CSE 2021 Topper Gamini Singla Lays Bare How She Topped UPSC and How You Can Too
- Muskan Khandelwal
- Published on 19 Dec 2022, 2:44 pm IST
- 5 minutes read
- Gamini Singla, IAS, who cracked UPSC CSE 2021 with AIR 3, has come up with her first book titled, ‘How I Topped the UPSC and How You Can Too’
- The book is divided into two parts, wherein she shares about her exam strategies and mental preparation
- It is getting good response and was in the bestsellers list even before it was launched
- IAS officer Gamini Singla with her first book 'How I Topped the UPSC and How You Can Too'
Gamini Singla, who had cracked UPSC CSE 2021 with All India Rank 3, has come up with her first book titled How I Topped the UPSC and How You Can Too, where she has shared all the lessons she learned from her mistakes during the UPSC journey, her strategies, and how to prepare psychologically for any competitive exam.
Speaking with Indian Masterminds, Ms. Singla, who is currently under training at LBSNAA, shared more details about her book.
WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT
The book, How I Topped the UPSC and How You Can Too, is divided into two parts. Part I is about the mental preparation that this exam or any other competitive exam demands. Ms. Singla has also added some instances from her own journey in it, like why she decided to go for UPSC, how fearful she was, and how she coped with the passing away of her grandfather just few weeks before the mains exam.
Part II of the book is mainly on the UPSC exam, like what was her plan in the first prelims which she failed with a huge margin, how she made it to AIR 3 in the 2021 exam, the booklists she followed, importance of the mock papers, and so on.
“In part II, I have written about certain instances from my journey, which are way beyond the objective stuff that aspirants write, and which would help them at some point or the other. At the end, the small things make a difference, like giving mocks in a government school in the same time frame. These are the things we do not hear about a lot. We talk about mocks, but not how to give them and why they are so crucial. So, I have clearly explained my own experience, and I hope many ‘why’s’ and ‘how’s’ will be clearer now,” Ms. Singla said.
WHAT MADE HER WRITE IT
She decided to write this book after aspirants started sending her queries on all social media platforms and asking questions in the talks she attended. So many questions about the exam were asked that it made her think that a 1-2 hours video would not be enough to comprehend two to three years of preparation and examination journey. So, she finally decided on penning down the entire journey as well as her thoughts.
Another reason that led to her writing this books was that she realised that not much have been written about the mental preparation that this exam needs. “I think mental preparation is very crucial for any competitive exam. So, this book is not only for the UPSC aspirants, but for any risky journey we undertake and the mental pressure we have to go through, be it fear, guilt or demotivation. I believe that these are less talked about aspects, but are the most crucial ones,” Ms. Singla said.
Also, after going through the aspirants’ queries, she could figure out a certain pattern – that mainly their queries were related to the fact that they get demotivated at a very early stage, not being able to deal with family or social pressure, or they start comparing themselves with friends who are doing really well in their job and with the peers who are getting good marks. “These are the reasons that led me to write my book,” Ms. Singla said.
The book has been getting amazing response from the readers and was in the bestsellers list even before it was launched and in no 15 in Kindle for 2-3 days.
THE UPSC JOURNEY
Ms. Singla said the UPSC journey is very rewarding in the sense that it helps the aspirants grow intellectually and personally as well. Some days are good, some days are bad, so aspirants have to learn to seek out that balance. They have to learn to deal with their guilt, fears, and enjoy their own company. They have to strive daily to acquire some new knowledge, and with that knowledge, they will feel a little more empowered.
“This journey teaches you a lot. Along the way, you come to know who your real friends are and what is your biggest support system. So, at the end of it, you are a different person all together,” she said.
During her preparation days, Ms. Singla applied all of the rules of the game, which she has written in part II of her book. She made sure that she did not compromise on even one aspect of the preparation because “it’s a make or break game”. She did revisions, solved mock papers, looked up previous years’ question papers and did answer writing practice.
“Apart from this, I made sure I was taking a good diet with lots of fruits and nuts so that I don’t feel sleepy after eating heavy or oily foods. These things are also very important, so that your brain keeps working and you feel less exhausted. I also kept a positive attitude, kept in touch with positive people, and all this brought a new confidence in me,” she said.
MESSAGE TO ASPIRANTS
Lastly, Ms. Singla said that no topper is extraordinary and they all go through the same phases. Hence, her advice to aspirants is: “Just keep a positive mindset, be consistent with your preparation, keep re-evaluating yourself, and make sure you stick to the rules of the games which are not negotiable, and you will make it through.”
Here is the link to Ms. Gamini Singla’s book, How I Topped the UPSC and How You Can Too:
END OF THE ARTICLE