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AIR 9 Apala Mishra clears UPSC CSE 2020 with highest marks in interview

Apala Mishra not only cleared the exam with an excellent rank but also scored the highest marks (215) in the personality test stage. She chose Anthropology as her optional subject and took the help of coaching for GS and optional subject.

Written by Sakshi Saroha | New Delhi I |
Updated: October 10, 2021 12:49:53 pm
UPSC 2020 result, UPSC CSE 2020, Apala mishraApala chose Anthropology as her optional subject and took the help of coaching for GS and optional subject. (Image Credits - Unacademy)

While engineers continue to dominate the toppers list in the UPSC Civil Services results, Dr Apala Mishra reserved her spot at rank 9 with a dental surgery degree. A resident of Delhi, Mishra not only cleared the exam but also scored the highest marks (215) in the personality test stage. The topper credits her success to consistency and self-study. Interestingly, Mishra wasn’t able to qualify for the preliminary stage of the exam in her first two attempts.

“I was not well-prepared in my initial two attempts and therefore, could not clear prelims. However, I was committed to working harder this time. I believe that if one works hard and is dedicated, anything is possible to achieve,” the topper told indianexpress.com.

Talking about her preparation, Mishra said that she studied for around 7 to 8 hours every day and used a timer to monitor the time she spent on each topic. “During my preparation, I also referred to the basic books. Apart from this, I also used online study materials available on Google and Youtube  to understand the topics which were not present in the basic books,” she explained.

Apala chose Anthropology as her optional subject and took the help of coaching for GS and optional subject. To prepare for the personality test, she joined Unacademy for mock interview guidance.

In a family of army personnel, Apala is the first to enter administrative services. Her father is a retired Colonel from the Army and her mother is a professor at Delhi University. Her brother is serving with the Indian Army on the rank of Major.

Talking about deviating the career path from medicine to administration, Apala said, “My background served as a source of inspiration for me. I took a careful look at our country’s healthcare system and realised it requires more attention. This thought inspired me to pursue a career in the civil service in order to make a greater impact in society,” she said.

“Exams like UPSC CSE can take a mental toll on anyone and it is very essential for aspirants to take care of themselves. It is important to make yourself a priority while chasing your goal,” Mishra added. 

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