(Sucess Story) Clearing UPSC With Mathematics Optional By Om Kant Thakur AIR-52
Mayur Khandelwal secured the coveted 106 all India rank in UPSC 2019. This was his 3rd attempt and Mayur was quite certain after his mains and interview that he would be joining the rank of IPS. Once the results were out, he still went into a bit of a shock with joy that his prediction did come true. In fact, he did not allow his parents to tell anyone before the results were properly uploaded on the website a second time. Today he is looking forward to joining the Indian Police Services.
Why Mathematics as an Optional?
Mayur chose maths optional because of the certainty. He believes anyone with some interest in Mathematics should opt for this subject. Because Mathematics is the only subject where practice will most definitely take you scores high up. Even though the syllabus is vast, the certainty is enough to make up for the effort. Mayur could tell right after his optional exam that he was going to get through his mains stage and reach interviews. That amount of surety cannot be ascertained for a humanities subject.
How Did He Ensure Selection This Time?
Mayur admits that it was his lack of writing practice that prevented him from clearing the mains last time. He scored well enough in his optional but writing is what failed him. So this time, he concentrated on practicing answer writing, with special emphasis on Essays and Ethics. As most selected candidates usually score similarly on the General Studies papers, it is the Essays, Ethics, and Optional paper that makes them toppers. His target was to increase about 70 marks overall in his mains.
AIR-1, UPSC 2018, Was Also A Mathematics Optional Candidate
Mayur followed the most common sources for his preparation. For Polity, he preferred Laxmikanth and it is enough for any aspirant. He revised it 7 to 8 times and emphasizes that revision is key. For History, he followed Lucent for Ancient and Medieval, and Spectrum, along with self-made notes on Independence movement leaders, for Modern. For Geography he read NCERT books from 6-10th class and made short notes, and then the 11th books multiple times, followed by G.C. Leong. He also noted lakes, islands, and other landmarks in different states. He used the internet to make a lot of short notes as per the upsc syllabus. Prelims are pretty heavy on Modern History and Polity and Mayur encourages everyone to read the sources multiple times.
Remaining Stress-Free Is The Key To Success
Mayur insists that trusting yourself and not worrying about things that are beyond his control is what allowed him to succeed in this exam. For example, during prelims, the paper UPSC sets can be highly unpredictable. Very few aspirants can answer more than 50-60 questions with 100% surety. The rest of it is done by option elimination and informed guesswork. Until and unless you can calmly allow your mind to work with the information you have read throughout the year, chances are that you will not get them right. So, it is important to be stress-free and well-rested before the exam.
Message For Aspirants
Mayur Has Been Teaching Maths For Sometime
Don’t let the guilt of failure get you. As long as you keep trying with a 100% effort, your effort is worth it. Failure is a part of achieving your dreams. You may take 5 attempts to get your success, but as long as you do it honestly, the country would have gained a good officer.
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