Anu Kumari ranked first among all the female candidates. After Anu Kumari posting, she has helped UPSC aspirants by launching her blog. Anu Kumari’s strategy, tips for exam preparation and her overall experience can be found on this website.
Anu Kumari’s story is one of the motivations for women all over the country. Being 31 years of age (as of 2017), and a mother of a four-year-old boy, she has achieved this remarkable feat.
It is a huge challenge to prepare and succeed in a highly competitive exam like the UPSC IAS examination. This is true, especially for women, as they need to juggle a lot of responsibilities at home, as well.
Anu Kumari cleared the UPSC IAS exam in her second attempt. She had to go through many hurdles before she could succeed. She quit her job in the corporate sector in the year 2016 and devoted herself to preparation, after failing the first time.
She fell short by just one point, in the preliminary round. However, she did not let failure or disappointment overtake her. She took it in the right spirit, never gave up and worked even harder.
Anu Kumari studied B.Sc (Hons) Physics and later pursued an MBA in Finance and Marketing. She worked at a private firm for nine years. She enrolled at a training institute in Delhi, while preparing for the UPSC IAS exam, the first time.
She stayed with her parents for a while, so that she could concentrate in a better manner, on her preparation for the IAS exam. Her main optional subject for IAS was Sociology.
Anu Kumari Booklist
For the static portion of the exam, she relied on the NCERT books and other standard books.
For example, for Geography, she utilized class XIth and XIIth NCERT books; for Politics, she studied Lakxmikanth’s book; for Indian National Movement she used Spectrum book; for Economy, she made use of Shri Ram printed notes, for Environmental Studies she used Shankar IAS; so on and so forth.
When it came to current affairs, she depended a lot on online resources and one source that really stood out was insights on India website. On this website, she used to read about the daily current affairs regularly and attempt the MCQs.
She also did their online test series frequently. Basically, these were the sources she referred to. Other than these, she used to refer to compilations of some other magazines in order to quickly revise the name of various schemes and what they pertain to.
She hadn’t done much notes preparation as such, especially for the preparation for prelims. When it came to mains, she had started preparing a few soft copy notes, particularly for sections like important statistics – GDP of the nation, growth rate, how much was spent on factors like health, education, names of significant committees and so on.
About the important current affairs that were going on in the country, she prepared very short, precise, condensed and crisp notes so that she would be able to revise them quickly and easily on the day of the mains exam.
Her preparation of notes was subject-wise. She had four Word documents- GS-I, II, III, IV. For the essay paper as well, she prepared notes in soft copy, wherein she had gone through various resources and jotted down important points.
She had also compiled the quotes by eminent people and current affairs that could be asked in multiple essay topics. In a similar way, for her optional, in order to correlate the optional with the recent affairs, she had prepared a document in the format of soft copy, for that too.
Anu Kumari scored 153 in Essay (Paper – One), 102, 129, 134, 101 in the General Studies papers (Paper Two, Paper Three, Paper Four, Paper Five). She secured 163, 155 in the two optional papers (Paper Six and Paper Seven) respectively.
In the written papers, she scored a total of 937 and in the personality test, she obtained a score of 187. Her impressive final score was 1124.
On her blog, Anu Kumari has listed several of her strategies. According to her, one can start by going through the course from a standard resource from any good teacher that can be bought in the market.
This has to be made as the basic material and then, it has to be supplemented with a few other resources such as IGNOU books, Harlambos book, Ritzer etc.
If possible, one must join a test series. A question bank has to be kept and it must be gone through. The previous years’ questions need to be studied, in order to understand the level of one’s understanding and also, the level of preparation.
By doing so, it will be possible to find out whether one is able to answer those questions or not, and if there was some topic that might have been missed while studying). She says, what content to study exactly and the resource from where to study it, is a very individual thing.
Initially, her sources (to begin with, before Pre-exam prelims) were haphazard, incoherent and very extensive (they were based on multitude sources of information available online).
After the pre-exam and before the mains exam, she narrowed them all down to a few resources and this narrowing down was definitely not systematic or methodical. Instead, it was very random and mostly influenced by factors like paucity of time.
It also depended on the guidance she received at test series. So, there was no certainty that covering only what she covered would suffice for any other aspirant. So, she requests everyone to be cautious and pick what they feel comfortable with.
Anu Kumari Blog
Anu Kumari has shared her experience, notes and tips on her blog. It is truly a heart warming move. She has gone the extra mile to help other aspirants.
She has conveyed everything in a very efficient manner – her daily schedule, her preparation strategy, her notes, the books she has referred, etc.
Since then, she has been writing on various online platforms such as websites, other blogs, on Kindle Store, etc. She is also into writing about education and academics, in general, and has gained more than five years of experience, as a content writer and blogger.
Her articles are much appreciated by the aspirants of competitive exams and she has also received a very good rating on the Kindle Store.
Some of her strategy tips can also be found on her Instagram page, with this hashtag: #anukumari.
The UPSC has confirmed the cadre allocation given by Delhi High Court to Anu Kumari. She became ineligible under the rules for failing to signify her cadre preference, in an online application form.
She had persuaded a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Rekha Palli that if it had not been for a technical glitch, she might have submitted her preference by the last date on January 29, 2018.
Anu Kumari attributed her success to her family members and she feels grateful to them for their support, all through her journey.
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