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|RANK IN CSE-2018||AIR-08|
|GRADUATION(NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY DELHI)||7.58 CGPA out of eight.|
|NO OF ATTEMPTS IN CSE||3|
|MEDIUM OF MAINS WRITING||ENGLISH|
|MEDIUM OF INTERVIEW||ENGLISH|
|WORK EXPERIENCE||YES, AT S&R ASSOCIATES AS AN ASSOCIATE|
Vaishali’s mother and father are both lawyers and this propelled her to pursue law for higher education. She has done her schooling from DPS Faridabad and has always been a bright student since her school days. She completed her graduation from National Law University Delhi and bagged 6 gold medals there. She is proud of her law degree and her law background also helped her in preparing for civil services.
After completing her education she worked for IDIA, an NGO, where she realised how people are suffering due to some policy issues in the system and this inspired her to work for people at the grass-root level. And there is no better way to work for people at ground level than civil services. Also, her father always wanted to see her become a civil servant which made her again more determined about it.
Vaishali gave her first attempt of UPSC CSE in 2016. However, in her first attempt, her syllabus was not complete. Her maximum focus was on completing the syllabus and studying as much as possible. Due to this, she did not have any mock tests. She missed the prelim cut-off by 5 marks in her first attempt. For her second attempt, she analysed her mistakes, worked on them and was able to secure All India Rank 08 in UPSC CSE 2018.
She used to study with a timer and used to track her time with an app called Focus. Her minimum target for daily was 9 hours and the maximum was between 9 to 12 hours.
She used to wake up at 12 in afternoon and divided her study time into three slots of 3 hours with proper breaks in between. She used 6 hours for static part and 3 hours for current affairs which included; paper reading, notes making and attempting online quiz.
However, one month before exam she started waking up at 8 AM and used to give one mock test daily from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM so that her mind gets habituated with attempting paper at that time before the day of exam.
She focused on two areas while preparing; one was knowledge and other was strategy
She suggests aspirants to-
|Ancient and Medieval History||Tamil Nadu Class XI text book|
|Modern History||Spectrum by Rajiv Ahir|
|Art and Culture||Nitin Singhania|
|Geography||Class XI and XII NCERTs|
|Economy||Economic Survey and Newspaper|
|Environment||Shankar IAS, Roman Saini videos on Unacademy|
|General science+Government schemes& others||Current Affairs|
|Current Affairs||News Paper|
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|GS-1||Ancient and Medieval History(Same as prelims)||Tamil Nadu Class XI text book|
|Modern History(Same as prelims)||Spectrum by Rajiv Ahir|
|Post-Independence||Post-Independence India Bipan Chandra|
|World History||Current Affairs|
|Indian Society||Current Affairs and Class XI and XII NCERT|
|GS-2||Polity, Constitution (static)||Laxmikant|
|Governance||Online sources, Topic wise Google search|
|GS-3||Economy||News Paper notes, Big Picture Debate on RSTV|
|Environment and Ecology(same as prelims)||Shankar IAS, Roman Saini videos on Unacademy|
|Disaster Management||Current affairs|
|National Security||Book Internal Security|
She believes answer writing is the most important part of preparation for mains.She used to write one answer daily before prelims exam. This practice helped her improving the quality of answers and understand the demand of the question. After prelims she joined test series and tried to finish the paper within 3 hours, which she says was the toughest part.
She practiced 25 to 27 tests for her mains preparation as she kept her mains preparation more writing oriented than reading. Her main emphasis was on writing more and more tests.
She gave her prime focus to essay while preparing for mains and the effort also paid off. She started her preparation for essay by reading answer sheets of previous year toppers which helped her understand what all things constitute a good essay.
As she says a good essay consists of an introduction, body and a conclusion. The body of an essay includes diverse points and examples from various angles which again and again connects on the main topic of the essay.
For essay she made a list of 10 to 12 topics that she found was probable to be asked in exam and was in news continuously. So, whenever she got any information on a topic, she used to add them in the file of that particular topic. This helped her in collecting all the required information and then she started giving test series on essay.
There were a few reasons why Vaishali chose Law as her optional subject
She covered the entire syllabus with A K JAIN and Singhal’s book. Constitutional law she covered from V N Shukla, whereas she followed Pillai to cover IPC.
For Vaishali interview was the toughest stage. The UPSC CSE interview was also her first official interview. So, she decided to get over this fear of interview by giving at least 8 to 9 mock interviews. With every mock interview she was able to improve herself.
She divided her interview preparation in three parts; DAF, Law Optional and Current Affairs. For DAF she prepared every minor detail of whatever she had mentioned in her DAF. She even prepared thoroughly about her name like the place in Bihar called Vaishali, its history and present status. Since DAF is prepared by the students themselves, they must know everything about it.
Next, she prepared her Law Optional very well as it was very clear from the past interview scripts that she had read that interview panel members ask questions from law from lawyers.
Again, the next thing she gave importance to was current affairs. For this she prepared a list of 50 major ongoing issues and after doing proper research she developed her own opinion on those issues. So that she is ready with her answer when asked by the interviewer. These were issues like abortion, transgender bill, same sex marriage, marital rape etc.
For Vaishali, like all other toppers, the journey of UPSC CSE starting from her preparation of prelims to selection was full of learning and it was also an opportunity to become a better person.
Vaishali advises future aspirants to believe in themselves and to trust the journey. She also advises aspirants to be true to themselves and be their own judge. She says aspirants must be aware of both their strengths and weaknesses and must be ready to work on them.