(Success Story) UPSC 2020 TOPPER, AIR-15 Ria Dabi’s Strategy For Clearing UPSC Exams

(Success Story) UPSC 2020 TOPPER, AIR-15 Ria Dabi’s Strategy For Clearing UPSC Exams

Ria Dabi from Delhi has secured the coveted all-India rank of 15 in UPSC Civil Services Examination 2020. Interestingly, she is the younger sister of UPSC 2015 and serving IAS officer topper Tina Dabi. Like her sister, Ria was also a motivated aspirant and she believes the guidance she received from her helped her a lot in achieving this feat. Ria is a graduate in Political Science from Lady Shriram College, Delhi. She started preparing for UPSC Civil Services immediately after.

10 Tips To Crack UPSC IAS Exams By Topper Ria Dabi

  1. Read the UPSC Syllabus multiple times and just learn it by heart. This will not only help you know what to study, but it will also help in choosing which topics from the daily news you need to add to your current affairs preparation.
  2. Pay special attention to the Newspaper Editorials as this offers great material as well argumentative styles and analytical skills to your answers and essays.
  3. Keep a cutout of relevant articles instead of trying to note them just word to word. Jot down analysis or personal Study Notes and additional comments alongside them.
  4. Ria usually kept these cutouts of information of newly launched government schemes, any summit or conference being held, articles about the environmental condition in the country and international relations, etc. in a designated folder. This allowed her to revise more efficiently.


Image Courtesy: RIA DABI 

  1. If a piece of news keeps repeating, it increases the chances of questions being asked on that topic. Keep all related information about the topic, along with any related static information in a single location so that you may be able to revise quickly later.
  2. One of the tricks Ria used was first reading an article multiple times, understanding the gist, and then loudly repeating what she understood and then checking if she missed anything again. This helped her learn the article thoroughly.
  3. Have a daily, weekly, and monthly revision schedule for the best possible retention.
  4. Ria warns against having too many resources. Her tip is to follow the NCERT books and add to your list the widely accepted books such as Spectrum, Laxmikanth, etc. It is not about how many sources you covered but how well you covered them. The idea is to understand and utilize the information.
  5. Ria puts a lot of credit for her impressive score on the Essay papers. She insists knowledge of the subject alone will not help you score well in this paper. Presentation and how well you can express and back up your opinions will. To achieve that, Ria recommends beginning with a powerful quote, statistics, or even an incident that grabs the examiner’s attention.
  6. As for answer writing in general, always ensure that each answer follows a very clear structure and flows from one paragraph to the other. An open mind and solution-oriented approach will impress the examiner. So try to end the answer on a positive note wherever possible and refrain from being overly pessimistic or critical.


Image Courtesy: RIA DABI 

Structure of a Good Answer

Ria, like her sister, wishes to work in her home state of Rajasthan. 

Best of Luck.



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