Failed twice in preliminaries, AIR 9 Apala Mishra clears UPSC CSE 2020 with top marks in maintenance
As engineers continue to dominate the top list in UPSC Civil Services results, Dr Apala Mishra has booked his ninth spot with a degree in dental surgery. A resident of Delhi, Mishra not only passed the exam, but also achieved the highest marks (215) on the personality test stage. The topper attributes its success to consistency and self-learning. Interestingly, Mishra was unable to qualify for the preliminary stage of the exam on his first two attempts.
“I wasn’t well prepared on my first two attempts and therefore couldn’t complete the preliminaries. However, I was determined to work harder this time. I believe that if you work hard and are dedicated, anything is possible to achieve, ”the topper told indianexpress.com.
Speaking about her preparation, Mishra said she studies about 7-8 hours a day and uses a timer to monitor how much time she spends on each subject. “During my preparation, I also referred to the basic books. Apart from that, I also used online study material available on Google and Youtube to understand the topics that weren’t present in the basic books, ”she explained.
Apala chose anthropology as an optional subject and took the coaching assistance for GS and electives. To prepare for the personality test, she joined Unacademy for mock interview advice.
In a family of soldiers, Apala is the first to enter the administrative services. His father is a retired army colonel and his mother is a professor at Delhi University. His brother served in the Indian Army with the rank of major.
Speaking of deviating the career path from medicine to administration, Apala said, “My journey has been an inspiration to me. I have carefully considered the situation in our country health system and realized that it required more attention. This thought inspired me to continue a career in the public service in order to have a greater impact in society, ”she said.
“Examinations like UPSC CSE can have a mental impact on anyone and it is essential that aspirants take care of themselves. It is important to make yourself a priority while pursuing your goal, ”added Mishra.