#NewsBytesExclusive: Swati Sharma, UPSC AIR 15, shares success tips
"Dreams do come true." This is what Swati Sharma—who secured All India Rank (AIR) 15 in the 2022 Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services Examination (CSE)—posted on social media as soon as the results came out on Tuesday. A native of Satna, Madhya Pradesh, she is also the state topper and passed the exam on her third attempt. Excerpts from our exclusive interview.
Sharma started UPSC preparation after engineering
Sharma has completed her schooling and undergraduate education in MP's Jabalpur district. After becoming a qualified computer science engineer in 2019, she diverted her attention to the preparation for the UPSC exam. "I never wanted to make a career out of engineering, so my goal was clear," Sharma said when asked why she didn't focus on campus placements.
Sharma started self-studying after 1st attempt
Sharma, who will most probably become an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, previously attended one year of coaching classes in Delhi. "I couldn't even clear UPSC Prelims on the first attempt. Lack of preparation and COVID-19 were the main reasons," she said. Sharma then moved back to Jabalpur and started studying by herself. She took the support of coaching classes only for mock tests.
She failed on 2nd attempt by just 12 marks
One of the most unbelievable moments came in Sharma's life when she missed out on clearing the UPSC CSE by just 12 marks on her second attempt. "I didn't study the syllabus in detail. Everyone should keep the syllabus in mind and study accordingly. This was the reason for my failure," she said. Although, she corrected all her mistakes this time.
Make habit of reading newspaper daily: Sharma
Speaking about how much an aspirant should study in a day, Sharma said consistency matters more than the hours. "Aspirants should complete their syllabus first. You can begin with basic NCERT books and a habit of newspaper reading. Start practicing answer-writing for two hours. Make sure to put a timer." Sharma added the internet is a great tool of information if used wisely.
Never took break from social media, says Sharma
"I never took a break from social media, it kept me refreshed," Sharma said when asked about the trend of UPSC aspirants becoming somewhat anti-social. "Limit your time on the internet, but never stay out of touch with people." "A healthy and happy mind helps you enjoy studying. So eat good food, be physically active, and keep yourself entertained," she added.
Sharma's next dream is to change a life every day
Daughter of Dhanendra Sharma, a transporter from Maihar block of Satna, and homemaker Mamta Sharma, the 25-year-old thanked her family for supporting her throughout her journey. When asked about her next dream, Sharma said she wants to work for the public interest and contribute toward the betterment of India. "Whatever I become, wherever I sit, I want to change one life every day."Share this timeline