Friday, March 27, 2015

Why toppers crack civils exam? (Part 1)

How do Toppers crack such an exam ? 
How do toppers do the preparation differently? 
Are there any ingrained traits that toppers seemed to have?
All of us have same books and sources right, then, how come, many fail and few succeed? 
How should I prepare, such that success in competetive exams like Civils Exam is assured? 

To answer all these questions, lets analyse what toppers have to say, about their preparation for CSE of UPSC. 

Mostly these are the statements, by previous year toppers or their parents/teachers. In this article, only kick-ass goose-bumpy statements are presented, for aspirants benefit.
Lets get started ...

Overcome obstacles in life. Transform yourself. Then cracking UPSC is much simpler.

The story that Haritha V Kumar loved most as a child was the one about a defeated king who hides in a cave and a determined spider. The king looks on with open-eyed wonder as the never-say-die spider keeps trying to weave a web unmindful of the frustrating failures.

Haritha, an engineer by profession, is now an IRS official posted in Faridabad. She did not pass the examinations in the first attempt. Achieved 179th rank in the second and got selected for Indian Police Service. She but opted for IRS. In her third attempt, she fared worse, could manage only a rank of 290.

Haritha V Kumar, who dreamed of qualifying for the civil services right from kindergarten, created history in her fourth attempt. And 22 years after Raju Narayanaswamy topped the civil services, Kerala has another topper.

 Source: 1, 2, 4...Malayalis top IAS with record haul | Deccan Chronicle

When Haritha V Kumar first took the civil services examination, she fell short of 18 marks in clearing the mains. But that didn't dishearten her. Rather it gave her the confidence that she can crack the exams — and realise a childhood dream — if she gave it a small push. Four years and an equal number of attempts later, the 27-year-old from Kerala on Friday became the topper of the UPSC civil services exam for 2012.

"I knew I wanted to do this".

"I believe economics is the underlying problem to all issues India is facing. So I wanted to have a deep knowledge of the subject"

In her first attempt in 2009, she fell short of 18 marks from clearing the mains. "I thought when I could come this far with such shabby preparation, I could surely do better with a little more study," said Haritha, who is fond of reading books.

"I felt IRS would not give me the opportunity to serve the people the way IAS would do. I tried again. Moreover, IRS gives us extraordinary leave for a year to prepare for the exam. I availed that facility and cleared it this time."

"After joining IRS academy, the exposure I received and the constant discussions with friends really improved my language skills and played a vital role in my selection."
  Source: I knew I wanted to do this: IAS topper - Indian Express

“She worked very hard and there is absolutely no substitute for working methodically towards that aim,” said R. Vijayakumar, her father. Beaming, he recollected how the 27-year-old had always harboured an unwavering ambition to join the elite rank of civil service officers. She had even expressed her wish to ultimately work in the rural areas of Wayanad.

Once she set her eyes on a goal, nothing could distract her from reaching it. So it was no surprise that friends who knew her well, guessed correctly.

Her mother talked about her impressive repertoire of extra-curricular activities dismissing any assumption that she was the bookish sort, purely into academics. She passed a family album around and in where pages of photographs of a younger Haritha, clad in Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattom costumes. “She sings beautifully as well,” said Ms. Chitra, adding that Haritha was also elected the ‘children’s president’ at the Children’s Day celebrations of the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare when she was in class VII.
Source: Well-wishers throng IAS topper’s house - The Hindu

Two (continued):
 Empathy, induced by literature’s portrayal of the realities of life, was a much-needed quality in a civil servant.

According to her, the training she received at the NACEN and her daily discussions and debates with fellow officers at NACEN gave her the much-needed confidence and the poise to face the UPSC interview. She is among those who believe that hard, systematic work and unwavering dedication — and not much by way of brilliance — is what it takes to succeed in the civil services examinations.
Source: First Keralite in over 20 years to top civil services - The Hindu

"I did not lose heart and my efforts have borne the fruits.”

“One’s life revolves around Economics so I took the subject. I took Malayalam as it is my mother tongue and also I have a special liking for the language since my childhood”.
Source: Kerala basks in IAS glory

My mother has been my greatest inspiration.

I was very happy with medicine. But when I was interning, I realised that I could only help the patients and not others. So I decided to write the examination because it would give me tremendous opportunities to engage in social service and help those in need.”

I didn’t receive any formal training, and prepared all by myself.

I am quite happy to have secured such a rank in my first attempt.

If the mantra of not giving up till you achieve your goal is anything to go by, then these UPSC aspirants are the perfect examples.One, two or even six attempts makes no difference for them as they are hell bent on achieving their goal. 
 Source: IAS dream drives them for repeat attempts  - Deccan Herald

Academic achievement is a matter of habit.

As such, patience has been ingrained in her and she feels that is what helped her crack the civil services exam. "I prepared for nearly one and a half years and owe a lot to my schooling and teachers," she said. With a glittering academic record, cracking the civil services was a cakewalk for her.

He did have his father to look up to, but what drove him to appear for the civil services exams was his experience in the private sector. For one year after graduating from IIT, Madras, him saw how shallow the private sector could be. "I realised in the first year that I did not like what I was doing and that I was making no contribution to the society.

"I have been putting in more than 10 hours of study because I want to become an instrument of change through my work".

"It was a very tough interview. I thought I would not be able to get through".

She places greater premium on consistency rather than pressure. Looks like it works.

"My family is elated at my success. It was my first attempt".

"I was balancing my PhD course work classes and IAS preparation. But now that results are out, it feels amazing".

"I relied on self study".

I owe a lot to my parents for their support.

He says he always knew he would crack the test, even if he had to wait.
Source:  They made it to IAS & how - The Times of India

"One should learn the art of identifing what is important and needed. There should be a qualitative approach towards preparing for any examination. If one is sincere and puts in six to seven hours of hard work a day, then such exams can easily be cracked."

Hard work and consistency is required to crack such tests.

"I had earlier topped the Indian Economic Services examination. Now, I have cleared the civil services exam in the first attempt. Almighty's blessings, support of family members, hard work and consistency is required to be successful in any exam." 
Source:  Civils: Panchkula doc bags 17th rank in first attempt - Indian Express 

More on the way. Part 2 coming soon.

Till then, you can read more articles on UPSC Civils exam preparation here. (Click on the image)

Articles on UPSC Preparation
Aspiring Jīvanmuktha: UPSC Civil Services Preparation articles 

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