APSC ACS – 15th Rank Jahnabi Goswami Talks with Students

Name Jahnabi Goswami

Jahnabi Hazarika
Jahnabi Goswami
Age (at the time of clearing) 28
Year of Clearing 2018
Post ACS
Rank 15th
Total no of Attempts 3
Optional for Prelims Indian history
Optionals for Mains History and Education
Medium of Exam English
Other exams success/failure Cleared SSC CGL tier 1, BDO mains
Service Preference APSC ACS, ALRS, APS

2. Educational background

Class 10 %, Year, School 76.17, 2006,Don Bosco High School, Jorhat
Class 12%, Year, Institution 74.2, 2008,J.B. College
Degree %, Year, College 65.04, 2013,Don Bosco College of Engineering and Technology
Hobbies Dancing, reading
Job Experience
  1. Many hearty congratulations on your success. Tell us something about yourself and your family and why did you choose Civil Services as a career?

Ans:       Thank you so much. I am from Jorhat. I did schooling from Don Bosco High School lichubari Jorhat, H.S. from J.B.College and then I did B.Tech from Don Bosco College of Engineering and Technology. My father’s name is Sukla Chandra Goswami. He is serving as the Superintendent of Excise, Udalguri and Darrang. My mother’s name is Nipa Goswami and she is a housewife. I have two sisters.

I wanted to be in a position to work for the society, to help the people and connect to the people. Also I wanted to be in a respectable position and so I choose Civil Service as a career.

  1. When did you start the preparation for APSC?

Ans: I started my preparation almost 3 years ago but I could not clear the exam in my previous attempts.

  1. How much time do you think is required to prepare for this exam?

Ans: One year of serious and smart preparation is enough for this exam.


  1. How many hours on an average did you devote to studies?

Ans: I studied for 6/7 hours a day.


  1. Do you think coaching is necessary for APSC?

Ans: Since I did not join any coaching so I would suggest self study for APSC preparation. However I appeared for mock interviews before my interview in different institutes and I also bought the study material from different institutes.



  1. What was your strategy for prelims?

Ans: I followed the syllabus and previous year question papers. Revision is the key to success in this exam. I was very selective during my entire preparation as the syllabus for history optional is vast. For GS paper, I gave more emphasis on the static part of the subjects like history, geography, polity, economy, environment, science and Assam history.


  1. How did you choose your optional for prelims?

Ans: We should always choose an optional that we find interesting so I choose history as an optional. Also study material for history is easily available. Optional subject becomes the deciding factor in prelims so it is very important to choose the optional wisely.

  1. Book List for Prelims GS
History NCERT, Lucent’s GK
Polity M. Laxmikanth, Lucent’s GK
Geography NCERT, Lucent’s GK
Economy NCERT, Lucent’s Gk
Science Lucent’s GK
Assam Related Assam year book, The Assam Tribune, Internet
Maths Did not prepare
Reasoning Did not prepare
Current Affairs The Assam Tribune, VisionIAS monthly magazine


  1. Booklist for Prelims Optionals
a.       Ancient history Ncert- Romila thapar, Ncert-R.S. Sharma, Tamil Nadu board Ncert
b.       Medieval history Ncert- Satish Chandra, Tamil Nadu board Ncert
c.       Modern Indian histoy Ncert- Bipin Chandra, Spectrum’s A Brief History of Modern India, Tamil Nadu Board Ncert

12. Is language a barrier in the preparation for APSC? (Since many books/materials are not available in Assamese), and how you prepared the various sections related to the ASSAM and NORTH EAST?

Ans: Since my medium of examination was English so I never found language as a barrier. For the sections related to Assam and North East, I depended on the internet. I followed the Assam Government websites, Assam year book, The Assam Tribune and the previous year GS papers.


  1. What was your strategy for mains? And strategy in applying the order of preferences for various posts?

Ans: For mains again I prepared according to the syllabus and practiced the previous year papers. Mains is the most important part of this exam as it carries 1400 marks so each and every paper must be given importance, which includes General Studies, General English, Optional 1 and Optional 2.

I did not have any strategy for preference for various posts. As I wanted to be in Civil Service so I choose ACS as my first preference and the rest followed.


  1. Did you make notes or prepare answers?

Ans: I prepared notes in some topics where I wrote down the important points related to it but I did not prepare answers as such. I usually mark the important points in the book itself.


  1. Did you practice answer writing?

Ans: Yes, I practiced answer writing. I practiced the previous year mains papers.


  1. What was your strategy for time management during mains exam? How to wisely choose optional for the mains? How you revised all the three sections (GS, Current Affairs, and Optional)?

Ans: The strategy for time management is to practice a lot during preparation. Practicing answer writing daily will help you increase your speed.

As we have to choose two optional subjects for mains so it is important to keep in mind our interest in the subjects and the syllabus of the subjects.

I revised my notes and the books I referred during preparation.

  1. How many questions/marks did you attempt in GS and Optional?

Ans:  I attempted all the questions in GS and optional papers.

  1. How did you prepare for General English Paper?

Ans: I did not follow any separate book for English. I solved some previous year papers for General English.

  1. Book list for Mains GS
History Ncert (R.S.Sharma, Satish Chandra and Bipin Chandra)
Polity M. laxmikanth
Geography NCERT, India and World Geography by Majid Hussain
Economy NCERT, Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
Science Ncert, Current affairs
Assam Related Assam year book, The Assam Tribune, Internet
Current Affairs The Assam Tribune, VisionIAS monthly magazine


  1. Booklist for Mains Optional 1
1.       Ancient History Ncert-Romila Thapar, Ncert- R.S Sharma, Internet
2.       Medieval History Ncert- Satish Chandra, Internet
3.       Modern Indian History Ncert- Bipin Chandra, spectrum’s Modern Indian history, Plassey to Partition, internet
4.       World History Ncert, world history by Arjun Dev, Ekalavya academy notes, internet.


  1. Booklist for Mains Optional 2
1.       Theories and principles of Education Book by Dr. Sadhana Goswami, Ekalavya academy notes
2.       Educational psychology Book by Dr. Sadhana Goswami, Ekalavya academy notes
3.       statistics Ekalavya academy notes
4.       History of Education Landmarks in history of Indian Education, Ekalavya academy notes


  1. How did you prepare for the Interview?

Ans:  For interview I revised the last few months current affairs, a little brush up of my optional subjects, about Assam and some important points about my native place.


  1. What did you wear for the interview?

Ans: I wore a light green coloured Mekhela Chadar.


  1. What was the name of the board and what was the duration of the interview?

Ans: My interview lasted for almost 20-25 min.


  1. What were the questions asked during your interview?

Ans: I was asked about the following;

  1. Me too movement
  2. Performance of media at present
  3. ASHA
  4. Pollution, importance of trees, ozone, ozone layer depletion, etc.
  5. Give us three reasons that make you feel proud of being an assamese women.
  6. Champaran satyagrah, Azad hind fauz, Subhas Chandra Bose, Quit India movement in Assam
  7. Kanaklata Baruah, Kushal Konwar, Krishnakanta handique.
  8. Ahom infrastructure in Jorhat
  9. Why Civil services and some personality based questions.


  1. How confident were you of your success or were you nervous or de-motivated/doubtful at times? How did you keep yourself motivated during the preparation process? (Your stress management techniques)

Ans: As the exam takes almost 2 years to be completed, sometimes I did feel doubtful and de-motivated during my preparation. Fortunately, my family and friends played a very important role during that time. They supported me throughout my preparation and motivated me in every possible way. I preferred to spend time with them whenever I felt de-motivated.


  1. Were you engaged in any other activity (job, studies) or giving full time to preparation?

Ans: I gave my full time to this preparation.


  1. What was your Career Back up plan?

Ans: I did not have a career back up plan. I gave all my efforts and thoughts for the preparation of this exam.


  1. There are a lot of pressures/obligations/obstacles in an individual’s life which tend to affect their preparation. Did pressures like ‘completing Post Graduation’, ‘getting a job first then prepare’, ‘hectic job’, ‘getting married’ or any other come in your way?

Ans: Sometimes I did face such questions from different people but the only way to deal with such pressures is to ignore them. Besides, my family and friends always stood beside me and supported me.


  1. What was the role of your family, friends, and spouse etc behind your success?

Ans: My family and friends were like my pillars of support. They motivated me and inspired me to work hard and have patience.


  1. Dos and Don’ts for APSC.

Ans: Do’s

  1. Follow the syllabus
  2. Practice the previous year papers
  3. Revise a lot
  4. Work hard and have patience

Don’t s

  1. Follow too many sources


  1. Your observations on APSC exam.

Ans: Questions were mostly factual in all the papers. The Mains General studies paper tends to be lengthy so time management is very important, especially for the GS paper. Many of the questions were repeated from the previous year papers.


  1. Finally your golden tips for upcoming aspirants.

Ans: Believe in yourself, work hard and have patience. God helps those who help themselves.