Topper’s Tips to prepare for Civil Services Mains Exam – Rishi Raj (AIR 27, CSE 17)

“My first Failure gave me a lesson! And I made sure that my 2nd attempt should be the last one!” – Rishi Raj (AIR 27, CSE 2017)

Civil Services Examination is one coveted exam, which keeps aspirants at their toes, from the day they first decide to go for the very prestigious Civil Services. Starting from relevant study material to the apt-most guidance and preparation tips, anything that sounds like a help is readily taken by an aspirant, who is all new to the field of Civil Services Exam preparation. But, in truth, NOT EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN IS CRUCIAL FOR A CIVIL SERVICES ASPIRANT TO STUDY, and therefore the guidance or advice must not be taken from anyone or everyone, but from the very selected people from the fraternity, which could be either the experts in the field or the toppers. Not going into the depths of what not to study, we have extracted some golden and most crucial tips shared by Rishi Raj (AIR 27, CSE 2017) to prepare well for Civil Services Exam. Now, what will empower your preparation for Civil Services Exam better other than the one who has achieved the heights of success in the field through constant self-motivation and dedication?

About the topper – Meritorious student from the very beginning, IAS Topper Rishi Raj (AIR 27, CSE 2017), had never seen a failure in his entire academic career. Gold Medalist from the IIT (Dhanbad), Rishi has always been a bright student and a constant guide to his friends. The day when he saw the first failure of his life, which he regards as the biggest one too, was when he couldn’t clear the Interview Stage of the Civil Services Exam. Despite the failure, Rishi didn’t get disheartened and rather learnt a lesson – ‘Where did I go wrong?’. Rishi started his preparation from the scratch and made sure that his 2nd attempt should be the last one.

Hailing from a remote town of Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh, Rishi Raj, by profession, is an electrical engineer, graduated with a Gold Medal from IIT (ISM) Dhanbad (2015). In his family of 4, his father is an Engineer at NTPC Dadri, mother a housewife and younger brother is again an Engineer and is currently working. Apart from his doting family, Rishi’s friends have also been a constant support in motivating him towards achieving his dreams.

Rishi Raj’s Preparation Strategy for the Civil Services Examination – Said to be born with leadership qualities, Rishi Raj focused his entire preparation for the Civil Services Exam with an Administrators approach. He had told himself then, ‘I will study as much as is needed to get an IAS but will do it well’. Starting off with understanding the UPSC Syllabus, for Civil Services Exam, in-depth, Rishi’s initial steps took off from studying Previous Year papers and the pattern followed for each particular topic and the subjects. What followed was a strategized & integrated study plan (for Prelims and Mains Exam) along with dedicated study sessions! To know more about his Preparation Journey for Civil Services Exam, watch IAS Topper Rishi Raj in conversation with Success Guru AK Mishra, in the video below –

Laying emphasis on the importance of Current Affairs and newspaper reading habit, for all the stages of the Civil Services Examination, Rishi Raj unwrapped the preparation Strategy for GS Papers along with suggesting the most relevant booklist/study material for each topic. Listen Directly from Rishi Raj, about his preparation Strategy for GS Paper 1, 2, 3 & 4, respectively.

Preparation strategy for GS Paper 1 –


Preparation strategy for GS Paper 2–

Preparation strategy for GS Paper 3 –

Preparation strategy for GS Paper 4 –

Having learnt from the IAS Topper, Rishi Raj (AIR 27, 2017), about his preparation strategy and booklist along with the most relevant approach to deal with each of the subjects, we assume it will now be much easier for you to take your preparation in the right direction. Just remember, ‘there is no substitute for dedication and hard work if you truly want a dream come true’.



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