ESE 2018 Topper (AIR-17, CE) Reema Agarwal Shares Her Success Story

Come face-to-face with this brave girl, who chose nothing but persistent hard work, and left behind a blazing trail that will surely inspire generations to come. This JJS Noida B.Tech alumni chose a daring target in her innocence, and achieved it through her sheer valour…

IES Master: Take us through this inspirational journey, starting from JSS to UPSC?
Reema: I started preparing for ESE in 2015 basically at the end of my third year. I joined a coaching, but after joining I was not confident that I would be able to crack it in the first attempt. But I joined it because everyone was going for it. After I gave my first ESE exam i.e. ESE 2016, I was short by 34 marks to qualify for Interview. Then I realised that if I would have been confident, I would have done it. So then I joined IIT Delhi to pursue my Master’s as I got a decent GATE ranking. At IIT Delhi, the environment was very good.
After coming to IIT Delhi, I analysed very properly that what I have to do. How can I score very good marks in my second attempt. So what I did was that I prepared for 6 months. Basically during these 6 months, I did not solve a single question, I read only IES Master study material. So this plays a very important role in achieving good ranks in GATE as well as ESE. After that I followed test series very religiously, be it for Mains or Prelims. Then for Interview Guidance, I joined IES Master Mock Interview program.

IES Master: It’s a huge success. How was it received in your family? Who was the first person in your family you informed?
Reema: It was my grandfather to whom I informed that I have secured AIR-17 in Engineering Services. He was very happy, and then informed my mother and father, and all other family members. I live in a joint family, they all were very happy. They distributed sweets in the area where I live. It was a very memorable moment for me.

IES Master: From where you did your schooling?
Reema: Till third standard, I studied in a town named Sadabad, and after that I have done my schooling till 12th from Delhi Public School, Aligarh.

IES Master: How about your native place?
Reema: It’s a place in between Agra and Hathras called Sadabad. It’s a small town, but it has all the basic necessities that are required.

Admission start session 2019 - 20

IES Master: Which program were you a part of, here at IES Master?
Reema: I have joined Conventional Question Practice Program here at IES Master. Basically for the preparation of Mains paper. The Test Series which I joined helped me a lot because the number of questions, and type of questions that comes in Test Series are very new, and helped me in concept building. This helped me a lot in the Mains paper because every year the paper contains new questions, which can make you nervous, but the Test Series helps you practicing those questions.
Secondly, it helps you in question selection as you have to complete the paper in 3 hours, and you have to score maximum marks in those 3 hours. Question selection plays very important role.

IES Master: How did you strategise for Paper-I?
Reema: Paper-I can be very tricky. It consists of subjects like SOM, Structure, RCC, Steel. So if you get it correct, you will get marks. So one has to practice these subjects very continuously because this is a paper that will help you in scoring very good marks in Mains, and for this Test Series plays a very important role. The number of questions and type of questions in the Test Series that IES Master provides is very good. So go for it.

IES Master: What about Paper-II?
Reema: Paper-II basically contains subjects like Environment, Fluid Mechanics, which require more knowledge. So for this we have to read more. One has to read the books a number of times because then only it leads to development of concepts. Also, the answering of questions should be very precise because each question can be answered in number of ways. So for this also Test Series is very important.

IES Master: How effective was IES Master study material during your ESE preparation?
Reema: I think it is the best available material available in the market. If you want to crack any exam related to Civil Engineering then go for this material because I found it very helpful. The rank which I have secured in ESE 2018 is due to that material only.

IES Master: How did you fare in IES Master Test Series?
Reema: Generally I was in top-10, and sometimes in top-20 while going through the Test Series for Mains preparation here at IES Master. It was very motivating for me.

IES Master: Walk us through your UPSC interview experience? Which board it was?
Reema: The Chairperson of my interview panel was M. Satyavati madam, and all the other panellists were very warm and welcoming. The interview went decently fare for me as I was able to answer about 50% to 70% of the questions. Most of the questions were technical and related to my M.Tech only.

Admission start session 2019 - 20

IES Master: How close were IES Master mock interview sessions to the real UPSC interview?
Reema: The marks I secured in UPSC final interview and mock interview are almost similar. So I think it provided me a very fair idea about the areas in which I have to improve i.e. analysing the areas in which I have to improve.

IES Master: You are a graduate from JSS. Generally it’s presumed that ESE is the preserve of elite institutes? What would be your message to the students of JSS?
Reema: Basically for cracking any exam, the first important thing that is required is confidence. I believe that every JSS student can get a good rank in first attempt. They have to believe that they can do it, because until they will not believe it, they will not have it. So believe in themselves, go for the best available material in the market, and strategise the whole syllabus properly.
What I believe is that the students of JSS have it, but they don’t believe in it. So when they get into an environment provided by coaching institutes, and the support from the teachers then I think that they can achieve success in such exams.

IES Master: You have been an excellent student here at IES Master. We are so proud of you. We thank you for giving us time and sharing your experience. God bless you!
Reema: Thank you!

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