CSC: Achieving top slot in the coveted Civil Services Examination is no small feat; accept our heartiest congratulations on your splendid success.
Sampada: Thank You.
CSC: What preference in services you had opted for and any particular reason for priority?
Sampada: I had opted for administrative services as it provides a greater opportunity to serve the masse.
CSC: 'Success is sweet' - Were you confident of your success with top ranks and how did you react to this news?
Sampada: I was confident after my last selection and had therefore filled only one post preference of Deputy Collector. But RANK-1 came as a pleasant surprise.
CSC: Can you recall the exact moment when you realized the importance of Civil Services?
Sampada: I used to have discussions with my mother during my school days regarding ways to address the problems of the society. It was during one of these discussions that I realized that civil services is one of the best mediums to work for the society.
CSC: Finally, at what point of time did you make up your mind to make a career in 'Civil Services'?
Sampada: I started my preparation during my college days.
CSC: Was CSE a planned decision or your parent's wish?
Sampada: My parents guided me towards this field but never imposed anything. Motivated by their guidance, I decided to opt for it as my career.
CSC: 'Time Management'- is a key factor making preparations as well as in writing examination papers, be it Prelims or Main Examination. How did you manage things?
Sampada: I practised a number of Mock Tests for both Pre and Mains Examination and tried to improve my writing speed and quality of answers.
CSC: The first step is the most difficult; how to prepare? Which optional subjects to pick? What to read? How much to read? Many such questions come to your mind when you really get serious about Civil Services Examination. From where, did you get the right advice?
Sampada: My mother provided me with the initial guidance regarding the Newspaper and Books to read. After this, the core guidance was provided by DHYEYA IAS, for General Studies and Goutam Academy Jabalpur (for MP Special) for a holistic strategy to crack CSE.
CSC: What was your approach towards Paper I (General Studies) and Paper II (Aptitude Test) during Preliminary Examination preparation? How much time and effort you divided for each?
Sampada: I have been pretty confident about the aptitude test, hence just used to revise the main formula for Paper-I, I used to solve previous years papers and revised NCERTs and other standard books.
CSC: What shift did you adopt in your strategy for Mains Examination (Written)?
Sampada: I tried to manage my time better by practising answer writing. I compiled my own notes for the topic of the syllabus which were hard to get from anywhere.
CSC: Was there any special for effective preparation for ESSAY Paper? Which topic you picked up this time and why did you choose this particular topic?
Sampada: The essay had to be written in Hindi. I assembled some quotes from various sources and tried to cover every topic from multiple dimensions.
CSC: How did you prepare yourself for Interview (Personality Test)? When and which Board did you face? How did your interview go on, how much time it lasted and which type of questions were asked during the Interview?
Sampada: I believe personality isn't something that can be built over a period of a few weeks. It can however be polished well. This polishing was done by revising the key point of all subjects and working on my presentation skills under the guidance of Siddhartha Gautam Sir.
My Interview was in Mehra Sir's Board. It lasted for 20-25 mins. Questions were mainly focussed on my views regarding various contemporary issues, especially related to women.
CSC: In your opinion at which Educational Level should one start preparing for Civil Services and what should be the minimum period of time required to prepare for Civil Services Examination?
Sampada: Starting early
definitely gives an advantage but it is not a sufficient condition. Minimum 8-10 months is required.
CSC: What is the importance of medium of examination for exam like CSE?
Sampada: I believe the perceived difference is only a myth. As far as I know, this is the first time an english medium student has achieved the top rank in MPPCS. Thus, both mediums have equal chance at success.
CSC: In your opinion what role do the Competition Magazines play when you are preparing an examination like Civil Services?
Sampada: They provide a summary of the month's current affairs and touch certain topics. Which prove useful for both Pre and Mains Exam.
CSC: How do you rate Civil Services Chronicle Magazine? Do you find it close to your expectation?
Sampada: Civil Services Chronicle Magazine is certainly helpful for state services exams.
CSC: To whom would you like to give the credit for your success?
Sampada: I credit all the successes of my life to my mother, father and brother who have supported all my decisions throughout. I am also grateful to all my teachers for providing me knowledge beyond books.
CSC: Any suggestion/advice you would like to give to the future aspirants.
Sampada: Never consider studies to be a burden. Enjoy learning new things and take pleasure in this journey of CSE preparation and sooner or later your will certainly reach your destination.
CSC: Thank You very much and wishing you all the best for your future endeavors.