Beginners are susceptible to traps; but, being vigil, you can bring back your preparation on track; says Saloni Rai (AIR 22; CSE 2015)

Saloni Rai, a commerce graduate had a short stint with the corporate world; but, soon realized the importance of ‘Civil Services’ that offers such a diversity in the scope of work.

Her foray in to Civil Services Examination started with 2013 exam and she cleared all the three continuous attempts she took; while initial two attempt got her ranks lower in the merit-list, this third attempt accomplished her task and she got 22nd rank in Civil Services Examination 2015.


Among many top rankers from Haryana, Saloni Rai, a commerce graduate from Sriram College of Commerce, Delhi has secured 22nd rank in Civil Services Examination 2015.

For this 25 year old girl from Sonipat, it was her third attempt that finally accomplished her task.

Both her parents are doctors who always supporting her in every decision she took and wished for her success in Civil Services Examination.

Reacting on her splendid success Saloni said, “This time I was pretty much confident of getting a rank among the top; but, never speculated about the chances and just kept my fingers crossed till the result was out.”

Narrating her journey and the experience she got, Saloni said, “Visualizing a top rank before commencing preparation illustrates beginner’s mindset; but, once I started preparation and achieved success in very first encounter, thing crystallized clearly and the outcome was in sight.”Saloni-rai-ias-topper-upsc-cse-2015-22nd-rank-coomerce-background

Unfolding the effect of earlier attempts, she said, “In first attempt I got services in Railway Protection Force. In next attempt, I was qualified for Armed Forces Headquarters. And with a little extra thrust this time, I got through with a better rank.”

Cautioning future aspirants about the choice of coaching institutes and role these institutes play in success, Saloni said, “To be honest, in the Civil Services Examination arena, there is glut of information and advice that comes from almost everywhere."

"It is a big market for Civil Services Examination preparation many candidates just follow coaching institutes blindly with a single-minded focus of cracking Civil Services Examination.”

In the beginning, I was also entangled in such scenario that caused some delay in reaching my destination.

Saloni said, "As you commence preparation, you just trust the information you come across and the situation is such that herd-mentality makes beginners susceptible to traps; but, being vigil, you can bring back your preparation on track."

“The recent changes in the pattern of Preliminary as well as Main Examination require a holistic preparation and even, thinking beyond syllabus”, she added.

Acknowledging the contribution she got for General Studies and optional subject Commerce & Accountancy Saloni said, “I got useful guidance from my friends who were preparing or had got selected; still, I had to do most of planning and preparation on my own; however, an eye on current affairs came in handy. I was fortunate to have mentors like Ankit sir (Aspire IAS) and R S Agarwal Sir (Rankers Classes) who helped me search the right path.”

Giving an idea about her strategy in this attempt, Saloni said, “I was focused and had enough study-material I had collected for earlier attempts that I just consolidated all of that point-wise in to a notebook for each paper. My newspaper reading habit helped a lot and I kept on updating my notes with relevant point gathered and revised the whole stuff many a times.

Regular answer-writing practice with ‘Test-Series’ perked up the writing-skill as well as helped me in ‘Time Management’.

Sharing her secret of success Saloni said, “Perseverance and hard work do the wonders here”. 

Last Update Thursday 18th July 2019     

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