Please visit Unacademy - The Free Education Revolution! for the best possible explanation of any topic in UPSC CSE preparation.(Disclaimer: IAS is used alternatively with Civil Services)ProfileName: Dr. Roman SainiAge : 22Roll number: 074397Name of the Exam and Year : CSE 2013Result/Rank : 18 UPSC Optional: MEDICAL SCIENCEExtra Curricular Activities: Love to play guitarTL;DRThank you for the amazing response to this answer, I have made a lot of videos for you guys, subscribe to me at UnacademyIf you would have asked me 4 years ago what is UPSC, I could not even tell you the full form, forget about anything else. I was horribly bad at English and studying social sciences or Humanities as they call it, was extremely inhuman at first. But somehow I developed a likening towards studying diverse subjects which is the first and foremost requirement for preparation of this examination, one of the hardest in the world. Hardness of any examination is determined by Success ratio. In 2014, one million candidates applied, but this year IAS was allotted only till 92nd rank in General Category and one of my friend who got 98th rank has given the examination again just to get into this coveted and sacred service. So, the odds of getting into IAS is less than 1/10,000 i.e 0.01%, making UPSC CSE one of the hardest examination on this planet. Competition is on the rise because many more candidates from professional backgrounds (Engineers, Doctors, MBA) are becoming Civil Servants as it is full of attractions like diverse challenges, authority, opportunity of touching millions of life, prestige etc.It was never my childhood dream, and I thought of writing UPSC in 4th semester of MBBS. At that time I realized that the basic maladies and grass-root problems needs to be tackled first and if I am being brutally honest with myself, they simply cannot be solved by being a doctor. You need to lock horns with problems like lack of awareness, medication, diagnostic facilities, drinking water, sanitation and above all, opportunities with a level playing field. In short, touching, influencing and affecting millions of lives at one go is possible only by becoming IAS.I was sleeping when the result was announced 12th June,2014 @ 3.00 pm as I was tired after my work in Psychiatry department of AIIMS. I got to know from my friends the next day i.e. 13th June, 1.00 morning. Yes, I felt good, but thinking that the real work had just began, it humbled me.My marks: PRELIMINARY TEST (26th May,2013)Attempted Correct Official scoreCSAT 1 100 72 125.34CSAT 2 80 75 183.33Total 309?These marks are one of the highest in India and I am yet to find someone who has more marks than me. Also, I was just 21 year old when I gave prelims. This is just to emphasize that age is just a number and what is needed is proper guidance and strategy.MAINS ( First week of December, 2013)English and Hindi Compulsory Paper: Passed (Obviously)GS 1 :97GS II :61 GS III :108GS IV : 98Essay: 145Medical Science I: 109Medical Science II: 112Total 730/1750?This is the fourth highest written score in India, clearly busting certain myths: It is not possible to clear this examination in first attempt, while doing graduation, while working or at age of 22-23, blah,blah.Interview 154/275These are below average marks and there is a sense of arbitrariness that runs throughout both interview and essay preparation so no complains there.Final score: 884/2025 ,18th rankBefore we get into specifics, I wanted to tell that do not fall prey to these myths:1 Dream to be an IAS: You really don’t need it. Any reason for you to be a civil servant is good enough as long as it helps you to stay focused.2 Preparation is possible only by staying in Delhi: It is a myth which has been perpetuated by coaching instates. Though it certainly helps, but it is not sacrosanct to stay in Delhi. You can watch all my videos, order book from Flipkart, get hold of any material on internet today, so your sincerity is the only requirement.3 IQ=220? Most of the toppers I know have an above average IQ only, hardwork is what separates wheat from chaff here.4 Study for 25 hours per day? We Toppers are very much from Earth and are not aliens. We need our sleep for 7-9 hours per day. Self study for 6-8 hours per day is more than sufficient.5 Good Bye Social Life? You don't need to become a hermit to clear this examination, though you do need to limit your social outings. You should exploit social media as much as possible by joining relevant FB groups and going to my page where I provide lot of worthy content.6 Bad English/Obscure College/Financially PoorIts good that you have acknowledged your English is poor. Improve it. College and background hardly matters in interview and before that, you are just known by your roll number. Finances are not that necessary since lots of material is available online and joining coaching is not absolutely essential.7 It's all Luck? Luck play a big role and no one denies it. But luck shows random distribution and all of us have an equal chance to be lucky. On top of that, hardwork is the only variable that can actually create a significant difference. The harder you work, the luckier you get.8 Completing 200 books in 400 days?You need about 400 days to prepare this examination. You will get 2400 hours (400*6) and considering you can read, understand, analyze, retain and reproduce the content worth 4 pages, it gives us 9600 pages and considering you revise it three times it gives us 3200 pages worth of content over the entire duration of preparation. So you have to be extremely choosy when you buy any book in the market.Preparation mode: You need to get into a preparatory mode before you start to actually prepare for this examination. Just remember this quote that if you are not living on the edge, you are taking too much space.1 Roman’s Rituals:These are the rituals I followed meticulously for 2 years and they helped me and I am extremely optimistic that they will help you as well in your preparation. If you have any classes, attend all of them without fail. Do self study for 6 hours per day on a long-term basis. Revise daily whatever you read as that it helps in consolidation of memory and effective recall. Have a dedicated leisure hour per day which is completely stress and anxiety free just to unwind yourself after a hard day’s labor. Keep going out for bare minimum so that you have lots of time left for studies. Put good food in your body, exercise for half an hour per day like walking, yoga, meditation etc. Do not drink and smoke as it hampers memory formation and performance in other areas. Sleep for 7-9 hours per day. Strategy is to read as much as you can from the same source and revise it again and again.2 How to read a book or textNever read a book from page to page. Directly jump to index and mark important pages which you are going to read and then just read them only. Do not try to memorize anything. Keep reading again and again from the same source and you will be able to remember stuff. Just focus on keywords, key phrases and key topics, no need to study trash.3 Book list (Common to Pre and mains)Solve previous year question paper at www.upsc.gov.inNCERTs Class 6-10 Read all humanities, Science and whichever is relevant for General studies. Freely available NCERT website www.ncert.nic.in. Read new only.Biology NCERT Class 12 Last 4 chapters Chemistry NCERT Class 12 Volume 2 Last 2 ChaptersPolity, Economy, Geography, History Class 11th and 12thIndian Polity - Laxmikanth 4th editionA Brief History of Modern India- SpectrumEconomics: Indian Economy by Sanjiv Verma, Mrunal.org, Sriram Economy manual, Economic SurveyArt And Culture: No Separate book. Cover from NCERTs and CCRT website, my videos Science and Technology: NCERTs, Thursday edition of The Hindu for SnT, mrunal.orgGeography: GC Leong (At least Part 1)Current Affairs: The Hindu, Yojana, Vajiram Current Affairs ModulesEnvironment and Ecology: Shankar IAS book, NCERTs, Mrunal.org, my videos For prelims only : CSAT Paper 2 : TMH Manual as one stop solutionMains only: Lexicon by Chronicle Publication for ethics, solve as much questions as you can especially case studies. Do not take a very high ground or you might come across as idealist which will be a hindrance in day to day work, but show zero tolerance to corruption and never compromise on integrity, these should be reflected clearly in your answersWorld History: Watch videos at Unacademy, Norman Lowe (From 1911 onwards) and L MukherjeeScience ReporterYojana,The HinduInternational Relations : Ravindran Sir of Vajiram Classes , Hand written or printed notes.Prsindia.org for draft legislation and bill passed.Your optionalFor any abstract topic, do read on Wikipedia or simply google it.Do not forget to read about the compulsory papers as though they do not contribute to the rankings, yet they are extremely crucial because 8-10% people fail in them and their copies are just thrown away without any evaluation whatsoever. For compulsory English paper, English by Unique PublicaitonFor Modern Indian Language, I took Hindi, so do read Hindi by Unique PublicationInterview:Madhukar Bhagat : How to prepare for Civil Services Interview.Test Series:Do join a test series, online or offline, doesn't matter. You have to give all tests with full preparation. As it enables you to fail faster, earlier and more often. Give all test as if you are appearing for UPSC preliminary examination. Start revising at least three days before the test. And always keep a balance between class and test preparation.Classes:If you are attending any classes, do attend all of them. Sit far away from anyone you know personally. Listen to teacher diligently. Make note of every single keyword they are dictating. Revise the class in half an hour on a daily basis.Self Study:At least 6 hours per day cumulatively. Make your own goals depending upon your talent, knowledge base, potential and learning speed. Try to achieve at least 70% of that goal. Study whenever, wherever and however you can whether notes, text book , desktop, laptop, tablet, capsule ;) only thing that matters is the content. Do revise again and again from the same book. It is advisable to read 10 times from a single book, rather than reading 10 books single time.Books to avoid:Any book which is difficult to revise i.e having more than 500 pagesIndia after Independence, India after Gandhi, India Year Book (Read summary only), Manorama Year Book, India’s struggle for independence etc.Also avoid doubling of books for same subject like DD Basu, Subhash Kashyap etc as only Laxmikanth is needed for polity.Avoid any market magazine except Yojana.Distractions:Avoid heeding to advise of so-called well-wishers, who always try to demoralize you and pull you down. Do not be bogged down by sheer syllabus or number of candidates that apply for the examination.In fact, from time to time, I also got stressed, anxious and depressed (SAD) because it is a perfectly normal thing to be SAD being in such a high pressure situation. Certain level of anxiety is rather appreciable as it helps in delivering peak performance.For the benefit of aspirants, I have made lots of video tutorial lessons, absolutely free of cost, for the benefit of future candidates who can not afford coaching and it has turned out to be one of India’s largest Educational YouTube channel, i.e., http://youtube.com/unacademy , 15% of syllabus came from videos with just 2 hours of watching time.Still if you do feel confused, distracted, in doubt and delusions and want further deliberation and discourse, there is a one stop solution for youhttps://www.facebook.com/romansaini.officialBe detail-oriented. Persistent carelessness leads to consistent failure.