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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!!

Incorporating Changing Nature of Examination into Strategy by Palak Goyal, AIR-479, UPSC CSE-2023

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Palak Goyal, a successful UPSC rank holder of 479, shares her comprehensive strategy for conquering the Civil Services Examination. With a focus on the General Studies (GS) papers, Palak's approach combines diligent preparation with strategic insights, making her story a valuable guide for future aspirants.

Starting as a PCM student until the 12th grade, Palak initially believed she would excel in the CSAT due to her strong background in Maths and Reasoning. However, her primary focus was on the GS paper, where she noticed an increasing complexity over her attempts. Recognizing the evolving nature of the GS and CSAT papers, Palak adjusted her preparation to match the elevated standards, particularly noting that the questions became more analytical, moving away from rote book learning to understanding real-world environmental contexts.

Palak emphasizes the importance of staying informed about current events and general knowledge, which she enhanced by engaging with news, social media, and specialized content videos. This enabled her to apply a broader perspective to the examination questions, often involving real-time environmental and societal issues. Additionally, she adopted unique methods to enhance memory and understanding, such as dissecting terms and using mnemonics, which she found particularly useful during the preliminary exams.

A key element of Palak's success was leveraging her strong interest in art and culture. By watching historical documentaries and shows, she developed a vivid mental library of historical periods and figures, which helped her excel in culture-related questions. Her optional subject, International Relations (IR), further supported her in mapping and understanding global indices, proving invaluable during the mains examination.

Palak stresses the significance of regular answer writing practice, which began with enrolling in GS Score coaching. Through continuous practice and reviewing topper copies, she learned to refine her answers, ensuring they were concise and well-structured. Mock tests were a staple of her study regime, teaching her time management and helping her gauge the level of her preparation without focusing excessively on the scores.

Acknowledging the exhaustive nature of the UPSC exams, Palak highlights the importance of maintaining physical and mental health. Regular breaks, balanced nutrition, and proper sleep were crucial in her preparation. She advocates for maintaining a balanced lifestyle, even suggesting short recreational trips to clear one's mind, emphasizing that a well-rested mind is more efficient.

Palak's interview preparation was thorough, benefiting greatly from group discussions which improved her communication and presentation skills. She learned to handle the interview with a poised and honest demeanor, focusing on expressing her knowledge confidently without being deterred by challenging questions.

Palak Goyal's journey to achieving rank 479 in the UPSC Civil Services Exam is a testament to her strategic preparation and balanced lifestyle. Her methodical approach to studying, combined with a focus on mental and physical well-being, serves as an excellent blueprint for future aspirants aiming to succeed in one of India's most challenging exams.

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