[Toppers Interview] B Fouzia Taranum (AIR 307 /CSE2011) shares her Sociology, Public Administration, GS preparation strategy

[Toppers Interview] B Fouzia Taranum (AIR 307 /CSE2011) shares her Sociology, Public Administration, GS preparation strategy

  1.  Introduction
  2. Family and Friends
  3. Your Study plan
  4. CSAT (Paper I) General studies
  5. GS Mains
  8. Marksheet


Name B Fouzia Taranum
Roll number 275787
Rank (CSE 2011) 307
Optional Subjects
  1. Public Administration
  2. Sociology
Medium for Mains Exam English
Mains Examination Centre Bangalore
Number of Attempts 2
Details of Graduation and Post-Grad.
Including college names
B.Com – Jyoti Nivas College, Bangalore
MBA (Finance) – Christ College, Bangalore
PG Diploma – Sustainable Development – Jyoti Nivas College
Schooling (Medium) Bishop Cotton Girls High School (English)
Extracurricular activities,
hobbies, achievements etc.
  • General and Subject Proficiency awards throughout academic life
  • Gold Medal – MBA
  • Bangalore University 5th Rank for B.Com
  • The Dr. Stella Samuel Award for the Most Promising Outgoing Student for the year (School)
  • The Best Prefect Award (School)
  • Vice captain of School and Prefect
  • Valedictorian – B.Com, MBA
  • Event manager of many fests/seminars/conferences
  • First place for the organization structure study project at MICO-BOSCH, Bangalore

Hobbies – Reading, Documentaries, Event Management, Craftwork

Are you a working professional? No
Did you leave your job
or prepared while on the job?
Left TCS in 2010 to prepare for CSE full time. (Wasn’t able to manage both due to demands of the job.)
Did you take Coaching? Prelims:  Yes – JSS, Bangalore (wonderful library)
Mains: No
Interview:  One mock with Mr. Ravindran,
One mock at Hamdard Study Circle, Delhi
One mock at Delhi Kannada Sangha (free)
Did you buy any postal courses? Yes – Vajiram&Ravi Mains 2010 – To get an idea about the exam – Didn’t read any of the books except Current Affairs and Economy though
Did you join any Mock test series? No
Did you appear in any other competitive exams? Yes, MBA entrance exams 2006



Q. When and how did the inspiration and idea of joining civil service come in your mind?

A. I can’t pinpoint the exact instant. Have always wanted to be able to serve as many people as possible and have wanted to play a role at the policy making level. IAS is the best job which will allow me to do this. Even though I had decided to take up these exams when I was in 12th grade, I started conscious preparation after my post grad.

The Choice of Optional Subjects

Q. After a person decides to appear in civil service exam, the first big obstacle is “Choice of optional subjects”. What factors did you consider before selecting your optional?

A. Interest, familiarity, your grad/post grad subjects, availability of material/guidance, and relevance to the service you want to join, and so on. Have a look at the syllabus of the optional. It helps if you choose optional which you enjoy reading, since we need to read them for 1-2 years. I chose pubad and socio for these reasons. I wish to reiterate that there is no such thing as a scoring subject. Your score depends on how well you are prepared and how you perform at the exam.


Q. People initially prepare with much enthusiasm but then a boredom phase comes. How did you sustain the study-momentum throughout the year?

A. Focus on the goal. There are always periods of self-doubt, anxiety, boredom, distraction, depression. It’s normal for all of us to go through them I suppose. Each of us will have our own way of dealing with it. Music, talking to family, friends who believe in you more than you believe in yourself, re-reading your favourite book. Countdowns, knowing that the time to prepare is limited, knowing that if we work sincerely towards the goal something positive will definitely come of it. Your stress busters should not take up too much time though! Serious stuff like family obligations we cannot ignore – take your time on them, get it done with, get back to books with a vengeance to make up for lost time.


On an average, How many hours did you study per day? How many months did it take you to complete the core syllabus of GS and optional subjects?

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