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Today's toppers , were yesterday's aspirants. They don't do different things. They just do the right things differently.Toppers Corner is your gateway to unravel the SUCCESS MANTRAS of the toppers.Explore their stories, strategies, analyse their copies, see how they got top scores, their profile and more!!

Consistent Efforts leads to Improvement 120+ Marks in GS Mains by Dr. DHARANI, AIR-250, UPSC CSE-2023

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Dr. Dharani, who recently achieved an All India Rank of 250 in the UPSC Civil Services Examination 2023, shares her journey and strategies over multiple attempts, culminating in her success on the fourth try. Her story is a testament to perseverance and the importance of strategic preparation.

In her initial attempts, Dharani struggled with Prelims, particularly due to inadequate preparation in current affairs. She emphasizes the significant role that current affairs play in the examination and recommends reading newspapers daily and meticulously studying relevant issues. She realized from her second attempt that balancing the aptitude and comprehension sections of the CSAT is crucial, rather than focusing too heavily on one over the other.

For her successful fourth attempt, Dharani took a more intensive approach to Prelims preparation, completing over 100 test papers, which she believes was critical in adapting to the increasingly challenging nature of the exams. She stresses the importance of keeping the brain active during the exam times of 9:00 AM for the Prelims and 2:00 PM for the CSAT, suggesting that training your brain to be alert during these times can significantly impact performance.

Revision played a pivotal role in her strategy. Dharani found that regularly revisiting the test series and correcting mistakes, rather than just attempting them, was crucial. She also revisited standard books to understand areas she had previously marked incorrectly, ensuring a deeper understanding.

For her Mains preparation, Dharani significantly improved her performance by focusing more on her optional subject and refining her answer writing technique. She learned to create distinctive introductions and conclusions, often using concise notes and insights drawn from various resources, including economic surveys and budget documents. Her method included writing unique examples, such as using the term "Vanon Varata" (from the privileged to the underprivileged) in her essays and answers, which helped make her answers stand out.

Dharani also incorporated diagrams extensively in her answers, which she believes helps break the monotony of text and makes responses more engaging. Her focus wasn’t just on content but also on presenting information in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand manner.

For Ethics and Essay papers, she practiced extensively, writing tests weekly and integrating real-life examples and quotations that were relevant and impactful. Her approach to essays involved deep analysis, breaking topics into subtopics to ensure coherence and flow in her writing.

Dharani's journey underscores the importance of adaptability, consistent practice, and the strategic use of resources. Her advice to future aspirants includes being methodical in preparation and ensuring that learning and practice go hand in hand to maximize efficiency and effectiveness in tackling the UPSC exams.

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