30-year-old Dr Mithun Premraj is yet another doctor who sailed through the UPSC Civil Services Examination this year and secured an all India rank of 12 in UPSC CSE 2020. This was Mithun's 5th attempt and it only goes on to show that Hard work and Tenacity are the two best skills one can have when diving into the world of civil services. Mithun is an MBBS graduate from JIPMER, Pondicherry, originally a resident of Kozhikode, Kerala, where he has served as a doctor under the National Health Mission.
UPSC CSE 2020 AIR-12 Mithun Premraj's Winning Strategy
Knowing Your Weakness
Mithun recommends starting with the basic NCERT Books PDF and then going through the standard books as recommended by experts over the years. Mithun has qualified prelims thrice and mains twice, sitting for interviews in his second attempt in 2017 and his 4th attempt in 2019. However, he could not qualify for the final merit list. He finally realised where he was lacking. It was in his answer writing practice.
Because his UPSC MAINS marks were not good enough, despite having relatively good interviews, his collective marks could not qualify the required cut-offs. Having realised his shortcoming, Mithun concentrated heavily on writing answers in this attempt. As he had already gone through the content for the exam multiple times through his exhaustive attempts, he now decided to focus on presenting his knowledge better.
Strengthening His Answer Writing Skills
Mithun stresses writing answers daily, at least between prelims and mains. He practised by picking up the current news items each day and creating notes on this topic following the answer structure recommended for UPSC.
For example, if we take a topic such as the Farm Bills, Mithun would create notes that follow this pattern –
- Start with when and why the bills were introduced.
- The content of the bills.
- The pros of these reforms.
- The cons they might present.
- And finally, a balanced conclusion based on thorough analysis.
To be able to present an analytical thought process, Mithun read opinion pieces and Editorials in Newspapers. This helped him build up the required temperament one needs to take a look at questions and analyze the topic at hand and present a well thought out answer.
Furthermore, Mithun wrote at least one answer daily. As someone who is a slow writer, this process helped him develop better writing speed and answer the complete mains paper. He wrote test series and ensured he paid attention to the assessment mentors and teachers made of his answers. Slowly, he started self-assessing the answers he wrote. This allowed him to better understand what kind of write-ups are up to the mark. As a result, when he finally wrote the mains papers, he could ensure each of the answers he wrote went above and beyond the requirement.
Mithun managed to score high on his mains after all the effort and fetch the impressive rank that he did. In the end, despite multiple losses, Mithun's unending spirit ensured he finally achieved his dreams.
Best of Luck.
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