ESE Topper Interview: AIR 50, ESE 2017 (Rahul Kumar)

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Team Exergic

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes.


Name of College: IIEST SHIBPUR
Attended from:  2011-2015
ESE Rank: 50

1. Was it your first attempt? If no, then share experience of your previous ESE attempts.

Rahul says: Yes this was my first attempt.

2. Were you preparing with college, job or doing full time preparations? Kindly share how you overcame difficulties which come with these?

Rahul says: I prepared along with the job. I was placed in a construction firm from college which had hectic duty I had made up in mind to qualify ESE anyhow as I heard a lot about it regarding its prestige and the toughness level. Along with job yes this is very difficult but not an impossible task. I qualified for prelims then took medical leave and prepared hard to get through.

3. Which sources and books did you use for preparations? What would you suggest aspirants regarding choice of source for preparations?

Rahul says: I thoroughly solved previous year papers as I had very less time to go through books I relied mostly on google and online sources to clear my doubts. The online platform NPTEL helped me to gain a lot of knowledge and cleared my doubts. I also participated in doubts solving FB groups which was incredible at the time of mains for me.

TOM-SS rattan/Ghosh and mallick

FM- Fox Macdonald

SOM- Johnston Beer/Timoshenko and young

THERMO & HMT – Cengel

Industrial – NPTEL

RAC- CP Arora

Production- Kalpakjian/PN Rao

Material Science-NPTEL and reference from William D callister


4. What was your plan for preparing for GS? Any strategy or source in particular?

Rahul says: As ESE 2017 was the first time the syllabus had been changed so there was no proper such guidance available but I managed the topics well as they were part of some semesters study at college like Eng. Drawing, Ethics, Quality, Project Management etc. I also referred coaching materials available online to go through the topics.

5. Given the syllabus is vast, any inputs regarding how to manage time and keep your motivated?

Rahul says: As syllabus is vast so the main focus must be on retaintivity rather than increasing the knowledge bank as the sole purpose we are studying is to crack the exam so the proper material must be followed without wasting much time in unnecessary sources which misguides a new aspirant. The thumb rule to crack this exam is to crack the previous year well.


6. What is the role of solving previous ESE questions?

Rahul says: As I already mentioned that it is very vital to solve previous year questions of ESE first. As the concept even the previous year questions are directly appearing in the exam So solving the previous paper is the first task towards preparation. And one more thing I want to add is with knowing proper answers is crucial for ESE, specially because in coaching institutes materials available right now, there are innumerable mistakes.

7. Given that the approach for ESE prelims and mains is quite different, how did you planned to address both of these during preparations? Any inputs for ESE mains?

Rahul says:  Yes Mains is very vital for preparation as I also had poor marks in prelims owing to the blunders I made so the new pattern with mains 600 marks is very important to remain in top ten. For mains also previous year paper solving is important apart from that one should also practice subjective problems solved in the standard books.

8. What is the role of revision and how to plan revision while preparing?

Rahul says: Revision is very important as an average student (like me) doesn’t have so much sharp memory and efficient enough to replicate things in the main paper once studied. So revision of the short notes is very important in regular basis to avoid the problems of blank memory in exams.


9. What is the role of mock tests in your success in ESE? How many mock tests did you attempt? When did you start attempting mock tests?

Rahul says: Test series are important to analyze your preparation level to check where one stands in the preparation phase so the person can improve on the weakness which is highlighted in the test series. For ESE I took at least 20 full length test and I started giving from starting of December to give the exam on the first week of January.


10. How did you used to score in Mock Tests? According to you, is there any correlation between mock test score and actual ESE score?

Rahul says: The score and rank are not that much important but the mistake s we are making in the test matters a lot if we don’t work on them the same gets repeated in the main exam(personal experience). The mock tests are made to give us the feel of the real environment to overcome our nervousness so it must be attempted with same zeal as that of the main exam.


11. Which department had you planned to opt for and which department are you finally joining? 

Rahul says: As the final joining has not been declared yet I would like to join Central water Commission or Naval Services as I am planning to write Civils soon.


12. Getting a good rank in an exam like ESE is a really emotional moment. How was it like for you? Whom would you link to dedicate this success to?

Rahul says: Yes the moment is really spectacular. This success is always dedicated to my parents and the beloved ones who motivated me in time of crisis.

13. Any success mantra in particular for ESE aspirants?

Rahul says: Work hard until your dream comes true. As there is no alternative to hard work.


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