Saumya Pandey – Rank 4 – Optional Geography

Saumya Pandey – Rank 4 – Optional Geography


Profile :

Name Saumya Pandey
Place Allahabad
Graduation Electrical Engineer, MNNIT
UPSC Rank Rank 4 Year 2016
Attempt 1st Attempt
Optional Subject Geography


Score Card:


Sample Answers:



Reference Books:

General Studies
Mains Optional – Geography
  • Paper I: Physical Geography – Ravindra Jain; Human Geography – Majid Hussain
  • Paper II: India Geography – D R Khullar



  • Essay Paper: Saumya practiced essays every 15 – 20 days on current affairs topics.
  • GS paper I: She studied the NCERTs and only a few other books. She read Bipin Chandra’s ‘India’s Struggle for Independence’; Laxmikanth’s ‘Indian Polity’; and Nitin Singhania’s ‘Indian Art and Culture’. She also followed the CCRT website for art and culture.
  • GS paper II: According to Saumya, this paper has a lot of current affairs compared to GS Paper I. Here, she focused on monthly magazines like Yojana and Kurukshetra.
  • GS paper III: Here the focus was on current affairs, Economic Survey and budget highlights. For science and tech, she focused on the science supplement of ‘The Hindu’ newspaper.
  • The first step in the interview preparation is to fill in the DAF very carefully as the UPSC board will definitely ask questions from what you have filled about yourself. They will ask about your hometown, hobbies, extra-curricular activities, awards and medals. They will also ask current affairs based questions and also situation-based ones. So, prepare accordingly and practice taking the interview beforehand. Your answers must be multi-dimensional, balanced and rational.


Success Interview: