How to fill your DAF – Part 1

DAF (Detailed Application Form) plays a very important role in deciding your interview marks and the service and cadre you land up in future.

Therefore, it is essential that you should fill your DAF with utmost clarity and precision.

Here are some factors to be kept in mind while filling DAF.

Spend time with your DAF

Start filling your DAF as soon as it is uploaded on UPSC website.

Spend considerable time on it. Please don’t rush through it at the last moment.

Also if you are in touch with any seniors then do get it reviewed. As a fresher there are many aspects of DAF which may not be clear at first go.

Each and every word matters

Filling your DAF casually amounts to a blunder. Fill each word keeping in mind that you can be asked any direct or tangential question arising from that word.

For instance, if you have filled your birthplace as Gaya (Bihar), then try to have an encyclopedic knowledge about this place.

Scrutinize each word carefully leaving no room for error or ambiguity.

Don’t bluff

In your DAF there is a column where you have to mention your personal achievement, extra curricular activities and hobbies.

Interestingly you are not required to submit any proof or certificates before UPSC.

So if you write that you have worked in Germany for 2 years and you have taught at some NGO for a year then UPSC accepts it at face value.

There are many students who try to bluff in this section by over emphasizing their achievement. You should stay away from such tactics. The combined experience of UPSC interview board members exceeds 150+ years and they can easily figure out whether there is an element of truth in what you have stated in your DAF or not.

Hobbies are important

Pay good attention to your hobbies. If you don’t have any particular hobby then leave this section blank and there is no need to coin any new hobbies at the last moment.

If you have an interest in activities like playing musical instrument, dancing, swimming etc but have not been recently doing them then also it’s quite safe to mention in your DAF. You would have enough time post mains to prepare for such hobbies.

Service and Cadre Preference.

This is the most crucial part and I will be covering it in the next blog post.

2 thoughts on “How to fill your DAF – Part 1

  1. Hi Bhavesh sir. It’s my first attempt this time (2018) and I’m having slight apprehensions regarding my DAF. I read your answer regarding hobbies on Quora, and you seem to be the right person to guide me well since some of our information matches. One of my concern is that I was quite active in school and college (did BA at St. Stephen’s College), but I’m reluctant to mention some of them fearing it’ll open a floodgate of unexpected tangential questions. At the same time, these are things which I did because I had interest, and gives a glimpse of my personality. Specific queries are :
    1. I have an interest in learning languages and besides Punjabi, Hindi, English, I’ve learnt the script for Urdu, and know small bits and pieces of spoken Bengali, Malayalam and Tamil. Based on your quora answer, learning the indian scripts is one way of going about it. However, can you please elaborate a bit on the depth of questions that can be asked?
    2. In college, I was part of the Bengali Literary Society. Though my work was limited as Convenor of the Annual Bengali Lunch, however mentioning this will open up questions on Literature, something I have no interest in nor I feel I can adequately prepare for. How do I resolve this conundrum?
    3. I like teaching underprivileged children. I did that in my college under Social Service League, and also interned with IIM-A’s campaign in creating online educational videos in various vernacular languages. Mentioning teaching as specific to underprivileged children or just teaching in general, what should be the way to go about it?
    4. As far as sports are concerned, I led my department in several hiking trips; wasn’t proficient but played in inter block (hostel) and inter departmental events in football. Since you mentioned Chess in this context, should I have anything to worry about by mentioning Football? I also mentioned Sudoku as one of the sport since I play it off and on, got a small prize in my school days too though i haven’t mentioned that. I also got a prize in a Karate championship though i’ve mentioned that in Prizes section. Mentioning so many things makes me apprehensive if I’m making a mistake in not sticking to limited number of things to be mentioned.
    5. In positions of Leadersip/distinction, I’ve mentioned things done in school, such as Vice Head Boy and Convenor of Model UN Conference that we organised. Is it safe to mention these things since they’ve specifically edited the section heading to that of college alone? I feel a continuity will be looked in a positive light.
    I am guilty of asking too many queries and I hope you forgive me for that. I’ll really be grateful if you manage to take some time out of your busy schedule and guide me appropriately. Thank you.
    Jasroop Singh Walia


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