BRISTY BORAH: Optionals Psychology & Education
- Name: BRISTY BORAH
- Year of Qualifying APSC CCE: 2018
- Rank : 25
- Service Allotted: ALRS
I am a very positive person for whom family and friends mean a lot . I like to encourage people to chase their dreams and myself am striving to achieve my optimum potential everyday.
I am blessed to have very supportive parents who have taught me life lessons through their action, that is, they only preach what they practise. Also I grew up watching them being utmost dedicated towards their respective duties in life.
I started my preparation right after completing my B.Tech in July 2015. Ever since I can remember I always envisaged myself in the role of a civil servant. It was never a question of how, it was just a matter of when time allows me to be one. As for the “why”, on a personal level it’s a career choice which I believe will allow me to help people , explore new challenges everyday and give me an opportunity to achieve my optimum potential. On a societal level, it will provide me the platform to be of service to my fellow citizens and be a part of the governance of the state in particular and country at large. I also intend to be a positive role model to fellow aspirants.
I like to have an ideal timetable or schedule : keeps me on track and focused. I have both exhaustive as well as short notes for optional. For General Studies, I made notes of most subjects except Polity. For polity I followed Laxmikant . For Current affairs , selective note making of recurring and important topics –in mains answer format.
|strategy/ booklist/ comment|
|History Ancient||Class 11 History book of Tamil Nadu ncert|
|History Modern (Freedom Struggle)||History of Modern India by Bipan Chandra|
|Culture and society||Art and Culture – Nitin Singhania, Vajiram&Ravi Yellow Book|
|Polity (theory + current)||Indian Polity by Laxmikant|
|Economy (theory + current)||Ncert class 11, 12, Vajiram&Ravi class notes|
|Science (theory + current)||VisionIAS|
|Environment (theory + current)||ShankarIas, GC Leong, Unacademy videos|
|geography world||Ncert, World Maps|
|other national/international current affairs||The Hindu,VisionIas , Unacademy , Onlyias|
|Schemes, Policy||VisionIas , IAS Parliament|
|Assam History||Assam Year Book, assamexam.com|
|Assam Culture, Literature||-Do|
|Assam Current Affairs||-Do|
|Topic||strategy / booklist|
|Books||Class 11, 12 Ncert|
No, I didn’t attend any mock tests . I went through previous year question papers. For mains, I didn’t attend mock test so I missed out a few marks in my GS paper as I couldn’t finish my paper on time. So one can learn from my mistake and try to give as many mains mock as possible.
- I attempted past 6 year’s question papers so that I could fix a strategy to finish the paper on time.
- I went through the format for report writing.
- I prepared quotes for the essay and revised basic grammar.
Q8. What was your approach in the exam (I wrote all, I only focused on the questions where I could answer perfectly, I just not to high quality points to reach the word limit etc .) Some experts claim you should attempt all- even if it involves “making up” an answer with filler lines, some claim attempt only those questions you know perfectly. Where do you stand on this? [Based on your experience and of your seniors/buddies] Attempt each and every question, whether you know it or not.
I tried to attempt all the questions in all the papers. I missed out a few questions in GS paper due to mis-management of time.
It was a mixture – in some answers I wrote in bullet points while in others I wrote in paragraphs depending on the demand of the question. I also made flowcharts in order to save time in short notes in psychology.
|Did you use highlighters / sketch pens in your answers?||No highlighters/ sketchpen|
|Did you draw any diagram in any paper?||Yes I did draw diagrams and flowcharts.|
|If yes, Did you draw diagrams with pencil or pen?||With pen itself.|
|Did you use ruler to draw the lines in diagram? Or did you just make it by hand?||Free hand|
Psychology – out of pure interest in the subject. I am a people’s person and wanted to study about human behavior . It was my opportunity to do so along with preparing for the exam.
My advice would be to go for it but be prepared to work hard cause it isn’t a easy scoring subject. One needs some amount of command over the subject.
- Psychology NCERT Class 11& 12
- Indian Subcontinent Edition by Robert A. Baron, Girishwar Misra
- Mukul Pathak’s notes ( Optional)
- Statistics -IGNOU
Psychology syllabus for APSC is static so one can entirely rely entirely on books. However one can use examples from current affairs e.g Burari incident can be quoted for mental disorders etc.
I wrote UPSC Mains 2017 before appearing for APSC Mains hence it helped me a lot. And I have been practising answer writing since 2016. However 2 months before exam is appropriate time for starting if one hasn’t done it yet.
Education- I had less time to prepare so I needed a manageable and scoring subject. I did smart work for it rather than hard work unlike my first optional psychology.
Education is a fairly simple and scoring subject. I would definitely advise for it.
I followed Introduction to Education by Jatin Boruah along with Class 11&12 education book (SEBA) . I also went through the APSC mains guidebook for education available in the market.
It’s a relatively static optional . However one may quote latest schemes related to education – girl's education, mass education , commissions etc in one's answers.
About 20 days before my education paper I started solving previous year question papers.
I mostly read from the books, though had hand written notes of a few topics.
I relied on the internet and Assam Year book to prepare for my interview. However I scored very less in my interview so I don’t think I am the right person to advise on this topic.
I did attend a few mocks in Competition Care and NEIAS. They were very different from my final interview. So its upto the candidate how they want to prepare.
It was a pleasant experience. They made me feel very comfortable. I answered mostly in Assamese except for a few questions. They asked me questions from varied topics-
1. Where are you from ? Which department does your father work for?
2. Why did u chose to be apply for APSC despite having high percentages throughout your career?
3. Are you appearing for UPSC mains this time?
4. Why civil services after engineering?
5. What is the full form of GATE?
6. Explain the Otto Cycle. (mechanical engg. )
7. Do you know about operation Black Board? Which committee recommended it.
8. How many Indian classical dances are there? Name them.
9. Name some government institutions related to promotion of art and culture in India.
10. Section 497, why Supreme Court struck it down?
11. Full form – ASEAN, from an engineer’s perspective how will Assam benefit?
12. What is by-election? There’s a minister who was elected as MP in 2014 but resigned to become an MLA in his state. Can you name him?
13. Will one party government form in the next election? If yes then why? And if not then why?
14. Who is Mamoni Raisom Goswami? For which book was she awarded Jnanpith award? Can you name the film based on her life.
15. Do you know Rita Choudhury? Name a few books by her.
16. Where was Jyoti Prasad Agarwala born?
I was very honest in my answers, whatever I couldn’t recall (that is questions related to engineering) I promptly told them . There was no beating around the bush. It was like having a smooth conversation. They even introduced themselves to me and welcomed me to the services. The Lady member in the panel seemed a little distracted through.
It was a comfortable environment , not at all stressful. I was a little dissatisfied with my interview marks cause it didn’t reflect the pleasant experience I had.
|OPTIONAL-I- Paper 1||
|OPTIONAL-I- Paper 2||
|OPTIONAL II-Paper 1||
|OPTIONAL II – Paper 2||
This exam teaches us patience more than anything else in life. I have learned the value of patience, perseverance and the spirit of never giving up. The wisdom is NISHKAMA KARMA : effort without any expectation because it’s a very unpredictable exam. My message to fellow aspirants is “ Please have faith in yourself and the hard work you are putting in. Stay positive and do not give up. Its not a matter of how but rather a matter of when.” Like they say in Gully Boy “Apna time ayega”.
There’s the support and blessings of a lot of people behind every topper . I am grateful to all those who have helped me in any way to be where I am today. First, of course , my parents Mrs. Bobby Borah and Mr. Gautam Borah , Anai (grand mother – Hariprabha Gogoi) and Mahi (Puspanjali Gogoi).
I am forever thankful to my boyfriend cum best friend Tuhin Borgohain for being one of my biggest supporter for the past 10 years. My besties Angasikha , Nitu, Psyche, Mousumi , Swati for being my stress busters and constants,for being in my life and making me happy. All you guys are family and siblings I never had.
My mentor cum friend Prateek Bhatt for constantly motivating me, Ojha Sir for being the first person who guided my preparation for Civil sevices and Apoorva Arvind for introducing me to Sir.
Sunam Das – my friend cum co-aspirant without whom I couldn’t have prepared so well for APSC.
I am forever grateful to my cute little sisters Harshita (the best roommate I ever had in hostel life) , Lisa , Neha , Tanushree , Sagarika , Isiry, Ananya and Anwesha –they were my family in Delhi and I couldn’t have survived three years there without their love , support and unconditional care.
Also I am grateful to all the people who had faith in me and always wished me well.