Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1 What are Civil Services?

Ans. Civil Services are posts for bureaucrats, who are given the responsibilities of administration related to the governance of the country & implement all the policies of the government.

Q. 2  What type of Examinations are conducted for selection of Civil Servants?

Ans.     Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is an autonomous body, who has the powers given by the constitution to go through the selection procedure by that three phase examination – Prelims, Mains & Personality Test (Interview).

Q. 3 Is this examination for IAS only?

Ans.     This examination is only a selection procedure & variety of services like IAS, IFS, IPS, IRS & others are allocated depending upon the merit and rank of the aspirants.

Q. 4 What are the basic pre-conditions to get through Civil Services Exams?

Ans.     Pleasing outlook and positive attitude of accepting the challenges as a part of life. You know, cardiograph of a live person keeps fluctuating; a straight line is indicator of death. So accept fluctuations of life and competitions.

Q. 5 What should be the criteria for selecting optional subjects?

Ans.     For selecting an optional for Civil Services Examination, one should think professionally must have keen interest in the subject & sometimes the subject must have marks fetching quality. For example, a science background student may have keen interest in science but preparing a non- science optional may be easier, marks fetching and even less time consuming. It may also help in non-science topics of General Studies and even Essay. Therefore, it is advisable to weigh the subject accordingly.

Q. 6 What are the advantages of Geography? Is it suitable for arts or science background?

Ans.     Geography is a semi-scientific subject having more of conceptual nature rather than factual. It is multi-dimensional so that the examinee never feels monotonous during the preparation. It is suitable for the students having either arts or science background. Geography is useful in everyday life and therefore, the practical aspects can be understood in day to day life. The map location marking is another aspect which makes it scoring and less time consuming.

Q. 7 Without any geography background, can I opt for geography optional and prepare it comfortably?

Ans.     The only starting point for any optional preparation is a good foundation at the level of Xth class. After that with the help of good text books and good guidance, Geography can be prepared comfortably since it is very logical. The practice of map makes it more interesting when the examinee is bored with strenuous studies.

Q. 8 Do I need to study some books before joining coaching?

Ans.     Only 10th, 11th & 12th standard books of Geography which will be helpful even for General Studies preparation.

Q. 9 We have much difficulty in good guidance for General Studies preparation. In the recent trend of questions, we don’t find any clue how to prepare GS either for PT or for Mains?

Ans. ENSEMBLE has a very good and expert team of teachers who not only provide good and updated information, but also guide the students to analyse all the topics both for PT as well as Mains. Along with the guidance in the classroom, ENSEMBLE also provide study material which is rich in content as a support for preparation at home.

Q. 10 How many hours, one should study to get through?

Ans. The study hours cannot be quantified and it depends upon the grasping and concentration power of the aspirants and also on the basic education of the student. Now a day long hours given for acquiring bookish knowledge has been substituted by getting the knowledge of practical problems related to society, economy and day-to-day developments. You must have three sessions of three hours each to cover optional and General-Studies altogether. Newspaper, internet (various websites, pdf, videos and documentaries) and recent magazines are a must from the beginning of preparation.

In addition to it, daily writing practice and its evaluation (self or by others) is a must.

Q. 11 The students coming from rural background do not have the exposure of decent behaviour in a good society (despite having good knowledge of subject). How does one improve his/her personality?

Ans. It is true that prelims and mains are the test of knowledge of subjects of aspirants. But if the personality is not mentored then even after qualifying mains, the interview panel may reject them. Therefore, it is advisable that along with the studies aspirants must have a mentor, who would improve their attitude, etiquettes and their personality.

Q. 12 We have heard that Geography is taught with the help of multimedia at ENSEMBLE. How is it beneficial?

Ans.     With the explanation given in the class by the teacher and the study material, the concept in minds of the students are supposed to develop in the right mode. But there may be some gap in the conceptual clarity which is taken by multimedia, which is able to show the mechanism of geographical events through audio and video mode. So that student is able to understand better. We have planned to implement the same for GS as well.

Q. 13 Why do you think these recent changes have taken place?

Ans. The new changes that have taken place were long overdue. These changes were important for getting a good intake of Civil Servants as well as reforming the way the students study. Most of the students were getting into the Civil Services who weren’t independent in their thinking, didn’t have the capability to communicate, and weren’t good decision makers or policy makers. The new intakes were neither able to analyze any situation nor were able to implement policies without any major side effects. Of course, students qualified the examination by only successfully learning and the ability to reproduce certain things. Such students obviously lowered the quality of Civil Services as an institution. If the marks allotted to different students in the recently declared examination results are any indication of the quality, where hardly any student has touched 50% then it leaves a lot to be desired. Most students have got as low as 35% and still they have qualified.

The Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) obviously must not have been very happy to have such an intake and must have found training them very difficult. Indeed such types of students are difficult to train. Moreover, the government was also finding it difficult to add value to administration. Such types of candidates are more judgemental than being learners and their ability to innovate is also very limited.

Going by the candidate’s inability to express themselves in any original writing, the coaching institutes further strengthened this inability by encouraging them to reproduce facts, rather than equipping them to think. Ultimately, the pick for the Civil Services examination became best of the worst. This trend should now be halted. Students cannot prepare themselves for this exams only by learning how to reproduce; they do not only require to write well, express well, and innovate their answers, they also have to be good thinkers, good human beings, persons with character and values and have the ability to think independently and take decisions independently.

Q. 14 What will be UPSC’s expectation from their candidates?

Ans. The most important problem with Indian system of governance is underperforming bureaucracy. This institution is age-old; and was created as a steel frame for efficient execution of policies brought by British government for the interest of British Rule. It was one of the best performing bureaucracies of the world; though, roles given to civil servants at that time were limited to tax collection and maintaining law and order.

After independence, nation building was the prime target; it did not limit the roles of civil servants to merely acting as an instrument of localized policy execution. Rather steps taken by parliament and other policymakers provided broader responsibility to the civil servants. The way they are recruited and trained is still derived from colonial era- same education system, similar recruiting pattern, and similar training facility.

To match the demand of this vital institution, which requires candidates with leadership and challenging abilities, who can adjust, adapt and accommodate with dynamic challenges of diverse India, various changes are being brought.

This new pattern will enthuse a kind of attitudinal transformation in the candidates due course of preparation. If candidates have to succeed, they will have to be open and spontaneous. Mere rote learning is not sufficient; anyhow in the era of deluge of information through internet and media, understanding of the issues of socio-cultural, national and international importance have to be really wise. UPSC want that the candidates should have independent thinking and independent personality; they must have value-based orientation as they cannot be manipulated and they would have little temptations.

By adding the paper on Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude (GS-IV), UPSC has tried to orient candidates to have wisdom based educational orientation that in turn will suit to the demand of professionalism and performance.

Q. 15 What is the difference between the examinations of the present pattern from the previous pattern?

Ans. There were a lot of limitations with respect to previous pattern of Civil Services examination.

  • The syllabus, the curriculum, and the content were not very contemporaneous.
  • The contents were more tuned towards gathering facts and material accumulation.
  • There was little scope for introducing innovation in the answer and open the candidates.
  • The questions asked could not have been manipulated to test candidate’s ability to express himself/herself beyond a certain limit, the role of language and communication was not that significant as it could have been.
  • The previous pattern and its syllabus could have been prepared by faithfully reproducing facts, rather than analyze them.
  • To prepare for the previous pattern, a solid foundation could have been done away with. Even without a proper background and knowledge candidates could have qualified for the examination, and some of them did qualified as well.
  • The previous pattern tested a machine like humans, where humanly qualities could not be tested.
  • The previous syllabus could have been taught by any Tom, Dick & Harry as the topics concerned were by and large conventional, dimensions of the topic were easily defined and had a high fact content. This obviously produced poor students and the selection was from among these poor students with a lopsided view of the world.
  • The previous pattern could have been prepared through the studies of books, and where learning had little role to play.

The new pattern, new curriculum and content offer many advantages:

  • Because of the contemporaneousity of the topics, the new syllabus will really test the observation and awareness of the candidates, which is so important for the future administrators.
  • Unlike the previous pattern, the new changes do not require only a basic knowledge of the topics, it requires more than basic knowledge.
  • The contents are academically oriented, the dealing of the topics is to be done in scholarly manner not in a schoolboy manner. The exhibition of knowledge is more important than depiction of facts; consequently the training has to be academic in nature.
  • In the previous format everyone worth nothing could have become a teacher. Teachers now require real mettle, real knowledge, real delivery loaded with values.
  • The solutions to the question need to be more wisdom based, knowledge based rather than only presentation based.

The previous pattern required that the students know their chapter, consequently, if they required any assistance, they required an instructor, a trainer, coach, and may be sometimes a teacher. The new pattern requires not only the topics to be covered, not only the chapters to be taught but requires the student to see the problem from many angles, from many perspectives, through many prisms and that requires more than one type of teaching, it requires mentoring. Consequently the student will be required to deposit themselves in the hands of one mentor who can point out flaws, strengths, weaknesses and a customized solution to overcome these weaknesses. A student giving himself/herself in different hands will compound and aggravate the problems of the candidates who will be hard pressed to find a direction for them. Mentors always give a customised solution to the problem of their mentees. The preparation of this examination under new pattern has now become mentoring based, rather than teaching based.

In the previous pattern, there was a greater probability of students pretending feigning honesty, integrity and knowledge through their answers. Students will find it very hard to ‘cheat’ the examiner in this pattern. Most of the questions that will be asked will be drawn not from one section but touching more than one section with an attendant emphasis on testing the students ability to correlate many topics through observation and shear insight.

In the previous pattern, the ethics component was not taken care of. UPSC has now more than one way to check whether the candidates really measure up to the standard of ethics, integrity and morality. These components are not taught, they are brought up to the candidates to be realised. In the previous syllabus, these topics could have become theoretical but under the changed circumstances, it has to be realized by the candidates, rather than memorized, these concepts are to be taken by the core of the heart

Of course, the new pattern will be better test of communication and linguistic abilities of the candidates in comparison to the previous one.

Q. 16 How to deal with this pattern?

Ans. Now this exam requires openness to learning, a learner’s attitude. Studying in a closed room, with a bundle of books, is not sufficient to meet the demand of the exam, though, it is only partly necessary for it. Similar to the demand of the profession, this preparation requires dynamism and ability to adjust and adapt very quickly accommodating all the modes in the surrounding to look as a source of knowledge. As Maharshi Dattatreya in Indian mythology, said almost all the components of his life as guru; all of them had some qualities that could have taught him something remarkable. Here too, books, radio, television, internet, group discussion and any important personality or anyone in the life can be a teacher for anyone. Need of the time is to be as much vigilant and aware as much possible; like Maharshi Dattatreya, a keen observation is the best instrument for a good learner, as it provides a chance to make everyone your guru without letting him know or aware that you are learning a lot from his activities; but it is not sufficient as change is brought by value orientation and determination to make it not by mere information. But the way we look around the world, our opinion is like that. Thinking becomes behavior and behavior becomes habit, habits ultimately shape character and character someone’s destiny. By various processes in this exam, UPSC want to take out students with strong character.

Q. 17 Is the new pattern disadvantageous to Hindi students?

Ans. No, this question doesn’t require to be looked at from this perspective. Hindi students are those students who express in Hindi, not who are seen to study and learn in Hindi. Civil Services examination is a great leveler, in the sense, even a student from a rural background can compete with a student from Harvard. Here ‘ Hindi belt’, ‘Hindi speaking’, Hindi thinking’ students compete with the best students in India. The content availability obviously has always been better in English and will continue to be so. Now Hindi students will have to study in English, attend English classes till some period when the content becomes available in Hindi to take the advantage of this new situation. That way the effort increases, but it is mitigated by the uniqueness that a Hindi student will acquire while preparing in Hindi that will make them different, distinctive and that is how they will fetch their marks as well.

Indeed, English, which may not be compulsory has become even more important, and it must be, because a bureaucrat must know minimum English because he simply can’t conduct administration in Hindi in the capacity of IAS when a World Bank delegate visits a district to sign a deal, or in capacity of IFS when they have to link a deal with a foreign country, or in the capacity of Indian Trade Services when they have to lead delegates to World Trade Organisations for various negotiation. It should not be the job of Academy to train the Hindi belt students for English, and which the Academy is doing to some batches, and which, they should not do.

Moreover, an intelligent student should never find it difficult to read and understand English at all, as it is part of his/her preparation, and never should have found it difficult to grasp this language at all during his student lifetime. The learning of a language is the minimum basic quality that must be taken in its right spirit.

Q. 18 Will the Civil Services examination still be unpredictable?

Ans. There has been certain degree of ‘uncertainty’ associated with Civil Services examination which is generally with any examination. UPSC does have some criteria on the basis of which they choose candidates. Some students do fit in the criteria, some students do have an aptitude exactly required from by UPSC.

Uncertainty is a ‘tag’ applied by those students whose expectations are not met and fulfilled by UPSC. The Civil Services examination does not tests the information level of the candidates. It tests their knowledge, wisdom, balance of perception, visionary ideas, predictive ability, intelligence, and obviously analytical ability. If the students lack in any of them, it gets reflected in their marks. If the student gives only information and expects that UPSC will be fair to them, UPSC indeed is very fair to them–it does not select them. For all such candidates, UPSC is unpredictable, but if the students have all those qualities or develop the qualities required by the UPSC, they will not find UPSC unpredictable and uncertain.

The new pattern, nevertheless carries a greater degree of predictability and certainty in comparison to the previous form. If

  • The students can plan their preparation.
  • The students become objective in their thinking.
  • They deposit themselves in the hands of a single capable mentor.
  • They can develop a balance of perception.
  • They can take a long-term view of the preparation of Civil Services examination.
  • They really rationalise their choice of optional and
  • Above all, they can really be critical of them, develop a learner’s attitude rather than judgemental attitude, and think of becoming a good honest human being.

Q. 19 Why a complete paper has been devoted to Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude?

Ans. The administration is run more on feelings rather than deeper knowledge although logic will have its place. An administrator, once he feels for the people, will always be in a position to innovate new things, new ways, and will always display a sense of belongingness. This will mean that the person will be able to invest his thinking into it. This section will help the candidates take a look at the issue of governance, corruption in a completely different manner. The issue of value and ethics are interwoven and co-existential. The only difference being that ethics are standard of conduct, which exists at a given point of time in a work culture, society or group. They change overtime with change in social preference, order and structure. However, they simply reflect the value system prevalent in the society. In other words, value enables ethics to evolve.

Values are basic connections which guide over actions. They are evaluation about rights and wrongs and influence do’s and don’ts. Values in part may be genetic predispositions, inherited from biological parents and in part cultivated by influence of environment comprising parents, teachers, family, peers or workplace. While much of the values vary from culture to culture and are acquired in nature, some of the values are innate and universal. The latter is transcultural and of higher order, deeply rooted in sub-conscious region of mind.

Ethics will comprise of many elements – Administrative, Environmental, Personal ethics and many more. The research over values, date back to Spranger and Allpool, who classified values into six major heads on the basis of comprehensive survey done over the society. They prepared a scale which would allow categorisation of individuals into any of the values depending upon their responses given against the questionnaire.

The next milestone came from Rock who classified values into two sets: Terminal and Instrumental values. The former represents the end state of existence, i.e., the values which one would like to accomplish throughout his life, the latter are values which serve as a means to achieve the terminal values. For instance, the person whose terminal value is a prosperous life, would have instrumental value of ambition (hardworking and aspiring). Similarly, the person whose terminal value is family security (taking care of loved ones) would have instrumental value of Forgivingness (willingness to pardon others) and so on…. The dominant values in workforce have changed four times since 1940’s and are known as ethics at work.

The questions which may be formulated may be such that they would stimulate the examinee to explore their own existing values and even question them many a times. With awareness of ones own values, an individual is at greater peace with oneself and others. Values and ethics directly influence one’s attitudes and values, attitudes and behaviour tend to remain mutually consistent. The students may be educated about various terminal values and the corresponding instrumental values which are essential to achieve the terminal values. Once such awareness is created, the students would be able to take informed decisions and make correct choices. The student must also be trained not to display conflict of values across different questions.

Topics like role of family, society and educational institutions are inverted to help the students realise these values actually. A realisation cannot be trained and such a realisation will always be beneficial for administration. These components of the syllabus expect, that the candidate should be in a position to resolve conflicts, manage situation, know negotiations compromise and when to implement these techniques along with bargaining and implementation as well. Attitude is the one word that describes what pains India and what holds the progress of the country. India is poor not because of resources, but because of the attitude of the people. People will remember that it was one persuasive behaviors and appeal of Amitabh Bachchan that eradicated polio from India and made Gujarat a major tourist destination. The understanding of such behaviour lies at the heart of administration to bring about change in the country. Understanding attitude and its training must happen and must be tested in the candidates before they can actually become an able administrator.

Emotional intelligence has to be studied both theoretically and in form of some case studies. Some of the moral thinkers whose contribution will be significant are— Gandhi, Tagore, Martin Luther King, Aurobindo, Swami Vivekanand, Nietschze, etc.

Public Services and ethics co-relationship will always test the accountability of government services and what ethical values are in question, what to do when certain conflicts arise between duty administration and ethics.

The preparation for Paper V will hinge around not how one gets trained in it, but rather how one realises how important this compulsive honesty will be. Paper V gives the candidates an opportunity to transform himself completely and emerge as one of the persons who remains healthy emotionally and administratively. It will definitely create administrators who are administratively more responsive.

Q. 20 What is the role of subjects in GS?

Ans. Questions in GS have always been asked at the optional level. In fact, the questions asked in optionals are rather easier to answer these days. Therefore, the level required to be attained is definitely higher than what most students think. All in all, in their study of GS, certain optionals play a dominant role-Geography, Political Science, Public Administration, History in that order The different papers of GS reflect different allocation and priorities of different options, which can be somewhat expressed in percentage terms.

Paper – II – History & Geography in the ratio of 40:40

Paper – III – Public Administration, Indian Polity and Geography in the ratio of 45:40:15


Paper – IV – Economy, Geography,  S&T & Security  in the ratio of 35:35:10:20

Paper – V – Psychology, Public Administration and Philosophy in the 50:25:25

The best combination to choose with GS therefore is from Geography, Political Science, Public Administration, Psychology. Economics and Philosophy, in that order.

Q. 21 Since the coverage in G.S has now enlarged significantly, can an aspirant ease his/her preparation by going for a specific optional subject? or Will an aspirant be at an advantage by making a particular choice of optional subject?

Ans. In this changed scenario certain optional subjects do hold an advantage, and some have tremendous advantage. Although an indication has been given in the last question about the weightage of the subjects, but there are three subjects that stand out. 1-Geography, 2-Political Science & Public Administration, and History, Psychology vie for the third subject.

Geography emerges the best and the most productive subject. Consider this –

  • Paper I of GS has a major section on World Geography, and a topic on diversity in India.
  • Paper II of GS has India and the World and its neighboring countries drawn from Political Geography.
  • Paper III of GS has whole of Indian Geography, Comprising resources and conservation, land use policy and reforms, irrigation, cropping pattern, agro based industry, infrastructural studies on roads, railways, ports and airports, and the most important of all disaster management. Anyone having taken Geography, as an optional will have their effort reduced to half in as preparation.

Q. 22 In comparison to the previous UPSC syllabus for civil services mains examination, the new one is more specific about the topic, should an aspirant remain confined to those or should he/she expand their coverage in lines of the conventional “everything about something” jargon?

Ans. Although the question is answered in the last question, still to put it in another manner, no single topic can be answered in a subject specific manner. For every question, the answer has to be many faceted, with sometimes out of box solutions, and it also must comprise many approaches. In the syllabus, the topics may be defined, but the dimensions are never. Imagining dimensions requires an altogether different thinking. An administrator has to be multidimensional. The new approach, therefore has to be ‘everything about something’ but at the same time ‘something about everything’ for the development of correlative ability.

Q. 23 Will practicing the previous years question paper be still of any help? Or will the previous year question of Civil Services examination be of any utility to make an assessment of the upcoming exams?

Ans. No, Previous years question were framed with a different intent. Students have come far ahead to know now to untie that knot. Practicing previous years questions are not going to be a very useful exercise as it used to be earlier. In optionals, it could help. If the students can learn to frame questions on the right track following the changed syllabus they will be actually preparing very well for the examination as they will be able to think the way they should be thinking. They will definitely start reading the minds of the question framers and examiner.

Q. 24 Will the conventional mode of preparation fall short of the expectation of the new civil services mains examination pattern? If yes, what modifications are to be brought?

Ans. Conventional form of preparation means selective topics, defined dimensions, inhibited interrelationship between topics, fact full answer, structured presentation, monotonous and insipid introduction and conclusion….. A conventional preparation never requires out of box thinking or innovation led thinking and analysis. Conventional approach defines the topics only in terms of its subject, whereas a non-conventional approach allows the candidates to have a 360° angle approach to an issue. It is multi perspective, multidimensional and interrelative thinking that doesn’t confine itself to a specific subject. Urban Issues, for example, can be approached from the perspective of Geography, Sociology, Economy and combining all three subjects. The present pattern requires a non-conventional approach.

Q. 25 What do you think now the students should strategies their preparation?

Ans. If the students are really determined and have a rational attitude, the examination is not difficult and students can have a 100% certainty in results with respect to their efforts.

The steps which the students can follow are going to be in phases.

Phase I

Emphasis must be on

  • Revising the entire of school learning, and revisiting all the schoolbooks.
  • Find gaps in whatever they have not learned—fill this gap.
  • Make a concerted effort to develop the language, comprehension and expression.
  • Start reading newspaper regularly, collect the different/new words. Comprehend the language prepare a synopsis.

Phase II

Start concentrating on your personality. Expose yourself to different situations. Your personality development effort should have following components.

  • Completing your sentences while conversing.
  • Don’t leave loose ends while conversing.
  • Stop taking extreme viewpoints.
  • Start balancing your perception and thoughts.
  • Read as many newspapers as possible. Try to read between lines.
  • Meet variety of people. Try your best to understand them. Understand that everyone is different.

This understanding will be important for preparing a base to study Paper- V of General Studies. As a first step Paper-V preparation and understanding is important to begin with, as it will develop a perspective for understanding General Studies.

Having revised the school syllabus and the entire of school level subjects, the foundation is made. Having got the ability to read and understand the newspapers, the candidate will be able to develop a perspective. Having taken a keen interest in oneself, and the surroundings, the students will be able to develop his/her thinking, perspective, and start differentiating between perception and reality, the candidate will now start understanding the world better and start learning much more fruitfully rather than only memorise chapter.

Phase III

(a)       Select an Optional Subject.

(b)       Prepare a daily routine.

(c)       Start studying GS topic by topic.

(d)       Complete the whole syllabus of GS and optional once.

Phase – IV

  • Preparing a synopsis of the topic.
  • Go for a writing practice by selecting questions and answering them. Once in writing practice, start perfecting writing.

Phase –V

Continue all of those things learned.

  • Keep developing perspective.
  • Learn about the topics but not only form books.
  • Go for extensive writing practice.
  • Keep meeting people, keep discussing topics.
  • Continue reading magazines and topics of choice so that the perspectives and innovation remain fresh, and the candidates keep innovating with ideas and concepts.

Q. 26 How should a candidate select a coaching institute?

Ans. First, the candidate should know himself, herself. They must identify their personality, how do they make decisions, what drives them, their level of motivation, etc. These considerations are important as the candidates will be able to choose an institute of their choice. Generally, institutes for Civil Services fall in four categories –

  1. Mentoring based which seek to reform the candidates as they can gauge the candidates strength and weakness based on sheer observation;
  2. Teaching based where the teachers work hard for their classes and lectures;
  3. Business based who are very professional and do whatever the majority of students like and make them happy, whether the course and the class is beneficial for the students or not;
  4. The fourth category is of manipulative type, who through any means possible, wrong or right, good or utterly bad, advertisements or claims attract students.

Thus, it primarily depends on the students which type of institute they like. However, for sincere students, who want to qualify for examination they must consider the respectability, not popularity of the institute or teacher, never consider what they hear as rumours, must consider the age of the teachers in the institute, their academic works, as the older the teachers become, the better they are, must never consider the big claims of advertisement and the frequency of advertisements, must always consider the decent atmosphere of the institute where they want to be, must not ever consider the glamour of the institute and their counselors who are convincing.

Q. 27  There has been a word across the civil services coaching circles that this move of UPSC is primarily directed against the coaching culture that an aspirant go through by paying hefty prices. Is it true?

Ans. Most Coaching institutes do spoon feed, they do spoil candidates’ thinking ability by giving them stereotyped answers, they make the students feel easy, despite it may not be so. Most of these institutes instill a false sense of confidence among the students, deceptively conceal what should have been taught, conceal what should have been the level of teaching, knowledge and understanding of the candidates, so that the students somehow feel happy. They do what makes the students feel happy not what is required for the students. This is a good way to run a business as the students feel happy-happy about nothing… Moreover, there are some categories of students also who want a ‘2 minute noodles and 2 minute expert’. Obviously, UPSC will not want such type of students, whose thinking ability has been destroyed, and who are as good as clerks as they are happy to take dictations.

The UPSC examination does require a direction for preparation and now only those students will qualify who enjoy the preparation or they are made to enjoy the preparation, not slog through it.

Q. 28 How is ENSEMBLE different from other coaching institutes?

Ans. ENSEMBLE as the name suggests is a comprehensive set of different systems where all parts are working for a common goal. ENSEMBLE is a canvas where the emphasis is on a balanced personality that will help to transform the society and country as a whole. This is what is expected from a civil servant. So ensemble is quite different from any other coaching institute. Coaching is not simply learning the facts it is also about perception building, integration of value system, attitude and vision. All these areas often get ignored and cause major hurdles for students in the later stages of the exam. Even UPSC has taken a note of it by introducing papers like ethics, Aptitude etc. This has been a part of our curriculum.

At ENSEMBLE, the focus is not only on cracking the exam but on individual development because ‘Qualifying is only a mean and not an end’. So an approach beyond this barrier is required. Its the only place where mentoring is done and because of this sometimes students, discover various alternative paths for them based on their strengths.

In the institute the word QUALITY rules be it in the concept, presentation, understanding. Quality is evident in the material, notes, books and the lectures itself as they are self written, compiled and meticulously designed keeping track of current developments. A new and unique teaching and mentoring methodology has been introduced which reduces the workload of the candidates to half by an exceptional integrative approach, use of technology integrated with its study material and an involving class rather than a dictation based class. This gives us the final edge.

Q. 29 What is the difference between a student who gets selected and the one who does not?

Ans. There are certain differences that definitely exists between a selected and non selected candidates’ personality for example:

  1. Learning as an inherent tendency rather than an exclusive task, this makes a qualifier,
  2. A questioning mind, curious mind, probing mind, which hastens learning, makes a qualifier,
  3. One that responds, not react, to a situation, makes a qualifier,
  4. Ability to express one’s thoughts in a systematized manner, structured manner, makes a qualifier,
  5. 90% hard work and smart work, 10% luck is the belief of the qualifier,

Most importantly, such students who are qualifiers have a personality, they don’t get swayed by rumours easily, they are focused, most often their decisions are generally not based on any person, they convince other people not get convinced off and on by other people, and most importantly, they are learners not judgemental. A learner keeps learning from a variety of situations. Judgemental students are followers, they believe in rumours, they are indecisive, and always have an opinion without a base, an opinion, they can’t defend. Judgmental students, who comments on everyone are definitely arrogant, constricted and have a very limited learning ability.


Ans.     ENSEMBLE has a very enriched experiences of teaching for Civil Services aspirants enriched a long experience of training Civil Services aspirants. It has been able to achieve result of more than one thousand Civil Servants. It is name which is known for its honesty, sincerity and quality fully devoted to cater to students needs whether be is information, knowledge and personality. ENSEMBLE has Shri K. Siddhartha as its chief mentor (