Hello Friends,

This blog is an attempt to share my preparation strategy for Civil services examination. First of all, a brief background: I am a graduate in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from IIT Guwahati. I graduated in 2013. Afterwards I worked for about 16 months in an oilfield MNC (Schlumberger). I resigned from the same in July 2015 and came back home to prepare full time for the civil services examination.

CSE 2016 was my first attempt and I chose Physics as the optional for I had confidence on no other subject and the very reason that I would get to study it again pushed me to come forth to appear in this exam.

In rest of the posts, I would try to sum up the various sources I studied from and lastly to share the owed credit for it all.

~ Prateek Jain (AIR 82 CSE 2016)


Interview Transcript

Following are my interview details and transcript.
Chairman: Mr. Chattar Singh

Date: 07 April 2017 , Forenoon session


Education: B.Tech EEE, IIT Guwahati (2009-2013)

Work experience: Schlumberger

Hobby: Reading books, watching movies, writing poetry


Prateek Jain Interview Transcript


Overall the interview was very cordial and comforting. For none of time I felt that they were trying to corner me. Instead after a while it had become quite conversational (as one member talked in Assamese and I replied too). Though it ended quite abruptly as generally in mocks Chairman used to ask the concluding questions and thus, I was expecting similar case in my interview too. But it was a worthy experience in total.

Strategy for Physics

I had no pure background in Physics except the fundamental concepts of senior secondary and few basic courses attended while during engineering. Yet, if there is one subject which I love the most and could study just for the sake of it, then it was Physics only; thus, I chose Physics over any other optional. NOT because it was scoring, or had less syllabus or was easy or whatever. For as every one says that each optional is equally difficult and easy; thus, what matters is personal inclination for a subject and nothing else.

In this examination the physics optional syllabus is midway of BSc and that of MSc hons. in Physics. Thus, in order to cover the syllabus in best suited time and understand the overall demands of the examination, I joined the classroom study program at DIAS under the guidance of DP Vajpeyi Sir. I for one can say that these classes were upto the mark and helped a lot in covering the depth and breath of the whole syllabus in a very holistic manner. Around 60% of final notes got prepared during the classes itself while rest were finalized with self study and topic wise books and Internet.

Following are few sources and links that I followed (in brackets topics are mentioned which I found to be the best)

Paper I


  • An introduction to Mechanics by Kleppner and Kolenkow
  • Mechanics by D S Mathur  (Mechanics of continuous media)
  • Electricity and Magnetism by David J Griffiths (Relativity)


  • Optics by Ajoy Ghatak (polarization and LASERS)
  • Optics by Brijlal, Subramaniam (diffraction)

Electricity and Magnetism:

  • Electricity and Magnetism by David J Griffiths (Boundary value problems)


  • Thermodynamics, kinetic theory and statistical thermodynamics by Sears and Salinger
  • Thermal Physics by Garg Bansal Ghosh (very important from exam point of view)

Paper II

Quantum Mechanics:

  • Quantum Mechanics by David J. Griffiths
  • Concepts of Modern Physics by Arthur Beiser
  • Quantum Physics by HC Verma

Atomic Structure:

  • Atomic and Molecular Spectra by  Raj Kumar

Nuclear Physics:

Solid state and Electronics:

  • Solid state physics by Puri and Babbar
  • Internet for learning Logic gates, boolean etc


  • Notes of Abhijeet Agrawal and Rishav Gupta: They are largely same as the classroom notes but with some added information and problem questions which help in understanding the concepts in a better way.
  • Previous year questions of IAS and IoFS:  They are very important. By doing them one can observe the pattern  and Sometimes they are repeated in the paper.
  • HC Verma and I.E. Irodov

Test Series:

I joined mains test series at DIAS. These mock tests acted important link in one’s preparation and the final outcome. It not only exposes the weaknesses but also helps in building the examination temperament.

Other useful links:

Concluding words

  • By the end your notes should be such that the whole syllabus can be revised in just 4 hours. (Thus, Flash notes. I would share them in the following posts) ~ topper 1
  • Physics would take time initially but if once prepared well it will be easier and faster only. ~topper 2