Karthikay Kaushik from Delhi has cracked almost all the exams there are for engineering aspirants; from JEE Mains to JEE Advanced to GATE to UPSC Engineering Services, he has done it all at the age of just 24. After securing an AIR 2945 in JEE Advanced, Kaushik joined IIT Roorkee in 2015 for BTech in civil engineering.
After completing his BTech from IIT, Kaushik attempted the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), which got him a job at the Indian Oil. He secured AIR 26 in GATE 2020 based on which he was selected as an officer in the company. He joined the Indian Oil in January 2021 but left it soon after training in April. During this period, he was preparing for Engineering Services Exam, however, due to his time being devoted to his job too, he missed the cut-off by just 11 marks. This motivated him to resign from his job and focus on the UPSC entrance examinations.
In ESE 2020 — he went up to the interview stage and scored 796/1300, but the final cut-off was 807.
Aimed To Prepare With Single-Minded Focus
"I joined IOCL in January 2021 based on my performance in GATE 2020. While in April last year, the result of ESE 2020 was declared and I came to know that I missed the final cut-off by 11 marks. After this setback, I decided to leave my job at Indian Oil and prepare with a single-minded focus for ESE 2021," Karthikay told News18. He joined coaching platforms, including Ace Engineering Institute, to prepare for the exam.
"I realised that the syllabus of GATE is a subset of ESE. So, my focus was to cover the entire syllabus of ESE first," he explained.
Always Desired To Work In Public Sector
Karthikay's father works for Indian Railways, while his mother is a homemaker. He always had a desire to work in the government sector just like his father, so he chose to opt for ESE.
"In my second attempt, I focused more on general studies or paper 1 of the preliminary stage. To improve my score in the mains stage, I doubled the number of mock tests compared to the first attempt. This really helped me improve my answer writing speed," he said.
The Delhi lad also put a lot of focus on his interview preparation. "I focused hard on the interview stage. I did not give any mock interviews in my first attempt but this time, I gave three mock interviews, which helped me to polish my personality and highlighted the technical areas where I was lagging behind. I also used to practise in front of a mirror to observe myself in detail and improve my body language," he said.
Because of his focused attempt, he not only cleared the exam but also secured rank 1.
"Being an officer-level engineer gives me opportunities to contribute towards nation-building and public welfare," the topper claimed.
Apart from GATE and ESE, Karthikay has also cracked the written round of BARC, twice in 2020 and 2021, and ISRO in 2020. However, he did not appear for their interviews "due to unavoidable circumstances." He also secured AIR 778 in JEE Mains and AIR 2945 in JEE Advanced.
Strategy For Exam Preparations
Explaining his strategy for the exam preparations, he points out one of his strengths was maintaining a decent level of practice throughout the year. "I used to study and revise consistently to keep the syllabus on my tips. This helped me to clear multiple exams with minimum effort. Due to this strategy, I never had to study, keeping a single exam in focus. I took all of these exams as a test of my knowledge for civil engineering.
Nowadays, there are many exams which are conducted throughout the year. He said that the best strategy will be to keep things simple.
"In order to absorb such a vast syllabus in my mind, consistent revision played a critical role in my preparation journey. Last but not least, practising by giving mock tests gave me the confidence that I could perform well in this examination. This also helped me to identify recurring mistakes and enhance my calculation speed," he said.