ESE 2018 Topper (AIR-3, EE) Srijan Varma Shares His Success Story

Honesty in hard work gives you the spirit that helps you stay put on the right course. It is this force that helped Srijan to clear the most coveted Engineering Services Exam with flying colours.
Feel the spirit as he runs through his story…

IES Master: It’s a huge success. How was it received in your family? Who was the first person in your family you informed?
Srijan: It was really a great information when I got to know that I have secured AIR-3. First of all, I called my father to inform him about my rank, and he was very to hear that I have secured All India Rank 3. My family was confident that I would qualify, but AIR-3 in itself was very great achievement, and my parents and my sister are very happy on my achievement.

IES Master: Tell us about your family.
Srijan: My family include my grandmother, my father, mother, and my elder sister. My father is Divisional Electrical Engineer in Indian Railways, and my mother is a teacher in Kidwai Public School, and my sister is pursuing her medical course and doing her internship from Allahabad Medical College.

IES Master: What about your schooling?
Srijan: I have done my complete schooling from Saint Joseph’s College, Allahabad till class XII.

IES Master: What makes Allahabad so unique?
Srijan: Allahabad is a very good city. It’s basically known as the city of Prime Ministers. The city has a very rich cultural heritage, and there are a large number of monuments to visit. Recently the 2019 Kumbh Mela is also going to be organised at Allahabad.

IES Master: What inspired you to go for Engineering Services Exam?
Srijan: My father is Divisional Electrical Engineer in Indian Railways, and he always wanted me also to join Indian Railways by qualifying the prestigious Engineering Services Examination. He was one of the main reasons that promoted my interest in the Engineering Services Examination, and therefore I appeared for that.

IES Master: When did you start preparing for ESE 2018?
Srijan: I started preparing for Engineering Services during my college days when I was in my final year. It took me one year after my college completion to finally qualify with a great rank.

Admission start session 2019 - 20

IES Master: Once you had decided to go for Engineering Services. What was your strategy. How did you plan out the entire thing?
Srijan: I prepared in steps. First of all, I focussed only on the Prelims in which I give equal importance to General Studies and Technical portion. Once I cleared the Prelims stage, I focussed only on the Mains Conventional paper, and practices how to write Conventional answers. When I cleared the Conventional, I fully devoted my time for the Interview.

IES Master: How was IES Master study material effective in your preparation?
Srijan: IES Master study material helped me to clear most of my doubts, and I used to refer it whenever I got stuck at some point during my preparation.

IES Master: How did IES Master CQPP program of IES Master help you in your preparation?
Srijan: CQPP program gives you a time window for solving your paper and uploading them. This is really helpful because you might not get time every week to solve the paper if you are working or studying, but with Online Practice Program, you get a window of 3 to 4 days so you can take out your time to solve the paper in those 3 to 4 days and upload. So, it was very helpful.

IES Master: Given the fact that ESE is quite an intensive exam, how did you manage to complete the entire syllabus?
Srijan: I devoted equal time to all the subjects, and did not ignore any of the subjects. The subjects that were of much importance, I gave more time, but at the same time the subjects that were less important, I gave time sufficient enough so that I am able to cover the entire syllabus for those subjects as well. While revising, I paid more attention to the important subjects, but I did not ignore the less important subjects. I thoroughly prepared for all the subjects, and then I appeared for the final exam.

IES Master: How did you fare in IES Master test series?
Srijan: In IES Master Conventional Test Series, I used to score around 50-55% in every test series, be it part test or full test. Though I skipped some tests, I practised them whenever I got time.

IES Master: How was your Mains paper?
Srijan: Paper-I as expected was neither tough nor very easy, but in it more importance was given to Computer Fundamentals in Section-B on which most of the students do not have a good command. That was the main problem with Paper-I. But as Paper-II includes important subjects, everyone prepares for those subjects, so the quality of Paper-II was also very good. But, in my opinion Paper-II was slightly more difficult than Paper-I.

Admission start session 2019 - 20

IES Master: Which were the major subjects in ESE 2018 Mains paper?
Srijan: In Paper-I, the subjects were electrical measurement, material science, network theory. The distribution of subjects was almost similar to the previous year, but the quality of questions was improved. In Paper-II, the main subjects were machines, power electronics, power systems, and control systems. These are very important subjects for electrical engineers, and the same goes on with the distribution of these subjects, and the quality of questions was very good.

IES Master: Take us through the sequence of questions that you attempted in Paper-I and Paper-II.
Srijan: My strategy of attempting the question paper was that first I attempted the compulsory questions, and after that I attempted those questions of which I could not answer all the parts completely. In the decreasing order of the marks, I attempted the questions that I could attempt. I followed the same strategy for Paper-I and Paper-II.

IES Master: How was this year’s ESE different from the previous year’s?
Srijan: This year ESE paper was different from the last year’s paper as this year the Paper-II was difficult but Paper-I was moderate. This year what I felt was that the difficulty level of both Paper-I and Paper-II has increased. From the beginning of the paper, the difficulty level increased gradually in both Prelims and Mains.

IES Master: Preparing for Engineering Services with your college is quite a task. How did you manage to accomplish the two?
Srijan: I used to prepare whenever I get time, but I could not qualify the first attempt along with my college as I could not give my 100% attendance to the Engineering Services syllabus. I knew with my first attempt about my shortcomings, and I improved them when I appeared for the second time.

IES Master: Which was your UPSC Interview Board? Take us through your interview experience.
Srijan: My interview board was of Manoj Soni Sir. When I entered the hall, I was asked about the famous personalities from my city which included Amitabh Bachhan Sir as it was his birthday on 11th October, 2018 when I faced the Interview Panel. Then I was asked questions on my college, project of my college, and then there were general technical questions on my subjects.

IES Master: How did IES Master mock interview prepare you for UPSC interview?
Srijan: The interview experience at UPSC and IES Master was somewhat relatable. I was facing UPSC interview for the first time so I was under a lot of pressure because the panel and the experience was completely new so I was a little nervous while appearing for the interview.

Admission start session 2019 - 20

IES Master: You have been an excellent student here at IES Master. What would be your message to the future aspirants of Engineering Services?
Srijan: My message for the future aspirants would be to keep on working hard, and do not give up anytime during your preparation phase. There would be times when you would be feeling down that you would not be selected, and you should give up but just keep on doing your hard work, and eventually you would succeed.

IES Master: You have been an inspiration for many, and a wonderful student here at IES Master. It was a privilege talking to you. Thank you. God bless you!
Srijan: Thank you sir.

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