(Success Story) UPSC 2021 TOPPER, AIR-1 Shruti Sharma’s Winning Strategy for Cracking IAS Exams
Shruti Sharma, a resident of Bijanor, Uttar Pradesh, has secured the coveted all-India rank 1 in UPSC Civil Services Examination 2021. She is a former alumnus of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Vidyalaya, Delhi. She has graduated in History with honours from St. Stephen’s College, further pursuing a post-graduation in Modern History from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). In the meantime, she enrolled intro Jamia Millia Islamia’s residential UPSC Preparation Coaching Academy and that is where she did her UPSC preparation from. She had been preparing for this examination for 4 years. However, this was her 2nd attempt at the exam.
AIR-1 Shruti Sharma’s Strategy To Clear UPSC CSE
Due to a mix-up in her last attempt, Shruti had to write her mains examination in Hindi. In that attempt, which was also her first, she missed her interview call by one mark. Although disheartened, she kept calm, knowing that her 4-year long strategy will bear fruit, she followed her own rules and made it this far.
Rule 1 – Start from the Basics
Shruti took her time with the NCERT Books. She diligently completed the NCERTs and only then did she leap into the standard study material. The reasoning behind this is simple. NCERTs help you build a thorough understanding of each subject. This not only helps one grasp the vast knowledge one has to learn as a part of the UPSC syllabus, analyse problems better, but also write better answers.
Rule 2 – Newspapers aren’t Optional
As much as the coaching institutes will have you believe that their Current Affairs compilations are enough to push you through the UPSC examination, Shruti is a firm believer that newspapers are essential and you just cannot skip them. Shruti religiously followed newspapers and made her own notes. It helped her give her preparation that extra edge.
Rule 3 – Patience and Consistency Wins the Race
Cracking UPSC is a marathon, not a 100-metres race. Patience is paramount to your success. Keep calm and keep putting in your 100%. Do not concentrate on how many hours you are putting in daily. Instead, concentrate on the quality of your learning. Build up your knowledge brick by brick and in the end, you’ll have everything you need.
Rule 4 – Previous Year Questions are your Bible
Start your preparation by analysing Previous Years’ Questions. Understanding what UPSC asks of you is a prerequisite to starting your journey. There are areas of the syllabus that is given more weightage by UPSC in each subject. There is also a need to approach each topic in a certain way. Going through the previous years’ questions will allow you to grasp that.
Rule 5 - Draw your Own Path
This is the most important bit. Create your own strategy. What worked for Shruti may not work for you. Everyone has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Use them to chart your own personal path to success.
Keep your head down, surround yourself with supportive people, and never give up.
Shruti wishes you all the best!
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