Neetu Gupta
104th Rank In, Rajasthan Judicial Services Examination-2019
"The Sanctity of Judiciary kept me Motivated"


CSC: Achieving top slot in the Judicial Services Examination is no small feet; accept our heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.

Ans: Thanks

CSC: Can you recall the exact moment when you realized the importance of Judicial Services?

Ans: It was long back when I completed my Graduation. I always wanted to be a Judicial Officer but due to family pressure for marriage, I could not do it at that time.

CSC: Finally, at what point of time did you make up your mind to make career in ‘Judicial Services’?

Ans: In 2013, I finally gave up my job and started my LL.B.

CSC: You must have read topper’s interviews in newspapers/magazines; what inspired you the most? Any particular success story which influenced your journey to this result?

Ans: Yes, success story of each candidate is an inspiration in itself. Every success story gives us motivation to achieve our dreams.

CSC: About Interview Boards, many candidates have set impressions. Do you consider such thoughts help or hinder one’s performance in Interview?

Ans: We should not carry any presumptions about the interview board. We should face it with confidence as it is to be successful in any interview.

CSC: What was your first step when you were really serious about making a career in Judicial Services?

Ans: To look for the best institute which can guide me to achieve my dream and the journey got over when I found Ambition Law Institute.

CSC: Were you confident of your success in this examination? How did you react to this news of your success?

Ans: Yes, I was confident about my success in this examination. And the moment I heard the result I was overwhelmed with joy.

CSC: In how many attempts have you achieved this success? How do you visualize your preparation/previous attempts?

Ans: First

CSC: Were you preparing for other career opportunities as well while preparing for your ultimate goal i.e. career in Judicial Services?

Ans: Not as other career opportunity, but to further enhance my knowledge and to get to know the “WHY” of law, I am doing LL.M. from Delhi University.

CSC: While the changing economic environment offers immense lucrative career opportunities in various sectors, still what kept you motivated towards Judicial Services?

Ans: The respect that people still have in the sanctity of judiciary, kept me motivated.

CSC: What’s important and what’s not? Share your thoughts and opinions.

Ans: Hard work, sincerity, continuity, time management and revision, all are important.

CSC: How did you prepare yourself for Interview? When and which Board did you face? How did your interview go on?How much time did it last and what were the questions asked during the Interview?

Ans: I joined Ambition Law Institute for the same. I faced Board on 16th Nov, 2019. It took around 10-15 minutes. My Interview went well. Mainly Law questions were asked.

CSC: What is the importance of medium of examination for exams like JSE?

Ans: Medium of writing of any examination is very important as the medium in which you are comfortable, you can express yourself eloquently and that expression leads you to success.

CSC: According to a recent report published by reputed survey agency, Civil Services Chronicle is the largest read Career & Competition magazine. What is your opinion?

Ans: I agree, every aspirant reads it, to get the success in General Studies

CSC: Any suggestion/advice you would like to give to the future aspirants?

Ans. Prepare with positive thinking, sincerity, continuity having a proper time management schedule.

CSC: To whom would you like to give the credit for your success?

Ans: My parents, God, friends, family, and my coaching institute i.e. Ambition Law Institute.

Thank you very much and wishing you all the best for your future endeavours.


Nilesh Bhardwaj
61st Rank In Bihar Judicial Services Examination - 2019
"Writing quality answers in the limited time frame is the key"


CSC: Achieving top slot in the Judicial Services Examination is no small feet; accept our heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.

Ans: Thank you so much would not have been possible without AMBITION.

CSC: Can you recall the exact moment when you realized the importance of Judicial Services?

Ans: While I was interning under Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal, Delhi HC I was immensely motivated by her work. I decided to invest my life in judicial services.

CSC:Finally, at what point of time did you make up your mind to make career in ‘Judicial Services’?

Ans: During the last year of my law college.

CSC:You must have read Toppers interviews in newspapers/magazines; what inspired you the most? Any particular success story which influenced your journey to this result?

Ans: The biggest success story that has ever inspired me is of M.S. Dhoni. He unparallel sacrifice & never ending Optimism has been a personal driving force.

CSC:Was JSE a planned decision or your parent’s wish? Did you keep in mind some time frame, for the examination preparation and number of attempts?

Ans: Yes it was a mutual decision of family members. I had kept two years time frame.

CSC:About Interview Boards, many candidates have set impressions. Do you consider such thoughts help or hinder one’s performance in Interview?

Ans: One must not have pre-conceived set of notions.

CSC:What was your first step when you were really serious about making a career in Judicial Services?

Ans: I took admission in AMBITION in July, 2018 and it was my first step towards my dream.

CSC: Were you confident of your success in this examination and how did you react to this news of your success?

Ans: I had blessings of my family & teachers and thus I was very confident. I saw the result exactly the moment. It was declared and it humbled me with sense of responsibility and humility.

CSC: In how many attempts have you achieved this success? How do you visualize your preparation/previous attempts?

Ans: This was my first attempt in Bihar. I failed after interview in UP. I have also failed in preliminary exam of MP.

CSC: While the changing economic environment offers immense lucrative career opportunities in various sectors, still what kept you motivated towards Judicial Services?

Ans: The fact that one will be able to touch upon many lives by being a judicial officer was the most critical factor.

CSC: What’s important and what’s not? Share your thoughts and opinions.

Ans: The most important thing required for judicial services is patience and hard work. Don’t let results deter you.

CSC: ‘Time Management’ - is a key factor while making preparations as well as in writing examination papers. Did you come across such a problem during this period? If yes, then how did you manage things?

Ans: I am a gold medalist in my law program and thus I was cautious about time management since inception. Writing a quality answer in the limited time frame is the key.

CSC: List some of the Magazines, News papers, Books etc. which you read for ‘General Studies’ preparation.

Ans: I heavily relied upon the Indian express, chronicles, PD.

CSC: How did you prepare yourself for Interview? When and which Board did you face? How did your interview go on, how much time it lasted and what were the questions asked during the Interview?

Ans: I took mocks. I faced Justice A.K. Upadhayay’s Board. It was positive from the moment I entered. It lasted for 15 minutes. Questions from Constitution Tort, Cr.P.C. were asked.

CSC:What is the importance of medium of examination for exams like JSE?

Ans: What matters in the end are the quality of substance and not the form (medium).

CSC:Does the educational, financial and demographic status of the family of an aspirant have any impact on the preparation?

Ans: No what really matters is candidate’s sincerity about his dreams.

CSC:According to a recent report published by reputed survey agency, Chronicle is the largest read Career & Competition magazine. What is your opinion?

Ans: It is the best magazine I have ever read. It is sine qua non for selection.

CSC: What is the secret of your success?

Ans: My perservance and my family’s & Alok Sir’s unfailing faith in me.

CSC:To whom would you like to give the credit for your success?

Ans: Almighty my family, Alok Sir Ambition, my friends and my college VIPs, GGSIPU, New Delhi.

CSC: Any suggestion/advice you would like to give to the future aspirants.

Ans: Keep giving your best & results will follow the suit.

Thank you very much and wishing you all the best for your future endeavors.

Abhinav Ahlawat
26th Rank Delhi Judicial Services Exam – 2019
"Know your interest first & develop passion for it"


CSC: Achieving top slot in the Judicial Services Examination is no small feet; accept our heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.

Ans: Thank you very much.

CSC: Can you recall the exact moment when you realized the importance of Judicial Services?

Ans: Yes, right from my childhood, I have seen my great grandfather resolving people’s issues, which really inspired me about the role of judge.

CSC: Finally, at what point of time did you make up your mind to make career in ‘Judicial Services’?

Ans : During my LL.B., after interacting with judicial officers.

CSC: You must have read Toppers interviews in newspapers/magazines; what inspired you the most? Any particular success story which influenced your journey to this result?

Ans: Yes, few of them. It helps to motivate in hard times.

CSC: Was JSE a planned decision or your parent’s wish? Did you keep in mind some time frame, for the examination preparation and number of attempts?

Ans: It was my decision to prepare for JSE & my parents really backed me. I was too motivated and never did I think of quitting the preparations.

CSC: About Interview Boards, many candidates have set impressions. Do you consider such thoughts help or hinder one’s performance in Interview?

Ans: I was confident in my own ability. According to me it is better not to set preconceived impressions of the board.

CSC: What was your first step when you were really serious about making a career in Judicial Services?

Ans: When some judgments had direct impact on society, it really made me realize the importance of judiciary.

CSC: Were you confident of your success in this examination and how did you react to this news of your success?

Ans: I was quietly confident about DJS in comparison to other states. I believed I was made out for DJS only.

CSC: In how many attempts have you achieved this success? How do you visualize your preparation/previous attempts?

Ans: This was my 4th attempt. I have appeared in all the MAINS examination.

CSC: Were you preparing for other career opportunities as well while preparing for your ultimate goal i.e. Career in Judicial Services?

Ans: After appearing in many MAINS & not qualifying I started appearing for exams of prosecutor & was selected in Govt. of Haryana.

CSC: What’s important and what’s not? Share your thoughts and opinions.

Ans: Doing MCQ’s is important; it helps in developing the frame of mind, reading judgement to understand the appreciation of facts & Laws.

CSC: ‘Time Management’ - is a key factor while making preparations as well as in writing examination papers. Did you come across such problem during this period? If yes, then how did you manage things?

Ans: Time Management is the key not only while preparing but also during answer writing. I only faced problem when I started working as it becomes very hectic to manage work and studies.

CSC: List some of the Magazines, News papers, Books etc. which you read for ‘General Studies’ preparation.

Ans: Lucent for static G.K., daily newspaper reading, both English & Hindi, live laws for daily legal updates.

CSC: How did you prepare yourself for Interview? When and which Board did you face? How did your interview go on, how much time it lasted and what were the questions asked during the Interview?

Ans.: One should be well aware of things written in the C.V. Questions were related to challenges faced by criminal justice system. I read newspapers & revised my notes,

CSC: According to a recent report published by reputed survey agency, Civil Service Chronicle is the largest read Career & Competition magazine. What is your opinion?

Ans: It is one of the best and oldest magazines, with concise relevant information.

CSC: To whom would you like to give the credit for your success?

Ans: My parents, my wife, my sister, my close friends and of course my mentor Alok Sir and entire Ambition team who supported me and stood with me till the end.

CSC: Any suggestions/advice you would like to give to the future aspirants.

Ans: Know your interest first & develop passion for it. And if you do so then the path is not tough.

Srushti Jayant Deshmukh
Rank-5, CSE-2018


CSC: Heartiest congratulations to you from Civil Services Chronicle on your success. How are you feeling about it?

Ans:Thank you so much. I am feeling happy for securing a good rank. I am also relieved that my efforts have paid off and now I am looking forward to an exciting and an impactful career ahead.

CSC: What was your inspiration for becoming an IAS officer?

Ans:I always thought of what I could become, using my capacity to study and learn so as to reach out to the society and do something for the poor, marginalized etc. I got my answer, when I came across the UPSC CSE exam which could enable me to become an IAS officer.

CSC: Whom would you give credit to for your success?

Ans: I would like to thank my parents, my brother and my grandmother with whom I lived and who supported me in my preparation. I would also give credit to my closest friends, teachers and mentors who helped me throughout.

CSC: What was the role of your family and others (teachers, friends) in your preparation and success?

Ans:Family keeps you motivated through your ups and downs during the preparation. Your friends help you douse your stress and worries.

CSC: What were your sources for preparation? Which books, magazines, newspapers and online sources were used by you during the preparation?

Ans:I referred to NCERT - 6-12th Social Sciences as basic books along with standard books on each subject. I also used to read Yojana, Kurukshetra magazine, the Hindu as well as Indian Express. The online sources that I used to refer to were PIB and Rajya Sabha TV.

CSC: How much time did you devote for this exam?

(a)Prelims (b)Mains

(c)Interview(d)Optional

Ans:I integrated my preparation along with college. I prepared my optional subject a year earlier before, giving it 4-5 months. I focused separately on Prelims from February 2018 and prepared for Mains before itself. For interview, I started preparing after the Mains exam.

CSC: How did you manage your time in both Prelims and Mains examinations?

Ans:While attempting Prelims, I used to fill the OMR sheet for questions I was sure about at first, and used to leave the rest for revisiting. For Mains, I took 7-9 minutes to answer each question and did not leave any question unattempted.

CSC: Did you integrate your Prelims and Mains preparation or was it separate?

Ans:I prepared for Prelims and Mains in an integrated manner since most of the subjects overlap. Only when a specific phase of exam came near, I prepared separately on how to approach the questions.

CSC: Did you prepare any notes? How helpful are notes? What is your advice on making notes?

Ans:Yes. Making notes using pen and paper was the most helpful for me. Note making helps you to comprehend and understand topics well. The better your notes are, the better is your answer writing skill. Divide your notes category wise and keep condensing them for revision.

CSC: What was your strategy for preparing for Ethics paper and which books did you refer to?

Ans:I referred to Lexicon for basic terms and R. Rajagopalan for case studies. Proper analysis of a situation can be done by keeping in mind multi-dimensional impact for case studies. For rest of the questions, one can start with the definitions followed by examples.

CSC: Tell us something about your approach for Essay paper.

Ans:For Essay paper, one must broaden their reading base from newspapers to general magazines. One can divide their essay on different topics and dimensions. Practicing one essay on each Sunday and getting it evaluated helped me a lot.

CSC: What was your style of writing in the examination and how did you develop this writing style?

Ans:I focused on two aspects of an answer:

  1. Structure of the answer, depending on demand of the question
  2. Using facts, reports, data to enrich answer
  3. Focus on neat presentation, use of diagrams, maps, flowcharts.

I developed this style by practice and by looking at toppers’ copies.

CSC: What was your optional? What was the basis of selecting the optional?

Ans: My optional was Sociology. I found the subject very interesting and felt that I could spend time studying it in detail. This was the only basis. Besides, many topics were of help in General Studies as well.

CSC: How did you prepare for interview? Which types of questions were asked in the interview? Did you answer all the questions?

Ans: For the interview, I studied my detailed application form thoroughly first. Then I took mock interviews at various places like Vajirao & Reddy Institute that helped me to fine tune my mistakes and perform better.

I was asked question from diverse areas:

  • My major project
  • Range of temples in MP
  • Bhopal gas tragedy
  • How can Sociology help in administration?
  • Big data
  • Judiciary reforms
  • Education system in India
  • Laws related to pollution

I couldn't answer 1-2 questions, but politely accepted it and moved on.

CSC: Was there any specific area they emphasized upon?

Ans: No, the discussions touched upon various topics and areas and they did not emphasize on any specific area.

CSC: What is the role of Civil Services Chronicle in your success?

Ans: CSC can help aspirants to gain quality content for CSE preparation. Toppers’ strategy and practice questions are specifically helpful.

SUGGESTED BOOK LIST

Prelims:

General Studies:

  • NCERT- 6-12th Social Studies,
  • History- Rajiv Ahir Spectrum
  • Geography- GC Leong
  • CSAT: Previous year’s papers of CSAT

Mains:

GS 1 Same as Prelims

GS 2 Polity. M Lakshmikanth, DD Basu

GS 3 Economy: Ramesh Singh, Niti Aayog Action Agenda

GS 4 Lexicon for key terms, R. Rajagopalan book for case studies

Optional Paper-1 Sociology: Harlambos and Heald and Oxford dictionary

Optional Paper-2 B.K. Nagla and e-PG Pathshala online material

Magazines/Newspapers:

  • Yojana – Kurukshetra magazine
  • The Hindu, Indian Express, Livemint etc.

Vaishali Singh
Rank-8, CSE-2018


Civil Services Chronicle: Heartiest congratulations to you from Civil Services Chronicle on your success. How are you feeling post this achievement? What was your inspiration for becoming an IAS officer? Whom would you give credit to for your success? What was the role of family and others (teachers, friends) in your preparation and success?

Vaishali Singh:Thank you. It is a feeling of both relief and excitement. I feel relieved that I am out of this process and excited as I have achieved what I wanted to achieve.I will be able to move forward in life now. My inspiration came from my experiences during my law course at National Law University, Delhi. I was a part of a number of field research projects where I worked at the grassroots level which I found missing in my corporate law firm. Therefore, I got attracted towards Civil Services. I think there are a number of people who have been a part of my journey. Personally, my parents and my brother have been with me through all the ups and downs. Apart from that, I would like to give credit to my mentor, Mr. R.K. Gupta Sir who has been a very important part of this process. He guided me throughout the last one year of preparation.

CSC: What strategy should one follow for preparing for Civil Services Examination especially in General Studies Prelims as well as Mains papers? Please explain this with your subject-wise preparation strategy. How did you manage your time in both Prelims and Mains examination? Did you integrate your Prelims and Mains preparation or was it separate?

Vaishali: I believe that for both Prelims and Mains, the content is same. So, my strategy was to study in an integrated manner for both Prelims and Mains and apply that knowledge differently for Prelims and Mains. It is my suggestion that one must prepare for both Prelims and Mains together, so that one can cover the entire syllabus holistically. Until February end, I studied for both Prelims and Mains together. Towards the end, during March to May, I focused solely on Prelims. I did one mock test every day. This is how I divided my time between Mains and Prelims.

CSC: Did you prepare any notes? How helpful are notes in this examination? What is your advice for making notes?

Vaishali: I did not make any notes for core subjects because I prefer to study from the book itself. However, I did make notes for current affairs and certain other topics. I would say that making notes is extremely crucial for current affairs so that you don’t get lost in the plethora of materials that are available for current affairs. Therefore, making notes is important.

CSC: What was your strategy for preparing for Ethics paper and which books did you refer to?

Vaishali: Ethics (Paper-IV), in my opinion, is one of the most important papers because of the wide range of variations in marks associated with it. So, we must focus on Ethics. After Prelims, I joined a test series for Ethics. When I attempted the tests, I realised the demands of the Ethics paper and then I studied accordingly. I studied from multiple sources and made my own notes. Some of the sources were the Lexicon, model answers of certain papers, few examples from newspapers and sometimes online sources.

CSC: Tell us something about your approach for Essay paper.

Vaishali: Essay is one paper where I focused the most because after Prelims, I had less time left for my General Studies preparation and my optional was lengthy and I could not complete it earlier. So, I decided to focus a lot on Essay as it offers a lot of difference in marks. I first read the past year’s toppers’ copies to see what the constituents of a good essay are. Once I understood that we need a good introduction, body and conclusion, I started collecting material for certain important topics that I thought could be asked in the Essay paper. For examples, trade war and globalisation, gender equality and liberty, inequality and poverty, etc. Once I had identified the topics, I started collecting information, quotations, and examples and joined a test series to attempt more essays and I improved during the process.

CSC: What was your style of writing in the examination and how did you develop this writing style?

Vaishali: I come from a legal background. So, I had to write a lot. I made sure that I found certain words and sentences which could sum up a large paragraph. We all have different writing styles and we should not change it too much, otherwise we cease to be our natural selves. My natural writing style is mostly in the form of bullets which has developed since my school days. Other than that, I used to write certain paragraphs and essays on some important topics. I also wrote on some field research projects during my Law course. These improved my critical analysis and the ability to understand a given topic. That is how I built up my answer writing skills.

CSC: What was your optional? What was the basis of selecting the optional?

Vaishali: As I am a lawyer, I opted for Law optional as a natural choice. I was comfortable in the subject, having studied it for five years. Even though Law is not considered a high scoring subject, but still I opted for it because I was in a better position to understand and answer any off-guard question in the paper. I devoted about 4-5 months for optional. It is my suggestion that one must try to complete the optional before Prelims so that one does not have to worry about it after Prelims.

CSC: How did you prepare for interview? Which types of questions were asked in the interview? Did you answer all the questions? Was there any specific area that they emphasised upon?

Vaishali: My Interview preparation was based on a lot of mock interviews as mock practices are very important for all three stages of the examination. First, I prepared my DAF in great detail. Second, I focused on my graduation subject which was Law. Third, I focused on current affairs. This was my order of priority for Interview preparation. Thereafter, I went for mock interviews, learnt a lot from my mistakes and eventually I did well in my interview. 80-85% of questions in my interview pertained to Law, out of which, 90% questions were from Criminal Law. There were one or two questions which I could not answer. I smiled and honestly told the interview panel that I was unaware of the same.

CSC: What is your opinion on importance of coaching institutes for the preparation of this examination?

Vaishali: I believe that this examination is as much about knowledge as it is about strategy. Along with strategy, we need guidance which can come from multiple sources like online sources, coaching institutes, etc. So, if one feels that one does not have sufficient guidance around; one can go for coaching institutes. But if you have sufficient guidance from people around you and you think that the online sources would suffice, then it is not necessary to go for any specific coaching.

CSC: What are your suggestions for the freshers opting for Civil Services Examination and for those who have failed in their previous attempts?

Vaishali: We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. While we keep focusing on our strengths, we fail to improve upon our weaknesses. There are certain areas that one would find difficult to tackle. One should go for those areas first. One must identify where one is going wrong, so that the same mistakes are not repeated in different stages. I did that and it helped me immensely.

CSC: Which books, magazines, newspapers and online sources did you use during your preparation?

Vaishali: I followed the basic books that every topper used to talk about. I limited my sources. For all the core subjects, I followed NCERTs, Laxmikant, Spectrum, etc. For current affairs, I focused on a number of sources. I used to read two newspapers everyday, namely The Hindu and Livemint. From Livemint, I used to read only the last four pages. I used to refer to certain magazines and online sources for some good content on current affairs topics.

CSC: What is the role of Civil Services Chronicle in your success?

Vaishali: Civil Services Chronicle is one magazine that I used for my current affairs preparation. Here, you find a lot of good content on current affairs. This was one of my sources for current affairs preparation.


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