Interview with Varun Kumar, 03rd rank holder in BPSC 65th Civil Services Exam

Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar

Rank : 03

Exam Name: 65th BPSC

Selected For : Bihar Police Service (DSP)

Academic Background : 10th(SAINIK SCHOOL NALANDA, BIHAR), 12th(Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Bokaro, Jharkhand), B.A(H) Economics(Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi), M.A(Economics) Delhi School of Economics(Pursuing)

Optional Subject : Economics

Number of Attempts : 1

Interview Questions ask by Indian Gabbar Team :

Indian Gabbar : Tell me something about yourself?

I was born and brought up in Nalanda District of Bihar. With my father being a banker, I had the opportunity to visit and stay in several places in Bihar and beyond, this has made me more compassionate, tolerant and informative as well. I find myself quite disciplined mostly because my my schooling at a military institution, which I believe has helped me a lot in my preparation because discipline is one of the most important pillars of preparation.

I like playing sports like Table-tennis and Basketball, and also sometimes indoor games like Carrom and Monopoly Cards Game. I like doing community Service which I have done at various levels including National Service Scheme(NSS), and aim to contribute in every possible way to the development of the capital(s) of our country.

Indian Gabbar : Tell me something about your family background?

Father- Prem Kumar MishStarting with my grand parents, my grand mother passed away in my father’s childhood itself & my grandfather was a tea seller who worked hard to make ends meet and gave good education to my father. My father, Umesh Kumar Chaudhary is a Manager with State Bank of India and my mother, Renu Chaudhary is a Home-maker.

Indian Gabbar : Who is your role model?

At a macro level, my role model is Babasaheb Ambedkar because he had a very different approach at observibg things and also, i believe, he was not only the crusader of Dalit rights in the country, he was the protagonist of all the sufferers of the world.

Indian Gabbar : What attracted you to Civil Services?

To be frank, the underdeveloped areas which I saw in my childhood in my hometown, the poor conditions of the road, garbage scattered here and there, and all those instances of underdevelopment motivated me at first but when I grew up I found that the opportunities for moving ahead in life/career which I availed is not available to all, mainly the underprivileged and this was the turning point when I decided to be a civil servant.

Indian Gabbar : When did you start your preparation?

I started my preparation after my graduation was over.

Indian Gabbar : Was this your first attempt? If not, what changes did you make in your strategy for this attempt?

Yes, this was my first attempt.

Indian Gabbar : Were you satisfied with your level of preparation before the exam and were you hopeful of being successful?

See, what I feel is one is never satisfied with his/her preparation for the preliminary examination because the prelims is a game of hard work, strategies and luck, and one can’t have 100% of all of them. However, in the mains and interview, I was quite confident of making it to the list, although my name in a top 3 rank came as a surprise.

Indian Gabbar : Considering the extensive syllabus of general studies in preliminary examination and main examination, what strategy did you adopt?

Read all standard books and followeMy strategy was very simple and I guess, could even work for other aspirants. I used to refer only the standard textbooks, say Laxmikanth’s polity, Spectrum and Bipan Chandra’s Modern History, NCERT’s and GC Leong’s Geography, among others.

Then solving past year questions become very important in such exams as it helps to decipher the level and the type of questions that one encounters in the exam, and yet the most important thing is your discipline and consistency, like I used to study in 3 batches of 3 hours each, in a day.

Indian Gabbar : Did you give special emphasis to some particular sections or equal emphasis on all sections? In your opinion, can certain sections be skipped by assuming them to be not so important?

Yes, definitely, some sections can be skipped like medieval history which has very lesser or no questions in the prelims. And those parts where you are strong shall be done in such a way as to be able to solve more than 75-80% in that part. However, with the ever changing pattern of the civil services, I would again recommend to prepare through all the parts of the syllabus but obviously with prioritisation of topics.e of exam took about 2-3 years till my selection

Indian Gabbar : How much time did you take to complete your preparation for all the three stages of the examination? Did you prepare for each stage in sequence or for all the stages simultaneously?

It took a complete 2 years from filling of the application form to the declaration of the result. And I think the preparation should be an integrated process, all the stages of the exam- preliminary exam, mains exam and interview all should be prepared in unison. Because once you qualify prelims you will have much lesser time for the preparation of mains and once you qualify mains you will have again lesser time for preparation of interview, so the preparation should be done with an integrated approach.

Indian Gabbar : How important do you think is making own notes with studies?

In my opinion, notes making is very important part of the process because almost all the prescribed books have like 700-800 pages and you cannot revise every time seven to eight hundred pages so for revision you will have to make notes which should obviously be refined, I mean, the notes should be made after reading 4-5 times the original contents.

Indian Gabbar : Did you rely on any electronic material and other social networking sites for your preparation? If yes, did you find them useful? Please share some websites you frequented.

Yes….very much useful….insight,visionias,gktoday aElectronic material or the social media sites have their own advantages and disadvantages as one has to be very cautious while using these sources of knowledge because it can both enhance your knowledge and also distract you from your main preparation. However, there are certain YouTube channels and certain Telegram groups which can be very useful if utilised judiciously. They are channels like study IQ education and other channels run by the toppers of the state or the union PCS. Then, there are certain websites like which is a one stop site for all the relevant information & sources related to Civil Services.

Indian Gabbar : How did you determine which books, magazines and periodicals to study and which to ignore/leave?

First and foremost thing, which has to be done is to read the basic standard textbooks for all the subjects and after reading of the text books one should go for solving the past year questions of the BPSC examination and once you do all the questions, you go through all the questions, you can analyse the part of the book from where the question has been taken out and if not in the book which you have read, you don’t need to jump to another book.

What you should do is- the topic which is not there in the book just google it or try to find it from some other sources and add to the notes which you have made from the standard textbook. One should not change their reference textbooks. And magazines of almost all the coaching institutes are similar only so what you can do is take any of the monthly magazine of any of the coaching institute and prepare current affairs from that monthly magazine and for current affairs you don’t need to refer any other magazine like EWP Or science reporter or Kurukshetra, you don’t need all these magazines for prelims.

Indian Gabbar : In your opinion, how useful is participating in mock test series at different stages of this examination?

Taking mock test series is very helpful in such kind of competitive examinations because the mock test series will give you an idea of how the paper would be, it will give you an idea of how to strategize or prioritize the question solving process, that is, from which part you should solve first so that your confidence is boosted and also, it will help you in time management as to how much time you need to allocate to which section. And above all, it will enhance your knowledge and boost your preparation for prelims and mains.

Indian Gabbar : How did you tackle the challenge of time management- whether it was on a daily, monthly or annual basis?

Time management is something that you should start practicing from the very beginning of the preparation as in the beginning of the preparation you have to read several books like history, polity, Geography, Environment, agriculture Economy, etc., so time management should be practiced from the very beginning only, you should be able to allocate sufficient time to each subject in a day. And I must emphasise that it should be done on either on a daily or a weekly basis so that there is consistency in your preparation.

Indian Gabbar : How did you maintain consistency in preparation despite the de-motivating and often frustrating nature of this exam?

It is often that you feel demotivated or frustrated during the preparation process of this exam as it may happen that you may get low marks in some of the mock test or you may not understand certain particular things or a particular concept in any subject. So what is important here is- keep yourself entertained, you should do do something to keep entertaining yourself like I used to play Basketball or table tennis whenever I got bored from my studies or while indoor I used to play Carrom or listen to some Sufi songs or ghazals.

So all these events would entertain and also detoxify me, giving me a new energy. I mean, do whatever pleases you but just for refreshing yourself. And also I used to write some quotes near my study table that would keep me motivated.

Indian Gabbar : On an average, how many hours in a day did you devote to studies? What activities did you indulge in when not studying?

In a day, I used to study in three batches of three hours each which I think is enough for the preparation of any competitive exam; And while not studying I used to listen to Sufi songs or ghazals or play some indoor games like Carrom or monopoly and when outside I used to play Basketball.

Indian Gabbar : What was your optional subject? Did you study it during your graduation or at any level after that? If not, on what basis did you choose it?

My optional subject was economics which was also the subject in my graduation. And more over I chose economics because I had been into economics since my 9th grade.

Indian Gabbar : Some people say that some optional subjects are smaller, easier and more scoring than other subjects and hence are more popular. In your opinion, would it be right to say so? While choosing your optional subject did you consider its popularity as a basis?

It depends upon individual…it is partly true….I chose sociology bcoz it was relevant as wIt cannot be denied that some optionals are easier to score while some optionals are relatively harder to score. However, merely popularity cannot be taken as a criteria to decide your optional subject. Two things should be given importance while selecting your optional- one is interest in the subject and the other is one’s ability to command over the subject.

Indian Gabbar : In your opinion, to what extent is success in main examination dependent on the answer writing style? What approach did you follow in developing the right style of answer writing?

I think there are two approaches to answer writing- one is writing in paragraph and the other is writing in bullet points but I believe, a good answer is one which is a synthesis of both the components. Apart from the positive approach of writing answers, one should be able to arrange them in an orderly fashion, and if possible, with some diagrammatic representations.

Indian Gabbar : How did you prepare for the interview? Does the preparation done during the short period immediately after the mains result actually help in the interview?

Preparation for the interview, I believe, is a continuous process because one cannot change his or her personality in a month’s time. However, one can always keep on improving, mainly in the time after mains. Try to read at least 2 newspapers everyday so that a balanced opinion gets developed, try to practice on situational questions and most importantly, give a few mocks to get hold of the situation.

Indian Gabbar : Tell me about your time management while working?

NA. I was into full time preparation.

Indian Gabbar : How do manage your personal life during preparation of civil services?

Several people say, you need to cut off from everywhere to focus on your preparations. While it is true to some extent, the picture can not be completely black or white. You need to entertain yourself a bit which shall help you in not getting bored, it may be by the means of friends, family or other modes like listening to songs. For example, I used to have once or twice in a month conference call with my friends which kept me connected to the outer world. Because you may or may not clear civil services exams but life has to go on.

Indian Gabbar : How important do you think it is to have an alternate career back-up while preparing for civil services? Which path had you chosen?

It was always there in my mind…and I also aSee, I think if you are 21-23 years old and the financial background of your family is sound, then you can go for 3-4 attempts without having any backup but if you are more than 24 years old and the financial condition of your family is not very good then I think you should sponsor your preparation with your own earned money which may come from, say, some part-time job; and also in the latter case when you are 24 years old, I think having a plan B will give you security and also it will make you less fearful of the exam. I, also had my alternate plans like accepting placement from my college, or appearing for other exams like RBI, EPFO, CAPF, etc.

Indian Gabbar : How did you manage studies while working?

NA. I was not working.

Indian Gabbar : How do you motivate yourselves?

Motivating yourself is a very subjective thing and it can differ from person to person, for example, I used to write quotes in front of my study table like there is a quote of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam where he says- Small aim is a big crime.

Sometimes, I used to say to myself that this path was not forced upon you by anyone but you yourself have chosen this path so make the best out of it and also I used to watch videos related to civil services on YouTube and watch the struggle stories and success stories of aspirants which I think has immense potential to motivate you from within. And also, I used to listen to poems like antim udaan and listen to motivational songs from biopic movies like Bhag Milkha Bhag, Dangal, among others.

On behalf of Indian Gabbar, many thanks to Mr. Varun Kumar, and wish him a bright future.

If you also know any relative/friend who has topped in any exam, then do let us know. Indian Gabbar is eager to publish his story.

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