Ayushi Sharma, who topped UPSC CSE 2014 with Rank 155 is a vibrant young engineer from Rajastan. With a full-fledged preparation which began during the final year of her college, she secured one of the top ranks in UPSC exam in her first attempt itself. Ayushi is an inspiration to many of the young readers of ClearIAS. Let’s welcome Ayushi Sharma to the “UPSC Toppers Interview” at www.clearias.com.
Brief Bio- data:
- Name: Ayushi Sharma
- Age: 24
- Name of the Exam and Year: CSE 2014
- Rank: 155
- Roll number: 123148
- Category (General/OBC/SC/ST): General
- Graduation Background and College: B.Tech(EC) from Suresh Gyan Vihar University (Jaipur)
- Post Graduation Background and College (if any): —
- Work Experience: Organization and Duration (if any): —
- UPSC Optional Subject: Public Administration
- UPSC Mains Medium: English
- UPSC Interview Medium: English
- Number of attempts taken to achieve this feat: 1
- Performance in previous attempts (if any): N/A
- State and Place of Residence (Permanent): Jaipur(Rajasthan)
- Percentage of Marks in 10th and Board: 90.16% CBSE
- Percentage of Marks in 12th and Board: 92.6% CBSE
- Percentage of Marks in Graduation and Board/University: 81% SGVU
- Percentage of Marks in Post Graduation and Board/University (if any): —
- Extra qualifications or achievements (if any): —
- What’s unique about your profile: Simplicity of my profile makes it different and unique.
- Service Preference (Top 5):IAS>IRS(IT)>IPS>IRS(C&CE)>IFS
- Cadre Preference (Top 5):Raj>AGMUT>Guj>Haryana>Maha
Background + Inspirational Journey So Far:
ClearIAS.com: Hearty congratulations from ClearIAS.com for this exceptional achievement! We are happy that your efforts are finally rewarded, that too in grand style! Let’s start from the beginning. How did you come across the idea of writing UPSC Civil Services Examination? Was it your childhood dream?
Childhood dream not exactly..!! But I decided to write civil services examination after class 12 and accordingly started my preparation, though full- fledged preparation began during final year of my college.
ClearIAS.com: How did you feel when you came to know that your name is in the toppers list? Can you share the moments of happiness with our readers?
That one moment was really precious and seriously speaking I didn’t expect such a rank in 1st attempt..:)
ClearIAS.com: Can you share a little bit about your background? (Family, School, College, Work etc.)
I am basically a resident of Jaipur (Rajastan) and have completed all my education from here only. I did my engineering in electronics and communication from a jaipur based university in 2013.
ClearIAS.com: How can you correlate you graduation background, work experience (if any) and entry into civil services? Can you brief us your thoughts, views and ambitions when you climbed each position in the ladder of your life?
I chose engineering as a backup plan and my interest in mathematics and circuitry.
ClearIAS.com: Do you feel that the competition level of UPSC Civil Services Exam is on a rise? It seems that there is an increasing trend of candidates from IITs, IIMs and AIIMS attempting and clearing this exam. Is Civil Service the final destination /ambition of Indian youth, in this age of lucrative private sector jobs?
Yes the competition level is on rise as the number of candidates preparing and appearing for civil services is increasing. We can’t say it is the final destination but an important one because of the prestige associated with the same.
ClearIAS.com: What is the secret of your success? How did you approach this exam? What was your strategy in general (Prelims, Mains, and Interview)?
I studied GS in a comprehensive manner and focused upon opinion building by linking theories with contemporary examples. Slight changes were done in accordance with prelims and mains with focus upon DAF for interview.
ClearIAS.com: How long (Years/Months) have you been preparing before you gave this attempt? Also, on an average how many hours did you put on a daily basis? How did you manage time?
I have been preparing for around one and half year before giving this attempt. I studied daily irrespective of any function or festival and yes I had lot of time for going around with friends, watching movies, shopping etc. (24 hrs are long enough..!!)
ClearIAS.com: Were you a person who studied alone? Or a person who favored the combined study approach?
I generally studied alone but discussed some answers and interview questions with friends preparing for CSE.
ClearIAS.com: Did you attend any coaching institute or subscribe to mock tests for prelims or mains? If yes, can you provide the details for each stage (Prelims/Mains/Interview)? How helpful were the coaching institutes?
GS: Khan Study Group (It was helpful and regular notes are also provided irrespective of your year of enrolment in the institute)
Public administration: Mr Sajjan Singh (IIIASA) [It helped me develop a basic understanding of every topic and its correlation with the administration, Sajjan sir teaches each topic with a dynamic approach.]
Prelims mock test: CL(It was okay but CL team is not at all student friendly, they are really commercial and run the institute like a grocery shop rather than coaching institute with different offers…!!! I would not advice anybody to join CL rather get any mock test book.)
Mains mock test: Vision (It was okay).
ClearIAS.com: What websites (online preparation websites or government websites) will you recommend for future aspirants for UPSC preparation?
There are number of websites and online portals which are really beneficial. I referred Mrunal, KSG, Insights, Pib.
ClearIAS.com: What is your opinion/feedback about the Clear IAS website (clearias.com ), Clear IAS mobile app, and our newly launched online mock test series platform for UPSC Prelims (cleariasexam.com)? Did you come across the 50-day free mains mock answer writing series by Clear IAS for UPSC-2014 for aspirants depending on self-study to clear this exam?
I only read the topper’s talk on clearias which was very helpful but haven’t gone through the answer writing series but it is a nice initiative as it helps a number of aspirants.
ClearIAS.com: Did you use Social Media like Facebook, Twitter or other forums for UPSC Preparation? Or did you say good-bye to the social media during preparation days? Any technology-tips (Eg: Mobile apps, Note making software etc.)?
Online platforms help a lot during preparation; apps for note making, newspaper, constitution are helpful.
ClearIAS.com: What were the Newspapers and Magazines (Eg: Yojana, Kurukshetra etc.) you followed? How many hours did you devote for newspapers? Any tips on newspaper-reading?
The Hindu, TOI, Yojana/kurukshetra/chronicle/CSR/Frontline (selectively). Mobile apps can be used for reading newspapers but The Hindu should be read thoroughly without a break with emphasis on editorial. Not more than one hour should be devoted for reading newspaper.
ClearIAS.com: What was your preference: Reading online (Laptop/Tablet/Mobile) or reading the traditional way (Books)? Or a mix of both?
I preferred a mix of both; core areas from the books and supplementary material online.
ClearIAS.com: Can you elaborate your daily timetable (When will you wake up, study, sleep etc. )
I didn’t have any time table as such but managed to study daily without a break. Whatever be the number of hours you devote everyday but complete focus is a must then.
ClearIAS.com: How did you keep yourself motivated for this one-year-long exam?
Some kind of inner force was there which kept me motivated all through 🙂 Whenever I was low I took small breaks to just freshen up my mind.