Failure always teaches us something, but it depends upon us how we perceive it.

Shubham Gupta is one person who failed thrice but always learned from it. Eventually, he cracked one of the toughest exams in India, The Civil Services Exam with an exceptional rank 6 in UPSC CSE 2018.

About IAS Subham Gupta

Shubham Gupta’s life is full of twists and turns. He gave his first attempt in 2015 but he wasn’t able to clear the Prelims. In 2016, he gave his 2nd attmpt in which he not only cleared Prelims, Mains and Interview too. His rank was 366 and he got placed into Indian Audit and Accounts Service. But he was not satisfied with it. So, he again gave an attempt in 2017 but this time he couldn’t clear the Prelims. But everything happens for something good and finally in his 4th attempt he secured AIR 6.

Shubham Gupta has completed his schooling in different parts of India. He studied till 7th standard from Jaipur, Rajasthan. Later, due to some financial constraints, his family shifted to Dahanu, a village in Maharashtra. He completed his further education from 8th to 12th standard from a school in Vapi, Gujrat. He is fond of collecting and reading books of various genres like non-fiction, biographies, autobiographies, etc. He loves to watch and play sports like cricket and tennis.

Read: UPSC 2018 Topper Srushti Jayant Deshmukh Preparation Strategy

Tough Times

Shubham Gupta’s family faced economic bankruptcy for a short span of time. So, he worked at his family shop in Dahanu. He used to study everyday in his school near Vapi and after his school hours he worked at the family shop. He never compromised his studies for work. Even his parents never advised him to do such things. Subham Gupta used to carry his books with himself in the shop and used to study along with work. That’s how he used to score well.

First Thought About IAS

Shubham Gupta first thought about becoming an IAS Officer when he was in 5th standard. His father came to him and said that he wanted Subham to be a collector one day. At that moment, he asked his father, “Who is a Collector?”During his school days he thought that he could participate in the betterment and upliftment of the society by becoming an IAS officer. This incident reappeared in his mind when he was in 11th standard and he thought that IAS is that goal which can help him to achieve something good in his life.

His father always has been a Role Model for him. When his family was facing a financial crunch he never loses hope and later brought balance in their lives. His NEVER SAY DIE SPIRIT is a source of inspiration for him.

Read: Anu Kumari’s Detailed Preparation Strategy

Preparation Tips And Strategy

In life every time you can’t get success. You will see failures but Believe In Yourself and that’s the most important thing in ones life. When you get success enjoy it but be ready to face the next challenge.

Other than this, Giving 100% during preparation is also very important. You have to create an environment around you because it will help you in bringing the best out of you.


Prelims Strategy by IAS Shubham Gupta

  • IAS Subham Gupta started his preparation in 2015. He first of all started reading newspapers as it helped him in developing an insight about what is happening around the world and about topics like environment, National affairs, etc.
  • He also did subject specific preparation. He took one subject and then he used to read its NCERT Book. He divided the syllabus as well as subject one by ne and then carried out his preparation.
  • He practised Mock Tests a lot. It helped him evaluating himself and he got to know about his strengths and weaknesses.
  • The basic phenomena of preparation was like this: He used to make notes while reading the newspaper or any other book. Later he revised those notes only.


ADVICE: All those aspirants who are doing preparation should make notes while reading newspapers rather than reading the monthly magazines. Also, giving Mock tests regularly is very important as it will help you in framing your own strategy. 

Mains Preparation Strategy By IAS Shubham Gupta

Shubham Gupta believes that you have to prepare for all the stages with an integrated approach. The thing which varies is the depth of the preparation. For Prelims you have just learn facts without going much deeper into each topic. But in Mains you have to express yourself that which requires proper knowledge of topics. So, you have to study  more deeply for Mains to better present your answers.

Shubham Gupta started making notes for his optional subject when he started his preparation. He focussed a lot in answer writing. He gave 2 mock tests of GS 1,2,3 ,4 and Optional 1 and 2. He believes that it is more important to complete the paper on time regardless you know all questions answer. 

Shubham Gupta thinks that one should solve the easy questions first and the difficult one in the last. He believes that you should leave any question unanswered. If you don’t know any question’s answer then you should write at least something which you think could be appropriate because if it will not be upto that mark you can get a zero else 2-5 marks. This matters a lot in increasing your overall score in Mains. Hence your All India Rank.

Read: IAS Sachin Gupta’s UPSC Mains Strategy

Essay Strategy

Shubham Gupta thinks that as you have to write two essays in 180 minutes. So, one can write the first essay in 100 minutes and the next in 80 minutes. He thinks that when a person writes the first essay he has to create a for and till he reaches the point to write the second essay he has gained that flow or momentum.

Shubham Gupta used the first 50 min in jotting the points and forming points on introduction, body and conclusion. Later 50 minutes can be used to write the essay. Try to make your introduction and conclusion interesting to grab the eyes of the examiner.


Read: Ansar Shaikh, Youngest Civil Servant of India.

Optional Exam Strategy

Shubham Gupta’s Optional subject was ‘Law’. Though he did his graduation and post graduation in Economics, he took Law. He studied the notes of (NIRVANA) Coaching Institute. These notes are available in market for paper 1 and 2. He also read the Bare Acts ( Constitutional Acts, Partnership Acts, IPSC Acts). Third source of reference was RK Bangia which he used to read Tort Acts and Contract Acts. He also solved previous year paper for his optional.

Read: UPSC Topper Artika Shukla Preparation Strategy

DO’s And Don’ts For UPSC Mains


  • Focus on Revision: Revise your notes as twice or thrice. Because at the end it doesn’t matter how much you studied but matters how much you remember.
  • Focus on Quality rather than Quantity: Read the NCERTs properly and follow  only one reference book for one subject. Don’t read too extra.
  • Analyse Yourself: Give mock tests and assess your answers and make improvements
  • Make your Own Strategy: You have to form that strategy which suits your interests the most.


  • Don’t get secluded from the outer world. Do exercise, play any sport which will keep you physically and mentally fit.
  • Don’t feel that Civil services is the last opportunity. There are a lot of things to do beyond Civil Services.


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