APSC ACS – 16th Rank Swaraj Bharat Lagachu Talks with Students

Name Swaraj Bharat Lagachu

Swaraj Bharat
Swaraj Bharat Lagachu
Age (at the time of clearing) 25 years
Year of Clearing 2018
Post Assam Civil Service
Rank 16th
Total no of Attempts 1
Optional for Prelims Indian History
Optionals for Mains History and Education
Medium of Exam English
Other exams success/failure Not appeared
Service Preference APSC ACS, APS, ALRS, ST etc.

2.  Educational background

Class 10 %, Year, School 90% , 2009  , St. Mary’s High School, North Lakhimpur.
Class 12%, Year, Institution 70% , 2011 , North Lakhimpur College, North Lakhimpur.
Degree %, Year, College 71.89% , 2016, GIMT Tezpur (Civil Engineering Dept.).
Post-Graduation None.
Hobbies Playing and watching football and Reading.
Job Experience None.


  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 Swaraj Bharat Lagachu. I am from Dhakuakhana in Lakhimpur district. I studied in St. Mary’s High School North Lakhimpur and passed my HS from North Lakhimpur College. I am a graduate in Civil Engineering (2016) from GIMT, Tezpur. In my family I have my mother, brother, sister-in-law and two lovely nephews.

The services provide prestige, job security, diversity of work, opportunities for public service and offer an attractive and challenging career which gave me motivation to pursue it.

  1. When did you start the preparation for APSC?

Ans: I started my preparation right after appearing for finals of my graduation, that is in 2016(June).

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

Ans: Six months of preparation before Prelims is sufficient.

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

Ans: There was no definite amount of time. I gave emphasis on completing my daily targets.

  1. Do you think coaching is necessary for APSC?

Ans: It is not necessary. But proper guidance definitely helps in the journey.


  1. What was your strategy for prelims?

Ans: The Preliminary examination demands wide knowledge. So it was helpful to study extensively. The most important part of my Prelims preparation was practicing a lot of MCQs. The Competition Care Prelims Test Series proved to be of great help.

  1. How did you choose the optional for prelims?

Ans: I choose Indian History for Prelims mainly due to my interest in the subject. I went through the previous years’ question papers and found them convenient for me and I believed that it would be easy for me to score good marks in the Optional Paper. Moreover, Indian History covers a part of the GS Paper.

  1. Book List for Prelims GS
History Ancient India by RS Sharma, Medieval India by Satish Chandra, Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Spectrum) and Lucent’s  GK and Lucent’s Objective GK.

Assam History part of Assam Year Book.

Polity Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth and Lucent’s Objective GK.
Geography NCERTs Class XI and XII
Economy NCERTs Class IX to XII (except Microeconomics part), Economic Survey and Budget for both India and Assam
Science Did not prepare
Assam Related Assam Year Book and SCERTS VIII, IX, X
Maths Did not prepare
Reasoning Did not prepare
Current Affairs Newspapers- The Hindu and GK Refresher Monthly magazine for Current Affairs (small one). Pratiyogita Darpan is also very good.


  1. Booklist for Prelims Optional
Same as for GS Indian History
Chandra Prakash Indian History Optional for MCQs
NAAC Indian History Optional for MCQs


  1. 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: Not at all. Language cannot be a barrier in the preparation for APSC. For Assam and North-East related aspects Assam Year Book helped a lot. Moreover, I referred to State text books of Class VIII, IX and X.




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

Ans: For Mains, I followed intensive and selective study. While selecting the order of preference, I gave emphasis on my interest and job profile. I selected ACS as my first preference as I like the job profile, diversity of work, challenges and career growth in this service.


  1. Did you make notes or prepare answers?

Ans: Yes, I prepared notes for my Optional papers, History and Education. For History, I followed the notes of my mentor Anshuman Gogoi as the base.


  1. Did you practice answer writing?

Ans: Yes, I practiced answer writing for Optionals as well as GS. Answer writing was a vital part of my preparation for Mains.


  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: Time management during mains examination is a tricky affair. Time-bound answer writing practice helped me a lot. Competition Care Mains Test Series proved very fruitful.

Selection of Optionals should be based on interest. It is advantageous to select one’s graduation subject as one of the Optionals. If it is not possible, then selection of Optional should be based on one’s interest and scoring patterns.

I did monthly revisions and mock-tests were beneficial in the process. I prepared a checklist which contained a one-month cycle of study and revisions. This helped me to complete the syllabus efficiently and to stay relaxed.

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

Ans: I could attempt all the questions in both GS and Optionals, thanks to the answer writing practice and mock tests.


  1. How did you prepare for General English Paper?

Ans: I did not prepare much. I practiced writing a few essays, appeared for 3 mock tests and solved some previous years’ papers. Completing the General English paper is very important, for which solving papers and appearing mocks become crucial.


  1. Booklist for Mains GS



History Ancient India by RS Sharma, Medieval India by Satish Chandra, Modern India by Rajiv Ahir (Spectrum) and Krishna Reddy.
Polity Indian Polity by M. Laxmikanth.
Geography NCERTs Class XI and XII
Economy NCERTs Class IX to XII (except Microeconomics part), Economic Survey and Budget for both India and Assam
Science Did not prepare.
Assam Related Assam Year Book, SCERT books class VIII, IX, X.
Current Affairs Newspapers- The Hindu and GK Refresher Monthly magazine for Current Affairs (small one), Pratiyogita Darpan.





  1. Booklist for Mains Optional 1: History


1.       Notes by Anshuman Gogoi 8. Videos on World History on YouTube.
2.       Old NCERTs
3.       Wikipedia
4. Indian History by Krishna Reddy
5. Model Answers of Gauhati University published by Nilakantha Publications
6. Oxford History of India by V.A. Smith
7. World History by Sujata Menon


  1. Booklist for Mains Optional 2: Education


1.       A Textbook of Education by L.Das
2.       Chandra Prakash guide book for Mains Education.


  1. How did you prepare for the Interview?

Ans:  Preparation for interview was based on bio-data. I brushed up my Optionals and read recent current affairs. I also prepared Assam history, culture and literature. The most important part of my interview preparation was Mock-Interviews. I appeared in 5 mocks held in Competition Care and 1 mock conducted by SLAC. These really helped me to recognize my strengths and weaknesses. The intense observations and valuable guidance by the Competition Care team was of paramount significance.


  1. What did you wear for the interview?

Ans: I wore a white shirt, navy blue neck-tie, black pants and black formal shoes for the interview.


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

Ans: My interview was in Mukti Gogoi Sir’s board and the duration was about 30 minutes.


  1. What were the questions asked during your interview?

Ans: The board was very cordial. The questions centered on my bio-data. They asked me about my home district and its various problems and a few questions on History and Education. They also asked me on Citizenship Amendment Bill, Assam history, society, literature and culture and various other issues in present Assam.


  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: I was confident of clearing. Sometimes I used to get nervous but my friend, philosopher, guide and brother Anshuman Gogoi and my sister Punam Gogoi gave me belief and confidence which provided me the courage to continue this journey. The force that kept me pushing was the desire to see my mother’s smile and to make her proud of me. Moreover, my friends Nakib Sayeed Baruah, Johar Jyoti Pegu, Queen Gogoi, Vivek Baruah and many others helped me to stay motivated. For stress management I used to do cardio exercise which helped me to remain healthy and relaxed.



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

Ans:  I gave full time to my preparation.


  1. What was your Career Back up plan?

Ans: There was no back-up plan (Of course MGNREGA is always thereJ).

  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: I was lucky enough not to have such pressures on me.


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

Ans: My family, specially my mother is the force behind me. My mother was very supportive and helped me in every way possible, mentally, morally and economically. She never had any doubt on me and believed in my capabilities right from the very start.


  1. Dos and Don’ts for APSC.

Ans: Dos: Stay positive, be resilient, be patient, believe in yourself, work hard and smart, revise, exercise and enjoy the journey.

Don’ts: Do not speculate, do not keep negative people in your company, do not indulge in unnecessary gossips and do not read too many sources.




  1. Your observations on APSC exam.

Ans: This is a simple examination and all it demands is discipline and dedication. Everybody can clear this examination once she/he follows the correct pattern of preparation.


  1. Finally your golden tips for upcoming aspirants.

Ans: Be passionate and never be afraid to push yourself. Failing to plan is planning to fail, so devise a strategy and prepare a proper and do-able plan. Keep your pasts aside, forget the bygones and move ahead towards your goal with full motivation. Learn from your past mistakes and do not repeat the same. They say, if you really want something, the universe conspires to help you achieve it. Believe me, it’s true. It’s just how truly you want it. Remember that this is the chance to prove your capabilities, bring a smile on your parents face and make them proud. At last I would say, positivity, self belief and faith are your true best friends.

This exam is going to help you build a strong character and become a better version of yourself. Give your best and enjoy the journey J BEST OF LUCK GUYS!