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Success Stories

Issue no 11, 15 - 21 June 2024

Customising Preparation Strategy Leads to Sure Success


Nausheen, UPSC CSE, AIR#9


Ms. Nausheen, hailing from Uttar Pradesh, clinched the ninth position in the UPSC Civil Services Examination 2023 after four attempts. Her journey to success epitomises resilience, indi-vidualised strategy, and dedication. Speaking with Shri Chandan Kumar Chaudhary.  Nausheen shares her experiences with Employment News recalling how she steered clear of emulation and adhered to her guiding principle of crafting an approach tailored to her unique strengths and preferences.

Congratulations Nausheen! What does this success mean to you   securing the ninth rank?

Nausheen: I am overjoyed with this success, and it has instilled in me a newfound confidence. The realisation of securing the ninth rank has brought immense happiness. I never anticipated being among the top ten, but seeing my name on the list fills me with pride.

What was your guiding principle behind this success? How did you navigate through your efforts?

Nausheen: My fundamental principle was to avoid mirroring the strategies of previous toppers. I firmly believe in crafting one's own approach tailored to individual strengths and preferences. Each aspirant has unique abilities and preparation styles, and it's essential to honour those differences.

To whom do you attribute your success? Who played a significant role in supporting you along the way?

Nausheen: Firstly, I must credit my parents for their unwavering support. Additionally, the supportive environment at the Residential Coaching Academy (RCA) of Jamia and the encouragement from my siblings were invaluable in my journey towards success.

Could you elaborate on the strategy you adopted and the amount of time you dedicated for CSE preparation?

Nausheen: My strategy involved consistent reading, particularly The Hindu newspaper and meticulous note-taking. I emphasised self-preparation over reliance on coaching materials, studying on an average  seven to eight hours daily. I advise aspiring UPSC candidates to analyse the approaches of top scorers and then develop their own strategies accordingly.

How did you deal with setbacks and the pressure of previous failures?

Nausheen: After experiencing setbacks and failure to clear the interview stage in my previous attempts, I contemplated pursuing State PCS as a backup plan. However, my determination to succeed in the UPSC exam remained unwavering, motivating me to persevere despite the challenges. The support and encouragement I received from my peers at the RCA of Jamia played a crucial role in bolstering my confidence during challenging times. Their unswerving belief in my abilities kept me motivated, reassuring me that success was attainable with perseverance.

How was your interview experience? Can you recall any notable questions you were asked?

Nausheen: My interview experience primarily focused on my optional subject, History, and personal interests such as chess and traveling. Notable questions included inquiries about my hobbies and hypothetical scenarios, such as what I would change if given access to a time machine.

What are your future aspirations and priorities upon joining the civil services?

Nausheen: My future aspirations revolve around serving marginalised communities, particularly women and the under-privileged, ensuring they have access to essential services and opportunities. I prioritise Uttar Pradesh as my home cadre, aiming to make a meaningful impact in the state's development.

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