Impeccable commitment to my goal and putting right efforts at the right time is secret of my success; says Pooja Gupta (AIR 147; CSE 2018)

Bachelor of Dental Surgery from GGSIPU, Delhi, Pooja Gupta set her goal very early in life and started working towards that. Being confident about her success, she planned her endeavour and by making the optimum use of the time available, she cracked Civil Services Examination in a flow.

Commencing preparation immediately after BDS, Pooja appeared in Civil Services Examination 2018 and achieved 147th rank in her very first encounter.

She had picked up Anthropology as her Optional Subject.


To achieve the goal you set and getting something big out of your life, one needs to persevere.

By focusing entirely on her goal Pooja Gupta, a dental surgeon, achieved a brilliant success in Civil Services Examination 2018 by securing 147th rank in her first attempt.

An early Motivation sowed the seeds

Recounting the event that transformed her life Pooja said, “I was felicitated by the DCP, Delhi Police for my outstanding performance in 10th Standard. It was the time when I developed fascination for topnotch service.”

“Later, in 2012 when I started my graduation, I was not sure on what to do next. But, as the years passed, I started to ponder upon my desire for making a career in civil services” she added.

A dream I had seen years ago; I made up my mind to revive the dream and pursue it.Pooja Gupta-ias topper-147th rank-cse 2018-Anthropology-upsc

Why career in ‘Civil Services’ ?

This is probably one question that I have encountered several times.

Each Mock Interview that I attended and even in my Personality Test (Interview), I was asked the same question.

Yes, I am a dentist, and my only aim was career in Civil Services. In India as well as abroad, I had lucrative opportunities to pursue a lucrative career; but, the job satisfaction and opportunity to serve the nation that civil service provides is unparalleled.”

The stimulation that guided Pooja in her Journey

Making acquaint with her focus Pooja said, “My inspiration in UPSC CSE was not any specific topper; but, a Hungarian pistol shooter KAROLY TAKACS who was the first shooter to win two Olympic gold medals. He won these medals after his right hand was severely injured when a faulty grenade exploded in his hand during his time in military. The determination to win an Olympic medal led him to switch shooting with his left hand. He has been hailed as an Olympic hero by the International Olympic committee, for me he is an epitome of perseverance and determination.”

The Preparation-Plan

Sharing her strategy, Pooja said, “In the beginning, it was internet that provided me the information and toppers talks on YouTube helped me chart my preparation-plan. I trusted on NCERTs and Newspaper combination along with regular watch on some authentic government websites like PIB and PRS.”

Choosing an optional subject was easy for me and Anthropology is a subject that I like. Moreover availability of content and guidance is also a big factor for this subject’s improved results.

It has been a systematic approach with an eye on time. I made a mental note of all the areas I had to cover with each stage of Civil Services Examination.

Being a registered dentist, during my internship in hospital and even while daily commute, I utilized even 15-20 minutes slots for reading or revising something.Pooja Gupta-ias topper-147th rank-cse 2018-Anthropology-upsc

Her Journey!

Candidly talking about her journey Pooja said, “I was aware of the exam standards and knew it well that sometimes, it takes multiple attempts to crack the most coveted examination.

Before taking a plunge into Civil Services Examination, first I identified my ‘WHY’.

Once this ‘WHY’ is clear then you can direct your entire energy and resources to only one goal i.e. CIVIL SERVICES.

Moreover, instead of appearing for multiple exams, I focused my attention entirely on UPSC CSE and streamlined my efforts. This saved my time and efforts and helped in yielding result within one year.  My firm belief in the almighty and support of my family and friends was also very helpful.

As far as my performance is concerned, I was satisfied; but, was very anxious about the outcome. Though, finding my name in the enviable merit-list in top ranks was nothing less than a dream come true for me. It also busted a myth that the toppers are a little different from common people.

Support of my family

My parents and my sister supported me immensely throughout my journey. If I could accomplish it in such a short span, it was they who believed in me and my dream that proved to be a major morale booster for me.

My mother is my role model and my best friend.Pooja Gupta-ias topper-147th rank-cse 2018-Anthropology-upsc

Secret of Success

I feel the thing that worked for me is “Impeccable commitment to my goal and putting right efforts at the right time.”

Credit for Success

Firstly, my parents and my sister deserve it the most. Next, I extend my sincere thanks to my mentors (seniors) Chitransh Joshi (RBI), Sandeep Sheoran (IDAS), Sandeep Kumar (IRS) and Subodh Kumar who extended guidance to me at each step of civil services. Before I finish, I would thank my best friends Lakshay Gautam, Vinita, Karishma and Mahima who were my constant support.

Advice to future aspirants

Remember that “Civil Services is a means to an end and not an end in itself.”

  • Keep distractions and fears at bay.
  • Always remain in touch with your family and friends.
  • Believe in yourself each day and motivate yourself constantly.
Last Update Sunday 22nd March 2020     

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