Ishita Rathi has secured the 8th rank in the UPSC Civil Services Examination 2021. Originally, she hails from the Baghpat district, Uttar Pradesh. But now she lives in Delhi. Her parents are in Delhi Police, father is Head Constable and mother is ASI. She appeared in the UPSC exam thrice. In her first attempt, she could not clear the preliminary examination and in her second attempt she reached the interview stage but didn't qualify. Finally, in 2021, she secured AIR 8th in her third attempt. During an interview by India today she said,
"To make her dream come true, her parents gave her all the support and resources that she needed while preparing for the exam by herself. Further she added that she wants to work for women empowerment in the country as she believes only if the women are developed in a country, the country’s growth continues".
She completed her schooling from Delhi and completed her graduation from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University. After that she completed her post graduation degree in Economics from Madras School of Economics. She also kept Economics as her optional subject. She gave her first attempt right after the post graduation which was in 2019.
ISHITA RATHI'S UPSC PREPARATION STRATEGY
FIRST STEP IS GO THROUGH THE SYLLABUS AND MAKE A WELL PLANNED STRATEGY
The UPSC syllabus is the soul of this exam. Knowing the syllabus is the first thing to do before you go through the books. After that strategy comes. Ishita said, "A vision without a strategy remains an illusion". Make a well planned strategy. It will ease your UPSC preparation and make it more streamlined. With deadlines, you would work better and complete the syllabus faster.
IS UPSC PREPARATION POSSIBLE WITHOUT COACHING?
Ishita cracked the UPSC exam without taking any coaching classes. She had prepared using strategies used by previous Toppers and online material, which also includes YouTube content.
RELYING ON ONLINE SOURCES
Online sources are easily available, aspirants can easily prepare for the IAS exam. Aspirants can watch video lectures on YouTube for basic subjects like polity, history, geography, etc. Ishita said, she also used to do this.
FILL THE GAPS IN PREPARATION BY PRACTICING MOCK TESTS, PYQS AND ANSWER WRITING PRACTICE
Ishita said whatever gaps were left in her preparations; she filled up those with mock test series, answer writing practice and PYQs. She relied much more on practice and revision. It helped her a lot. She believes that revision is very important when you are facing an exam as tough as the UPSC exam.
STRATEGY FOR OPTIONAL SUBJECT
Ishita kept Economics as her optional subject. She had prepared optional also without any coaching. She took the help of mentoring. She did the analysis of past year questions and on the basis of that she prepared the optional. She took the help of newspapers and important government resources such as Economic Survey, Budget and Economic weekly.
At last Ishita said, parents were her biggest inspiration for joining the civil service. She advised the aspirants, UPSC exam needs patience. With patience, aspirants need to follow a well planned strategy in a disciplined manner. Apart from this, aspirants do not ignore their psychological and physical health because this exam will test you on multiple levels. So, maintain a balance in your UPSC journey.
Ishita wishes you all the best