Categories’s interview of Raj (Rank- 433/ CSE-2018) [History Optional]’s interview of Raj (Rank- 433/ CSE-2018) [History Optional]

Profile of the Candidate


Name Raj
Rank in Civil Services Exam 2018 433
Roll Number 0804606
Age 29
Total attempts in Civil Services Examination (including present one) 5
Optional Subject History
Medium for History Optional English
Marks in History Optional in Earlier Examinations (Mention marks in Paper I and II)
Home town/village Patna
Any past Work-experience Senior Engineer in L&T
Were you preparing full time or working and preparing? Full Time
Your place of preparation Delhi and Patna
Details of other success and failure in competitive exams 3rd interview in UPSC,

Cleared BPSC 60-62nd exam with 49th Rank.

Details of coaching/ test series/ study material of any coaching used for History Optional GS: Sriram IAS

Test Series: (For History



Educational Background

Percentage marks in class X 75.4%
Percentage marks in class XII 77%
Name of the subject in Graduation course and percentage marks Civil engineering with 9.36 CGPA
Name of college of graduation and place M S RAMAIAH INSTITUTE OF Technology, Bengaluru
Passing out year 2012
Post-graduation if any No
Did your educational Background helped in History Optional?



Questions Related to History Optional

Why did you choose history as your optional subject?

Convenience as well as Interest.

Convenience because it helps in GS Paper 1.

Mention positive and negative about the History Optional for those who what to take history optional.

Positives of History Optional-

  1. Helps In Prelims and Mains GS Paper 1
  2. Important for other state level exams.
  3. repetition of questions in mains at least 40 % questions.
  4. Availability of materials.

Negatives of History Optional-

  1. Too lenghty Syllabus
  2. Average scoring subject

Mention booklist and sources which you followed for History Optional.

Mention Booklist and other sources-

But overall Hemant jha sir notes and selfstudyhistory material will be enough.

How did you prepare for Map Portion?


How did you prepare History for Prelims and Interview?

History for prelims:

  1. Modern India from spectrum
  2. Culture from Singhania book and ccrt
  3. Some selected topics of Ancient but not much focus on Medieval

History for Interview:

  1. Prepare Mauryan history for students especially from Bihar
  2. Subaltern history
  3. Focus on Historiography
  4. History related to you place of birth, education, work etc.

How much time per day you used to give the history optional during your preparation (both before and after prelims)?

It took long time. But its better to complete History before prelims. And keep revising After prelims.

Did you do answer writing regularly? If yes, what amount of time you devoted to it and how did it help you?

Its better to do answer writing. I did it from test series. At least per day five questions should be.

Did you maintain self-notes? If yes, how did it help you?

I couldn’t do it but took help from Hemant Jha sir notes.

Have you solved previous years papers of history optional? Did it help you in the examination?

Yes. it helps a lot. At least 30-40% questions will be repeated in one form or another. I took help from question bank.

In your views, how the nature of questions asked in history optional changed in recent years?

Nature of Questions asked in UPSC exam- more from socio, cultural, economic aspects of questions.

It’s better to do more preparation in Medieval India for Paper 1 and Modern India In Paper 2.

Did you take any help from If yes, upto what extent it helped you.


  1. Test series
  2. Question bank
  3. Map
  4. Personal guidance on any topic on phone
  5. Gist of books

Any specific thing you want to share about history optional?

  1. It’s good for interview also because there will be definitely questions asked from history.
  2. Try to discuss history subject with your friends- it helps in developing interest and will be easier to remember facts.
  3. Don’t worry for facts. It’s better to understand History.

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