Selfstudyhistory.com’s interview of Chandrajyoti Singh (Rank- 28/ CSE 2019) [History Optional]
Profile of the Candidate
|Rank in Civil Services Exam 2019||28|
|Total attempts in Civil Services Examination (including present one)||1|
|Medium for History Optional||English|
|Marks in History Optional in Earlier Examinations (Mention marks in Paper I and II)||–|
|Any past Work-experience||–|
|Were you preparing full time or working and preparing?||Preparing full time|
|Your place of preparation||New Delhi|
|Details of other success and failure in competitive exams||–|
|Details of coaching/ test series/ study material of any coaching used for History Optional||Self study history materials and test series as well as GS Score test series|
|Percentage marks in class X||10 CGPA|
|Percentage marks in class XII||95.4%|
|Name of the subject in Graduation course and percentage marks||History – 73%|
|Name of college of graduation and place||St. Stephen’s College, DU|
|Passing out year||2018|
|Post-graduation if any||–|
|Did your educational Background help in History Optional?||Yes|
Tell us something about yourself. (attach your photograph with answer)
Hello all, I’m Chandrajyoti Singh, AIR 28 in the UPSC CSE 2019. My father is a retired army radiologist and my mother also served in the army, now retired. I grew up in different cities across India due to the transferable nature of my parents’ professions. I eventually pursued B.A. History (Hons.) from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University and graduated in 2018. Since I was only 20 then, I dropped a year and began preparing for CSE in Old Rajinder Nagar. This was my first attempt. I hope to be an honest civil servant and dedicate my life in the service of the nation.
Questions Related to History Optional
Why did you choose history as your optional subject?
I chose History as my optional because of two reasons-
- It was my graduation subject as a result of which I had knowledge of the subject.
- I love the subject so I could study history for long hours without getting bored or demotivated.
Mention positive and negative about the History Optional for those who want to take history optional.
- Interesting and easy to study.
- Helpful for GS and Essay preparation.
- Develops your overall perspective and inspires you more to clear the exam.
Negatives – As a lover of history, I cannot say that there were any negatives except that the syllabus is huge. Therefore, stick to limited sources, make short notes and revise multiple times.
Mention booklist and sources which you followed for History Optional.
- Ancient India – Upinder Singh, RS Sharma, Romila Thapar
- Medieval India – Satish Chandra
- Modern India – S. Bandopadhyay, Bipan Chandra
- World History – Self study history material, Norman Lowe
- Supplementary sources – IGNOU notes and class notes from graduation.
How did you prepare for Map Portion?
Self study history maps – only place to go for a comprehensive map preparation.
How much time per day you used to give the history optional during your preparation (both before and after prelims)?
4 hours everyday (first 4 months of preparation)
Answer writing only (just before prelims)
4 hours everyday (after prelims)
Did you do answer writing regularly? If yes, what amount of time you devoted to it and how did it help you?
Definitely, I took mock tests seriously to improve my answer writing skills. I took the 3 hr tests at least once a week in the period between prelims and mains.
Did you join any test series? If yes, kindly name it? How did it benefit you?
I joined Self Study History and GS Score test series.
- Improves answer quality
- Increases speed
- Prepares one for exam like stressful situations.
Did you maintain self-notes? If yes, how did it help you?
Yes, I made short notes for myself and revised them regularly. Since revision is key to clearing the exam, my own hand written notes helped me a great deal.
Have you solved previous years papers of history optional? Did it help you in the examination?
I looked at the year wise compilations brought out by self study history. It helped me as it enabled me to understand the nature of questions asked by UPSC.
In your views, how the nature of questions asked in history optional changed in recent years?
Yes, the exam pattern has changed a great deal as it is now focused more on reasoning and analysis based questions rather narrative style of questions. This makes the subject more interesting and dynamic.
Any specific thing you want to share about history optional?
In my humble opinion, a thorough knowledge of history enables one’s to learn from the mistakes and achievements of the past and emerge as better administrators. Therefore, I feel taking history optional will not only ensure success in the exam but later in the career as well.