Apala Mishra is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer from the batch 2020. Dr. Apala Mishra began her career as a dentist but soon realised that she needed to do more to help society. As a result, she was able to sit for the Civil Services exam. She is currently an IFS officer. This officer grew up in the state of Jharkhand. She was, however, born in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Specifically in Ghaziabad. 5903870 was her UPSC 2020 roll number, and she was ranked 9th.
While engineers tend to lead the UPSC Civil Services toppers list, Dr. Apala Mishra, a dental surgeon, has landed at rank 9. Apala Mishra, a Delhi native, not only passed the exam, but also scored the highest on the personality test (215). The top student credits her achievement to self-study and hard effort. Mishra had already failed the preliminary stage of the exam in both of her efforts.
Her father, retired military officer Amitabh Mishra, is her inspiration. Dr. Alphana, her mother, is a professor in Delhi University’s Hindi faculty. Her brother’s name is Abhilekh Mishra, and he is a Major in the Indian army. Hazari Prasad Dwivedi, her grandfather, was an author. Apala Mishra was a gold medalist in Bachelor of Dental Surgery, and she is the granddaughter of famous novelist Hazari Prasad Dwivedi, thus she has a lot of influence. She is also a writer, and her poetry have been published in English in Sahitya Akademi.
The Age of Apala Mishra and Her Attempts
In 1997, Apala Mishra was born. As a result, in 2022, she will be 25 years old. Let’s take a look at her UPSC applications now. Dr. Apala Mishra’s first two attempts were challenging. She failed the prelims stage in each of her previous efforts. “I wasn’t well-prepared in my first two attempts, and as a result, I didn’t pass the preliminary exams,” she admits. This time, on the other hand, I was resolved to put in even more effort. I believe that if one works hard and is determined, anything is possible.” While engineers tend to dominate the UPSC Civil Services toppers list, a dental surgeon, Dr. Apala Mishra, has risen to ninth place. The top students’ achievement is based on hard effort and self-study. “I was not well-prepared in my first two efforts and hence did not clear prelims,” she admits. “This time, however, I was determined to work even harder. I believe that anything is achievable if one works hard and is dedicated.” says the topper.
How Covid 19 affected Dr Apala’s exam preparation
The UPSC exams were repeatedly postponed due to the pandemic, according to Apala. Second, the virus had an effect on her parents. Her father was in the ICU during the second wave. She was preparing for a civil service interview at the time, so it was a stressful time for her. She remained cool, however, and continued her struggle for a respectable rank, hoping for the best. Apala is a fervent believer that in order to excel in anything, one must first mentally prepare for it. This is a basic principle she used to keep herself motivated during her preparation.
Marksheet of Apala Mishra
|Mains Total Marks||816|
In her mains written exam, the officer received an overall score of 816. Furthermore, she received 215 points for the interview. As a result, her final score was 1031 points. Apala Mishra received UPSC Rank 9 as a result of these marks.
Optional Subjects of Apala Mishra
By the time she was in her last year of dentistry, Apala stated, she was leaning towards civil service since it offers a wide range of job prospects. Her elective subject was anthropology. She wants to work in the medical sector, specialising in women’s health. She made a commitment to give her academics her undivided attention. There is now a timetable in place. Candidates should commit 7 to 8 hours to their research, according to her. She also learned to create a schedule during this time.
Apala Mishra’s Strategy
In 2018, Apala Mishra said she focused on comprehending the exam and its syllabus, as well as her own strengths and shortcomings, because the course was different from her scholastic experience. It takes time to figure out the pattern. She claims that once candidates realise this, things improve. She then designed a 7-8-hour-per-day study regimen. The UPSC topper initially enrolled in coaching sessions, but later converted to self-study because she believes that while coaching centres might assist people, they must study independently at the end of the day.
Strategy for Prelims
Mishra’s weakest section was the prelims, which she had previously failed to pass. She recommends that students go over the fundamental books as many times as they can. Because you’ll see things that you don’t recall every time you go back and read, it’s critical to make it a habit to read and reread topics on a regular basis. Take as many practise exams as you can, and practise as many multiple-choice questions as you can. If you don’t get a question, make a mental note of the answer so you don’t forget it. Mishra went on to say that after 2013, aspirants should always attempt papers from the previous year.
Strategy for Mains
Because the time between prelims and mains is shorter, you should start preparing for mains straight immediately. Your preparation should be comprehensive and unified from the start. Answering questions should be the focus of one’s preparation from the start. You should start crafting your responses with the static section rather than the current affairs segment, according to Mishra. Answer writing should neither be deferred until after the curriculum has been completed, nor should it begin before the syllabus has been completed; rather, it should be completed concurrently with the syllabus.
Strategy for GS Papers
In the mains examination, one should proceed beyond the static section. Apala didn’t take any notes during the static section because she is more comfortable with and prefers the printed information. For GS papers,she produced four notebooks. These notes were created in a soft copy format on her laptop. She then arranged the notebooks into categories according to the topics. If you learn more about a certain issue, keep adding it to the split sections so that your answer has more value.
Time Management Strategy
According to Mishra, time management is the most critical aspect of both preparation and the examination. Along the way, one should endeavour to preserve discipline and motivation. She had acquired a watch and kept track of her study time to maintain her discipline and motivation. If she drank water, she would even stop the timer. She conducted thorough research and recommends hopefuls to do the same. She claims that in your daily study, consistency is crucial. According to the officer, she spent roughly 7 to 8 hours every day studying for the exam. It makes no difference how much time you spend preparing. However, it is critical to keep track of how you spend your time.
The officer decided to keep track of her time by subject. That is, she took note of the amount of time allotted for each issue. She may then devote her attention to the other things. This enabled her to include as many aspects of various themes as feasible for her paper. The officer’s prelims were a significant weakness. She had previously failed to pass the first stage of the UPSC test. As a result, throughout her prelims preparation, she learned to cover all of the basic themes thoroughly and to solve as many papers as feasible.
Mishra studied for 7 to 8 hours a day and kept track of how much time she spent on each topic using a timer. During her preparation, she also used the basic books. Aside from that, she used Google and YouTube to obtain online study materials to assist her grasp things not included in the textbooks.
Advice on maintaining good health
She claims that you should never doubt yourself because it is the most prevalent occurrence. Self-doubt has a direct impact on mental health, which is typical in these types of exams. First and foremost, there should be no self-doubt, and you should avoid people who you believe are negatively impacting you and influencing the environment around you. Be self-assured enough to push these individuals away.
Some tips for the aspirants:
- Always pay close attention to the syllabus. It is easier to prepare for the exam if you comprehend the syllabus and format.
- While studying for 7 to 8 hours is necessary for preparation, you should always take a break in between. Studying will become tedious if you continue to do so.
- Begin with the basics and keep track of your daily preparations.
- Coaching can be beneficial in terms of preparedness. There is no need to attend coaching if you believe you can develop further without it. Apala receives GS and personal interview coaching, which has proven to be really beneficial.
- Never give up despite your failures. Find the errors and start over with a complete commitment.
- Apala Mishra established a new high in the interview with a score of 215 points. She talked about her interview experience and said, “Be confident in the exam and exhibit your actual nature.” Your responses reveal your personality.
- Exams should not be a source of stress. Believe in yourself as well as your preparedness. Exam anxiety can undo all of your hard work.
Some Advice for Aspirants
Dr. Apala had some advice that she believes is both vital and sometimes overlooked.
“Balance your emotional and mental wellness, since this exam will put your patience to the test.” Have that self-confidence in oneself that you can crack it,” says the UPSC topper.
When Apala Broke a Record
Before 2020, a candidate had received the highest ever score of 212 points in the UPSC interview phase. Dr. Apala Mishra set a new high score of 215 points. After passing the UPSC exam on her third attempt this year, Dr. Apala Mishra was rated ninth. She revealed how, during the UPSC civil services examination, in the 40-minute interview stage, she set a new record by answering almost all of the questions.’Even though I was worried before the interview, I used my self-assurance as a winning technique and gave the interview,’ says the candidate.
Apala Mishra’s journey
The UPSC topper began preparing for this rigorous exam in 2018, after completing her dentistry education in Hyderabad, and she was successful in her third attempt. Mishra went to Dehradun school until the tenth grade, then to Delhi for classes eleven and twelve. After getting a bachelor’s degree in dental surgery from the Army College of Dental Sciences in Hyderabad, she went on to practise as a dentist. Apala’s first attempt failed due to a lack of time to study the topic. She too failed her second attempt. Despite this, she did not lose up hope and retook the exam in October 2020, finishing in 9th place.
Questions Apala Was Asked During Her Interview
The following UPSC interview questions were posed to Dr. Apala:
Q) What is the meaning of your given name?
She said, “Apala was the name of a female sage from the Rigveda period. My mother chose this name for me since she is a Hindi professor who is passionate about literature. My name means “lovely” in its literal sense.”
Q2) She was asked about the hardships and benefits of participating in the army because both her father and brother are in it.
She replied, “In defence, there are various obstacles to overcome. All of these issues, however, are improving over time. Women faced the greatest obstacle in the army, but they are now being given equal opportunities. India is also growing more self-sufficient, with more weaponry and other equipment being manufactured in the country.”
Q3) The third question focused on her optional subject. She was asked about anthropology and the relationship between culture and religion.
She replied, “India is home to a diverse range of languages. This is a unique feature of India, as it exemplifies unity in variety.”
Q4) “What kind of saree were you wearing, and what did the border symbolise?” was the most intriguing and original question she was asked.
She said, “This saree’s border features Warli Art from Maharashtra’s Sahyadri region. The artwork on the border depicts a typical day in the life of a person.”
Q5) During the interview, she was asked to recite any poetry she wished.
She answered “I wrote this poem for my brother who is a record major in army: When I think of you, I think of my country too. When I salute you, I salute my country too.”
Q6) When it came to literature, she was questioned about her feelings.
She replied “The struggle should never be seen as a struggle or a difficult phase, it should be seen as lessons and how one should always move forward.”
Apala’s Interview Tips
The following is some advice from Apala on how to ace the exam:
- Make the most of the numbers at your disposal.
- Do not be concerned; trust what you’ve planned.
- Apala stated that she had to prepare with zeal because his father was in the army.
- She spent a lot of time with her father, studying about and trying to understand the army.
- Her mother, Apala Mishra, a Hindi tale writer and a Hindi professor at Delhi University, also assisted her in comprehending literature.
- Apala’s goal was to help India develop its foreign policy. She began her career by studying BDS, but she later changed her mind and decided to pursue a career in public service so that she could help the country on a worldwide scale.
Apala Mishra said she put up a “I will be under 50” poster in her bed room a year ago. To remind herself of her aim, she kept this poster in front of her eyes both day and night. Apala’s father, army colonel Amitabh Mishra, recalls that after studying for 8 to 10 hours, he used to play 30 to 40 minutes of table tennis with Apala every day to relieve the tension of studies.
Apala Mishra’s Aim
Dr. Apala Mishra placed ninth in the UPSC examination. Her accomplishment is notable in that she cleared the UPSC exam on her third attempt. Her first attempt, on the other hand, was a flop. She wishes to assist the country by enhancing its foreign policy. She began her career by studying BDS, but she later changed her mind and decided to train for public service in order to serve the country on a global scale.
Her Long-Term Objectives
Dr. Apala Mishra had already pledged to work for her country as a dentist. The UPSC top performer believes that she must take action in order to make real and positive changes. In order to serve the country in 2018, she opted to study for the civil service exam.
Apala advises that if you want to prepare for UPSC, you should keep moving forward with a better strategy. She argues that you won’t be able to attain your goal until you try every day. According to him, the keys to success are hard work, the appropriate strategy, answer writing practise, maximal revision, and a good outlook. Hopefully, this post will give candidates hope for the future. Without spending a significant amount of time and effort to one’s chosen profession, success is unattainable. Aspirants must learn from their mistakes in order to stretch their wings and grow.