For CSE and IIT aspirants

About this blog

Hi everyone,

I have started this blog to get in touch with potential IAS and IIT aspirants. A little background on myself:  (1) AIR-2 in Civil Services Examination 2009 (Second attempt), with my subjects as Electrical Engineering and Mathematics (2) AIR-4 in IIT-JEE 2003  (3) B.Tech, Electrical Engineering, IIT Delhi.

I hope that through this blog, I can provide usefil tips and guidelines to my target audience.

  1. Awesome. I’m really looking forward to your first article :) Hope to learn some tips from the topper.

  2. Although I may not ever think about IAS but looking forward to your first blog..

  3. Prakash your optional for CSE were?

  4. hello sir this is manvendra misra from lucknow currently i’m studying at locus coaching
    sir i want a good rank in jee so what time table should i follow to for PCM

  5. nice

  6. sir, i m also opting maths , so whats were ur strategy with maths, ? how much time u spend with maths and gs

    • @devesh: I will give a detailed strategy soon. Half of my time was taken by elect. engg.

  7. Hi Prakash,
    Congrats for Success and blog.
    Hey I did BE…then prepared for Civil Services as Maths & History Optional. But in Maths as Preliminary optional I had not cleared the Preliminary in 2 attempts of 2004 and 2005. Then I left preparation and back to study in technical due to various reason. Then I did ME from BITS Pilani. Both degree are in Computer.
    Now again I think same about preparation. What strategy I have to follow success in Preliminary in Maths or I have to change my Preliminary subject.
    You did well in Maths in ur both attempt.What study material you had read.

    I am waiting your reply.

    • @Raj: Now optional is removed from prelims. I will put detailed strategy for math(mains) soon.

      • hey bro,
        iam a 3rd year comp science student at iit kharagpur …..
        iam thnking to go with maths and public admin
        am i correct in gng with these as optionals

        can i give me ur email id ?

      • @ranjith: yes you are correct, it is good combination.

  8. hi sir ,
    how are you doin’ …
    actually i have few doubts .
    1.please guide me .. is being a fresher hampers any chance in interview ?will it give a wrong impression b4 the board?
    were you a fresher or had any work experience?

    2. what are the books you referred for GS ?

    3. what should be the key points to be taken care of in written exam viz. essay writing ?

    thanks so much :)

    • @keshav. 1. why do you think so? it is baseless. 2.I have given gs booklist in another article. 3. essay gives more time on thinking

  9. sir,i want to know about the various text-books 7 other materials u had followed for both of ur subjects…..pls give a detail of all..

  10. hi sir, u graduated in electrical engg. and that too from IIT. Can u tell why u did not opt for electrical engg in the UPSC. Ive graduated in electronics and i wanted to if about Electrical engineering as one of the optionals in UPSC. Cud u suggest books for the UPSC in this subject .

    • @vibhav: I opted for electrical engg. only. There is no paper for electronics. I will give boo klist soon.

  11. Sir, I am from Andhra. In fact, Telangana. Selected for the State Services.Sir,it is proving to me very tough to bring myself upto standard for Civils sir. GS is good as i am in right hands. But electrical engineering is the hardest subject sir for Civils. Your esteemed self, Supreet Sir and Muthyalaraju sir( who was my inspiration) who topped before u are great people sir. Namaste sir.

    • @pranhita: Yes, i also found electrical a bit tough than other subjects. If you have decided for it than you can get help from my future posts on this subject.

  12. hi sir, i am thinking of choosing electrical because a lot of syllabus of electrical(UPSC) matches with what i studied in electronics in my btech. however a few aspirants advised me that the paper is very tough. Can u please give a detailed advice on how to prepare for the electrical engineering paper. Is the level of paper tough and what books and material should i follow. Also suggest some good coaching if u happen to know any. thanks a lot

    • @vibhav. yes clearing with electrical is tough. think for some time before opting. if you have decided to opt than i can definitely help by sharing my strategy,booklist etc.

  13. also sir i’ll be really thankful if u can mentor me for upsc. I hope its not asking too much. I am not confident in my approach and really need a mentor who can help me out. I havent been a bright student but i wish to clear UPSC.

  14. Sir ,
    the number of people taking mathematics is too less … so when it comes down to scaling, does the chance of getting through also diminishes …???

    • @abhinav: if chances of getting through were to diminish in an optional with lesser number of students then literature subjects would not have best chances.

  15. Hello dear friend,
    this is very needful and cooperative action from u. hope students will get some benefits to acheive their goal like IAS and IIT.keep it up forever. thanks

  16. sir could u please tell me ur marks in all the subjects in ias mains uncluding interview….

    i am too an ias aspirant and scored 840 in mains but didnt get an interview call….
    my email id is:

  17. Congrats Prakash.I was looking forward to someone who cleared cse with electrical as an optional.I have few queries regarding regarding the list of books.
    1.Most of the books u have referred are Indian authors ex.JB Gupta(Boylstead being well acclaimed authors on this topic).Is it a decision taken after rigorus analysis?
    2.Which coaching center did u attend for electrical optional???

    • @arun: yes this decision was taken after rigorous analysis. I did not attend any coaching for electrical.

  18. Hi Prakash,

    My optionals are Electrical + PA
    Could you please guide me about the strategy and efort required for Electricals?
    How tough and scoring is Electrical for mains?


    • @ranjan: yes i can. see the booklist. paper is very lengthy. you need to practice a lot.

  19. Hi prakash,

    I am hearing about optionals being removed from prelims from some of my friends. Unless the notification is out, can we say optional’s are out of prelims ?

    • @srikanth: yes civil service aptitude test(csat) will be introduced in prelim stage. but things can be confirmed once notification is issued.

  20. prakash,

    Thanks for the reply,
    Currently, I am working as s/w engineer. but I would like to give a serious thought once I gain confidence.
    Can you advice me which optional to choose for mains, in case if optional is removed from prelims.
    Even though I am from mathematics background, I don’t have any pros and cons for any optional..

    • @srikanth: for maths cons are vast syllabus, lengthy paper, heavy moderation. pro is that it is possible to score very high if your attempt is very good. for rest of the optionals i am not the right person.

  21. hi Sir

    I have given CSE prelims ths year and i m expecting the score of 180 (OBC) with the same optionals as that of urs. I am confused whether to start preparation or not?..please guide me through as I hail from a middle class family and well actually i m gng thru a phase where i m looking forward for a job but do not want to give up once i Clear prelims or not…

    waiting for ur reply..

    • @vegi: i think you will qualify for writing mains. start preparing without wasting time.

  22. Hi Prakash,

    I am a VLSI engineer,did masters from IIIT-Hyd. I am aiming for Civils 2011 with mathematics and Public administration. Will this combination works for me? I have strong funda in mathes, but very new in PA still have interest in that subject. Which one is tough in civils Mathes/Electrical for syllabus, scoring, answering?

  23. hello sir

    could u let me know the tips for writing an essay?

    N What should be the strategy for preparing GS?

    thanks in advance

    • The tips I will provide you may not be authoritative, seeing my marks this year. :)

  24. Hi,
    i am sumit….I have completed my btech in Electrical Engineering from IIT kharagpur(batch09).Actually i am preparing for the IAS but i am confused about the optional paper.Till now i have decided maths as a one of the optional paper.But very much confused abt the selction of other optional paper.I want to take EE as the 2nd optional but syllabus is so vast that lot of thing are not covered in EE btech @IIT Kgp.Also no one suggesting me to take this two subject as the optional paper.I have sent you a frnd request on facebook plz add me ASAP.I need to talk to u regarding paper selection and mode of preparation.

    • @sumit. yes two optionals will be vast together.

      • Hi,
        so what will be the best combination for the maths.One problem is..i dont like any of the arts paper..also i think, i am not very good in writing the arts paper ans….when you were selecting the option papers(EE and Maths) what mind set you had..i mean what force you to take these two paper(vast combination)..i guess u might had same confusion at your tym…On thing that discouraging me to take arts paper is writing skill…one the other hand one thing that encouraging for arts paper is limited syllabus……but at the same tym..EE is attracting me for the mathematical question solving skill that i have(i had scored lot of EX in end sem :P)……but the discouraging factor is vastness of syllabus..and proportion wise seat reservation for Mains…..pls help me out from this dilemma ….

      • @sumit: i did not have any sort of confusion at the time of choosing the optionals. i find myself strong in both. humanities subjects are also very interesting, you have to generate interest in them as they are component of gs paper.

  25. Hi Prakash, I did my master in science from Physics. Great motivated by looking ur success and wanna to aim civil 2011. I had choosen Physics as Ist optional and bit confuse abt 2nd optional in between chemistry or maths. Please help me remove my suggestion…….personally i feel i am better in chem rather than maths………but in my college days i love to maths and always secure more than 90 % marks…..plz help yaar

    • @aryan: look at syllabus and previous year papers of both. then decide the subject in which you are more comfortable.

  26. hello sir,
    I have started mains preparation..i feel personally better in electrical engg..but nw the real problem has began with choosing second optional..well till nw i had made up my mind of taking maths but i feel that i cant cover all the topcs..i have a strong liking for management as optional and so planning to go thru it..wat do u say ?..

    will the time to cover maths sufficient?..i have secured 95% all thru my life in maths…!

    plz guide me thru..very perplexed..!!!!

  27. Hello sir! u hdn’t any coachin guidance so,acc. 2 ur xperience I just wanna know dat which is tym savin or concrete-tkin coachings or doin self studies?

    • @pratishtha: self study has no substitute. coaching will save time but they may not cover entire syllabus and that too very well.

  28. k! if coachings are tym savin den May I know y dint u do dat.

    • @pratishtha: i did not like the quality, plus time to commute would be waste.

  29. Hello Sir… can i opt sanskrit lit. paper as one of the optional paper in mains exams.. and other paper is any science paper like..physics,chemistry etc.

  30. plz. discuss the scaling is done by upsc in detail….

  31. sir i hv completed my graduation in electrical engineering.i m willing to go for civil services. i m opting for public administration as my second optional with electrical engineering.
    is it a compatible match, plz suggest

  32. congrats prakash for ur success.
    looking forward to your first article.
    continue ur good work.

  33. Hi,
    i bought the maths books as per your suggested book list for the maths…currently i am sloving from ‘ordinary and partial differential eq by M .D .raisinghania”…i tried to match the chapter of this book according to the syllabus of the mains…till now i find chap-1,2,4,5.6.7,10(for differential eq)….but i am not very much sure…could u plz suggest me which are the required chapter from this book..for the upsc mains…

    • @sumit: i dont have newer version of the book. in the 2008 reprint edition they are 1,2,3,4,5,6,8 of part I and 4 of part II

      • Hi…thank you for your kind reply…
        Actually i have the latest edition 2010…i am writing down the chapter no. and corresponding name..plz suggest me the chap no ..acoordingly..
        PART -I
        1>diff eq: Their formulation and solu
        2>eq of 1st order and 1st degree
        4>eqation of 1st order but not of the 1st degree singula sol and extraneous roots(part 1..different methods for findng general solutio..part 2..singular solution….part 3…extraneous roots..)
        5>linear diff eq with const coefficient..(part 1…usual method of solving above diff eq…part 2..method of undetermined coefficient..)
        6>homogeneous liner eq or cauchy euler equ.
        7>method of varition of parameters..
        8>ordinary simultaneous differential eqn..
        9>exact diff eq and equation of special forms…
        10>linear diff eq of 2nd order
        11>application of differntiqal eq….
        advance ordinary diffrentila eq and spl function..(i guess this is out of syllabus..
        1>origin of partial diff equation..
        2>liner partial diff eq of order 1
        3>non-liner partial diffrential eq of order 1
        4>homogeneous liner partial diff eq(PDE) with constant coeff
        5>non-homogeneous liner partial diff eq(PDE) with constant coeff
        6>PDE reducible to eq with constant coeff
        7>PDE of ord 2 with variable coeff
        8>classification of PDE….Riemann Method
        9>Monge’s method
        10>transport Eqa..
        plz let me know which chpter i have to read..and what strategy i shld have…shld i solve all the exercise problem…

      • @sumit: 1-7 and 10. Read the techniques of solving ode first, try all the solved examples on your own. Please ask the queries in the relevant thread.

  34. first of all many-2 congratulations to u for ur splendid success.
    i m an electrical engineer working in a software firm. I want to appear for civil services exam, but i have very little knowledge about it. From where can i get adequate knowledge about this. And i am very confused about the selection of the optionals for pre and mains. should i opt for science subjects or should i go for humanities as it will ease the burden of GS. And if i opt EE as one subject then there is a problem of selecting the 2nd optional.As i am a working person, how much time do you think i should devote for this exam if i start preparing now.
    should i join a coaching institute or rely on self study. Please suggest me. thank you very much.

    • @chander: i have handled all such queries in the ” some FAQs about IAS exam” post.

  35. Hearty Congratulations on Your Big success in apex Exam structure of country, I am also a CSE aspirant, as my optionals are different but I want to know about your strategy for GS in prelims as well as Mains, pls give detailed view

    • @shefali: Thanks. My strategy for GS may not be authoritative seeing my marks in GS this year.

  36. hi prakash,can u tell us about ur mistakes u committed during ur preparation,so that we can avoid those such mistakes…

  37. Hello Sir….congratulation for ur huge bright future…. Plzz tell us …wt was d way of ur preparation???….& which books u suggest 4 electrical ??????….thx….All d Best….

  38. First of all congratulate for your splendid success in civil service.Have u joined any coaching institute for math?

  39. sir i m willing to appear for civil services exam this year n i am a bit confused about optional between electrical or any humanities subject. as my branch was electrical, i hv studied most of the books of the core subjects mentioned in your blog, n i hv got a handsome score in GATE 2010. But i dont hv gud command on the subjects related to electronics. Pls suggest me that should i opt 4 EE or any humanities subject.

    • @chander: you have to decide yourself. you need to build good command over all the topics to crack the ee paper.

  40. i am an IIM pass out but frustrated with corporate sector job . so am preparing for civil services. my optionals are maths and chemistry . i wanted to ask u about the general topic selection. u have said in maths paper strategy that in paper-2 we should focus on NA, PDE and complex & LPP . rest we should do from compulsory question point of view. but the thing is that in past two years the upsc has stated mixing questions from different topics to make each of the main optional questions . in such a case dont u think we should at least prepare two topics from main 3 questions point of view in each section of each paper. if that is so , then can u please suggest according to u , what would be the two best choices of topics to master in each of the 4 sections of paper-1 and paper-2 . thanks for ur cooperation and the time u are devoting to help us out as for maths there are hardly any good coachings available . thanks once again .

    • @akhil: look at the paper again. i have given strategy according to last 2 year papers only.

  41. good evening sir,
    i was first meet you in geeta bhawan jodhpur. i am also 12 board topper. i am in delhi univ. i want to be an ias . so please guide me and give me valuable suggestions.
    kamlesh kumar
    b.a.[hons.] geography 2 year
    kirorimal college D.U.

  42. Hi Prakash,
    Since u passed out in 2007 , how long u were in job. I meant when u quit ur job and started giving full time for preparation.

  43. very nice prakash ji and we proud of you.

  44. sir can u please reveal the cut off marks in prelims and mains.

    • @chander: cutoff varies. last year it was 899/2000 in mains. upsc does not declare prelims marks so i dont have any idea about its cutoff.

  45. Sir, from where did u get ur coaching 4 iit jee ?
    i am in 10th and i am aiming for non medical.

  46. sir can u suggest some subjects for cse other than the engineering ones i.e.physics ,chemistry,maths,and other engineering streams which are quite scoring and just need memorisation and retention of facts?

    • @shagufta: you can choose any literature subject or public admin., sociology, geography, psychology.

      • thank u so much sir and congratulations for securing 2 rank in ias exam

  47. update blog about interview and some fact about essay writting..

  48. thank u 4 replying 2 my previous questions.
    how many years did it take 4 u to prepare 4 ias first and second attempt.?
    for general studies which subjects should we concentrate on?
    my brother needs coaching 4 iit jee ? from where shud he take coaching 4 iit jee?

    • @shagufta: i prepared from jan’08 to oct’08(10 months) for 1st attempt and may’09-oct-09(5 months) for 2nd attempt.
      in gs try to cover all the topics.
      where does your brother stay?

      • delhi

      • sir my cousin brother lives in delhi.but he might shift to,can u tell me premier coaching institutes from both the places?


  49. sir i am preparing for cse with maths and pub admn. optionals..
    i did bsc(h) maths and msc maths from du hindu college..
    is it really very difficult to score in maths in cse…

    • @nikhil: yes it is difficult to score. but with regular practice you can score good marks.

  50. I want to appear for civil services exam 2011. I did my B.E. in Metallurgical Engineering. I want to take Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering as my optionals. It’s not possible for me to attend regular classroom coaching, so I want to take correspondence coaching. Can you please tell me names of good coaching institutes from where I can take the coaching. From where did you take the coaching for GS, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering?

    • @sandipan: i enrolled for brilliants material. but it is not well written.

  51. Hello Sir,
    I am very happy that u cleared with electrical suject.I m a computer engg but i m preparing for civil service for last 1 yr wid electrical nd public admn subject..|I also learn from recorded lectures of various IIT colleges for electrical subject..Except DC machines i m very much in control of this subject as well as the basics regarding electrical subject is clear to me now..As i stay in mumbai there is not much coaching coaching for electrical subject necessarry?vl u suggest any coaching for electrical or notes for electrical..i am reading from all standard buks for last 1 year nd also gave prelims this year..can u provide me the notes which u must have prepared for electrical?kindly sugest me..
    thank you.

    • @pritam: i may sound harsh but your choice of electrical is beyond my understanding. see, the effort that you have to put in electrical even from now onwards will be more than the combined effort one will put for all subjects(gs and two optionals). plus even after that effort good score is not guaranteed, as paper is lengthy and you need to have very strong basics.
      so it is my sincere advise for you to drop this subject and go ahead with any other.

  52. Sir, i chose electrical bcoz around 70% of mumbai university computer syllabus is same as mentioned in the mains syllabus except dc machines, power system and power electronics..i m also appearing for IES thts why i thought it wd be better to take elctrical so tht my IES wd bcum easier as i also have to make my future secure..thanks for ur suggestion sir, but i vl do it sir wid electrical subject..hopefully sir i wd be wid u someday..congrats for ur sucess sir..

  53. sir from where can i get previous years solved papers of civil services pre n mains(EE) n also of engg. services of EE n E&T branch.
    Is it available on internet. If yes, can u plz tell me the website. thank u sir.

  54. Hello Prakash sir,

    I am a graduate in ECE and currently working with ST,

    I am aiming towards CSE, but bit confused with optional, I was planning to opt for History and Geography as I used to enjoy these subjects at school level.
    But after having a look of lengthy syllabus I also gave an eye to EE subject, it is lengthy but the terms sounded quite familiar.

    But I have sm doubts regarding this optional
    1. as many ppl say that it is tough and in fact we do not have easy availability of study material and guidance.

    2. Coaching institutes are few.

    3. Subject is not linked with GS.

    I have not decided for second optionals.

    Kindly help I am very confused

    and also guide me for right strategy for EE as due to sm reasons I have to prepare with my job.

    Looking forward for a positive feedback


    • @vikas: i will also suggest you to choose humanity subject if you like them.

  55. sir i m a stdnt of BE.i couldnt get good rank in jee so i could not get admission in any iits.i hv intrest in maths.should i go for maths as an optionl?

    • @rahul: for maths aptitude should also be criteria apart from the interest. you have judge for yourself.

  56. sir any stndt who is not from any iits or nits,from any other can go for maths as an optional without the help of any coaching?

    • @prashant: evaluation is relative. you have to compete with people who are very strong in maths. take maths only if you feel you are excellent at it.

  57. hello, Sir today while reading your Profile in CSR I got to know that U r Basically from Rajasthan , I seek to appear in RAS (state services) it requires immense knowledge about Rajasthan (in prelims GS covers Agriculture & Eco dev of Rajasthan + Physiography of it) in mains we have to write a descriptive paper of 100 marks on d same .as I am not frm Rajasthan so, I don’t have broad purview abt it , Can U let me know any book of (rajasthan GS) from where I can get all info abt it , as I went thru of this site also

    I look forward to ur reply
    Thanking you

  58. Ok, Sir

    I want to know One Thing More about IAS (GS) as I m beginner of its preparation , I am going through of Prelims Manual (Tata Mc graw Hill) As, For having Proficiency in all subjects i.e History, Polity. Geography, Science etc..Should I refer seperate Books of respective subejcts? such as Romila Thapar for Ancient History ..

    I discussed with other CSE experienced ppl, some say ” Don’t go for seperate books because You are not taking history +polity+geography as ur optionals) these books r for optionals, go thru wid only NCERT +manuals + year Book, Other ppl say ” I should consider these books for having sound Command in all arena, Sir I m little bit Confused As, U made it and make a Distingusih Position So, U can Give me a Clear View..

    • @shefali: you need not know all the topics in depth. but good understanding of all the topics is a must. if you have ample time in your hand you can read different books for better understanding.

  59. Ok, Sir Thanks for Replying….

  60. Jai ragunathji ri sa, Prakashji congrts fr ur grand sucsess, have ur interview published in any monthly magazine

  61. do u see any scope in indian forest services

  62. Hello sir,
    congratulations 2 u 4r ur splendid success.
    I have completed my B.E in Computer Science(batch 2009).I am planning 2 appear for CSE 2011.I have started my preparation for GS and aptitude papers on my own.I am a bit confused with the choice of optional papers.Sir what is the level of questions asked ?Is it of graduation or master’s level?( 4rm ur own experience).My optional subjects are Geography and Public Administration(due to sheer interest in them ).I am unable to join any coaching 4r CSE preparation .Does having a year gap after graduation without work experience has some negative impact on my profile for CSE ?Sir plz suggest me some books for geography and public administration or some sites for the same.And how to prepare for GS pre and GS mains?
    I look forward 2 ur reply…
    Thanking You

  63. prakash i would like to contact u if feasible. currently i m persuing my btech electrical from vjti mumbai

  64. Hi Prakash,

    I am Sundaramoorthy.I am 2006 passed out in ECE and worked for 3 yrs.Now I quit the JOb preparing for IAS(its my aim).I am going to write 2011 exam. I selected one optional as Literature. other one is still thinking. Kindly I need your inputs.I am confusing to take my second optional as Electrical or geography.

    1. I prepared last one yr Electronics exams. I am Strong on Electronics Subjects.I cant join Coaching class(due to finance problem). But i need to read electrical Subjects as fresh only.What shall i choose?
    2. What & How many are all the Books shall i Prepare for Electrical engg?
    3. I saw last 5 yr querstion papers .Fully problem and derivation doubt on this..for problems and Derivation is ther any step marks or Ans should be correct then only they provide marks..

    I am eagerly waiting for your inputs..after that i need to decide and start prepare..

    Thanks & Regards

    • @Sundaramoorthy: i have given the booklist in some other post. i think there must be step marking. but i will recommend geography as electrical has huge syllabus and lengthy paper.

  65. Hello Sir,
    I am in BE III Year Mechanical Engg. I wanted to start the preparation for CSE as early as possible and so I joined the coaching provided by the university in which I am studying. My optionals are History and Geography. But people suggest me that I have made a wrong decision and I should at present concentrate on my engg degree and drop for a year after the completion of graduation. Is it not really helpful to start early?

    • @bhavika: it is good that you started early. it is absolutely correct decision. do not worry about what others say.

  66. hi prakash
    i m currently in 3rd year electrical engineering. i have started preparing for cse frm now optionals are electrical and public such i m comfortable with electrical but i m still not getting proper problem solving material for electrical.secondly do publishers publish solved mains paper of electrical.pls suggest on both ? REGARDS ANTRIKSH-VJTI MUMBAI

    • @antriksh: i dont think there is any solved material for ee mains. follow examples of books i have mentioned to get an idea on how to solve the questions.

  67. one more question :u have suggested that brilliant material is not written appropriately,but what about there problem solving they follow same approach like giving separate question booklets like the iit-jee.PLS SUGGEST REGARDS ANTRIKSH

  68. thanks a lot and thanks esp for giving suggestion in such a instant way.

  69. Congrats Prakash,

    I am preparaing for CSE 2011 with EE and PA as optionals. . currently working in NTPC in a very remote area passed out from NIT Calicut.

    Please upload your electrical engineering answers. It will be a great help to all EE aspirants. .

  70. I guess you are the same Prakash whom I saw in supreet sir’s blog. What a co incidence. . You and supreet sir, both rank 2 :-)

  71. Hi , Prakash i have just one very general question to ask from you.

    1. You were 4′th ranker in IIT-JEE. (exceptional achievement) , u scored 400+ in very tough optionals, (another exceptional achievement). U scored 9.38 CGPA in IIT another exceptional achievement.

    1. My question is do you think that being such a brilliant student requires certain god gifted talent or do you owe your success to ur continuous hard work which u have put in right 4m ur IIT JEE preparation days.
    Do you think anybody can have such brilliant mind as you have by the virtue of their hard work or does it take something more than that. coz qualifying civil services or IIT is another thing but qualifying with such great scores is another thing.

    2..sir at what time in ur life u realized that u have an exceptional brain and you can be among the top ranks in IIT JEE.

    3. at IIT u would have got plum job offers. You rejected them all??

    please don’t take me wrong. I am not taking any credit away 4m you, u are a true role model.Just this question struck my mind after seeing your scores.

    Truly speaking i think u are a case study material. Kudos to you on your achievement.

    • @chetan: what matters is the effort. even if you have talent, it has to be supplemented by the hard work to achieve success.

  72. hi congradulations ,
    your hard work has made u to be placed on top of the list . thank you for the informations u have furnished , i do follow the same techniques which u have said . the most important thing which i got from u r blog is the list of the text book which u have given . one kind request is that from where u got those text books except schand books , because i am in chennai now , i find it very difficult to get good mathematics books here .

  73. Hello,
    Hearty congratulations 2 u…
    I’m a 3rd year B.Tech(IT) student and an IAS aspirant. I have already done alot of research but still am confused whether I should concentrate on graduation or start preparing for CSE right away.Please help!!.. I have started reading some magazines and newspapers mentioned by you. being from IT field I’m alot confused about the optionals as I don’t have much knowledge about anyone one of them. I will be highly greatful to you if you can suggest any which can have some link to IT or computers.I have thought of geography and sociology as they are interesting ones.waiting for your reply..Thanks in advance.

    • @mohit: it is good that you have started with newspapers and magazines. yes geog, socio are good options, you can think of public admin too.

  74. Dear Sir,
    I have a question regarding the nature of the mathematics paper of upsc :-
    1. Are the questions very tough as if like iit-jee one’s or they’re just lengthy in nature?
    2. Do one need some extra intelligence for opting mathematics (as for iit-jee)or hard work and continuous efforts will do (if interested in the subject)?
    3. Should we expect the mathematics paper to be very tough in nature?

    Thank you so much.. seeking for your valuable guidance on this, please.

    take care, sir..!!

    • @amit: questions are neither tough nor lengthy. you have to perform relatively better so you require either extra intelligence or extra effort(combo of both is best) to score better than others.

  75. Dear sir,

    I am 2005 btech pass-out from IIT kharagpur in electrical. i am planning to take maths and physics as my optional subjects. But many people told me that taking two science subjects are risky and very less chances to success is there. what do u suggest? please consider me an average student and reply accordingly.

    • @surendra: yes statistics shows science optionals have very low success rates. better to take one humanity optional like pub ad.

  76. sorry, one correction: In 2005 i cleared IIT-JEE and passed out in 2009

  77. prakash when r u going to post ur interview experience. please do post it before u go for training?

  78. thank you so much and have a nice time, sir !!

  79. Hi,
    I have a doubt whether one needs to prepare accountany,biology,physics and chemistry(class 11 and 12th of ncert books) for General studies paper in civil services.
    could you please suggest me those subjects which are must.

    • @angela: no these subjects need not be prepared in such a depth. instead focus on polity, history, geography,economics.

  80. Dear sir, presently i m doing M.Tech from IITD and i m preparing for civil services exam and i want to apear to in 2011 and my optionals are Electrical engineering and public ad. and i completed almost 80% syllabus of Electrical engineering and relevent topics for GS in NCERT books also covered but not having any preparing till now of public ad .and due to some money problem i couldn’t attend coaching before no,in all these condition i should take the attempt or not,can i complete the syllabus in the time which i have and sir i also want to know that which magazine will be good for current affairs and i want to use one or two magazine not more than that,kindly sir give me the guidance,thanking you sir,

    • @ashwani: you should go for the attempt as good amount of time is left. you can complete pub ad on your own first. take any magazine. it doesnt matter much.

  81. Thank you so much.

  82. hello sir
    first of all congratulations a lot fou ur gr88 sucess..sir i m a civil engineer, nd so opting 4 civil enn in my first attempt of 2011, 4 second optional i want to make choice from geography nd maths..i want to prefer maths as it is quite scoring..plz suggest me should i go 4 maths or stick to humanities subject as it requires lot of writing skills

    • @nandini: it is better to go with humanities subject as second optional, as two science subjects will take much greater effort.

  83. nd i more question sir , if i opt maths then should i take correspondence from any institue? if u know some gud one then plzz tell will be very kind of u

  84. ok thanx for ur suggestions sir…

  85. hi,this is aishwarya.
    am presently in final year of,in the stream of computer science.firstly i congratulate you on your stupendous performance at IAS.being an IAS officer has been my ambition from the start,so ,when should i start preparing for it?and how should i select the optionals?and am thinking of taking a humanity sub as optionals; but as am from a science background,can i fare well by taking a sub like public admin?should i join any coaching class ?or get any postal notes?
    and is it better to do post graduation and then take IAS, or is it better to take the exam ,ryt after my
    i look forward for your guidance in my endeavour ,sir.
    thanks sir.

  86. hi,

    where can i find previous question papers of electrical engg. (cse).

    • @palash: jawahar book depot, ber sarai. or any other place which keeps cse papers.

  87. hi,
    i m a 3rd yr student,dept. of electrical engineering,iit kgp.i wanted to know whether proportionate method of representation for optional subjects is followed for both prelims and mains or only for prelims

  88. hello,sir
    i am a so plz suggest me optional subjects related to computer science.
    thank u for starting such informative blog for us

    • @roshan: there is no optional related to computer science. it is not necessary to choose optionals related to graduation only. you can opt for humanities subjects.

  89. sir if the cse-2011 is going to change as u have specified above then what will b the exam stratergy for prelimuinary it paper -1(general studies) and paper-2(aptitude) and if paper 2 is aptitude den what r the proper books 2 be followed 4 achieving the success in prelim.

    • @chandan: till now nothing is clear. do not worry about the changed pattern. once the pattern is disclosed then make strategy.


  91. Sir, I am aspirant of cse 2011 my subjects are mechanical engg & sociology… i enrolled in brilliant tutorials for postal coaching…what else should i take for preparation

  92. Hi sir,
    Hope you are fine.This is Arvind (B.Tech.-Civil Engg.)from Lucknow.
    I want to take Civil engg. and. Geography for CSE-2011 with Hindi Medium. I have some doubts about the medium?
    Sir, As we know, civil engg. can not be attempted in Hindi medium, so is there any provision in UPSC that the engg. papers/or any professional papers can be attempted in english medium? (as because professional papers are always taught in english medium).
    In short, I wanted to ask that, is it possible for me to attempt Geogarphy,GS and Essay papers in Hindi medium and civil engg. paper in english medium?
    I would highly be grateful, if u could be help me in this regard.

    • @arvind: no, its not possible. you have to write all the papers in the same medium.

  93. hii sir, i m in 3rd year iitkgp in civil eng.(my cg 7.8)
    my one optional is psychology
    n i m confused abt my 2nd optional .should i choose civil eng or pub ad

    • @sumit: you can see the syllabus and previous year question papers of both and then decide.

  94. Hi,sir,very soon u would be going for training,would be possible for you to guide as from there for this year long prep. in mathematics especially,because there is hardly any guidance available in maths like many times we are stuck in the subject material,or answer writing pattern

  95. gud eve sir pls tell me what is the importance of coaching centre for preparing cse and for a canndidate is going to appear for the first time

  96. hi sir
    i am working for a public sector company where i may get only 5-6 hours daily for studies and full day of sunday
    sir i have chosen mechanical and sociology as my subject…
    sir should i aim at cse2011 or 2012

    • @vivek: i think if you go for 2012 attempt you can plan better and complete entire syllabus on time. but you should decide on the basis of your current level of preparation also.

  97. i mean sir is it possible for me to crack cse 2011…as i have lesser time to devote compared to other aspirants…

  98. hello sir,
    sir I am pursuing from NIT JALANDHAR. sir i want to opt mathematics as one optional, sir as you said that it’s paper is very lengthy,tough and vast syllabus. also by seeing aspirants like you(air-4,iit-jee), i am often frustated. my branch is “electronics and communication”. what should i opt as 2nd optional, physics,chemistry or some art subject? i am very much worried sir

    • @ankur: dont worry. most of the engineers opt for humanities and get very good rank. you can choose any subject in which you are interested.

  99. sir, please give details of various text books title given in booklist

  100. sir, i am working in PSU and i am doing B.Tech in evening college, presently i am in 7th semester, my stream is electronics & commmunication. i have choosen electrical engineering as my optional please give me coaching details and details of various text books title given in booklist of electrical engineering

  101. Dear SIr,
    I did my b tech from IIT kharagpur and currently working in TI….actually this year i had given the CSE prelims..and fortunately i passed prelims….but now … i dont have any preparation for the mains….i have max 2 months time of the mains paper i have deicides as Maths…and other i havnt decided…actually i did b tech in electrical engineering…so i konw 40% of EE syallbus..but this combination will be tough as u said in my last query… On ther other if i take Public Adminisration..which i dont know any thing rgt now…needs min 30days to get 40% of syallabus……..this year my success chance is very very less….plz suggests me what shld i do..

    • @sumit: i think if you have given pre with elec then go for it in mains, otherwise better to go with pub ad. utilize whatever time you have in hand.

  102. pls suggest me which optional i shld take…Electrical or Public Admin…

  103. Congrate sir..
    My self Balram Parmar ,from NIT Warangal,AP
    I have confusion over deciding the subject..i m thinking to take one subject wighther of phy or chem since i prepared them very well for JEE coaching..sir is the toughness level is much more than at iit level for physics ??

    and which subject should i take as second paper sir…

    • @balram: paper may not be tough but the competition is tough as it is relative. you can go through the list of humanities subjects as well.

  104. hello sir,
    sir I am pursuing from NIT JALANDHAR. sir i want to opt mathematics as one optional, sir as you said that it’s paper is very lengthy,tough and vast syllabus. also by seeing aspirants like you(air-4,iit-jee), i am often frustated. my branch is “electronics and communication”. what should i opt as 2nd optional, physics,chemistry or some art subject? i am very much worried sir.

    secondly sir in interview is there such provision to award certain minimum marks . what is the minimum possible score in interview

  105. sir, why is it that even after putting in such effort even the toppers score only less than 200 out of 300 in mains and only around 140 or 150 out of 200 in essay??And was it possible answering all the questions in GS??PLEASE HELP ME OUT

    • @anto: how does it matter if competition is relative? yes it is possible to answer all the question in gs.

  106. sir,recently I went through solved question papers for mains(by chronicle).Are their answers quality enough.If I give answers of that quality will I clear mains exam??

    • @anto: i havent seen them. but you should not rely on one source only. look and multiple answers, discuss with friends and any senior or teacher.

  107. hi sir i hav completed my B.Tech in EE in the yr 2009.
    plz tell me some books for microprocessor from where
    upsc ask ques. regularlly like interfacing of power system
    component with micro processor. is badrinath is sufficient
    for it or someone else is required…

  108. hello sir
    sir i’m preparing for iit-2012 so which should i follow for maths and what timetable should be managed to secure a good rank in jee.

  109. Dear Sir,
    I am doing an Integrated ph.d in Maths. The query I would like to ask you is, as I have been in touch with maths for a long time and likely to be in, for the next few years, so would you advice me to go for maths as one optional or humanities subjects are still a good option for me ? I am asking this question for the following two reasons :-
    1.) As we all know scoring in maths in college exams is a different thing than scoring in upsc where relative marks are to be considered.
    2.) If I go for humanities optionals, even then I have to study maths for my internal exams and research work, besides that.

    Please help me with your valuable advice to reduce this dilemma.
    Thank you, please.

  110. Hi Prakash,
    Its me Sandeep,I’ve completed degree in computer science and i’ve decided to go to delhi for IAS coaching.But i’m beginner so my knowldge in this is very poor i don know how to prepare for cse m interested in public administration so can you plz tel me wat type of preparation is required for a beginner & how should i prepare for prilims.

  111. intellect intensified just by asking from you,congrats sir!
    i m vatsal,i hv pursued electronics comm. as branch in b.e.
    i want to opt for electrical engg. as a subject, could u pls tell me how much different is the course for electronics background student?and is it a sane choice?
    vatsal mehrish

    • @vatsal: course is very much different if one is from electronics background. you need to put much more effort to cover the remaining syllabus than to prepare entirely new optional.

  112. Sir, i am a final year student in electronics and communication. i wanted to keep electrical engg. as an optional,I tried hard to prepare for it during my engg course, as i was suggested by people engg papers are scoring…however now in my final year i have lost the belief that it can promise me success. how long will it require to prepare with two new optionals like sociology and public administration after i pass out from college??…presently, i am unable to devote time to these subjects since i am occupied with project work in my final year.

    • @nitesh: whatever time it takes to prepare these to new optionals is less than the time to prepare electrical, so go for it.

  113. sir can u plz tell us from where can we get the previous year papers of ES and CSE.I am in delhi , so from where can i get them.

  114. hello sir,
    i m an electrical engineer currently working in gurgaon.
    i m aiming for cse 2011 with subjects EE and pub. ad. i hv started with machines(ashfaq). do i need to cover scott connections, open delta & 3 ph. to 6 ph. conversion as it is mentioned only 3 ph. tranformer in upsc syllabus.
    And sir one more question, is it true that it is not possible to prepare for CSE with job, as it is very diffecult for me to quit job due to family problems, and i can devote only 5-6 hours a day except weekends.
    eagerly waiting for your reply.

    • @sunny: you can cover them if their is time..although they are not explicitly mentioned, you can still expect questions..yes it is tough to prepare with job for engg. subjects.

  115. sir congrats no words to say just
    “excellent work”
    i have done simple B.SC in maths and now opted geography as my 1st optional but in the back of my mind i think i can perform much better with maths.But i think after look into the mains paper that maths questions are coming from theoritical maths like applied maths in M.SC now plz guide me what to do.



    • @sonam: i think competition in maths is very tough, it is better to go with humanities optional.

  116. sir I m final year B.Tech in IT student frm Kolkata.
    Between math & pub. adm. which one is better?

  117. hi sir, m from bangalore. i need exact syllabus of electrical which has to be studied because thr is lots to study in text books bcoz some topics v hav not studied during our enginnering so…….. n sir
    plz guide me i hav lost in my first attempt wit electrical has optional …. but i hav not lost hope regarding my subjects ….. so need ur exact analysis on electrical…… n i hope i get a reply for al my request…..

  118. sir ! i am graduate in science and currently pursuing MCA final sem. please suggest about physics and maths combination for main because i feel i am good in both subjects.

  119. sir i have done my b tech in bapatla engg college with EEE as my stream and given gate in 4th year so now iam doing my m tech in reliability engg in IIT KHARAGPUR…i want to give IES ..can u please suggest me away to crack it can u mail me the necessary material for ies ?
    my mail id is

  120. sir I am in BE final year and considering the latest notification I want to opt either geography or Pub. Adm for optional. Which is better and give me the names of at least 3 or 4 coaching centers for these subjects.
    Also can I prepare these sub at home through postal courses and also suggest me the same ASAP.

  121. hello sir this is vijendra kumar from Electrical now days i am preparing for IES i am also some tips from one coaching institute i think u know Mr kaiser Hafiz problem is that despite taking help from coaching institute i am not able to clear my doubt in Machine Power systm and Power Electronics sir exactly should i prefer some good books or how can i clear my some basic concept in machine or Power system becoz sir i have to perfect in theses 2 to 3 subject any how becoz u know this is core of Electrical plz give me right advice or some strategy about IES

  122. Respected sir just i want to know my one subject is Electrical Engg another subject Public Administration problem is that in Mains exam i want to write in Hindi Even i am also English medium student Suggest me. i can write Public Admin properly in Hindi but sir in Electrical Eng if i want to write like in this way that we normally write coil , transformer,synchronous machine ,induction motor etc so i have to write all about these word in Proper Hindi or can i use just motor , transformer as English almost word i have to write in hindi so i am having little bit doubt. about it becoz due to my interest in Public add i am taking it otherwise i will take Mathematics so plz advice me

  123. hiii sir….. i am doing my in electrical engineering & i am planning to appear for civil service exam …. but i am really confused about what subjects to take as optional …. i am thinking of taking electrical engineering as optional …. but many are suggesting that electrical engineering is a tough vast and low scoring …. i am really confused …. please suggest sir ….

  124. Hi prakash,
    I am a student of IITMadras and hoping to take UPSC next year. I want to take mathematics as my optional. Please tell me how you prepared for the exam.
    please give me your emailid if possible.

  125. Sir can u please tell me is there any such blog of your friend or someone else who have appeared in cse with civil engineering

  126. Sir,
    i was thinking of taking mechanical engineering as my optional for civil service.what is your opinion sir?, also can you recommend some blogs like yours, in mechanical engineering dedicated to civil service aspirants(mainly).

  127. Tnx 4 opeonin a blog 2 hlp d aspirants…im dng ma engineerin in final sem..lukin 2 tke IAS in 2014.. ma optional s E&E.. sir pls post d materials n buks requird 4 d preparation..tnkq..

  128. I am aspiring for Civil Services and Indian Forest Services Exam.I am XIIth passed

    out.Now, there is 1 optional in Civil Services and 2 in IFS.i am going to do B.Sc

    honours in that subject which I will select as 1 optional in above exams.I have three

    choices Physics,Chemistry and maths. I am going to start B.Sc Honours this year

    (2013) from Delhi university.I want to know few things:

    1.This time DU is doing 4 year programme giving B.Sc major for 3 years and B.Sc

    honours for 4 years.So, which is more beneficial completing graduation in 3 years

    and focussing on Civil services/Indian Forest Services Exam or completing full 4

    years and then focus on these. Note:3 year degree makes me eligible for Civil

    Services/IFS exam.
    Actually, I just want to know Is not it good to invest 4th year in preparation

    inspite of wasting it for honours degree as UPSC demands more and it is to be read

    from another prescribed books.

    2.Among Physics,Chemistry and maths which subject is more suitable for me to

    take optional. You can consider i have good command over all these 3 subjects.Tell

    me this in priority order of the subject suitability.

    3.I am also aspiring for Indian Forest Services Exam.So, I am considering of taking

    Forestry subject as 2nd optional with 1st optional among the above.What do you

    say? I can also select both 2 optionals from above, but I read that both 2 science

    optionals may be risky as syllabus is very vast and they are demanding.Further,

    forestry syllabus looks somewhat smaller.What do you say?

    4.If I do M.Sc after B.Sc,will it do any good?As i would I have more command on

    the subject.but, I think it would be more beneficial if I spend 2 years on the subject

    inpite of spending those 2 years in doing post graduation as the above exams nedd

    differnet approach and also we have to study from different books.

    5.Which coaching is good for Physics,Chemistry and maths?I have heard of

    DIAS.What about it? What about others caoching?

    Reply me me at

  129. please say main books for ias

  130. sir. how should i prepare history for gs and for prelims .

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