UPSC Topper- 2013 Gaurav Agarwal's View on Coaching

Coaching : The Good and the Bad !

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are purely personal and may be wrong from someone else’s perspective.

Hi, I am writing this post so that no one gets misguided in my name by the various advertisements being put by the coaching institutes. My aim is just to prevent students from wasting their money n time and tell wot I found good n bad even though some of these coaching institutes may become unhappy with me.

1. Vajiram classroom coaching:
I joined their classroom coaching in 2012 but found it to be an utter waste of my time. So left it within a couple of weeks and never went again. What they taught could be studies by self in less than half the time.

2. Baliyan’s Insight classroom coaching:
This was the only classroom coaching I found good and upto standards. I also liked his approach. I joined history optional coaching there.

3. Lalwani’s Axiom for Economics:
Again an utter waste of time and money. He doesn’t teach more than half the things n wotever is taught is mostly lacking needed depth. I used to go to the classes only coz I had baliyan’s class after him n coz I travelled from Gurgaon to Delhi for the classes.

4. Sriram classroom:
total waste… Attended 3-4 lectures only. His printed notes are good.

5. Vajiram interview:
Liked the one on one sitting with raveendran sir and their panels last year. But this year their panel was very bad with some arrogant former IFS officer at head.

6. Samkalp interview:
Good panels. Took 2 mocks.

7. Chanakya interview:
Very good panel. They made me realize what areas to focus on this year. Many of their questions were asked in actual interview in sone form or other.

8. Vision Ias test series:
I joined test series for GS n Essay and found them very good. They conduct the test series professionally n their notes are good too. 1 ques I could answer only by studying from their notes.

9. Synergy test series:
I joined only test series. It is good and feedback professional but unka staff bhaav bahut khata hai and is uncooperative with students.

10. Sri Chaitanya interviews:
good panel and good mock.

11. HYDERABAD study Circle:
I joined mock interview and was a very good n professional experience.

 - Gaurav Agarwal

Conclusion: Coaching is wastage of precious money and time, only little guidance is needed which can be gained from seniors, teachers, classmates and from the internet, various stories of toppers also gives the idea of preparations. Coaching is not needed essentially but one can definitely join the test series to judge your preparations.


  1. Sir. Is it necessary for serious candidates to study a thick book of General Studies for Civil Services Preliminary Examination Paper by MHE for SSC CGL even? What is difference between Lucent GK SSC CGL and General Studies UPSC?

  2. Its Not necessary to have General Studies Manual for SSC CGL but in my point of view its better to have a manual that covers almost whole syllabus, Lucent, Arihant GK books are Good but they are concise, for detailed study they don't cover all the topics and depth, if 50 questions are asked only 30-35 questions can be solved from these books but GS manual is useful because most of the questions can be solved from it directly. Apart form this GS manual is also useful for all the exams where GS/GK is asked so its one time investment. In GS manual some sections are very good and in detailed manner like History part, Geography, Science n Tech part, apart from this it also covers Environment n Biodiversity. So if someone can afford this i will suggest to go for GS manual because its more useful and one time investment.

  3. Sir. If someone can't afford this, alternatively go for NCERT. I heard many coaching recommended NCERT class from 6 to 12. Topics like INDIAN CONSTITUTION, GENERAL SCIENCE, HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY, ECONOMICS. old NCERT classes from 9th to 10th especially History. I think Its very interested to analyses all the topics and depth on GS Manual book is sufficient. Thank you a great deal for valuable suggestion.

  4. NCERT is building block of any competitive exam, i said if someone don't have ncert then they must go for GS manual.

  5. Unfortunately NCERTs old syllabus are not available in the market and circulation.They are closed and changes new syllabus related to Pictures and color. Thank you for suggesting one of the best book of GS Manual Tata McGraw-Hill Education and rate 2nd rank Arihant Publisher Manohar Pandey, other good GS books.

  6. sir ye result kab ayega cdpo ka
    56 marks gen any chance.?

  7. I m surprised that a topper go through 11 Institutes to conclude that coaching is wastage
    of money & time

  8. Please sir plzzz can u help with economics optional by suggesting books for it.