My name is Kunal Jain, and in the UPSC CSE 2022, I got AIR 356.
Let me tell you about my path to the UPSC, which was full of obstacles and lessons that helped me grow not only mentally but also intellectually. It taught me how to deal with worry, stay strong, and face problems, even when things were hard.
In 2020, I couldn’t pass the preliminary tests on my first try. But on my second try, I made it past the Forest Service bar for the preliminary exams, but I failed the CSE mains. Then I finished the mains for the forest services, but I couldn’t get on the final list. On my third try, I finally got an AIR 356.
Table of Contents
Kunal Jain Booklist
Kunal Jain UPSC Marksheet (Prelims)
|Kunal Jain UPSC Marksheet (Prelims)
Kunal Jain UPSC MARKSHEET (MAINS)
|Kunal Jain UPSC MARKSHEET (MAINS)
|GENERAL STUDIES 1
|GENERAL STUDIES 2
|GENERAL STUDIES 3
|GENERAL STUDIES 4
|Optional Paper 1
|Optional Paper 2
Kunal Jain Biography
|Kunal Jain Biography
|All India Rank
I graduated from NSIT in 2019 and didn’t look for a job because I was set on taking the UPSC test. I joined the Vajiram and Ravi foundation PCM batch in July 2019, and it turned out to be the best choice of my life. The institute had great teachers who were all experts in their fields. I went to their classes every week, and that helped me get used to General Studies. My plan for studying was to rewrite the lesson after class, because writing helped me remember the information for longer and see how it related to other things.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020 and pushed back the test schedule, I used the extra time to study for my Maths optional. I started getting ready for it in March 2020. I had planned to cover the last few chapters between the preliminary exam and the main exam, since I had already gone over some of them when I graduated.
On September 9, 2020, my father was in a serious car accident and had to stay on a respirator for about 15 days. He got out of the hospital on October 8, but his preliminary test wasn’t until October 4, 2020. Even though things were hard, I took the test and missed the minimum of 92 points by just one question.
After I failed, I thought about what went wrong and what I could have done differently. I realised that I hadn’t done enough previous year questions (PYQs) and that I had mistakenly marked a few questions that were repeated from PYQs.
I also didn’t know how to make educated guesses. At this point, my friend Sudhansu Saini told me about a YouTube programme called “ANSHUMAN RAJHANS IFS,” which helped me organise how I was studying for my prelims.
By January 2021, I had finished my first maths course and started practising PYQs for mains in topics like government, economics, history, and geography. But since the prelims were in May 2021, I decided to focus on getting ready for them beginning in the middle of February.
Everything was fine until April 2021, when everyone in my family, including me, got COVID-19. I remember wasting the whole month of April, and it was hard for me to study even after 21 days of getting better. Unfortunately, the test was still set for May, which made things even harder for me.
During this hard time, I met Awadh Ojha Sir, who talked a lot about how important yoga and meditation are. I started doing yoga by watching “The Yoga Institute” YouTube programme. I’d like to thank Dr. Hansaji (Dadi) for being a highly motivated person and teaching me important lessons for a better life.
I also used Sadguru’s Isha Kriya meditation method to keep my mind steady. During that time, both yoga and meditation helped me get back on track and became important parts of my life.
In October 2021, I took my second round of prelims and passed both the CSE and Ifos cutoffs.
But I know it was my fault that we didn’t talk about things like ethics, internal security, government, and society in the prelims. Because of this, I had to pay the price by failing my first mains test in January 2022. I didn’t have enough time to write a single test for GS and Essay, and I also didn’t have enough time to study for maths. Also, I couldn’t finish my papers on time, and on the maths question, I made a lot of silly mistakes.
Then, for the forest service mains, I had to study for the forestry alternative, and for that, I used Hornbill classes. I turned in the paper in March 2021 and got a good grade. After that, I met Yaksh bhaiya for the interview with the forest service. The interview was in June 2022, but I didn’t make it to the final list.
Yaksh bhaiya got AIR 6 when the CSE 2021 results came out on May 29, 2022.
In June 2022, I went to my third preliminary exam, which I passed. This time, I asked Yaksh bhaiya for help with the mains test. With his help, I was able to improve my writing by adding more data, making it more multidimensional, and writing in a point format. He also gave me tips on how to give a talk, like how to use both black and blue pens. He also taught me that working hard would help me get better marks on the mains.
After I finished my mains, my friend Sudhansu told me again that I should join Anil Swarup’s interview coaching programme with StudyIQ. I joined the programme, and Anil sir’s tips helped me get better marks on my interviews. I joined a small group of about four to five people, and every day, we did fake interviews with each other.
During this time, I met Sparsh (AIR 51), Pranav (who got 200 points in the test), and Naman. I was able to raise my interview score from 52% to 65.5% by practising a lot. I’m thankful to Anil Swarup sir for the way he helped me.
I got AIR 356 in CSE 2022.
So, that’s the whole story of my life after I graduated. It had its ups and downs. But one thing stayed the same: I could get through even the darkest nights because I believed in myself and had faith in what I could do.