Tina Dabi, a graduate of Lady Shri Ram College Delhi University is UPSC IAS Topper 2015. It was her first attempt with her utter dedication she scored highest and bagged the first position. Tina is a hard working girl and has won many gold medals and awards in her life.
Tina gives all the credit of her success to family and says, “It was the unconditional love of family which kept me going”. Securing the first position in IAS exam is not a cake walk, it requires some constant efforts and a sole focus to achieve it. Tina is currently in her training period in Mussoorie and has been allocated with Rajasthan Cadre.
1. Why did you choose IAS as your working field?
Civil Services offers a great platform to do your bit for society, the amount of self-satisfaction that you obtain from working for others is incomparable to any other profession.
2. People know what books and syllabus points are to be prepared. But most of them lack consistency in their preparation. So, how did you keep study momentum going on? How did you fight against the mood swings and distractions?
It’s true that regularity and consistency is a must for any exam preparation. Making a time table with proper delegation of time to not only studies but an hour of recreation and 8 hours of sleep would keep a student going. One day off every 15 days is also recommended.
3. Did you attend any ‘mock tests’? Do you think they are necessary for success?
Mock Tests are crucial for the exam preparation. It is essential that you practice as many questions as you can before the exam.
4. What plays a more significant role in cracking the IAS exam self-study or regular coaching classes?
Ans. It has to be a combination of both. Coaching classes help, but SELF STUDY is the most important.
It is the memorization and analysis that a student does about whatever he/she studies throughout the preparation.
5. How many hours of study do you think is mandatory to crack the exam easily?
At least 6 hours of study is mandatory every day. One can study up to 8 hours. During the final days of preparation, it can go up to 10-12 hours
6. What was your approach towards the exam and what was your approach towards the mental breakdown that students suffer at some point during their preparation ? Did you ever go through that phase?
I was very fortunate to have unconditional love and support from my mother during the exam preparation phase. The negative feelings of disappointment, anxiousness and nervousness plague every student faces from time to time. So in my case whenever I suffered such “breakdowns”, I had my mother to help me sail through. Students must remember that since this exam is so tough and has so much competition, such feelings are natural and normal. We, therefore, need to constantly discuss how we feel with our near and dear ones, to feel constantly motivated.
7. What was your optional subject and why did you chose it and not something else?
My optional was Political Science. I chose it because I was very familiar with the subject, it was my graduation subject as well. I was a topper in Political Science in CBSE as well as Delhi University Exams.
8. How did you and your family feel after you became IAS that you had aspired and hard worked for such a long time?
We were all very ecstatic. It was a moment of great happiness.
9.How much of internet research/current affairs is necessary for the IAS exam?
Current Affairs is absolutely important for cracking the exam. Nearly 60% questions come from the same section. It doesn’t matter whether you prepare for it from newspaper or websites, till the time you prepare for it well!
10. How was your interview? Was your interview on the expected lines of what you had prepared or did they ask you totally unexpected questions?
My interview went very well. It was along expected lines. They asked questions on current affairs as well as from Political Science. Situation based questions were also given. Interview Board was very supportive. I exited the interview room with positivity and my marks reflected the same. I scored very good marks : 195
Tina Dabi’s interview by Indian Express
Tina Dabi’s article by Hindustan Times