“Hard work and dedication will surely pay in the long run”


MD SHAKEEB SAYEM Correspondent from Kolkata interviewed SAQUIB AHMED on his phenomenal success in West Bengal Civil Services Examination (Executive) 2014. SAQUIB AHMED passed the West Bengal Civil Services Examination (Executive) 2014. He has been selected for the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) under West Bengal Police Service and ranked 2nd position


Maeeshat: How did you feel when you came to know that your name is in the toppers list? Can you share the moments of happiness with our readers?

SAQUIB AHMED : This is a unique experience which can be shared with others but impossible to express rightly, it’s an amazing feelings, sometimes it felt like a dream, sometimes felt my hard work actually paid off , my eyes filled with tears of joy immediately. I thanked to almighty, took the blessings of my parents and all my well wishers who prayed for me. I could not sleep Whole night even after two, three days due to excitement and thought that whoever studies in a right and correct manner they will definitely get success.

Maeeshat:: At what point of time did you make up your mind to make career in civil services?

SAQUIB AHMED : After completion of Master in Urdu I was completely at a loss what to do and what not to do. I appeared in NET, SET examinations even qualified it but could not sustain my interest to make career in academic line. Then I came to know about Civil Services and discussed about it with some close mates and made up my mind to go for Civil Services and without any preplanning started my preparations.

Maeeshat:: In how many attempts have you achieved this success?

SAQUIB AHMED : In the very first attempt I achieved this success.

Maeeshat:: Were you preparing for other competitive exams till you achieved your ultimate goal?

SAQUIB AHMED : Yes, definitely I am very much proud of to appear in competitive examinations. My goal was clear but as I was preparing for Civil Services, I used to appear in other competitive examinations like SSC, CGL & Railway etc.

Maeeshat:: What was your strategy for WBCS – First go for prelims then mains or both simultaneously?

SAQUIB AHMED: One should prepare for both preliminary and Mains simultaneously.

Maeeshat: How long (Years/Months) have you been preparing before you gave this attempt? How many hours did you study daily? How did you manage time?

SAQUIB AHMED : Almost 2 years, in a day maximum 10-12 hours. I used to follow a particular time table made by me and used to study accordingly.

Maeeshat:: Please enlighten our readers how many questions should a WBCS aspirant attempt in preliminary examination? Which portion should they focus more?

SAQUIB AHMED : 150-155. A candidate is safe if he / she scores 60%. Student should focus more on Ancient History, Indian National Movement, Current Affairs, GI, Geography and Constitution.

Maeeshat:: How did you prepare for compulsory papers in mains examination?

SAQUIB AHMED : Yes definitely I prepared compulsory papers in main examination I used to read text books of different standard, High Secondary and Graduation Level to make my base strong.

Maeeshat:: Which portion of mains syllabus should one focus more like language papers, Indian Economy, Constitution, Mathematics…..share your opinion on importance of each in brief.

SAQUIB AHMED : Each and every portion should be crystal clear as if you get less mark in any paper it would be more difficult to stay in competition.

Maeeshat:: What was your optional paper in Mains and why did you chose it and not something else?

SAQUIB AHMED : Urdu was my optional paper in Mains I chose it as I was very much comfortable and throughout my whole study-life I have gone through it, so I chose it naturally.

Maeeshat:: Your observation about the difficultly level of 2014 mains vs previous papers. And what are your suggestions that one should keep in mind in the future strategy for given optional subject?

SAQUIB AHMED : Earlier it was easier, as one could prepare selective portion in a descriptive manner and could appear but in 2014 mains I had to have a crystal clear idea of each subject and had to do intensive study to attempt MCQ type questions of compulsory papers. If it follows, a candidate must have in-depth knowledge.

Maeeshat:: Did you attend any coaching classes for this exam?

SAQUIB AHMED : Yes, Aliah University (Residential Coaching), Halder and Academic Association for Mock Interview.

Maeeshat:: Is it essential to take coaching classes to crack this exam or one can achieve success on its own?

SAQUIB AHMED : Yes, It is partly essential. I am not saying that it is mandatory to be in a competition. It helps as we get to discuss with others about whatever we study… Group discussion is also necessary that’s why we give half yearly and annual examination in our School, College and University.

Maeeshat:: How did you prepare for the INTERVIEW like what sort of information you read?

SAQUIB AHMED : Daily newspaper, complete knowledge of my city and related information about country, world. My optional subject, Police related information as I wished to opt DSP in my first preference.

Maeeshat:: Did you attend any mock interviews by coaching classes? How were they similar / different than official interview? Do you believe it is necessary to attend such mock interviews?

SAQUIB AHMED: Yes, I attend and some extent it is necessary to build up own confidence.

Maeeshat:: How many members were in your interview board?

SAQUIB AHMED: There were four Members.

Maeeshat:: How long was the interview?

SAQUIB AHMED: It was 28-30 minutes long.

Maeeshat:: What questions did they ask and what did you reply and other pleasant or uncomfortable experiences during the interview. What mistakes one should not make during interview?

SAQUIB AHMED: As I belonged to Urdu Medium and my optional paper was Urdu I was asked to name the first known poet of Urdu Literature. In Bengali Test I was directed to read the Bengali Newspaper and elaborate my understanding to the panel and then wrote few sentences in Bengali. Panel Members including the Chairman were very cordial in their approach and each time they appreciated my answers.

TIPS : – One should keep in mind, have faith in Allah and believe in yourself that is something which is required there and nothing else and important thing is be bold and don’t panic.

Maeeshat:: Which books did you consult for prelims and mains?

SAQUIB AHMED: For Preliminary and Main I prepared for both simultaneously. I used following books :

History – Jibon Mukherjee and Krishna Reddy

Geography – Majid Hussain and Six standard books for West Bengal Geography

Economics – Tojamel Hossain and Pratiyogita Darpan special issue

Constitution – Laxmikant’s Indian Polity

Maths and GI – R. S. Agarwal

GK & CA – Tarun Goyal and Magzine

Science – K. Siddharth and IX & X Books

Maeeshat:: What is the secret of your success?

SAQUIB AHMED : Hard work, memorizations capacity and having patience.

Maeeshat:: Behind every topper are many people who stood by during those uncertain times when he/she was merely an ‘aspirant’. Would you like to name them those people in your case? Any turning point incidence that you would like to share with the readers?

SAQUIB AHMED: When I had no idea about WBCS and other competitive examination Raihan Ahmed guided me as teacher and as a younger brother (I am thankful to Raihan Ahmed), friends and my parents to support me. After getting idea about WBCS I worked hard with the blessings of my elders I got success.

Maeeshat:: What message do you want to convey to all youths especially Muslim youths who also aspire to be a civil servant or Police officer?

SAQUIB AHMED: Muslims should go ahead and come at this line to enrich our society and our majhab, our culture so that we can work for people.

Maeeshat:: Any word of wisdom you would like to give to the future aspirants of WBCS?

SAQUIB AHMED: Hard work and dedication will surely pay in the long run. You just need to be tenacious.


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