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How is ‘Personal Mentorship’ a new, key tool for UPSC-CSE preparation strategy?’ | The Indian Express explained CD’s approach | Get your personal IAS mentor

What is Personal Mentorship for UPSC CSE? How can it boost your UPSC IAS 2023 preparation? Excerpts from The Indian Express interview. Get your personal mentor. Link inside.

CivilsDaily’s personalized and student-centric approach, due to its proven effectiveness and extraordinary result in the previous UPSC CSE exams, is attracting a lot of eyeballs. Every day we are flooded with hundreds of mentorship requests.

Still, many aspirants lack clarity on what UPSC Mentorship actually stands for. They have a lot of doubts and queries about it. The Indian Express invited us to bring clarity on Mentorship for UPSC and Zeeshan Hashmi, senior UPSC Mentor at CivilsDaily gave an interview to the newspaper. Below are given excerpts from the interview. You can read the full interview here.

What is Personal Mentorship for UPSC CSE?

Interviewer: “Zeeshan, a new trend is being noticed that UPSC aspirants are opting for ‘personal mentors’ to crack their Civil services exams. What is ‘Personal Mentorship’?

Mentorship is a gradual process that takes the preparation level of each student into consideration. The core philosophy in a mentorship program is that ‘every student is a distinct batch’. Each aspirant has his or her own strengths and weakness and stands at different levels of preparation.

Taking all those into consideration, a mentorship program devises a proper strategy and plan tailor-made for a particular candidate.

In simple terms, the mentorship process is like a Google map, that suggests one of the best possible routes reach the destination depending on the position of the user.

Similarly, a mentor guides an aspirant to the best possible route to attain success depending on his level of preparedness, strengths, and weaknesses. etc.

Which one are you?

Every student is a batch

Core philosophy of CD Mentorship

How is mentorship different from teaching?

Interviewer: If a UPSC mentor is providing guidance to an aspirant, how he or she is different from a teacher/instructor?

Students sometimes are confused between a teacher and a mentor. A teacher teaches topics, concepts, and ideas from the syllabus, textbooks or from some established scholarly works.

A mentor is someone who guides an aspirant based on his own experience, learning, and insights. He has walked that path either as a senior aspirant or a selected candidate.

Mourya had a personalized timetable, targets, and UPSC study plan as per his constraints like time availability and job

Students should know that a mentor’s job is not to teach and complete the syllabus of static subjects. That is a job of a teacher. However, a mentor guides an aspirant by suggesting the best strategies that will suit the aspirant and cater to his or her problem. That strategy is not one size suit all approach.

Parameters to choose a mentor?

Interviewer: There are many coaching institutes providing mentorship programs. What parameters should an aspirant look into while choosing a mentor?

Zeeshan sir answered that the two general parameters an aspirant should look at while deciding a mentor are:

  1. Statistics: How many students got selected through a mentor’s specific personalized mentorship program?
  2. Human element: This involves building up trust. One way to find out the trust factor is through webinars/videos which are available for free. During these webinars, a mentor answers many doubts and queries. If any aspirant as a viewer finds that a similar doubt, resonating with his or her is addressed, trust is developed.
  3. It is after these two factors, aspirants should approach a mentor, interact and select the program as per his or her requirements.

Is it true that mentorship also involves counselling?

It is true to some extent. many times a mentor receives calls from aspirants who have emotional outbursts and they are apprehensive of their preparedness. We must understand that UPSC aspirants come from diverse backgrounds and the preparation can take more than a few years. It can be frustrating. A mentor should be prepared to empathize with the anxieties of an aspirant and provide him or her with practical insights.

Let me take the example of my former student Soham Mandhare who was suffering from stress and anxiety attacks and was advised by the doctors to quit the exam. But he decided to approach a personalized mentorship program and benefited from it. Sohum Mandhare, finally secured AIR 267 in UPSC-CSE 2021.

However, a mentor should be careful and advise an aspirant to consult a qualified doctor when the situation of a candidate is serious and needs medical help.

Which combination is more favorable for aspirants- coaching guidance + Mentorship or self-study + Mentorship?

Depends upon where the student stands in his preparation.

Coaching guidance + Mentorship: freshers find it important. It gives aspirants an apt environment, peer group preparation, etc.

Self-study + Mentorship: Beneficial for aspirants who have financial constraints, housewives and professionals, selected candidates who want to improve ranks, and those who can not leave their homes due to personal circumstances.

Tools and Strategies used by UPSC Mentors

What are some of the tools used by a mentor which make the mentorship more personalized or most tailor-made for individual aspirants?

  1. Customized Timetable: Depending on how much time an aspirant can devote to the preparation due to the personal or professional conditions of an individual, a mentor helps to prepare a personalized timetable.
  2. Regular micro tests: Addressing personal apprehensions regarding the preparedness for exams, micro-tests a regular basis are designed, evaluated, and discussed. It involves going deep and understanding the thought process behind the candidates’ answers.
  3. Calls on demand: Listening patiently to aspirants’ queries and doubts, one on one, is an important element of the mentorship program.

“Never take any results as a barometer for your success. Take results sportingly. only then one will be able to improvise and perform better in the next opportunity or attempt”.

Zeeshan Hashmi

It is not that UPSC-CSE preparation can not be done by self-study. Yet, a mentor is required at various tiers of this exam, whether an aspirant is going to regular coaching or not. 

For the last 4 years, the most challenging exam of our country has been witnessing an inspirational transition in preparation strategy. ‘Personal Mentorship Program (PMP) is becoming increasingly popular among UPSC-CSE aspirants.

Why do IAS aspirants prefer a mentor? The simple answer is that only an IAS mentor can understand the anxieties of a candidate. And he remains prepared to empathize and provides practical insights.

Senior IAS CD mentor/faculty Zeeshan Hashmi sir’s core philosophy ‘every student is a distinct batch’ has gained currency in Indian Express.

Read his exceptional interview:


The Hindu has acknowledged the 80% success rate of Civilsdaily’s mentorship Program

All the aspirants now are all aware of the benefits that come with mentorship. In fact, some of the wretchedly failure-sufferers have changed their lives by clearing UPSC. To demonstrate such impact India’s top branded news giants repeatedly echoed ‘Civilsdaily’s One Branded Mentorship Program’


Civilsdaily’s Mentorship is clearly one brand which sets us apart

Civilsdaily mentorship toolkit helps you in 6 key components of your UPSC-CSE preparation

  1. Direction– Civilsdaily’s mentors are highly qualified, with at least one year of mentorship experience and two UPSC CSE Interviews under their belts. They are well-versed in the many stages of preparation. These mentors will assist you in developing both a comprehensive and micro schedule. They’ll put together a weekly programme for you, complete with mentorship calls. This schedule will be created based on a thorough examination of the importance of subjects as well as the interconnection of topics to make it easier for students to grasp the material.
  2. Discipline– The student will be held accountable to the mentor since he or she will be required to complete a weekly target set by the mentor.
  3. Consistency– Students can retain consistency in their preparation by having their mentor monitor them constantly and giving them regular tests. Furthermore, rational scheduling aids pupils in adopting an integrated approach to preparation..
  4. Value addition– Mentors also assist students with their questions and resources. Students become perplexed as to which resources to follow due to the abundance of content available on the market. Mentors can assist you in locating and referring to the most appropriate materials. This aids students in consolidating their resources and avoiding content overload. Mentors will also offer video assistance. Remember- the mantra to clear UPSC is MINIMUM RESOURCES, MAXIMUM REVISIONS.
  5. Evaluation– The UAP/foundation curriculum also contains a prelims and mains test series, as well as weekly 10 mains questions from Samachar Manthan (SM). Your mentor will go through each test with you and help you figure out your strengths and shortcomings. So, if you devote yourself to this programme, you will receive one-on-one assistance for more than 40 mains tests (including SM) and more than 30 prelims tests. Furthermore, each test will be examined twice by professional evaluators, with a mentor evaluating the results later.
  6. Motivation– When you’re feeling down or don’t feel like studying, you can reach out to your mentor, have a conversation, get motivated, and restart your studies. Mentor-recommended relaxation techniques can assist you in learning more effectively.

How does Samanvaya Mentorship work? Introducing 3 layers of mentorship: Get IAS or UPSC ranker as your mentor

1. 1st step starts with this Samanvaya call: Once you fill in the form, we get on a 30-40 minute call with you to understand your prep level, working/ study constraints, and current strategies and create a step-by-step plan for the next week, next month and so on.

2. You are directed and given access to relevant resources and invite-only platform, Habitat where you can ask your daily doubts, discuss your test-prep questions and have real-time, live sessions on news and op-eds, and find your optional groups.

Daily target monitoring.

3. The third and the most personalized tier is the 1 on 1 mentor allotment who stays with you through the course of your UPSC preparation – always-on chat and on scheduled calls to help you assess, evaluate, and chart the next milestone of your IAS 2023-23 journey.

We will also connect you to a UPSC ranker or IAS, who will mentor you in this journey.

Layer 1: You will be assigned a dedicated in-house mentor who will keep track of our progress from start till your final interview.

Layer 2: Sajal Singh sir and the team will be constantly with you through various programs like Samachar Manthan, Prelims, Essay, etc.

Layer 3: A UPSC IAS ranker (one who has cleared this exam) will be supervising your progress as your super mentor.

By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily

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