Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Runup to UPSC Prelims 2009...Part2

2nd Exam (2008)
3 months before the exam of my second attempt I had even forgotten the syllabus and the which books I needed to mug up. I somehow started with some advice and tips from friends who were already in the business. I had taken it on my ego to pass the exam this time. My boss went on his honeymoon in the month before the exam (there went my preparatory leave) and I had to make do with night shifts in my office to squeeze out whatever little time I could for preparation.
Nevertheless I was in a much respectable position both during and after my exam. I evaluated my performance and found my scores marginally on the higher side of expected cutoffs. Such was the joy of being able to take the first step that I forgot there was a second step too and tougher by a few order of magnitudes than the first one. And for that I had almost no preparation. With 9 subjective papers to take, consisting of 2 subjects, Physics and Sociology ( to be prepared up to Graduate Honours level) and plethora of social sciences for General Studies, a 1200 word essay I was nowhere near the stage of preparation. When prelims results came out, I had less than 60 days in hand. On top of that our company was preparing for Deming Award Challenge and everyone were working feverishly for it. Jobs were at stake because no department wanted to fail the challenge and disappoint our MD. There was no question of any leave. So I struck a deal with my superiors that I would stay and work till this Deming thing gets over and then I would leave for exam (however long it may take). So tense was everybody for Deming that they agreed to it. On 3 rd September, I left for Delhi after consultations with Smarak. He was already there preparing for his second attempt. Within 2 days, he got me admitted to a GS crash course and I rented a small room as a PG. For the next 40 days I mugged doggedly. Only entertainment available to me was my FM radio and my pack of cigarettes. I mugged up whole subjects in days (u can guess the quality of retention I would have had). I must thank Smarak for keeping my tempo up whenever I was overwhelmed by the size of syllabus.
I filled up the form of UPSC Mains in such a rush that I forgot to fill my choice of centre in it. Thankfully UPSC allotted me centre in Kolkata (near my permanent address) rather than rejecting the form.So 2 days before the exams I rushed with all my baggage and books (over 100 kg) to home( Dhanbad) from where I made trips to Kolkata on exam days. The exam itself was stretched over 24 days with nice long gaps in between that allowed me to revise whatever I mugged up. However stress was taking a toll on me. By the time I was taking my last paper I was so pissed off that all I wanted was the bell to ring and to get over with it. Last Paper ( Physics) screwed up. Not that I expected to perform great but sure as hell I didn't expect total catastrophe.

Nevertheless I was happy and a sense of contentment pervaded my mind. I was happy with the fact that when shit hit the fan, I didn't run for cover. I was able to put everything at stake and went for what I wanted. These are times when your character is put to test. I didn't qualify the exams but was happy that I was able to restore my faith in myself.


  1. Really liked the truth and frankness in your article.

  2. thnx Mrunal...really appreciate it...

  3. very informative post indeed.. being enrolled in http://www.wiziq.com/course/4870-ias-general-studies-and-csat-prelims-question-bank,I was looking for such articles online to assist me.. and your post helped me a lot :)