Coaching for CSE

In last few days I was told by my friends and wellwishers that a number of coaching institutes are using my photo in their advertisement. They were curious to know if I really utilized these coaching’s services or was it something else? At the same time a number of aspirants have been asking me which coaching to join?

I will answer the second question first – There is no direct answer to which coaching to join. It all depends on what your needs are and which stage of preparation you are in. If you are preparing for CSE from scratch, may be a comprehensive GS programme would be good for you. If you have already gone though certain portion of syllabus than may be individual classes from specific teachers might be better. If this is your 3rd or subsequent attempt then you may go for test series specific coaching. Among all this your optional is different ballgame. So as you see the answer is not very clear. It will vary for person to person.

Now coming to first question – whether I utilized the services of these coaching institutes? I certainly did. 

A clarification first – I don’t know which all coaching are using my name or photo.

So I will list down, in chronological order (from 2014 onwards). the coachings that I attended and for what purpose. May be this will help future aspirants to make a better decision


1> DIAS – For Physics (my optional). I attended regular classes. Vajpayee sir has been a teacher and mentor for me in last 4 years. His was the first class I attended when I came to Rajinder Nagar. Always looked upto him for guidance.

2> Vajiram – Attended their 1 month IR module for 2014 mains. It helped in giving direction to my preparation for topics which I had no idea of.


1> Vajiram – Essay classes by Shabbir sir. Immensely helpful. I followed his strategy till my 4th attempt. Thank you sir.

2> VisionIAS – Test series for mains and essay. The question quality was best in the market but the checking left much to be desired as I felt that the feedback system wasn’t that great.


1> DIAS – Physics test series.

2> Lukmaan – GS4 and GS2 test series by Ansari sir. Enjoyed his classes. He’s a gem of a person. Thank you sir.

3> OrientIAS – Prelims and Mains test series. So my experience last year at Vision taught me that for me personal guidance mattered a lot. I went to Orient initially in May for Prelims and realized that teacher there were much more accessible. So just after Prelims I joined their GS and Essay mains test series.

4> GS Score – Attended Ethics and Essay mains test series. The competition was great and Manoj sir was accessible. Although at times the questions and case studies were totally out of the blue. But there was logic behind that too as it prepared us for the uncertainty in the real exam paper.

5> VisionIAS – Open test for Prelims

6> ForumIAS – Open test for Prelims

7> InsightsOnIndia – Joined their online mains test series for practice purpose

For Interview

1> Samkalp – For both IFoS and CSE interview guidance programme

2> CareerQuest – For IFoS mock

3> Evolution – For IFoS mock.

2> Vajiram – Attended mock sessions. 1-2-1 seating with Ravindran sir gives you quite an accurate idea about tentative marks in interview.

3> Sriram – Sriram sir is a legend. Attended a mock and a class with him. He told me that I was taking 1 step forward and 2 step back in interview. He was right 🙂

4> Chanakya – For mock interview. Good panel.

5> ALS – For mock interview with Jojo Mathew sir. It was a stress interview and I enjoyed it

6> BYJU – For mock interview

7> DIAS – For mock interview with Vajpayee sir.

7> ClearIAS – They did a wonderful DAF analysis (all online) free of cost. I was pleasantly surprised.


1> ForumIAS – Joined MGP programme after Mains. Copies were checked on time. Mentors like Asif sir and Ayush sir were always available. Although I dont know my GS marks as I write this I have a hunch that I might have scored better in GS for which a part of credit definitely goes to Forum.

2> OrientIAS – I joined regular classes for Ethics by Atul Garg sir. I felt GS4 was one area where I was lacking and since it was my final attempt I decided to go all in. Atul sir’s approach to the paper I felt was quite pragamtic. And he is never short of example and anecdotes which are much needed for this paper. I also wrote Essay test series by Kapil sir. Kapil sir’s standard for essay are quite high. It will be a challenge to match them.

3> InsightsOnIndia – Joined their online mains test series. Did not write a single test due to paucity of time.

4> Braintree Hyderabad – Went for a mock. Gave direction to interview prep in short span of time

5> Deeksha Hyderabad – Went for a mock. The best part was the candidates were asked to sit in each other’s mock which helped in finding out area of improvement.

6> NextIAS – Joined their online portal for electrical engineering notes. One of my weakest area in Interview

So as one can see, the coaching are not wrong when they say that this person has been our student. Anyone who has lived in Old Rajinder Nagar (the mecca for CSE) for 3-4 years will attest to the fact that you cant be immune to the coachingwallahs. But few important things to note here:

1> I did not attend GS Classroom coaching anywhere except for Ethics classes by Atul Garg Sir at OrientIAS (in 2017)

2> I attended mock interviews wherever possible in 2016 as I was desperate to get a rank in the list somehow.

I will write a separate post about the notes from various coaching institutes that I’ve used over the years. They are the unsung heroes in my opinion 😉

I hope it clears a lot of apprehensions and doubts. This could help aspirants in making a judicious decision before they commit themselves to a particular coaching.

All the best. May the force be with you!





My Civil Services Interview

Date – 03/04/2017, Forenoon Session

Board – BS Bassi Sir

  • Have you been to cancun..?! What was this competition about?
  • Don’t worry I am not going to ask you anything about greepeace. i know enough about them…
  • Where all have you travelled?
  • Have you been to Machu Picchu?
  • Tell me about Inca civilisation
  • You’ve been interested in environmental issues..Tell me what is biodiversity, what is biodiversity hotspots, and where are they in india?
  • High salary…low salary…why this cut?
  • Lot of talk about startup…but they have been facing issues…what issues?
  • What to do to help entrepreneurs?
  • Surrogacy…what do you think of it?
  • What is NSS? What did you do as NSS Secretary ?
  • You talked about commercial surrogacy..whats your opinion on it?
  • NPA…Why they are there?
  • What to do with them?
  • Lets talk about media…what do you think of it? do you think they are giving less news and more sensationalism ?
  • What do you think of media trial?
  • If there is an earthquake in the district where you are posted, what will you do?
  • What is the issue with finance bill?
  • What is a money bill?
  • Why is opposition saying that this finance bill is not money bill?
  • What is the difference between judicial review, judicial activism, judicial overreach? give example of each
  • Judicial review is based on what?
  • One example where judicial activism has been good?
  • What do you think of SC judgement on liquor ban on highway?
  • Does constitution provide for reservation based on economic criteria?
  • There was a judgement too? Mandal case…what the other name of the case…what was the verdict?
M4 (lady member)
  • What do you think of reservation?
  • Shouldn’t those communities who have benefited from reservation be now removed from the list?
  • Why civil service? You could have had a good life abroad?
  • Education…Lets talk about it…it is not making people employable..why? what to do?
  • Is there a mismatch between what engineering institution are offering and what companies are demanding?
  • How to fix this?
  • I have a problem yaar…I want a bulb outside my room..I have 3 meter wire…That one socket is there..I am using it for all out and i don’t want to use it for light…now what to do? take you time..have a good look..

Board was cordial. Except 1 or 2 supplementary, I answered almost all the questions.

Score – 173/275