APSC Inspector of Taxes – 8th Rank Abhilekh Saikia Talks with Students

Name Abhilekh Saikia

Abhilekh Saikia
Age (at the time of clearing) 32
Year of Clearing 2018
Post Inspector Of Taxes
Rank 8
Total no of Attempts 1
Optional for Prelims Education
Optionals for Mains Education , History
Medium of Exam English
Other exams success/failure Cleared Assam Secretariat JAA, 2018,APDCL Assistant Manager 2018
Service Preference APSC


  1. Educational Background


Class 10 %, Year, School 85.3,2003, Disneyland High School
Class 12%, Year, Institution 70.60.2005, Cotton College
Degree %, Year, College 73.4, 2013, NITS Mirza, Gauhati University
Post-Graduation MBA , Tezpur University
Hobbies Quizzing, Cooking
Job Experience 2 years



  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! I am an Electrical Engineer by profession and I hail from Guwahati. My father is a retired banker and my mother is a homemaker. The prestige and glamour associated with civil services,the myriad experiences and ample opportunities it provides to bring about a tangible change in the society attracted me to Civil Services.


  1. When did you start the preparation for APSC?

Ans: I started my preparation about two months prior to the preliminary examinations.


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

Ans:  The time required for preparation varies from person to person. In my opinion an average of 3-4 months is required for the preliminary examinations and 4-6 months for the mains exam.


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

Ans: I devoted an average of 10 hours daily.


  1. Do you think coaching is necessary for APSC?

Ans:  For first timers I believe some guidance is necessary especially during preparation for Mains Exams.



  1. What was your strategy for prelims?

Ans:  I focused more attention on the big four Indian History, Assam History and Indian Polity, Economy as these are the areas from which most questions are asked. Previous years papers gave me an insight into areas that need to be focused. I gave mock tests regularly which I believe is a must.


  1. How did you choose your optional for prelims?

Ans: I needed a subject which was both high scoring and could be completed within a very short span of time as I started my preparation quite late. I studied some Education courses during my University curriculum and found that Education served both my requirements.


  1. Book List for Prelims GS
History Spectrum History Rajiv Ahir
Polity Indian Polity Laxmikanth
Geography Online material from Mrunal, unacademy
Economy Do
Science Do
Assam Related Assam year book Santanu Kaushik, online material
Maths Youtube channels
Reasoning Do
Current Affairs Drishti Current Affairs


  1. Booklist for Prelims Optional
Class 11 and 12 Books
Chandraprakashan Guide book







  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: Language I believe is can never be a barrier. Infact many candidates have cleared writing in  Assamese. Although there is dearth of quality materials in Assamese some publishers have now taken out materials in Assamese too.

For the Assam and North- East Part I depended mostly on online available materials.



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

Ans: Strategy for preparation of mains contains  three basic ingredients studying, revision and writing. Here also giving as many mock tests as possible helped me improve my writing.


  1. Did you make notes or prepare answers?

Ans: Yes, I prepared answers.


  1. Did you practice answer writing?

Ans: Yes, I practiced answer writing and I believe during mains preparation a lot of attention needs to be given to writing answers as it enables one to write answers in exam within stipulated time and word limit effectively.


  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:  I did not have a clear cut time schedule for preparation.

Choosing optional should always depend on the individuals own taste and comfort. Once you narrow down on possible selection of subjects the rest depends on pattern of marks scored in previous exams, material and guidance availability and the time required for completion of syllabus.

I revised by giving mock exams. For current affairs editorial of The Assam Tribune and magazines also helped a lot.


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

Ans:  I attempted all the questions.


  1. How did you prepare for General English Paper?

Ans:  As I had a good grammar base for English preparation I only focussed on writing essays. I tookany random topic and tried to write on it. It helped both in GS and English.


  1. Booklist for Mains GS
History Rajiv Ahir, India After Gandhi Ramchandra Guha
Polity Laxmikanth
Geography Online materials
Economy Indian Economy Rameshwar Singh,
Science Drishti Current Affairs
Assam Related Assam Year Book ,
Current Affairs Drishti Current Affairs, Yojana



  1. Booklist for Mains Optional 1


Al Basham Wonder that was India


India’s Acient Past R S Sharma
Spectrum Modern Indian History Rajiv Ahir Satish Chandra Indian Medieval History
Lowe World History History Of Modern world B V Rao


  1. Booklist for Mains Optional 2
Education By Phunu Das Education Psychology Sunota Agarwala
Education History Phunu Das


  1. How did you prepare for the Interview?

Ans:  I brushed up on my optionals. Was thorough with job related questions. Appeared for a couple of mock interviews.


  1. What did you wear for the interview?

Ans:  I wore a white shirt with trousers and a tie.


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

Ans: My interview board consisted of members Shri Prafulla Hazowari and Dr. Ajanta Nath and one external. It lasted for about 25 minutes.


  1. What were the questions asked during your interview?

Ans:  The questions were mainly based on my job. Very few questions were asked from my optionals. A few situational questions were asked too.


  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 pretty confident about clearing the exam. My go to method for killing stress was always to talk to my parents or friends and occasionally some music.


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

Ans:  Yes I was pursuing my MBA during the initial phase and later on engaged in job .


  1. What was your Career Back up plan?

Ans:  I was working as an Assistant Manager in APDCL.

  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: Yes getting a job or go for preparation was a dilemma i faced. I decided to give about 6 months for fully devoted preparation and then go for jobs. Luckily it penned out well for me.


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

Ans: Perhaps the biggest pillar of strength during my preparation was given by my parents. They supported and even encouraged me to go for Civils preparation rather  than look for jobs. It was their immense faith that motivated me throughout.

  1. Dos and Don’ts for APSC.

Ans: Dos – Keep your books to minimum. Keep abreast of what is happening in and around. Read newspapers daily. Balance work and play and maintain healthy lifestyle. Believe in yourself. Read Revise and Repeat. Keep away feom negativity.

Donts – Waste your time.


  1. Your observations on APSC exam.

Ans: Its the most sought after exam for civil service aspirants of Assam. The exam provides us an opportunity to be directly part of the administrative set up. The exam itself is not a hard nut to crack. From the preliminary to interview process it tests the candidates on various theoretical and practical aspects. As such a focussed and diligent approach is required to clear the exam.


  1. Finally your golden tips for upcoming aspirants.

Ans: Just one word “ Commitment” . Commit yourself to your preparation, just fall in love with it and you will reap your rewards. Failures may and will come. Important thing is not to lose hope, learn from them and keep on preparing untill you reach the ultimate goal.