TOPPER’S STRATEGY/MOTIVATION: Namita Sharma, Rank 145 UPSC CSE 2018 –a regular follower of IASbaba, A Working Professional cracks the exam in her Last Attempt!!

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  • May 3, 2019
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TOPPER’S STRATEGY/MOTIVATION: Namita Sharma, Rank 145 UPSC CSE 2018 –a regular follower of IASbaba, A Working Professional cracks the exam in her Last Attempt!!

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”

— Thomas J. Watson

Hello Friends,

This is Namita Sharma, Rank 145 UPSC CSE 2018 (My final attempt). I would be sharing my strategy in 2 Parts. In the 1st Part, I will be discussing only about Prelims, Mains and Interview Preparation will be discussed in the 2nd Part.



A brief background about myself:

I am presently working as Tax Assistant in Central GST. Previously I have worked in IBM as a software engineer. I am engineer by graduation. I started giving all government exams since I passed graduation and in this while I had exhausted my initial 3 attempts at UPSC without even knowing about the exam.

I failed in 2016 prelims despite preparing alot, but not in right direction.

CSE 2017 was my 5th attempt where I cleared Prelims for the first time and reached till interview, missing out the final list by a small margin.

CSE 2018 being my last attempt, gave me this opportunity today to share my experience with you all. I am thankful to almighty and each and every person who made me stand where I am today.

I have shared my marksheet for my last 2 attempts – Click Here

Now talking about the upcoming D-Day 2nd June 2019

I hope you are doing awesome with your preparation as prelims is just 30 days away. You must be feeling mix up of anxiety and excitement. It may be first attempt for you or may be last attempt. The target is same for everyone right now – To clear this hurdle of prelims and get a chance to write mains and finally see your name shining in the holy PDF.

First of all, we must feel grateful to have got this opportunity to realise our dream through this exam. The first stage being the toughest in the sense of being filtering stage where the serious and well prepared candidates get a chance to qualify for the next phase of examination.

I am not sharing any booklist or strategy for prelims as everyone has their own sources to prepare. Whatever the sources may be just make sure you have covered the syllabus given by UPSC in a comprehensive manner to able to qualify each stage of examination.


My learnings from UPSC and how to do best in Prelims:

For the next few weeks before examination-

1) REVISE. REVISE. REVISE. No alternative to thorough revision of both static and current affairs. Important to boost confidence and to increase accuracy in solving questions in the exam.

2) Practice from Mock Tests – AIPTS . Preferably in the 9-12 morning window. Revision tests (IASBaba 60 day challenge), full tests and sectional tests are helpful to practice questions and improve on accuracy and reduce negative marking. Prepare your strategy of solving the paper – how many questions to attempt, how to make intelligent guesses, how to eliminate options, and to maximise the score in real exam. Please pay attention to this – Don’t get bogged down by low marks in mock tests, purpose is to gain knowledge, make strategy as to how to attempt your paper and not to score high in mocks

3) Try to give 15 minutes daily to MAP reading and revising factual information.

4) Don’t ignore CSAT Paper-2. Practice atleast few past year papers and see if you are managing to score enough.

5) Staying calm is the key to sail through this journey. Practice meditation, yoga or some physical exercise to keep yourself pumped up and positive to tackle the anxiety of approaching exam.

6) Health is wealth. Eat healthy – no/minimise outside food and proper sleep helps to maintain good health. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Don’t compromise on your health. Keep yourself hydrated.

7) LAST 1 WEEK should be left solely to revise and keep calm. No solving, no reading new, no analysing of your performance. Only staying composed and focused.

On the D- Day:

1) Have faith in your hardwork and blessings of parents and mentors.

2) Go through the paper quickly, try to mark the questions which you know 100% and move on. Solve the paper in 3 readings – it helps to recollect few facts which you may not be able to remember in first go.

3) Even if you don’t know many questions in first reading, keep calm you will do good only if you hold your nerves in those 2 hours. SELF-CONFIDENCE is the key.

4) Keep sufficient water with yourself. Chocolates if you like them are true friends always 🙂

5) Keep an eye on the Clock. (this practice should be followed in the mock sessions to utilise the 2 hours in best possible manner).

Please remember we don’t have to top the prelims paper, we just have to clear it, jump this hurdle to write MAINS EXAM – which is the real game to see yourself in the final list.

Just focus on each day to improve yourself. YOU are your only competition. Each day become better and better. Be confident that THIS is your attempt. Prelims is just the starting of this long war ahead which you shall win 🙂

My Best wishes – hope we meet again for Mains preparation.

Jindagi ki asli udaan abhi baaki hai

Jindagi ke kai imtehan abhi baaki hai

Abhi to naapi hai mutthi bhar zamin humne

Abhi to sara aasman baaki hai…


Thank You Note:

“I want to thank IAS baba team for the contribution in helping me achieve this rank in my last attempt. 
I have followed iasbaba website at various stages of exam. I am really thankful to the team for providing guidance to aspirants through online material.” 
– Namita Sharma

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