UPSC & State PSC exams are amongst the toughest exams that take place in the country. However, this young intelligent girl from Delhi has broken all the stereotypes about the PSC examinations by cracking the Civil Service Examination with AIR-50 in and the big news is she did in her first attempt. The exams demand years of study, practice, strong command on practical and theoretical and a lot of hard work. Many aspirants appear for the exam for multiple times and a major number of them drop out after losing hope in these exams. But Pratishtha had some different plans to set a new trend.

Pratishtha Mamgain’s, AIR-50

Born and brought up in the national capital, Pratishtha Mamgain is born and raised in Delhi. Her family comes from Uttarakhand State. After completing her graduation at St Stephen’s College, Delhi in 2016,  Pratishtha started preparing for the Civil Service Examination. After a year of hard work, practice and sleepless nights, she appeared for the Civil Service Examination and became a rarer of the rarest people to not only clear the exams in the first attempt but also an All India Rank of 50.

 While Speaking to The Better India, the topper saidDuring my college years, I spent a lot of time reading topper interviews and watching videos in which the toppers would share their strategy and tips. I saw that a majority of them had read these newspapers and referred to these magazines. I also made a consolidated list of books that were commonly used and referred to them while studying.”

Pratishta’s Newspaper Preferences

 One being asked about her preferences for the source of knowledge Pratishta narrated about how The Hindu and the Indian Express newspaper and editorials have helped her in keeping up with the current affairs.

 “Up until the prelims I used [The] Hindu as my main source of information and gave a cursory glance to IE, but after the prelims, I switched it up. IE became my main source of information, while I continued reading the editorial in The Hindu,” she said.

 As further explained by her, she told that she switched the preference because Indian Express’s weekly explainers helped her gain insight on several topics at a glance.

 Apart from her newspapers preferences, Pratishtha also highlighted her magazine preference. A monthly magazine Yojana, published by the government of India and the Vision IAS booklets were amongst her top priorities to dedicate time to.

How much time to spend on Newspaper and magazines?

While sharing her own experience, Pratishta also briefed about how she spent a couple of hours every morning reading the newspaper. She would mark the news which she thought were important and may be significant for the examination point of view. She would even make notes about the issues which she was not aware of and would read debriefed information about those topics.

 “I would read the editorial every day and would go through explainers very thoroughly. I would also spend some time making notes for issues that were very new to me. I dedicated a couple of hours every morning just to read the newspaper,” she said

 She said that she continued to read both the newspapers and the magazine until her mains regularly.

Time Management Skills

 Managing time is one of the most difficult tasks. A UPSC student not only has to concentrate on study material, but also has to be updated with current affairs, general knowledge, and recently updated in the country and the state. One has to smartly formulate a schedule for studying all sorts of things from study material, to newspapers, magazines and online websites.

 Pratistha shares that she would wake up every morning and spend time to study the information which needs to be memorised such as names, places, dates and facts. Morning time is best for this because after a good sleep, a person’s mind is blank and memorizing things is easy.

 Afterwards, she would spend her timing reading her preferred Newspaper to acquaint the daily and current affair’s updates. After reading the newspaper to the satisfaction, Pratishtha would either switch to the second preference of her newspaper or would start to general study material.

 After an organized subject-wise study for the whole day, with time allotted to distinguished topics on a routine basis, Pratishtha would go through the Vision IAS booklet, before finally going to bed at night.

 At night before going to bed she would go through the Vision IAS booklet, she says.

How to Memorise Stuff?

According to Pratishtha, making notes and reading things n number of times is the best solution to overcome the question of how to memorise things. Pratishtha used to make notes of topics which had content like name of several different places or people, contents where dates and time were of significance. She would note down the content and then read it multiple times as much as she can. This helped her to gain a good memory of the topics and the content.

 She said, “I would make notes only for topics that had content in several different places or something that needed to be memorised and would revise it all countless number of times.”

 On being asked about struggle and fear of learning things she said: “I would forget things easily, but soon realised that this was something that could be overcome only with several revisions.”

Her inspirations and source of strategies

 On being asked about where did she got guidance and direction to start her studies, Pratishtha said that she firm since her college days to become an IAS officer. While she was in college, she would spend a great chunk of time reading interviews and watching videos of the toppers who had successfully cracked the exams with flying colours.

These interviews helped her narrow down a list of magazines, newspapers, books and reference material for preparing for the UPSC exams. She made a list of books that were commonly used and referred to the toppers while they were preparing for the exams.

Bonus Tips for Exam Preparations

While concluding her conversation, Pratishtha highlighted some points which one need to keep in mind before a week of appearing in exams:

  • Take proper sleep to maintain calm. Aspirants are already stressed due to peer exam pressure. Hence, it is necessary to take enough rest to keep a calm mind.
  • Instead of trying to cover the leftover topics, stick to the material you’ve already covered. Trying to absorb new content or topics will result in confusions & panic. Rather spend time in revising the already covered topics to gain confidence.
  • Mock tests and sample paper solving are amongst the top recommendations by almost every exam topper. This helps in developing an understanding of the exam pattern, time management during the exam and enables the aspirants to analyse the mistakes to be avoided in the main exams.
  • Everyone has a different paper for solving exams. Understand your pattern. Instead of taking the risky roads or playing too safe in the exams, find a middle path to mitigate the risk as well as escalate your chances of clearing the exams.

Pratishtha is currently undergoing her district training at Vishakhapatnam and is posted as an Assistant Collector (training). She will soon become a competent IAS officer after her complete training and will hold her position to serve the nation and the society in the best manner possible. If you also wish to become a successful IAS officer like her, then follow her tips with sincere dedication through organized approach and you will be at no distance from your dream of becoming a UPSC topper and a vibrant IAS officer.

All the Best.

Source: The Better India