Neha Srivastava, Jharkhand girl has secured Rank 12 in the UPSC Indian Forest Service Examination 2015. She is an excellent example of consistency and patience.
Neha Srivastava originally comes from Hazaribag in Jharkhand. Neha did her early schooling from RK Mission, Deogarh. After completing her schooling she pursued her B.Tech in Biotechnology from Padmashree DY Patil, Mumbai.
After completing her B.Tech, Neha Srivastava wanted to get into some decent business school, become financially independent before getting into Civil Services preparation. Her plan was to go for CSE after completing her PG. So she was preparing for aptitude. Meanwhile her uncle who himself is a Civil Servant and has teaching experience of over 10 years was guiding her for GS. Neha Srivastava was motivated by him and she decided to drop her MBA plan and started her full pledged preparation 6 months before prelims.
But then Neha Srivastava decided to give Civil Services at least one try. So she gave her first Prelims in May 2013, she picked up the Hindu and NCERT books in Jan 2013. And with uncle’s guidance she was able to clear CSP 2013.
Neha Srivastava chose Zoology and Botany as her optional paper. Her major optional was zoology as many topics were similar to her graduation subject, but initially troubled her a lot. Being unconventional subject it is not very easy to gather the sources of studies. Her second optional was botany. It has many overlapping topics with zoology so she prepared them well. Her strategy for optional was to finish one section of each paper completely because ultimately we need to answer 5/8 questions.
Neha Srivastava cracked Indian Forest Services Exam in her first attempt.
Preparation Strategy of Neha Srivastava
Neha Srivastava revealed her preparation strategy. She read the same book again and again instead of reading different books on the same topic. And it paid off, it helped her to clear Prelims in first attempt in very less time. As Prelims exam is the toughest stage to be conquered with the right strategy.
Neha Srivastava had a habit of notes making. Notes helped her to compile the topics together. It is a time consuming process but it ultimately helps a lot in revision especially for topics like economic zoology, genetics which can’t be covered using one book. As it was always easy for her to revise from notes written in her own handwriting. My strategy was to complete one section of each paper.
Neha Srivastava was preparing for GS till prelims result came out. And when she found that she is eligible for IFS mains, then she focused on the optional paper. And reserved last 10 days for second optional.
Neha Srivastava did self-studies because she was not a kind of person who can sit and study for one hour continuously that’s why she never joined any coaching. Coaching or no coaching should be individual’s choice.
Hindu and Yojana helped her lot for Mains because no matter how hard she tried, most of the days she was not able to finish her newspaper.
Internet was like having any info at one click. Internet definitely helps a lot to clarify the concepts. Since Neha Srivastava did self-studies, she fully relied on internet mostly when she was not able to understand anything.
Tips for Young Aspirants
- One should first attempt the question which one is sure about. Then take the risk for other questions.
- If one is following news properly GS can be easily managed.
- Be honest and modest. One should never argue with the Board Members. Many times board members try to explain some concepts if we fail to answer, that time we should look interested that we are too eager to learn.
- Refer magazines/newspapers while preparing for current affairs.