The journey from IFoS to IAS with a 5-year sabbatical.

Thank you! I had previously attempted the exam in 2016 and was selected in the Indian Forest Services. I gave the attempt again in 2021, after a five-year interval. My wife was also preparing for the same exam, I decided to give it another shot. 

What motivated you to give this exam again?

Being relatively free in the in the forest department posting, I was able to devote enough time to preparations. My wife was also studying for the CSE, which gave me hope and determination to indulge myself for another year, which I believe will benefit me for the next thirty years. In terms of scope, forestry in Punjab is rather small, which was another motivator for me to study for the civil services exam. Even if I hadn't been chosen, I would still have continued with my previous job with the same zeal.

What was the role of your family in your journey?

My family did, in fact, play an important role in my preparations. It would have been impossible for me to restart if they hadn't encouraged me throughout the process. Finally, I'd want to emphasize the importance of my family's contribution, this would not have been possible without them.

What should be the ideal strategy for first timers?

First and foremost, I would advise all first-timers to completely understand the syllabi. Following that, you should concentrate on the previous year's question papers. Even if you have no prior knowledge of the subject, you should investigate the questions that have been asked. It's also known as reverse engineering.

As a result, if you are a fresher, you should know your sources and develop a yearly, semi-annual, and annual strategy before beginning to prepare for the civil services.

What was your reason for switching from Math to Sociology as an optional subject?

Specifically, because I did not receive decent grades in Math, which I had previously chosen as an optional subject. After graduating and post-graduating with a Math major, it eventually turned into a chakravyuh for me, trapping me by falling into it.

Because I was more interested in reading the GS, I shifted my focus from Math to Sociology, and as a result, I did well on the exam. Finally, you must have the appropriate passion and interest in order to prepare for the optional subject.

How did you prepare for the interview stage?

Interviews, as well as mock interviews, are quite crucial. As a candidate, you should prepare for at least 7-8 mock interviews in order to learn a lot from them. It's not just about a person's personality or answering a few questions. Even if you don't know the answers to 5-6 questions, you should know how to say "you don't know" to the questions. Because your personality is the most important aspect that is to be taken into consideration.

What role did KSG play in your preparation?

I participated in a mock interview at KSG, and the feedback provided by the eminent panel members was quite beneficial. The major piece of critique I remember receiving from KSG was that I am arrogant. Perhaps it was because of the authority of my existing position that was being thrust in front of them.

Finally, I made certain that nothing similar happened in front of the main panel.

Thank You!