IAS Target

Topper Story and Their Success Story

"The civil service allows you to put your knowledge and learning to use for the benefit of the nation and to give back to society." So I worked hard for it." These were the words of Srushti Jayant Deshmukh, a 23-year-old who ranked fifth in the UPSC IAS exam in 2018. Every year, tens of thousands of people take the civil services exam in the hopes of becoming IAS officers. However, only a few make it pass the first round. What distinguishes the few who pass the IAS exam from the rest, and what motivates them to take on an exam widely regarded as one of the most difficult in India? Continue reading to learn what distinguishes UPSC toppers from the rest and how you can add your name to the list of IAS Toppers.

IAS Toppers

Here we have gathered a few inspiring IAS success stories for you. We are confident that these stories of grit and determination will inspire and propel you toward your IAS dream!
UPSC 2018, AIR 1 – gave up a well-paying private job to serve the country.
Kanishka Kataria, an IIT alumnus who received the first rank in his first attempt, was taken aback by the UPSC 2018 results. Though he was confident in his preparation, he did not expect to be ranked first. What stands out in his story is that he left a job in another country where he was earning nearly a crore in salary to become an IAS officer and work for the benefit of the country and its people.
He accomplished this feat through sheer hard work and without much regard for the outcome. Every day, he studied for nearly 14 hours and avoided all social media. He went to coaching in Delhi, but his preparation was a mix of self-study and coaching-assisted.
In the linked article, you can learn more about Kanishak Kataria, who received AIR 1 in UPSC 2018. With only four months of planning, you can achieve success. The story of Saumya Sharma is one of motivation. She passed the IAS exam on her first attempt in 2017 and received a staggering rank of 9! Sharma is a Delhi native and a trained lawyer.
She also has a hearing impairment, which developed during her school years. The most important factor in achieving success, according to Sharma, is self-belief. Finding the right guidance is the next critical success factor. She relied heavily on online coaching materials such as video lectures and interactive media because she did not attend any offline coaching classes. Sharma's success is notable because she was able to pass the exam after only four months of preparation!
How a rickshaw puller's son rose through the ranks to become an IAS officer Govind Jaiswal, a Varanasi native, and son of a rickshaw puller did not give himself any other option but success.
Jaiswal was bullied as a child because of his poverty and his father's status, but this only motivated him to work harder. Despite attending a government school and a small college in his hometown, he aspired to be an IAS officer and knew that if he worked hard in the right way with the right approach, success would follow. Jaiswal worked hard during his preparation days, even skipping meals to save money. But he never faltered in his focus. Jaiswal passed the IAS exam with a rank of 48 on his first attempt in 2006. One decision, and the determination to realize a dream, forever altered the course of his life!

More UPSC Success Stories

These Heros Lost Their Sight But Not Their Vision

NL Zephine, Beno

Beno Zephine made history in 2005 when he became the first candidate to enter the Indian Foreign Service who was completely blind (IFS). When the Chennai girl passed the civil services exam, she was only 25 years old. She had been juggling a doctorate in English Literature and a Probationary Officer position with the State Bank of India up until that point. She attributes her success to her teachers and trainers, as well as her parents' unwavering support. She made use of Job Access With Speech (JAWS) software, which enables visually impaired people to read from a computer screen. Beno Zephine scored 343 on the IAS exam.

Ajit Kumar Yadav

Ajit Kumar, who lost his sight as a child due to an illness, passed the UPSC exam in 2008 with a rank of 208. Despite this, he had to compete for a position in the civil service. He was initially hired by the Indian Railway Personnel Service. Even after receiving a favorable ruling from the Central Administrative Tribunal in 2010, he was not offered an IAS position. Yadav was finally admitted to the IAS after the intervention of the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled and politician Brinda Karat. Yadav, whose academic studies took place in an era (the early 1990s) when technology for the disabled was not as advanced as it is today, is a true inspiration to young people everywhere.

Pranjal Patil

Pranjal Patil's story is the most recent amazing story in which a visually impaired person accomplished what many consider to be impossible. Patil, 26, passed the IAS exam this year with a total score of 773. She would be offered an IAS position. This Mumbai girl lost her eye when she was only six years old as a result of an incident at school in which she was hit in the eye by one of her classmates. She lost one eye first, and then tragically, she lost sight in her other eye as well. This incident, however, did not deter her, and she went on to be a consistent top student in high school and college. The IAS bug bit her during her graduation year. She holds an M.Phil.Patil also made use of the JAWS software to read the computer screen. She did not seek formal coaching and expresses gratitude to her parents, friends, and husband for their assistance.

How does one become an IAS topper?

There is no quick way to success. There is no sure-fire formula for success, either. Nonetheless, the success stories of all toppers share a few characteristics. These are the qualities and habits of toppers that, when ingrained in the right spirit and combined with your own guided preparation strategy, can provide you with the UPSC success you desire.
#1: Well-thought-out strategy The first step toward IAS exam success is to create an effective study plan. The civil services exam is a 12-month process that consists of three exams. This lengthy process, combined with the vast UPSC syllabus, makes passing this exam a difficult task. You must first study the syllabus and then devise a plan based on your schedule and convenience. Every day, you must devote a set number of hours to IAS preparation. Without a plan, studying is like wandering in the dark.
#2: Mentoring To pass such a difficult exam, smart work, in addition to hard work, is required. Some things only seasoned players and mentors know, such as whether the entire syllabus for all subjects will be covered. How do you choose the most important news from newspapers for preparation? Which news items should be omitted? How many previous question papers will be examined? Where do I even begin? A good coach or guide can assist you in obtaining answers to all of these questions and more. A good coach will provide you with little tricks and tips to help you improve your score while doing the same amount of work.
#3: Selecting the Best Study Material It is critical to only study from recommended sources, whether they are offline or online. There are a plethora of books and online resources for aspirants to become easily confused. Always follow the advice of your teachers or mentors. Before purchasing books or magazines, do your homework. Studying from the wrong sources will jeopardize your preparation. Many top scorers advise only studying from a few trusted books. For current affairs, the most difficult part of the IAS exam, it is critical to learn only from a few reliable sources. The UPSC Monthly Current Affairs Magazine is published every month. Also, keep an eye on the UPSC Daily Current Affairs.
#4: IAS Examination Series This is something that every topper swears by. Test series are essential for success in the UPSC CSE, both for prelims and mains. There are numerous benefits to enrolling in a good test series. They provide you with real exam simulations as well as instructions to manage your time during the exam. You can also learn how to avoid negative marking and do intelligent guessing for the preliminary exams. A good series also provides feedback, which is necessary for a test series to be useful. This feedback on your performance will assist you in analyzing your weak points and improving. Click on the linked article to learn more about our UPSC Mains Test Series.
#5: Revise When dealing with a massive syllabus, revision is critical. Every topper, once again, emphasizes the importance of multiple revisions.
Subject #6: Optional The optional subject has the potential to make or break your main score. Choosing your optional subject requires careful consideration. Choose wisely, as the two optional papers are worth 500 points in total.


  • How to Select the Best Optional Subject for the IAS Mains Exam
Engineers, government employees, doctors, teachers, students, science graduates, humanities graduates, and others have passed the IAS exam. The UPSC is, in fact, a level playing field, and anyone who follows the right preparation methods and reads the right study material can succeed, regardless of whether they were straight A's or just average students. Success will undoubtedly follow if a determined aspirant receives the proper preparation for this exam.
  • How to Create a Timetable for UPSC Exam Preparation
When you want to accomplish something serious, a timetable is always required. In this case, obtaining a UPSC Time Table is a must if one wishes to enter the Civil Services. The UPSC Time Table will assist aspirants in preparing for the IAS Exam with proper time management for a routine life as well as the upcoming exam.

Two factors make a schedule for your IAS exam preparation unavoidable:

  1. The massive UPSC syllabus.
  2. The fact is that you should plan on spending at least 10-12 months, if not more, on UPSC preparation.
Remember that you will have more time on the weekends. Make the most of your time. Even if you don't study, engage in activities that will help you in some way with your IAS exam. You could play brain games or engage in some physical activity. You could also go to the movies or engage in any other harmless recreational activity on the weekends once every few months.
The toppers study schedule for working professionals would, of course, differ from the one described above. There have been many previous toppers who became toppers despite working as professionals. As a result, it is up to the aspirants to plan and manage their time effectively.

Who got the highest marks in UPSC ever?

Anudeep Durishetty, the UPSC 2017 exam winner, received the highest marks ever in the UPSC exam. He received 1126 (55.60 percent) out of a possible 2025 points. He received 950 out of 1750 points in the mains and 176 out of 275 points in the personality test (UPSC Interview). With 1120 points, the 2018 IAS Topper came close.

What is a good score in a UPSC interview?

Every year the cut-off for prelims ranges from 53% to 65% based on difficulty level and who set the paper. Back in 2011 prelims cut-off dropped down to 49.5% and in the past 3 years, we have seen a trend of difficult papers with 2018 and 2019 both having 49% as cutoff and 2020 facing the lowest cutoff in the past 15 years of 46.61%.
If we look at Mains cutoff trends for the last 15 years we can draw the following analysis of the main cutoff lying between 35% and 53% with it dropping down to 32.1% in 2013. The past 2 years have seen a steady cutoff trend of 47.45% in Mains +Interview for 2019 and 46.61% in Mains + interview for 2020.
Hence securing any score above 55 to 65% in prelims, mains and advance will ensure you a guaranteed seat.

How can I start my IAS Prep at home?

Be it preparing through coaching on your UPSC exams testing your analytical skills and your personality type. Your key focus should remain on the following-
Tip #1: Make a Time Table
Tip #2: Know the UPSC Syllabus
Tip #3: Newspaper Reading/Current Affairs for IAS
Tip #4: NCERTs
Tip #5: Making Notes
Tip #6: Answer Writing Practice
Tip #7: Revision
Tip #8: Relevant Magazines

Is 3 years enough time to prepare for UPSC?

You’ll require a minimum of 1.5 years to cover the entire syllabus for UPSC CSE but we recommend taking up to 2 years and not stretching out the preparation time since it only leads to being more confused over new material that is introduced every year. Since you only have a fixed amount of time and attempts, use them wisely to build your experience and to obtain the chance of getting more promotions by joining services at an early age.