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Paramita Malakar Starts Prep at 29, Cracks CSE in Sixth Attempt

Paramita Malakar cleared UPSC CSE 2023 with AIR 812 in her sixth attempt She chose Bengali Literature as her optional Subject To learn more about her journey, read the article
Indian Masterminds Stories

Paramita Malakar, an unassuming woman from West Bengal, didn’t take a straight path to achieving her dream of cracking the UPSC Civil Services Exam (CSE). After graduating with a Physics honors degree in 2012, she immediately took up a job at a BPO as she needed to support her family. After working there for a few months, she began her corporate career, first with TCS and then with the State Bank of India. In 2020, she secured the coveted role of Sub Divisional Information and Cultural Officer (SDICO). Yet Paramita’s ambitions soared for a position on the national stage.

Speaking with Indian Masterminds, Paramita shares her inspiring journey to UPSC. 

ROAD TO CSE 

The UPSC CSE first ignited a spark in Paramita’s heart in 2018. She began her preparation while juggling a demanding job at TCS. Initial setbacks only fueled her determination. “I failed miserably in my prelims,” Paramita recounts. “Working 12 hours a day left me with limited study time. Discouraged, I doubted my ability to clear any government exam.”

Paramita Malakar Starts Prep at 29, Cracks CSE in Sixth Attempt

This self-doubt led Paramita to attempt various government exams, slowly building her confidence. “At the age of 30, I began my journey of appearing for various government exams, including those conducted by LIC, Bank clerical PO, Railways, and the West Bengal Public Service Commission,” she shared with Indian Masterminds

The turning point arrived in 2022. Not only did she secure the SDICO position, but she also aced the first two grueling stages of the UPSC CSE – the prelims and the mains. This success story continued in 2023, with Paramita excelling in both the Prelims and Mains exams, culminating in a stellar performance in the interview stage.

FOCUSED APPROACH 

Reflecting on her failures, Paramita identifies a lack of a structured approach. “Constant job changes limited my dedicated study time,” she explains. “In 2022, my first prelims success came after focusing on PYQs (Previous Year Question Papers), a strategy that proved immensely helpful.”

Paramita Malakar Starts Prep at 29, Cracks CSE in Sixth Attempt

For the Mains, Paramita initially attempted self-study but faced challenges. “In my last attempt, I was constantly in fear of not clearing,” she remembers. The absence of mock tests due to an overwhelming syllabus further added to her anxiety. In 2023, however, she enrolled in a coaching institute in Kolkata. This proved to be a game-changer. Paramita religiously wrote 28 mock tests, dedicating weekends to intensive practice.

Finally, she cleared UPSC CSE 2023 with AIR 812 on her sixth attempt. Paramita shared that she is writing this year’s prelims exam. 

BENGALI LITERATURE AS OPTIONAL 

Choosing Bengali literature as her optional subject was another unconventional but strategic decision. “Reading Bengali novels is my hobby,” Paramita explains. This passion made the syllabus enjoyable and manageable compared to an English optional. The lack of readily available resources for this uncommon subject demanded perseverance. Paramita meticulously compiled her own study materials through dedicated research. 

“While deciding on an optional subject, one has to love it. Optional is a make-or-break subject,” says Paramita.

Paramita Malakar Starts Prep at 29, Cracks CSE in Sixth Attempt

All UPSC aspirants could find inspiration in Paramita Malakar’s narrative. It emphasises how crucial it is to have faith in oneself, have steadfast determination, and surround yourself with supportive people.


Indian Masterminds Stories

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