Toppers Testimonials | Milind Bapna | AIR-61 CSE 2016



Rank in CSE-2016

Number of attempts (include present one)


Medium (English/Hindi)


Optional Subject


Prelims Strategy:

My mantra is KEEP IT SIMPLE. Read from limited sources, revise more and have a sense of self belief that whatever you are reading is enough.
Generally most aspirants keep on buying new materials like fresh green vegetables on everyday basis and end up leaving all of them, this should be avoided.

Preferred books:

  • History Ancient- Old NCERT
  • History Medieval- Old NCERT
  • Culture and society- GK Today Compendium, CCRT
  • Polity (theory + current) – Laxmikanth
  • Economy (theory + current) – Mrunal, Sriram Eco.
  • Science (theory + current) – PT 365
  • Environment (theory + current) – Mrunal, Shankar Env., PT 365
  • Geography- 11th & 12th NCERT   

Views about importance of Test series:

Never joined any test series but downloaded papers from internet and attempted them in exam conditions.

What to focus on for Mains Prep?

  • I did no specific preparation for essay, just maintained a quote book and dumped everything from it in paper. Try to make a flow chart before writing and have a wider approach rather than a deep one. Mostly wrote what I read for my GS prep.
  • Ethics paper is not a test of how good your ethical vocabulary is but how ethical and sensitive one is towards everyday dilemmas and how one reacts to them.
    So avoid being a Shakespeare, keep your answers simple and lucid, include real life examples from great leaders/your own life etc.
  •  Attempt each and every question, whether you know it or not. A completely attempted paper any day is better than a paper where one attempts around 70-80% questions only, because the range of marks is quite less between the best and average attempted papers, so every
    marks counts.  

Tips for students:

  • Every year a new pattern comes out and online forums start debates on future course of UPSC exam pattern etc.Just keep on reading and learning whatever good source you have.
  • It doesn’t matter what and from where you are reading, what makes the difference is on exam day what you can recall and deliver there.

Point to be noted:

I would never ever do selective study on basis of useless R&D on future papers. I will go through everything from current affairs to core syllabus. It is never safe to predict this.


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