Saurabh Kumar is an officer of the Indian Forest Service (IFS). In the Union Public Service Commission examination held in the year 2018, he had secured 16th rank across the country. At present he is posted as Assistant Conservator of Forest in Dharwad (Karnataka).
Saurabh Kumar, a resident of Samastipur, Bihar, completed his BTech in Naval Architecture and Shipbuilding from Cochin University and decided to appear for the UPSC exam in 2016. Prior to this he had also worked in India and abroad for six years.
After passing out of BTech in 2010, Saurabh worked with a company that was involved in building warships for the Indian Navy. He says, “I was in the design department and enjoyed my three-year stint there. After this, got a job opportunity in UAE. I was earning well there, but when I felt a desire to do something for my country, I decided to return.”
Saurabh says, “Since 2016, I appeared for Civil Services (Mains) twice and Forest Services (Mains) once.” After choosing Maths and Forestry as his option for Forest Service Exam, Saurabh talks about his preparation strategy. The Better India explained in detail.
optional subject in upsc (Optional Subjects
Candidates have a total of 14 optional subjects to choose from. Each candidate has to choose two optional subjects for the exam. While there are 11 subjects which are common for both Civil Services Exam and IFS, three subjects are important only for IFS Exam. Saurabh says, “Choosing the right optional subject is as important as preparing for it. So, take all your time while taking decisions.”
He advises the candidates while choosing the optional subject to keep in mind that choose the subject in which you are comfortable. Saurabh says there will definitely be some topics which you are not comfortable choosing – so remove them. From the remaining subjects, spend time reading the syllabus of each subject and choose the topics that you feel most confident about taking up.
Says Saurabh, “Consider choosing the subject you have graduated in, if it is one of the optional subjects and if you are comfortable with that subject.”
Why it is beneficial to choose forestry as an optional subject?
Saurabh says, “It is good to choose forestry as one of your optional subjects for several reasons. The syllabus of Forestry Optional Subject is short and if attempted well, this subject can fetch very good marks.”
Saurabh also says that choosing forestry as an optional subject is the key to success in the Indian Forest Service. Because it helps to lay a strong foundation for the work ahead. He further added, “This topic helps in laying the groundwork during the interview phase and also after the candidate gets the posting.”
It is necessary to exchange information and become social
While preparing for UPSC exam, some aspirants thought it appropriate to stay away from others. At the same time, Saurabh chose a unique way of interacting with others during his preparation. He says, “I often met other candidates and discussed various topics with them. With every interaction, I learned something new and tried to know their opinion on different topics. Actually, everyone presents the available information differently, it needs to be learned.”
During his preparation, he used less resources related to studies and made sure that he was thoroughly prepared for the exam. Regarding this, he said, “I also wanted to make sure that I am comfortable with what I have read. Despite my limited resources, there is no shortage in my preparation.”
Saurabh Kumar’s tips for UPSC exam
- While you are studying, keep your mobile phone switched off. Use it only after you are done with your work.
- Make a time-table to give equal time to different subjects in the exam.
- Give some hours to self study. Solve some question papers. After this, time can also be taken to discuss any topic of the syllabus with others.
- Before moving on to additional resources related to the exam, go through all the material related to a topic.
- Try to bring a little variety in studies and take maximum time to study. For example, if you are studying for six hours a day, consider study time as five hours and set aside two hours for discussion.
- This effort not only gives the candidate an extra hour of study time but also develops a new aspect.
Saurabh has also written a book. This book is available in English language. The title of the book is ‘UPSC Prelims Simplified’. This book is available here.
Original article- Vidya Raja
Editing – G N Jha
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