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Aaditya Sharma, AIR-70 CSE-22 Prelims, Mains, Medical Science & More

Aaditya Sharma

Hello Everyone !!

 Here is Aaditya’s strategy in his own words:

Dr. Aaditya Sharma made it to the Civil Services that too with a top AIR-70 in his very 1st attempt.


I’m Dr. Aaditya Sharma. I’ve stayed and done my entire schooling from Chandigarh. I did my MBBS from Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh. My optional was medical science.

You may contact Aaditya on his Telegram ChannelInstagram Profile or Twitter Handle

I started my preparation during my third year of college. I balanced my MBBS with UPSC throughout and gave my first attempt during the ending days of my internship, and got through with AIR 70.

Prelims Strategy

  • I used to focus heavily on static. I had read standard books multiple times like Spectrum and Laxmikant. I focused a lot on environment because there are many questions from it.
  • For current affairs, I read PT 365 for Economy and Environment. I tried to read the monthly ones, but I always fell behind and could not. I could not read the newspaper everyday. For me it was more about learning the intro body conclusion format, rather than for current affairs. I’d recommend not to make notes from the newspaper, cause it takes a lot of time.
  • made notes for tough and volatile topics like Socio religious reform movements, tribal and peasant revolts, Constitutional and non constitutional bodies and so on. You can make notes of any topic that you find tough, it will be different for everyone.
  • used to attempt all 100 questions. It is my own method, and it used to work for me in mocks.
  • For CSAT, I didn’t do anything, cause I was getting 130-140 in both PYQs and mocks. But the actual paper turned out to be tough, and I got 100.

IMPORTANT– Remember that the increasing difficulty trend of prelims is good for new players. With it being more of an aptitude and awareness paper, you should keenly observe things around, and always keep your mind open in the exam. Seemingly difficult questions can be solved by reading the options carefully and applying common sense. Questions are the SAME LEVEL OF TOUGHNESS FOR EVERYONE. So, have faith and believe in yourself.

Prelims & Mains Booklist

  • Polity- Laxmikant
  • Modern History- Spectrum
  • AMC- Old NCERTs of both ancient and medieval, with new words and general reading of New Thematic NCERTs. For culture I referred to Nitin Singhania sir’s book.
  • World History- Class notes
  • Geography- 11th- Physical Geography NCERT, GC Leong selected, specially for climate part, Sudarshan Gujjar sir’s YouTube videos for mapping, classroom notes
  • Economy- Mrunal sir old videos on YouTube, classroom notes
  • Environment- Shankar IAS booklet, Sudarshan Gujjar videos for national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, wetland lists
  • Ethics- Lexicon for core concepts and definitions, Vajiram notes for ethics and case studies, online search for examples of civil servants with qualities
  • IR- PT 365 Vision
  • Internal Security- Classroom notes, MK Sirs QEP for mains

Essay Strategy

  • For essay, I read Anudeep Durishetty sir’s blog. He had provided some stories and templates for technical essays like health and education.
  • But now the essays are mostly philosophical and I wanted to write a philosophical one, because it would let me express myself fully.
  • I always started with an anecdote, and used to finish the essay with a reference to that. In the final exam, I wrote the essay- “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining”. I started off with a person named Survinder, who resided in Fazilka and was worried after hearing the morning news. Floods were occurring in Pakistan (which were happening at the time we were writing mains) and he was worried that the floods might reach India and harm his crops. He then organised a group, and along with the help of the local bureaucracy, launched the ‘My village, my forest’ scheme in the district wherein they’ll grow trees by the Miyawaki technique (An actual scheme in Fazilka). So now he’s not worried, he’s acted proactively, and the time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
  • I then gave multiple dimensions- PESTGEM approach- Political, economic, Social, Technological, Geographical, Environmental, Moral. For each paragraph, one dimension, and both pros and cons of that dimension with examples. Ending line of every paragraph should hint at the beginning of the next one.
  • My essays got over 15 mins before time, and I decided to write a short 4 line poem at the end of essay 2. Maybe they found the creativity good and I was awarded 130, which are good marks by this year’s standards.

Also Read: Gautam Vivekanandan’s Strategy who scored 149 Marks in Essay in CSE-22

Mains Strategy

  • For mains, my approach was a bit different. Almost the entire bulk of answer writing was done between the pre and mains time period.
  • My optional took 1.5 months, and I had 1.5 months for GS.
  • I charted out a week for GS1– Did PYQs of previous 2 years (2020 and 21), checked with model answers online, and saw toppers’ copies and started to incorporate their style, mixing with my own methods. At the weekends, I gave 2 GS mock papers at Vision, saw the reviews and read the solutions properly.
  • Similar was followed for GS2, 3 and 4. Only for GS4 I gave more time because I wasn’t able to do it before.
  • I also took MK Yadav sir’s QEP which was really great for GS3 answer writing and I’d recommend that.
  • Now I had 4 solved papers of each GS, the solutions of which I read a few times. I then gave Abhyaas and had 5 solved papers now.
  • knew the art of presentation and I had the confidence that I could attempt questions even if I didn’t know them.
  • Initially my first test took 3 hours 45 minutes, and it was only during Abhyaas that I could finish all papers timely.
  • Answer writing- I drew lots of maps, diagrams, flow charts, micro diagrams, and tried to divide the question into sub parts with lot of points. I used to enclose the diagram in a box and wrote FIG: with the title of the diagram below.

Optional Strategy

My optional was Medical Science. It is a very bulky optional, and with limited time at my disposal, it was tough to work with. I stuck to the syllabus and PYQs which is the way to go for in this optional. I rapidly made small notes and marked some in the books themselves to save time.

  • Anatomy- BDC
  • Physiology- Ak Jain+ upsc medico notes
  • Biochemistry- Satyanarayan + internet for RIA and allied topics
  • Pharma- Shanbhag and Shenoy
  • Micro- Ananthanarayan (only 9 organisms)
  • Forensic- upsc medico notes
  • Path- Harsh Mohan + upscmedico for selected topics
  • PSM- Didn’t do much (but do Park if needed)
  • ENT/Ophtha- no questions are asked
  • Medicine- Mathews+ Upsc medico
  • Surgery- Manipal
  • Psychiatry- Upsc medico
  • Derma- upsc medico
  • Obs Gynae- Datta for Obs and Shaw for Gynae

I think my paper 1 went exceedingly well, maybe I could have done a bit better in paper 2. I got 130 and 123, and frankly, I expected more.


  • So my time table was very skewed. During my third year, I attended college from 9-5 and then Raj Malhotra’s IAS coaching in Chandigarh daily from 5-8. So that left me little to no time for self study. Tried to cover something on the weekends.
  • So my first year was primarily note making and getting a general idea. During my final year and beginning of internship, I did self study, with hours ranging from 3 on hectic days, to 6-7 on weekends, with around 10 hours 2 months before Prelims. I also took some off days in between, when there was some college fest, sports day or any cultural event. I always wanted to participate fully in college events and enjoy, and I have no qualms about it.

You can also learn to make Effective Time Table For UPSC Preparation

Test Series

  • For Prelims, I gave 15 tests of Vision, 1 Forum, and 1 Vajiram test. My main aim was to learn those answers and giving more tests made reading the solutions very tough. I gave the Prelims Abhyaas of Vision and I got scores of 50, 100 and 90.
  • For Mains, I again relied on Vision test series. I gave 2 tests of each GS, followed by the Abhyaas. My scores in Abhyaas were 112 in GS1, 99 in GS2, 79 in GS3 and 89 in GS4. My final scores were 107 in GS1, 120 in GS2, 100 in GS3 and 119 in GS4, so the marks can vary in the final exam substantially.
  • For Interview, I gave around 10 mocks. The institutes were mostly those recommended by everyone. I liked the Unacademy, Chahal and Chanakya Mandal mocks.

I have always found this blog useful. I used to read medical science strategies and optional marks here, like Asrar Kichloo sir’s strategy.

Also, I’d like to say that don’t be cooped up in a room and stop interactions, rather keep communicating with your friends and family, they’ll help to calm you down and assuage your fears. Always have confidence because that is the key for both pre and mains.

You may contact Aaditya on his Telegram ChannelInstagram Profile or Twitter Handle

Read more: IAS Ranu Sahu: Early Life, Education and Family Background

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