[Topper’s Interview] Lokesh Mishra (Rank-44/CSE-2015) Sociology, IIT-Delhi, BDO RaiBareli, Uttar Pradesh

[Topper’s Interview] Lokesh Mishra (Rank-44/CSE-2015) Sociology, IIT-Delhi, BDO RaiBareli, Uttar Pradesh

  1. Candidate Profile
  2. Education
  3. Introduction
  4. Electronic Vs Paper material
  5. Tempo and style
  6. Struggle of a Senior player
  7. Working professional
  8. Prelims (CSAT) General studies
  9. Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude
  10. Prelim accuracy
  11. Mains: Compulsory language paper
  12. Mains: Essay
  13. General Studies (Mains) paper 1
  14. General studies (Mains) paper 2
  15. General studies (Mains) Paper 3
  16. General Studies 4: Ethics, Integrity, aptitude
  17. Mains answer-writing?
  18. Mains Optional Subject
  19. Before the interview
  20. During the interview
  21. CSE-2015 Marksheet
  22. Career Backup
  23. Views on UPSC reforms
  24. Insecurity about profile
  25. Wisdom
  26. Credit: Friends/family
  27. BOGUS Marketing Propaganda

Candidate Profile

Name Lokesh Mishra
Rank in CSE-2015 44
Roll No. 0455443
Age 25
Total attempts in CSE (including this one) 2
Optional Subject Sociology
Schooling Medium Hindi
College medium English
Medium chosen for Mains answers English
Medium chosen for Interview English
Home town/city Pratapgarh,Uttar Pradesh
Work-experience if any
  1. 2 years as engineer in Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited, Kota,Rajasthan
  2. 9 months in State Civil Services of Uttar Pradesh.Presently working as BDO in RaeBareli (U.P)
Details of other competitive exams, including success/failures 1.Made into the reserve list of CSE-2014
2.Got selected in UP PCS
Details of coaching, mock tests, postal material for any competitive exam (if used) NA
Service preferences (Top-5) IAS>IFS>IPS>IRS(IT)>IRS(CCE)
state cadre preference (Top-5) UP, MP, Rajasthan, Haryana, Bihar


% in class 10 75
% in class 12 73
Graduation course and % Chemical Engineering, 5.5
Name of college, city, passing out year IIT Delhi, 2012
Post-graduation NA
Any other professional courses NA
Hobbies & Extracurricular achievements Watching movies, Reading books etc


Q. Tell us something about yourself, your family, when and why did you enter in this field of competitive exams?

I belong to a small town Lalganj in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh. My father is the branch manager, RRB and mother is a housewife. I have one brother and two sisters and all of them are in the civil services (Yogesh Mishra, IOFS, CSE2013; Madhvi Mishra ,IAS,CSE 2014 ; Kshama Mishra,IPS,CSE2015). I studied till intermediate in Lalganj only and completed my garduation from IIT Delhi.
In my society, civil services are the most respectable job and that holds true for almost all the eastern UP. So, my teachers, realtives always encouraged me to give it a try. My interest and inclination too grew towards civil services over the time during my schooling as my place is socially and politically very active (Everyone is a political philosopher in eastern UP……haha!). With the support of parents and my siblings, I entered this field.

Electronic Vs Paper material

Q. In recent times, there is spur in electronic material- blogs, sites, pdfs, RSS-feeds. Many aspirants feel bogged down by this information overload. So, how much do you rely on electronic material and how much on the paper material (Books, newspapers)? If possible, narrate a typical day in your studylife. What is your style of preparation (e.g. I continue making notes no matter what I’m reading, I just read multiple times but don’t maintain notes, I make mindmaps on computer …or xyz style)
Plethora of e-material may be suitable for candidates doing full time prepration,however for already employed candidates, sticking to maximum one is good. However,I was exempted because I had facility of notes of my siblings. One good newspaper is must such as The Indian Express, The Telegraph or The Hindu. Important thing is to stick to the basics and not run for all the materials available in the market. Keep it as simple as possible.

Tempo and style

Q. People know what books and syllabus points are to be prepared. But most of them lack consistency in their preparation. So, how do you keep study momentum going on? How do you fight against the mood swings and distractions?
Planning is necessary for the preparation particularly after Prelims and before Mains. Stick to your plan and make short targets. If things are well managed, pressure would be less and so will be the distractions. Mood swings are natural and one should have a small time break from the studies and do what one likes.

Struggle of a Senior player

Q1. How did you survive through this mental prison and what’re your words of wisdom to other senior players? If any specific inspirational incident(s), please share.
This was my second attempt and I got into reserve list in first attempt also, hence there was not much burden on me.
Q2. What went wrong in your previous attempt? What changes did you make in this current attempt?
I lacked few marks in all areas. Hence ,rather than any one  big change, I made several small changes.

Working professional

If you’re a working professional, share some tips on how to manage studies with job
That requires special efforts and planning. Time management and efficiency becomes key factor. Sometimes honest revealation of your preparation to your boss works in your favour.
Selection of study material should be done wisely here as the time is less. Go for short and summarized reading materials. Online sources of preparation is a big boon for working professionals. Capitalize them to the maximum extent.

Prelims (CSAT) General studies

Topic strategy/booklist/comment
History Ancient Notes of my brother
History Medieval Notes of my brother
History Modern (Freedom Struggle) Notes of my brother
Culture and society NIOS Material
Polity (theory + current) Laxmikant
Economy (theory + current) Mrunal
Science (theory + current) Nothing
Environment (theory + current)  NCERT
geography physical NCERT
geography India NCERT
geography world NCERT + G C Leong
other national/international current affairs Newspaper
Schemes, Policy & Filler Stuff Newspaper

Q. Any observation / comments / tips about GS prelim 2015 paper?
Question paper was as per the expectation. One should focus on basics for the prelims especially basic theoretical concepts behind any ongoing event which is in the news.
Q. Now that Aptitude paper has become qualifying, obvious more attention needs to be paid on the GS paper so apart from the books that you already have gone through, what else would you have tried for CSE-2016 (if you were going to appear)?
I would have tried the same strategy as last year.

Prelims (CSAT) Aptitude

Topic strategy / booklist
Maths Left
reasoning Left
comprehension Left
Decision Making Left

Prelim accuracy

Q1. Did you attend any ‘mock tests’? do you think they’re necessary for success?
No, I didn’t attend any mock test. Practice is necessary and one should have enough practice before appearing in the exam.
Q2. Approximate no. of attempted answers vs. correct answers. in CSAT-2015

attempted Q. correct (Expected) Official score
GS 100 141
aptitude 80 176

Mains: Compulsory language paper

Compulsory language paper Your preparation strategy / booklist?
English paper Left
your regional language Left

Q. other observations / tips / comments on the length / difficulty level of compulsory language papers in CSE-2015

Mains: Essay

Q1. How did you prepare for the essay paper?
Initially, my brother explained me how to write a good essay in civil service examination.  After Prelims exam, I wrote few essays for practice and sent them to my brother through whatsapp for evaluation.

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