(Success Story) UPSC 2020 TOPPER, AIR-18 Radhika Gupta Strategy To Clear UPSC Exams
Radhika Gupta of Alirajpur district in Madhya Pradesh secured an all-India rank of 18 in UPSC Civil Services Examination, 2020. She did her schooling in Alirajpur and then pursued mechanical engineering from SGSGITS Indore (2013-2017). She has also worked with Honda Cars India Ltd. for about a year, resigning in 2018 to pursue her UPSC dreams. She wrote the Civil Services Exam in 2019 and got allocated to IRPS. 2020 was her second attempt, where she cracked this prestigious examination to become a topper.
Subject Wise Preparation Strategy For UPSC
1. Polity :
Radhika recommends starting with Class 11 NCERT for Polity and trying to solve a mock test immediately after. She followed this up by reading the Class 12 NCERT and then looking through the previous year's questions. It was only after she had the basics covered that she started reading Laxmikanth, which she recommends studying by grouping chapters logically – e.g. President with Governor, Chief Minister with Prime Minister, and so on.
Start with the NCERT for Macro Economics. Radhika followed it up with Sanjeev Verma. It is difficult to find complete fodder for mains in a single book. Radhika made her notes for each topic mentioned in the syllabus. She strongly advises on studying the economic survey thoroughly and following a newspaper daily.
Radhika’s go-to was Shankar IAS and it pretty much covered all her needs. She supplemented it using the PMFIAS STUDY NOTES and concentrated on map practice for national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, Ramsar sites, tiger reserves, etc. She also concentrated especially on international and national institutions of special importance.
Start with all 4 NCERTs for classes 11 and 12 and then follow it up with G.C. Leong. YouTube series by Amit Sengupta and by PMF IAS is an excellent way to develop proper understanding. There is no single source for mapping, however, it is of utmost importance to invest time and effort in mapping.
Radhika read through the Old NCERT books of classes 11 and 12 for ancient, medieval as well as modern history. She mainly used Bipin Chandra for modern history and freedom struggle. For world history, she used Arjun dev as it is a relatively concise book. For post-independence history, she referred to notes by Vision IAS and highly recommend them.
6. Current Affairs and Science And Technology
Radhika followed a newspaper daily. Instead of making daily notes, she went through Insights on India’s daily analysis. She used a monthly magazine for revision. Most science and technology-related topics can be covered in news reading.
Radhika did not cover any book for Ethics. She made short notes for all keywords mentioned in the UPSC SYLLABUS as per her understanding. She went through Previous Year’sToppers’ notes and solved all papers between 2013 and 2019. This helped her write the right answers in her paper.
With smart studying and hard work, Radhika believes anyone can crack this exam.
She wishes all aspirants the best of luck.
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