Competition Success Review Guides The Youth.
I Have Been Following It Since 2011
—Ms. Shweta Chauhan, IAS Topper
Ms. Shweta Chauhan has secured the 8th Rank in the UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE). She made it into the IAS in her third attempt. Her previous selections had been IRS (Customs & Central Excise) in 2015 and the Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) in 2013. Ms. Chauhan is a B.Sc. (Hons.) Physics from the prestigious Hindu College, Delhi University. She credits focussed study with selection of relevant material coupled with hard work, patience and keeping the aim always in mind as the secret of her success. She has followed Competition Success Review since 2011, right after school. Ms. Chauhan compliments her parents and brothers for motivating and supporting her at every stage during her preparation. “Hard work is the key to success. There is no other alternative. Have a correct direction and work hard”, are her words of advice to Civil Services aspirants.
Here, we publish an exclusive interview which she gave to Competition Success Review.
CSR : What is the secret of your success in the Civil Services Examination?
Ms. Shweta Chauhan : A focussed study with selection of relevant material. Hard work, patience and keeping aim always in mind.
Q. How much time do you think one requires for serious preparations for this examination?
A. At least one year is required.
Q. Which journals have you been reading for the General Studies and other papers?
A. Apart from Competition Success Review, General Knowledge Today and CSR Year Book,I am a regular reader of The Hindu, The Indian Express, Yojana and Kurukshetra.
Q. Do you remember any remarkable incident in your life that motivated or prompted you to go for a career in the Civil Services?
A. Being a part of National Service Scheme (NSS) in college motivated me for the Civil Services.
Q. Competition Success Review, the largest selling youth magazine in English for the last 35 years, has been extremely helpful because
A. It provides a summarised version of all relevant facts. One can rely on the magazine to revise the General Science.
Q. How did your parents, family and friends contribute to your success?
A. My parents and brothers have motivated and supported me at every stage. Friends have been the part of journey in preparation.
Q. Had you not been selected in the Civil Services Examination, what would have been your reaction? Which other service/career would you have gone in/opted for?
A. I would have pursued M.Sc., in Physics and would have gone for research.
Q. How do you visualise your success?
A. I visualise my success as one of the important parts of my life, to be used as a point for future achievements in serving the society.
Q. What were your strong points which enabled you to achieve spectacular success in the Civil Services Examination?
A. My strong points have been my hard-working nature and never accepting failure attitude.
Q. What was your optional at the Civil Services Examination?
Q. How many attempts had you made earlier before you got selected?
Q. What was your criterion for the selection of the optional subject?
A. Geography is more related to General Studies and it being more close to Science has been easier in studying.
Q. How did you prepare for your compulsory papers?
A. Compulsory papers GS and Optional need a lot of writing practice and revising from same books or material.
Q. What is your impression about the Interview Board?
A. Interview Board provides the atmosphere so that best in the candidate could come out.
Q. Competition Success Review has been the largest selling ABC-certified magazine in English since 1981. How do you visualise the role of this magazine in moulding the careers of the youth.
A. Competition Success Review has helped the youth in guiding and providing direction. Also, providing summary of all relevant things.
Q. How did Competition Success Review help you in your preparation for the interview?
A. Competition Success Review provided me with the interview experience of toppers. I not only got motivated but also got idea of interviews.
Q. How do you look upon the publication of CSR magazine in Hindi? Do you think that the mindset and basic approach of English medium students are fundamentally different from those of the Hindi medium students ?
A. The exam pattern is same so the mindset cannot be different. Its just that the material in Hindi is not available, CSR magazine in Hindi is filling the gap.
Q. What is your opinion about Competition Success Review?
A. Competition Success Review magazine is a focussed approach in providing the material for current affairs. It guides the youth. I have been following it since 2011.
Q. Since when have you been reading Competition Success Review ?
A. I have been following it since 2011, after school.
Q. Did your father and/or mother also read Competition Success Review when they were of your age ? If so, who read and when ?
Q. What is your opinion about General Knowledge Today ?
A. General Knowledge Today provides crisp views about current affairs and is helpful for every competitive exam.
Q. To prepare for this Civil Services Examination, did you join any Coaching Institute(s)? If so, name them.
A. Yes, I joined Vajiram & Ravi besides Vision IAS for coaching.
Q. What do you think is a better way of preparation between selective intensive study and wide extensive study?
A. Better way of preparation is selective intensive study as the syllabus is wide.
Q. Have you been studying alone or in a group ? If you were studying in a group, have your other friends also succeeded ? If so, name them.
A. Vandana Goel, Rank 95.
Q. Is this pattern of the exam appropriate for selection? Would you recommend any other improvement?
A. Pattern is appropriate as it covers wide syllabus and check multidimensions of personality.
Q. Do you feel that there should be no restriction on the number of attempts ?
A. Attempts should be restricted to 4.
Q. We have been awarding CSR Gold Medal to top Fifty Rank Holders of CSE who have been our readers. Do you think that our gesture has been a source of inspiration for the Civil Services aspirants?
A. It is important to acknowledge the success of candidates. This motivates others, CSR action is good in this respect.
Q. We have been publishing essays every month under Current Issues and CSR Essay Contests and CSR Super Brain Youth Contest by adding eight more pages to encourage our readers not only to write better, but also to know what the top competitors could be writing. Besides, we offer CSR Gold Medal & Trophy to the winners of the CSR Super Brain Youth Contest. Is this focus-oriented approach helpful for the IAS aspirants?
A. This is very much helpful as aspirants get the idea what to write.
Q. We have been publishing Mock Tests in every issue prepared by India’s Top IAS Coaching Institutes as IAS Special Supplements in Competition Success Review to help aspirants in CSE preparation. Were these helpful to you ?
A. Mock tests are very important and CSR helps in testing before being tested.
Q. How do you think Competition Success Review could be more useful to the candidates appearing in the Civil Services and various other competitive examinations ?
A. Improvements could be by also awarding the top candidates in any test.
Q. Do you think that the UPSC needs to be more transparent in its examination and evaluation ?
A. UPSC is transparent enough.
Q. What is your advice to the future aspirants?
A. To future aspirants—Hard work is key to success. There is no other alternative. Have a correct direction and work hard.