as my “vent for frustration” and most importantly some of my professors /teachers who were my true friend,philosopher and guide.
One instance , I would like to share….usually by the night , I was so drained out that I did not had the strength to read out loud (and I would admit I am in the habit of reading out loud)my GS and Anthropology materials. At that point in time , my mom would just read them for me and I used to hear them while laying down.At the end of a chapter, I used to summarize it and that was how I covered some portions!!!!In the evenings , when any aspirant is facing that bout of frustration, my dad would take me to a close-by ice-cream shop for that much needed “Ice-cream dose”…these are small instances but would like to say these instances mattered a lot !
Your Study plan
CSAT (Paper I) General studies
CSAT (Paper II) Aptitude
Topic Source of your preparation remark, if any Current Affairs Thorough and intensive reading of newspapers like TOI,The hindu,IE(only for editorials),ET,magazines like frontline ,CSR,Chronicle,Yojana and the Economist. Always keep yourself updated with issues happening around you.I am a news maniac ..won’t ask you to become one but start loving and following news..i am sure you will start enjoying it as well. History Ancient/Medieval/Modern Spectrum and Vajiram Yellow book +some NCERTS Physical Geography All the four NCERTS of 11th and 12th Be very thorough with them Geography of India “ Geography of World Polity and Governance DD Basu/Laxmikant/Vajiram yellow book Public Policy Internet and self made notes Rights issue Same as above Environment and Biodiversity Internet, IGNOU materials Economic and social Development Economic Survey/PD special issue on Economy/Internet Science Sriram notes+internet+chronicle special issue Economy Economic survey/India year book
Syllabus Topic Source of your preparation Remarks, if Any Quantitative Aptitude R.S agarwal+Manuals like that of Unique,arihant,intenet sources and even some basic practice papers for CAT Data interpretation Same as above Logical reasoning Reading comprehension Decision Making and Problem solving I tried to practice some questions which were available on net During exams just read these questions very nicely and calmly .
Compulsory Language papers
General Studies paper I
Source of your preparation English Went through the previous years question papers Indian language paper Went through previous years question papers and practiced writing essay in Hindi almost like a month before the exam
Syllabus Topic Source of your preparation History Spectrum/Vajiram yellow book Culture Spectrum+internet Geography of India Four NCERTS of 11th and 12th Std. Polity DD basu/Laxmikant/Vajiram yellow book Issues of social relevance Internet +magazines like chronicle Indian economy and planning Economic Survey Public health Law and order Good governance Environment
General Studies paper 2
Optional Subject #1 and #2
Syllabus Topic Source of your preparation India and the World Prepared self notes while reading newspapers Indian diaspora internet India’s Economic interaction with world Extensive reading of Business newspapers International affairs and institutions Newspapers Statistics Practiced from Spectrum esp the graphs etc(but since I have economics background,did not need much preparation for this) Science & Tech. Sriram study materials+internet
For both my optional I emphasized on making my concepts very clear and re-read the textbooks. I read all of these books, different books cater to different portions of the syllabus so i have just enumerated them
For Paper 1
Microeconomics Ahuja and Koutsyansis Macroeconomics Ahuja
International Economics Salvatore basically
and for some random parts
Public finance Lekhi
Money and banking- S.B Gupta
For growth and development i followed Mishra and Puri/there is another book by lekhi on it(it covers the syllabus so its bit handy)/ debraj Ray-development economics[/URL] an extensive use of internet for some new developments in same
Indian Economy part from Dutt & Sundaram
Mishra & Puri
Economic survey UNION BUDGET & ECONOMIC SURVEY Economy and Political Weekly EPW any one business newspaper like ET/FE etc The Economic Times:
- The comprehensive list of Anthropology books i followed was
Topic Books Physical Anthropology B M das/P Nath Social Anthropology
- Ember n Ember
- Makhan Jha
- N.K Vaid
- D.N Mazumdar & T.N Madan
- Nadeem Hasnain
- V.S Sahay &Pradeep K Singh
Anthropological Thought Upadhyay/ Gaya Pandey
Extensive use of internet for keeping myself updated about any new anthropological development.
How did you prepare for the interview? What questions were asked?
For my interview ,I brushed up every small aspect of my background,my home state,my optional etc(all the information furnished by me in DAF).
I was in Vijay Singh Sir’s Board.Interview board was very cordial and cooperative. Questions were mixture of World economics+my hobbies+world affairs+some decision making questions and some questions on my home state ,Jharkhand
CIVIL SERVICES (MAIN) EXAMINATION, 2011
SUBJECTS MARKS ESSAY (PAPER-III) 100 GENRAL STUDIES (PAPER-IV) 144 GENRAL STUDIES (PAPER-V) 132 OPTIONAL-I(ECONOMICS) (PAPER-VI) 133 OPTIONAL-I(ECONOMICS) (PAPER-VII) 213 OPTIONAL-II(ANTHROPOLOGY) (PAPER-VIII) 196 OPTIONAL-II(ANTHROPOLOGY) (PAPER-IX) 175 WRITTEN TOTAL 1093 PERSONALITY TEST 204 FINAL TOTAL 1297
Q. What is your message to the aspirants?
Dream a dream and make a determined effort for that….you will surely succeed. Never get disheartened. CSE preparation is a beautiful and life changing experience. Live it and you will enjoy and relish it forever. All the very best for all your endeavors.
End of interview.
If you wish to congratulate, compliment, or ask any follow up questions to Harshika Singh (IO username: @harshika s), post it here!
U r background in economics from LSE is clearly visible in ur paper 2 marks.@mrunal nice efforts to post this.
Congrats for your achievement. Wish you best of luck in profession and life
It seems from ur reslt that u r extremly gud n papr2 economics while the score is avg n paper1...
What work/writing skills enabled u to score such cool marks n economics papr2?
I would like to ask Harshika how she got into London School of Economics.
P.S - Please do not mind answering since it is not related to Union Public Service Commission
Many many Congratulations to you for this great achievement.........
I have seen very few people who have prepared CSE without any coaching nd u r one of them.
I want to know how have u managed all preparations at home(i mean from Ranchi) because everything about study material is not easily accessible in Ranchi for students.
Hearty Congrats Harshika. Congrats again for the excellent scores in both the optionals esp. Anthro. I remember IO member - vijai007 last year for similar marks in Anthro last year.
@mrunal - wanted to post couple of questions related to Anthro prep. looks like she cant take messages. thats ok. i will post the qs right here. dont know if she is watching this space!
@harshika s - wud like to know the questions u attempted in paper 1 and paper 2 apart from the compulsory questions 1 & 5. I'm finding it difficult to take my score beyond 150 in paper 2. Thanks in advance.
Also, I think some questions are to be handled spot on with our knowledge ex: question on modernity& future of hunting and gathering tribes. do u agree?
Your marks in economics speak for themselves. I have just completed my second yr at IIT Kharagpur and I am planning to take Union Public Service Commission UPSC Preliminary Examination in 2014. I am from a non-economics background. I wanted to know what all questions you attempted in economics paper-1 and 2. Was there any pre planning or strategy regarding which questions you will attempt in exam and which ones you wont?
Looking forward to your reply
congrats, ur interview is truely inspiring , all the best for your future...Rebuild india glory
Harika , my optional is anthropology, how can i go with it , is there any thing you prepared apart from the books you mentioned...pls guide
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