RANK 91: Rakesh Kumar Minhas , 2nd Attempt, Medical Science Optional

Rakesh Kumar Minhas has secured Rank 91 in Civil Services Examination, 2015. He also cleared the Civil Services Examination, 2014 and got a rank in 600s.

He has been associated with forumias.com since the last two years and has been an active member throughout. He has inspired many with his timely advices, comments and now, with his success.
ForumIAS would like to congratulate him for his spectacular success and wish him all the best for his life as an officer.
Given below is the transcript of his interview with FormuIAS where he describes his journey, experiences and preparation strategy. We hope it would be of immense help to everyone.
Rakesh Kumar Minhas
All India Rank in Civil Services Examination
ForumIAS User Name
Which attempt was this at Civil Services Examination?
Native Place?
Hoshiarpur , punjab
Graduation or early education
MBBS, MS(surgery ) from GMC Patiala
Optional Subject
Medical science
Medium of Instruction in School?
Medium of instruction in college?
Medium of writing the Mains?
Any initial preparation?
Regular reader of newspaper from 10th class onwards.
First, tell us something about yourself!
An ethical citizen with an aspiration to utilise my talents to foster innovation.
 Now we will go straight into the technical part, like what books to follow, what notes are vital etc.
What books/notes did you refer to for General Studies and CSAT for prelims?
NCERT for history and geography only. Read no other NCERT, did not read India year book. However, read a few ARC reports and economic survey.
How many questions did you attempt in GS?
Do you think attempting more questions is the key to success in Prelims? Is there an ideal number of questions one should attempt? How did you decide to attempt those questions which you were not sure of?
 It all depends on the type of the paper. However, I feel getting 65 questions right is the bare minimum. For that you would need to attempt at least 82-85 questions. Don’t guess blindly and don’t attempt less than 75 in any condition.
When did you start preparing for Mains Examination?
When I started my preparation in 2014 March
How did you cover Current Affairs?
Newspaper RSTV YouTube videos
Full Preparation: The Conquering of GS 1
How and when did you tackle GS 1?
GS1 was the weak link in my preparation especially history. I followed spectrum for modern India and art and culture and NCERT and Vajiram notes for geography.
Full Preparation: The Conquering of GS 2
How and when did you tackle GS 2?
Lakshmikant and thorough analysis of newspaper for polity Newspaper and Chokalingam notes for IR.
Full Preparation: The Conquering of GS 3
How and when did you tackle GS 3 ?
Vajiram class notes, Pratoyogita Darpan, Yojana and Kurukshetra for NGO, SHG and relevant topics.
Full Preparation: The Conquering of GS 4
No special preparation. GS SCORE notes of SK Misra sir for reference and truthful answers following my heart. Don’t try and bluff
Full Preparation: The Conquering of ESSAY
How and when did you tackle Essay?
Yojana, Kurukshetra and regular practice. Be to the point and precise, write diverse essays focussing more on practical solutions
Full Preparation: The Conquering of Optional Subject
How did you tackle your optional?
Will be discussing that in an open seminar in Delhi soon and also as a separate thread on forumias. Would not be possible to discuss the entire strategy here
Did you join any coaching classes for Mains? If yes, which one?
How far do you think is coaching necessary for preparing for the Mains Examination?
Not necessary. I joined test series and it is needed for time management skills
Which Interview Board did you face?
Mr Manbir Singh
Can you tell us briefly about your interview experience?
The board was very cordial. No awkward moments. All opinion based questions. The chairman asked just one question
What did you wear for the Interview?
Charcoal grey suit
What qualities do you think are being tested in the Interview? Some strict Do’s and Dont’s for the Interview for aspirants and Interview candidates?
Confidence , honesty and ability to mature and adapt. Do’s – be truthful , smile , prepare your graduation subject well Don’t – bluff , make a radical statement , be overconfident.
What magazines /newspapers did you refer to for preparing Current Affairs?
Hindu, Financial times, Yojana, Kurukshetra
Do you think marks in school or college can impact one’s score in the Interview?
Mark sheet of Civil Services Mains,2015 
How far did you use the Internet for your Preparation? Do you think in the changed UPSC pattern, today an aspirant can prepare wholly by referring sources from the Internet?
Internet is one big help and everything is available online. One can prepare online if one is focussed because a lot of content is available online most of which is useless, so u need to decide what u want to use.
How far did ForumIAS.com help you as a social network, as a sharing platform for you Prelims, Mains & Interview Preparation (and the excruciating period between the exam and results to chill out with co-aspirants and other successful candidates)?
Forumias is a lifesaver, the best online platform available. From guidance for beginners to strategy for aspirants it is just awesome. From all the updates about the exam to the best part of forum( insider info), I was refreshing forumias every 2 mins before the final result. Thank u forumias.
What is the best thing you like about ForumIAS?
The democratic approach where all members can participate and express what they think and hats off to the moderators : it’s FREE
Do you use any other websites for your preparation? Is yes, name them.
Congratulation for making it. Is there any message you would like to give to IAS Aspirants who look up to you?
Be determined , be patient Work hard for your dream The best thing about this exam is that it won’t disappoint you for long .. Good luck friends .. Rock it
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