Bubbling with energy, and sparkle in his eyes, he mesmerises you with a witty charm. Listen into this amazing engineering graduate from IIT Delhi, who pulled off ESE in the most effortless manner.
IES Master: It’s a huge success. How was it received in your family? Who was the first person you informed in your family?
Adarsh: I got a call from a friend who was not preparing for Engineering Services rather he was in a job at a bank and he told me that one of his friends has secure AIR-1, and then he asked me about my rank. This made me a bit nervous as I have yet to check the result at that time. So I opened my laptop and checked my result, and as my rank was in single digits, it obviously made me happy. I told my parents about this, and they were very ecstatic so I would like to say that yes it’s a good feeling.
IES Master: Who was this friend of yours who got AIR-1?
Adarsh: He was one of my batch mates at IIT Delhi from 2017 batch named Vinay Prakash Sharma. Actually there is a story behind it. I had even placed a bet with my friends that he will surely score AIR-1, but they did not believe it. They said that UPSC is unpredictable, but I said that he would be AIR-1, and I really wished that I would have put some money on it, I would have become a millionaire now. So he turned out to be AIR-1, and I am happy for him.
IES Master: IIT Delhi has done exceptionally well in ESE 2018. Vinay Prakash Sharma, you, and then Rupesh Mittal… you all rocked. What’s the secret?
Adarsh: We started in 2017, and yes somewhere there was a dream that we have to get into the government system, and we have to work for the system, and it was a dream of all three of us, especially Rupesh, who is preparing for Civil Services as well. So we joined the coaching, we did hard work, we discussed among ourselves all the doubts. It’s a very good feeling that all three of us have achieved single-digit rank. I think that it is for the first time that three students from IIT Delhi have achieved this feat, so we are very happy about it.
IES Master: How was IES Master Classroom program helpful in your ESE preparation?
Adarsh: IES Master Classroom program is a game changer because of the faculty and the environment that it provides, especially Mr Kanchan Thakur. He is an outstanding teacher of Civil Engineering, not only because of what he teaches, but also how he teaches. He starts from the basic bare minimum, and then he raises his level at a slow pace so that every student can catch up to it. He is a gem in Civil Engineering. That’s what I believe, that’s what my parents believe, and that’s what I think students of IES Master believe. Rest all the faculty members of IES Master are technically very sound, and they are very humble during doubt clearing sessions. They clear all our doubts no matter how lame our doubts would be. They would readily accept it, and clear the doubts. It helps actually to clear our inner conscience, which helps in bringing the desired results.
IES Master: IES Master is famous for its unique teaching methodology. The way they induce smart thinking, and the way it goes about problem solving. So, how was your experience with IES Master faculty?
Adarsh: The faculty members at IES Master treat us like their own children because while solving the questions they enable the students to think in an innovative manner. There may be single way to solve the question, but they always encourage us to think out of the box. Especially Mr Kanchan Thakur always enables the students to solve a question in two to three different ways. This opens up the mind of the students which automatically translates into good score in Engineering Services.
IES Master: How did you plan and execute the entire strategy for ESE?
Adarsh: I decided to pursue the goal when I was in class tenth because my father is in Indian Railways. So there was a dream behind it, and I did not opt for any job in my fourth year. So there was a pressure, but somewhere I knew that if would work hard then I would definitely get through the exam. So in my 8th semester, I joined IES Master in February 2017. This exam just requires dedicated hard work, and the ability to never give up. If a student has these traits, he is courageous enough to learn from his mistakes, and if he never ever gives up then I think that each and every student in this country can clear this exam. It’s a cakewalk if you work hard.
IES Master: What was your strategy with GS part?
Adarsh: One thing which I would like to tell the students is that ESE is not just a qualifying exam, it is an important exam where you can make a lot of difference, and believe me General Studies helps you create this difference because there are students who are getting more than 120 marks in General Studies. The strategy to help you get good marks in General Studies is quite simple. First, get back to the basics, see what is important, what is being asked. In my opinion, questions of Material Science and Construction Management are very important. Ethics is intuitive, but you should not leave Quality, Material Sciences and Construction Management because in my opinion around 50 to 60 questions are from these 4 to 5 topics only. So cover these topics first, and then focus on rest of the topics. IES Master material is very good in General Studies. You may read all the topics from the books, or you can also consult your GS teacher to know about the important topics. Your inner conscience may also suggest you some important topics, but I would recommend that consult your teachers as well, and focus on important topics first because this will help you get the marks.
IES Master: What was the weightage of various subjects in Paper-I Mains?
Adarsh: Getting to Paper-I, I would say that almost all the subjects had equal weightage. Steel and Construction Management questions were very simple but they had relatively less weightage, and Strength of Material, Structure and RCC questions had more weightage. The questions were relatively simple when compared to last year except question number 1 and 5, which were a bit orthodox and out of the box. Yet all the subjects had equal weightage.
IES Master: What about Paper-II?
Adarsh: In Paper-II, Fluid Mechanics was on the higher side, but the questions were easy enough. I believe that Paper-II might have been attempted by all the students for more than 270-280 marks, and most of them might have scored more than 200 marks. Paper-II was not lengthy, but had a variety of questions, and was simple.
IES Master: What was the sequence of attempting questions in Paper-I and Paper-II?
Adarsh: I followed the same strategy which I followed in Test Series. I started from question 1 after going through the paper, and then decided which questions to attempt first, and then sequentially I went up to last question in both the papers.
IES Master: How did you tackle the questions that you were not sure about?
Adarsh: While reading the questions initially when you have a good preparation then you get an idea about the questions that you might not be able to solve or you might be conceptually weak about. So if you have a good preparation then you are able to separate the out of the box questions from the ordinary questions, and yes the same happened with me like in the Paper-I, there were questions about water tank, footing, etc. So I decided to attempt them at last if I would get time. I did not find any unorthodox question in Paper-II, but I would like to suggest that go through the paper first, and if you find any question that you are not confident about solving in the given time then try to attempt that question in the last.
IES Master: How effective was IES Master study material in your preparation?
Adarsh: IES Master study material makes all the difference because it has all the things consolidated. In my view, in this exam there was not even a single question that was asked outside the content of IES Master text books. This automatically translates that how much important is this study material because 600 out of 600 marks of content is already present in the books. It’s quite a big thing.
IES Master: How did you fare in IES Master Test Series?
Adarsh: IES Master Test Series are very important. I would like to once again give huge credit to IES Master content development team because of the quality of questions they provide in IES Master test series for Prelims as well as Mains. The question are of such level that they enable a student to think on its own in an innovative manner, and the questions are of the same or a bit higher level as that of UPSC. This enables a student to develop a smart approach which is very necessary in faring well in Prelims exam. So, yes the test series worked quite well. All the students who used to perform very good in test series are the ones who have got ranks in Engineering Services Exam. So yes it’s a game changer.
IES Master: Walk us through your interview experience. How was it at UPSC?
Adarsh: My interview was held on 20th September, 2018 morning batch, and it was chaired by Satyawati Ma’am. I was anxious a lot as all of the students would be, but I would like to stress on the fact that IES Master Interview Guidance Program was very good in cutting down the anxiety because the environment it provides in the interview, both in terms of the environment as well as the quality of questions which are asked in mock interviews are almost similar to what are asked in the real interview itself. So yes it helped me cut down the anxiety as well as it helped me formulate my body posture accordingly which automatically helped me getting a good score in interview as well.
IES Master: Which was the most difficult question you encountered during the interview?
Adarsh: The most difficult question according to me would be to defend my choice of Railways. My choice was obvious as I was highly motivated to join Railways, but the thing is that most of the students are already highly motivated to join Railways so it was a question that I had prepared. But most of the students have prepared to face the same question, but given my background, I was genuinely interested in Railways. So I felt very anxious and nervous facing that question because I knew somewhere in me that there was a desire to join Railways but I had to express the same because expressing the same was also important, and telling them that how important it is in my life was also an important factor. So it certainly was the most important part of my interview.
IES Master: Preparing along with your college, how difficult or easy it is with IES Master?
Adarsh: What I believe is that if a student has a quality guidance and dedication, nothing is impossible. He can prepare along with his college, whatever college it might be like IITs, NITs, state government colleges, or may be private colleges. If he has good dedication, motivation, combined with good faculty members that can clear your doubts and motivate you highly then anything is possible.
IES Master: What would be your message to the future aspirants?
Adarsh: I would like to tell the aspirants that this is an exam that demands patience, hard work, especially consistent hard work, learning from mistakes, and one thing that is utmost necessary is that you should never ever give up. These all traits will help you clear the exam, and believe me that each and every child in the country has the potential to clear Engineering Services Examination, given he has the right guidance, and the right motivation.
IES Master: Tell us a little about your schooling.
Adarsh: For 10th board, I did my schooling from ICSE Board Little Flower School Gorakhpur. There I was for five years, from class 6th to 10th, and then I switched to Air Force School, CBSE Board purposely for preparing for competitive exams like JEE.
IES Master: How about your family?
Adarsh: My father is Deputy Chief Engineer in NE Railways, Gorakhpur in bridge design, and my mother is Biology teacher in Carmel Girls Inter College.
IES Master: Tell us a little about Gorakhpur.
Adarsh: You must be aware that Yogi Adityanath belongs from Gorakhpur, and it’s a city from where many students aspire to become big because of the hard work that is prevalent in UP.
IES Master: You have been an excellent student here at IES Master. It’s our absolute privilege to have someone like you amongst us. Thank you for sharing your success story with us. God bless you!
Adarsh: Thank you, sir.