(Success Story) UPSC Journey With Commerce Optional Muskan Jindal's AIR-87
Muskan Jindal is one of those rare first-time toppers. UPSC Civil Services Exam 2019 was her first time sitting for this exam, and she managed to blow it out of the park and secure an all India rank of 87. Muskan has wanted to be a public servant her entire life. A big believer in work-life balance, Muskan never compromised on her social life for the exam. She believed that she would only be able to give this exam the best of her 2-3 years or preparation if she kept her social life going.
Minimum Resources, Maximum Revision and Practice
Muskan kept her resources as limited as possible and kept on revising and taking mock tests. For prelims, for the last two months before the upsc preliminary examination, Muskan opted for prelims only preparation. Otherwise, like most toppers, Muskan did her mains and prelims preparation in an integrated manner. She even wrote answers from previous years’ mains questions as practice starting from the very beginning of her preparation. She had also joined a mains test series, but she could only take 2-3 tests for each paper as she had joined pretty late, after her prelims exam.
Simplify Your Preparation
Muskan kept her preparation strategies simple. For example, she would read either the The Hindu or the Indian Express every day, and then use monthly compilations for thorough revision. Before the prelims, she used the yearly compilations published by portals online to revise further. Muskan didn’t make too many notes. She is one of those rare toppers who prefer rereading the source material repeatedly. She made a few crisp notes to revise the day before exams.
Many aspirants choose optional based on past year marks. However, Muskan chose hers based on her interests. Since she is from a commerce background, and she had conceptual clarity in the subject, she chose to take it up as her optional. She didn’t go above and beyond with her sources in the spirit of keeping things simple. Instead, she chose to refer to the popular Ranker’s notes on Commerce and Accountancy optional. She claims these notes were enough for her to score in her optional.
Consistency Is the Key
Muskan Jindal, AIR-87, UPSC CSE 2019
Muskan has had the habit of study for long hours every day since her school days. But she balanced it with small batches of personal time every day. In fact, she made a point to sit with her family every night to relax a bit. Every week she would study hard for 6 days, but on Sundays, she made a point of meeting friends or going out for movies. These little pockets of joy helped her recharge and destress enough to go back to studying hard and giving UPSC her 100% every day of every week.
Your Phone Is Your Friend
Muskan had to access her phone when studying. When studying a topic, sometimes certain terms are hard to understand or some issues might require further research. Having your phone by your side allows you to Google these bits of information and add gravity to your preparation. Just keep in mind not to indulge in social media all the time. Keep the distractions to a minimum and allot a little time of the day too them. Starving yourself doesn’t help your cause.
Message For Aspirants
Muskan Jindal From Himachal Ranked 87 in UPSC 2019
Stress does not help you. Fear pulls you back. Muskan realised soon enough that not everything in life can be controlled. Instead, if you give something you truly want your 100% effort, one way or the other you will find success. And this is the exact message she wants to leave aspirants with while wishing them the best of luck.
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