Preetam Kumar has secured the 9th rank in the UPSC Civil Services Examination, 2021. He is a native of Kotra village in Sikar district, Rajasthan. He is the son of a kargil warrior. Preetam appeared in the UPSC exam thrice. In his first two attempts he reached the interview stage but didn't qualify. Finally, in 2021, he secured the AIR 9th in his third attempt. During an interview by news.com he said,
"One has to be consistent towards this exam. Sometimes your studies are going well, another moment you are feeling tired and sometimes you just want to give up. But the challenge is to keep going and keep working hard towards the goal. If you are consistent, any exam is easy to crack". He further added "When the UPSC results were declared, he was hoping to be at least in the top 300 but he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the result with AIR 9th. This is truly the happiest moment of his life.”
Preetam completed his graduation with B.Tech degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Ropar. After graduation he started preparing for the Civil Services Examination. He took Mathematics as his optional subject. He joined coaching for a year in Delhi. After that he focused on self study. He gave ample time to every subject.
PREETAM KUMAR'S UPSC PREPARATION STRATEGY
COVER THE STATIC PORTION
Firstly, go through the static portion because the static part forms the core of the Preliminary Examination. Minimum 55 to 60 questions come from the static portion. For the static portion, aspirants can take the help of NCERT books and some standard books like
But Preetam advised that aspirants should not keep more than two resources for any topic or subject. Read these books holistically, especially NCERT books. Nowadays, questions are coming from pictures and glossaries of new NCERT books. So don't ignore it.
Preetam used to read Current affairs with static parts. He used to interlink the topics of current affairs with static portions. He believes that one year of current affairs is enough for the UPSC exam. He used to read PT 365 and also preferred online sources. He believes that online sources broaden your knowledge. He advised the aspirants that if anyone follows the monthly magazine, they don't need to read PT 365. He also said to stick to just one magazine. Don't follow multiple magazines. Apart from that, I read the newspaper regularly.
MOCK TESTS ARE VERY IMPORTANT
Preetam said that “Practice makes a man perfect”. Mock tests play a vital role in the UPSC exam. Before one month prior to prelims he used to solve one mock test daily. It helped him to get used to the test and handle the pressure in the actual exam. He advised the aspirants to at least solve the 40 to 50 mock tests for the prelims exam. After giving the test, analyse yourself and find in which areas you are making mistakes.
STRATEGY FOR ANSWER WRITING PRACTICE
He advised the aspirants while writing the answers to focus on three things: Introduction, Main body and Conclusion. Try to write the introduction as best as you can because an introduction is like the soul of an answer. By seeing your introduction of the answer, invigilator can get a rough idea about your perception about answer.
Aspirants can start their introduction with any fact, data, and definition. Always remember if you are going to mention any data, you must write the source of the data. It helps you in getting extra marks. The body of the answer should be intellectual. Mostly, try to write the answer in an Indian centric approach.
At last Preetam said that "Hard work is key to success". Never give up. Give your 100 percent to this exam. Stay away from all the distraction but it doesn't mean you just isolated yourself in a one room. You can play any game or take a walk for stress release. Mental health and physical health both are very important while preparing. So just focus on your goal and achieve it.
Preetam wishes you all the best.