Achieving big success in first attempt at the UPSC Civil Services Examination is not a small feat. A History graduate, Chandrajyoti Singh in her first encounter has accomplished her goal by securing 28th Rank in CSE 2019.
After completing her graduation in 2018, she did not show haste; she took one-year break for meticulous preparation that really worked for her.
She had kept her own subject History as optional subject.
While majority of candidates often seek to emulate toppers in Civil Services Examination, there are a few who chart their own course.
Chandrajyoti Singh was keen for career in Civil Services; but she took one year time to prepare diligently and took her first attempt with CSE 2019.
Candidly explaining her move Chandrajyoti said, “To know what all has worked for others is not enough; I watched multiple talks and read the strategies of several toppers, which allowed me to pick and choose aspects of their preparation that best suited my needs. This allowed me to streamline my preparation strategy and secure a good rank.”
Chandrajyoti did her 10th from Apeejay School, Jalandhar (10 CGPA) and 12th from Bhavan Vidhyalya, Chandigarh (95.4%). In 2018, she graduated in History (Hons) from St. Stephens College, Delhi University (7.75/10 CGPA).
Disclosing the basis of her career choice Chandrajyoti said, “Since my parents were in the Army, Service to the Nation had been ingrained in me as the highest ideal. As a Civil Servant, I feel I can do my bit to steer the
course of the nation’s development in diverse fields. The idea of varied challenges and the gamut of opportunities that the civil services present attracted me.”
“To add a little, there are certain issues that I would like to focus on such as preservation of our historical sites, women empowerment, health and education. A career in the civil services allows to me to do this and become an active agent of social change in our country.”
I was clear about the exam-plan and the study resources and after an exhaustive exploration I had a strategy of my own. The choice for optional subject was simple and I picked up my own subject so that I can focus more on other areas.
I followed a strict schedule and set daily, weekly and monthly goals to achieve. My target was to finish the syllabus in time and I focused on multiple revisions. I took multiple Mock-Tests for preliminary Examination and joined Test-Series for the Main Examination.
The Preparation Journey
After a year-long preparation, I was confident and appeared in the examination with positive frame of mind.
All of this enabled me to tackle the questions in the exam to the best of my abilities.
I love reading books and quizzing and probably this habit contributed the most in my success. I think this allowed me to have a wide knowledge base and interlink multiple facts to get to the answer.
Divulging the role of the family and their contribution Chandrajyoti said, “My father Col. Dalbara Singh is a retired Army Radiologist while my mother Lt. Col. Meena Singh also served in the army and is now a homemaker. They played an important role in my success as they have always put my education as their first priority. Their constant support provided me the mental fortitude to clear the exam.
She owes her success to her parents who have always been supportive of her choices – whether it was taking humanities in 11th and 12th, during graduation pursuing History or taking a year off for her preparation.
Expressing her gratitude Chandrajyoti said, “I also feel they inculcated certain habits in me which enabled me to clear the exam such as discipline, reading the newspaper and books outside academics, ability to focus on a goal and work hard to achieve it. So, whatever I am today is all because of them.”
Secret of Success
With strict time management, I followed the three Rs – Read, Record (makes notes) and Revise.
It was a combination of hard work and smart work so as to not exhaust my efforts.
A word of advice to motivate the future aspirants
Civil Services Examination is a big goal.
Your success depends on focussing on your Goal.
Prepare diligently, remain confident and with positive mindset face the exam and you will sail through as I did.