C.S.C.: Heartiest congratulations to you from Civil Services Chronicle for your success. How are you feeling about it?
Deepak Kumar: Thanksa lot. It really feels special to get the first choice post. It seems the years of labour paid back. There is a feeling of gratitude towards all who supported me in this long journey.
C.S.C.: What inspired you for becoming a BPS officer? Whom do you give credit for your success? What is the role of family and others (teacher, friends) in your preparation and success?
Deepak Kumar: The work done by various IPS officers in public field and especially in my district has inspired me to come in this field. Recent work of Harprit Kaur madam, the work of Paresh Saxena sir and work of IAS Kundan Kumar sir inspired me a lot. The credit of my success goes to Mami-Papa, my elder brother (Arun Kumar), my respected teachers who have not been merely teachers but the guiding principles (like Sarvesh Sir, Lalit Sir), Shubhash Chandra Bhaiya (IRS), and my close friends. Role of family remained vital in supporting me with all the resources they can. Teachers and friends played very important role in making preparation, selecting right resources and directing my preparation in right direction.
C.S.C.:What strategy one should follow for preparing General Studies Prelims & Mains? Did you integrate your Prelims and Mains preparation or was it separate?
Deepak Kumar: Analyze the syllabus, previous years question paper and understand the demand of exam. Map the areas form where questions are being asked again and again, and prepare for that area based on its importance form exam perspective. Aspirants should have a basic and pragmatic calculation of marks they need to score in various papers to get the desirable rank and post. Choose optional wisely.Preparation of prelims and Mains in an integrated way was my strategy.Whatever facts & figures, standard books I studied for prelims, I used those concepts, facts and figures for mains as well. It helped me saving time and fruitful utilization of knowledge I gained through prelims preparation.
C.S.C.:How much time did you devote for Prelims, Mains, Interview, and Optional? How did you manage your time in both Prelims and Mains examinations?
Deepak Kumar: Since I have prepared Civil Services twice and qualified its prelims two times, I just prepared for Bihar special – mostly form Crown Publication books, then current affair from Bihar Samgrah, and science portion form Lucent General Knowledge. All this I covered in 20 days. For Mains, apart from standard books for civil services exam, I went through the book by Sarvesh sir for Bihar specific approach. Answer writing in Sarvesh sir Test series for BPSC helped me a lot in Mains and discussion of test was really helpful. For optional, I followed IMS study material both for UPSC and BPSC with some selected books like Malik and Arora, books of Krishna Series. In BPSC, questions are relatively easy and IMS materials are enough for preparation. For interview, I attended Mock Test of Sarvesh sir, in 63rd BPSC I also attended the mock of Patanjali IAS and Dristi IAS.
C.S.C.:What was your optional? What was the basis of selecting this optional?
Deepak Kumar: Math was my optional subject as I enjoy this subject since my school days. It also gave me window to study non-humanity subject. So, a balance between Math and GS helped in continuing my study for long.
C.S.C.:How did you prepare for interview? How should one prepare for the interview?
DeepakKumar: I prepared for interview on general terms like about myself: educational background, optional, why in public service, hometown/village, about Bihar, and potential and issues state is facing. Current affair is particularly important and questions are asked on the issues trending at the time of interview. One must be ready for logical questions rather than factual questions. One should try to be apolitical and stick to constitutional provisions.
C.S.C.:What is the importance of coaching in the preparation of exam?
Deepak Kumar: I particularly didn’t attend class room program of any coaching institute. But, for test series of good quality like that of Sharthak Samwad for BPSC is very helpful,and test discussion is even more important. Writing GS test series in exam mode helps in developing answer writing approach.
C.S.C.:What is your source of preparation? Which books, magazines, newspapers and online sources were used by you during preparation?
Deepak Kumar: Some youtube channels like Mrunal helped mein developing the basic understanding of history, geography and economics. After that, I read basic books for Civil services like – Lakshmikant for polity, Spectrum for history. For BPSC, special Sarthak Samwad books on Hisotry,Polity and economics are really helpful.
C.S.C.:Suggest book list for preparing Prelims, GS & CSAT and Mains Paper 1 to 4 and Essay.
Deepak Kumar: Book list for Prelims: Lucent (especially for Science), Crown Publication – Introduction of Bihar or Bihar ek Parichay (Imtiyaz Ahmad), Bihar Samagrh for current; For Mains: Selected topics form Lakshmi kant and Spectrum, and Sarthak Samwad. Along with this, newspaper-The Hindu or Indian Express are very