The UPSC civil services exam is considered one of the toughest in India. Lakhs of candidates appear for this exam every year, but only few make the cut. Most of the candidates join coaching institutes for the preparation of UPSC but Satyam Gandhi, who secured AIR 10 in his first attempt, mostly depended on self-study. Hailing from Samastipur district in Bihar, Satyam started preparing for the civil services exam on his own in the final year of graduation, and his decision worked out well for him.
Satyam completed his schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya and graduated from Delhi University’s Dyal Singh College in BA (Hons) in Political Science. Satyam said that his grandfather wanted someone in the family to become an IAS officer, and he made up his mind to fulfil that dream.
Satyam shifted to Delhi’s Rajinder Nagar which is known as the hub of civil service aspirants. While there are countless coaching institutes in Rajinder Nagar, Satyam simply wanted a conducive environment for his studies.
Satyam started preparing for UPSC in 2019, and used to study 12-13 hours daily. The Samastipur native made cracking the prelims his priority, and focused on General Studies the most. Besides books, his self-prepared notes also helped in clearing the exam. Through 120 mock tests, Satyam also realised his weak points. He took help of online coaching platforms which provided guidance for clearing the interview round.
Satyam said that Economics, Polity and History are the most important subjects while preparing for preliminary exams. Candidates preparing for prelims should pay more attention to these subjects along with Current Affairs. He had chosen Political Science as an optional subject.