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.

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


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.



General Studies:

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


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


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

K. Lalith
Rank- 626, 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?

Ans:Thank you so much. I am feeling really elated and thankful to all those people who helped me reach where I am today. I would say my father being in the services is my biggest inspiration so far as the professional aspect of it goes because I have seen from close quarters as to what a civil servant can actually do and what difference he/she can bring in one's life. I would give credit to my parents because they have been really supportive. Generally, differently abled children don’t get a positive and conducive environment at home which cripples the kid mentally as well as emotionally. In that aspect, I have been very fortunate to have a supportive environment. Due to my father's job with Ministry of Railways, I did my schooling from various places which gave me exposure and helped me to sensitize with my surroundings. My mother could have gone for a corporate job as she is highly qualified, but she chose to stay back home and tutor me. So, she is my personal qualified tutor I would say.

CSC: What strategy one should 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?

Ans:I would start off with saying that it is not rocket science and each one of us can do it by applying right methodology. My strategy for Prelims, Mains and Interview is CLEAR, that is,

  • Clarity of purpose: We need to know what this examination is all about. That is the first step. It's important to understand the purpose and intent of the examination.
  • Limited resources: We should not delve into multiple resources. For all the three stages, maximum one or two resources should be followed.
  • Efficient time management
  • Adequate practice: For both Prelims and Mains, a lot of practice with test series is required in order to gauge as to where we are in the relative scheme of competition.
  • Rigorous revision: With limited resources, we should have a good command over the syllabus. We should have self-discipline and consistency as it is a long duration examination.

My preparation was an integrated one from the beginning because it is important to qualify in all stages of the examination.

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

Ans:My way of making notes is little different as I am visually impaired. I usually made soft copy notes using tools such as Evernote or Microsoft Word. I did not make extensive notes. My memory helped me a lot. But I used to prepare class notes which helped me revise quickly.

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

Ans:One of the most prominent sources is the Ethics module provided by Civil Services Chronicle. Apart from that, I took up the syllabus and broke down the syllabus in to different words and phrases and googled each one of them to understand the context and the intent of the examination in order to write relevant answers. A focused preparation should be done, especially for Ethics on the basis of deconstruction of the syllabus and understanding the key terms in it.

CSC: Tell us something about your preparation approach for essay paper.

Ans:Fortunately, my writing skills are at par because of the practice of writing during my academics. I just had to fine-tune my writing as per the requirements of UPSC. For that, I took a number of tests.

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

Ans:Generally, in academics, we are expected to go deep into the topic and deal with each aspect vividly. UPSC requires an overall perspective, a sociological aspect and sensitivity towards the society from the aspirants. Moreover, we should write to the point answers. We should provide anecdotal evidences, especially in Essay and Ethics papers, to enrich our answers.

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

Ans:My optional was Commerce and Accountancy. I was familiar with the subject as I am a commerce graduate and I am pursuing master’s degree in related subject. As far as my strategy goes, my graduation study materials and notes helped me a lot to improve the foundation. Apart from that, I also took coaching from Ranker’s Classes in Karol Bagh for Commerce and Accountancy.

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 they emphasised upon?

Ans:At the outset, I would like to emphasise that preparing for interview is difficult in limited span of time between Mains examination result and interview. Therefore, we should prepare for the interview from the beginning itself as part of an integrated approach of preparation. We should ask ourselves as to what is the logic behind whatever is happening around us. We can get more than 70% prepared for the Interview by catering to the ‘why’ aspect of it. Without being afraid of anything, we just need to be ourselves in the interview.During my interview, I answered almost all the questions. The interview lasted for about 25-30 minutes. There were some tricky questions in which careful treading was required. The health and education aspects and some questions related to economics like stock markets were especially emphasized upon in the Interview.

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

Ans:I think each one of us has personal strategy for preparation. There is no fixed rule regarding taking up coaching or going for self-study completely. It all depends on one's mindset and one’s requirement of hand-held assistance. I had the requirement of assistance, so I went for coaching. However, I think coaching is definitely helpful because one gets everything in a packaged format in coaching institute, which makes the preparation easier and systematic.

CSC: Being differently-abled, what challenges did you face while preparing for the examination?

Ans:I personally feel that cribbing about challenges is not a positive attitude. However, my journey was definitely not a smooth sail as I did face problems. The fundamental problem was the availability of get study material. As I am visually impaired, my learning is fundamentally extempore in nature. Finally, I received immense help and support from institutes like Chronicle IAS Academy. I used various screen reader software packages. I used to listen to the soft copies and memorise them. The other major challenge was I needed someone's help to solve the test papers. My mother helped me by reading out the questions to me, which I then solved. Later, she would also read out the answer key. Therefore, the entire process takes a little longer compared to regular students. Inspite of challenges, I got immense support from home as well as from outside due to which I could succeed in this examination.

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

Ans:Civil Services Chronicle has played a vital role in my preparation. I would say that the content of the magazine is qualitative. It is highly recommended for preparation, and especially for current affairs revision.

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