Results are the most awaited period of a UPSC aspirant. Everyone eagerly waits for the results and as soon as the results are announced the toppers list is declared. And they become an inspiration for several others.

Have you ever wondered who got the highest marks in UPSC ever? Or indifferent optional subjects? Well, in this article I will find out each topper and take tips and strategies to score well directly from them.

UPSC CSE: Dreams of Aspirants

Every year UPSC conducts different examinations among which CSE is the most prestigious and difficult one. UPSC CSE is the exam for the selection of civil servants of India for various posts, such as IAS, IPS, IFS, and IFoS. Every year, thousands of candidates appear for the examinations.

Why? because it is one of the most prestigious government jobs of India which will bring you money and power.

UPSC CSE is the toughest competitive examination in India. Out of thousands of students, only some hundreds can clear it. The unpredictability of the UPSC paper makes it more difficult.

Phases of the Examination

There are three main phases:

# Prelims: It consists of two papers and is qualifying in nature.

# Mains: It consists of nine different papers.

# Interview: It is a personality test of candidates.

The competition level is really hard but still, it is the dream of many aspirants. Every aspirant has their way of UPSC preparation. Some choose the guidance of a coaching institute, while others prefer to study alone.

But one thing is common among every aspirant, what? evaluating strategies of toppers. Toppers have their popularity among aspirants, they see them as their role models and want to walk in their footsteps.

With every year, a new list of toppers are released by UPSC and the aspirants begin learning from the list of UPSC toppers.

Toppers of  UPSC (2015-2019)

2019 Pradeep Singh Jatin Kishore Pratibha Verma
2018 Kanishka Kataria Akshat Jain Junaid Ahmad
2017 Anudeep Durishetty Anu Kumari Sachin Gupta
2016 Nandini KR Anmol Sher Singh Bedi Gopalakrishna Ronaki
2015 Tina Dabi Athar Aamir Ul Shafi Khan Jasmeet Singh Sandhu

Marksheets of various AIR-1

2015- Tina Dabi

Marksheet of Tina Dabi

2016- Nandini KR

Marksheet of Nandini KR

2017- Anudeep Durishetty

Marksheet of Anudeep Durishetty

2018- Kanishka Kataria

Marksheet of Kanishka Kataria

2019- Pradeep Singh

Marksheet of Pradeep Singh

Who Got the Highest Marks in UPSC Ever?

Till now Anudeep Durishetty secured the highest total marks in UPSC. he is currently posted as an IRS officer. He created a record in 2017 by securing the highest total marks. According to him, it wasn’t an easy journey. He has to face multiple failures. and on his fifth attempt, he was able to grab the first rank of the CSE.

Who Secured the Highest Marks in the UPSC Prelims?

Prelims papers are qualifying in nature and therefore no information of their scores are available.

Who Secured the Highest Marks in the Mains?

Anudeep Durishetty scored the highest marks in the mains in UPSC till now. He secured 950 marks out of 1025 marks.

Who Secured the Highest Marks in the UPSC Interview?

Zainab Sayeed of Kolkata got the highest marks in the interview. She was able to secure 220 marks out of 275 months.

Also Read: Do you Know What is the Highest Marks in UPSC Interview? Important Facts about IAS Interview

Who Secured the Highest Marks in the Essay?

Nishant Jain secured the highest marks in the essay paper of UPSC in 2015.

Here are his seven rules of success:

# Flow

# Balance

# Stay neutral

# Extremely strong introduction and conclusion

# Presentation of the essay

# No grammatical errors

# Vocabulary

# Good handwriting

Toppers of UPSC Subject Wise: Highest Marks in Optional UPSC

Who Secured the Highest Marks in Mathematics?

Anubhav Singh( UPSC-2017 batch)

Who Secured the Highest Marks in Geography?

Ayush Sinha (UPSC Batch- 2017)

Who Secured the Highest Marks in the PSIR?

Kothamasu Dinesh Kumar (UPSC Batch- 2016)

Who Secured the Highest Marks in the Public Administration?

Abhilash Mishra (UPSC Batch: 2016)

Who Secured the Highest Marks in Anthropology?

Sachin Gupta (UPSC Batch: 2017)

Who Secured the Highest Marks in Literature?

Nandini K R (UPSC Batch: 2016) in Kannada literature.

Who Secured the Highest Marks in Medical Science?

Artika Shukla (UPSC Batch: 2015)

Who Secured the Highest Marks in Science?

Bilal Bhat (UPSC Batch: 2016) in Veterinary Science.

Who Secured the Highest Marks in Sociology?

Anu Kumari (UPSC Batch: 2017)

Who Secured the Highest Marks in Philosophy?

Athar Aamir (UPSC Batc:2015)

Also Read: UPSC Exam Syllabus 2021: Know all the Insights about Prelims, Mains and Interview Round

How to Secure the Highest Marks in Prelims?

Strong Grip on the Basis

It is very important to understand the course object and its topic. NCERT is the best book for this you can take reference for six to 12.

Current Affairs

Curraffairairs are an integral part of your UPSC. UPSC is increasing its importance every year. Here are some stats of current affairs

For better current affairs practice, you can read Current Affairs Magazine.

Understand the Format

Every candidate must have a proper understanding of the format of Prelims.

Previous Year Questions

To understand the question button clearly you need to solve something, yes your question papers. It will help you to understand the types of questions of prelims, it will help you to evaluate yourself.

Short and Crisp Notes

revision before an exam is very important but this doesn’t imply that you should read all those books. It is a waste of time. Therefore, make a short and crisp note of these topics.

Also Read: Strategy for UPSC CSE Preliminary Exam: Steps to Clear Prelims in the First Attempt

Tips From the Toppers for UPSC Prelims

Tina Dabi

Tina Dabi started her prelims preparation 3 months before her preliminary exams. She secured the first rank in UPSC 2015 batch. Here are some prelims tips from her:

# According to her, a candidate should develop a habit of reading newspapers. This will help her to stay updated and learn the news of the world.

# Rather than learning new topics before some days of your exam, you should revise old topics well. According to her, you should at least revise each topic three times.

# Current Affair is an integral part of Prelims exams. Therefore read Yojana Magazines, PIB, Manorama Yearbook, etc.

# You need to take a break in between your schedule. Therefore allocate enough time for recreational activities.

# You should eat a balanced diet for better focus and concentration. Moreover, proper sleep is very important for you.

Also Read: Which Newspaper is Best for UPSC? Hindi and English Newspapers for IAS Preparations

Nandini KR

# Prelims test series and mock series are important for your prelims preparation strategy. IT helps to get an idea of the prelims format.

# Make a realistic, practical timetable and try to achieve set targets. And also include 8 hours of sleep, 1 hrs of sports and 5 minutes break in between each schedule.

Anudeep Durishetty

# Rather than learning new topics prior some days before your exam, revise old topics first.

# Focus: You should be focused on your aim. Rather than getting nervous and cramming everything on the day of your exam, try to stay focused and confident.

# Give your best shot: Rather than thinking about the results and score, focus on your exam.

Kanishka Kataria

# Test Series is an important part of your prelims preparation. It will help you to get a proper understanding of the pattern.

# Follow a perfect strategy for your exam day.

# NCERT is very important for the basics of each topic.

Pradeep Singh

# You should start your preparation for prelims 6months before your exam.

# Maintain short and crisp notes for the revision.

How to Secure the Highest Marks in Mains?

Candidates who clear UPSC Prelims can give mains examination. This paper is very crucial as it is a major factor in deciding your marks.

There are 9 papers in the mains examination.

# Choose optional subject wisely: The most important factor of deciding your mains marks is optional. Rather than searching for a subject that is considered a most scoring optional subject, go with the subject you are familiar with.

# Writing Practice: Mains paper is descriptive therefore you need to give a considerable amount of time writing your answers. Try to solve as many questions as you can. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

# Time Allocation: Set your monthly, daily and weekly goals. You should revise what you have studied.

Here is the apt amount of time allocated to each paper:

Also Read: UPSC Mains Answer Writing: Tips to Write the Perfect UPSC Answer to Score Well

Tips From the Toppers for UPSC Mains

Tina Dabi

# Proper Time Management: It is very important for you to allocate your time smartly.

# Current Affairs: Current  Affairs is very important in mains too.

# Proper Schedule

# Writing Practice: Give at least 2-3 hours daily to writing. Try to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

# Optional Subject: Try to choose an optional subject that you are familiar with. Try to decide before your graduation and choose the subject of your graduation then.

# Start preparation for mains before your prelims examination.

Nandini KR

# Practice answer writing.

# Solve mock series and previous year question papers.

# Finish the syllabus of mains well.

# Improve your essay score by practising well.

# Formulate answers well using diagrams, small paras, flowcharts and bullet points.

# Illustrate facts, figures, examples or stats with your answers.

Anudeep Durishetty

# Go through five years of question papers in detail.

# Read all those books in depth.

# Use the internet to find out about the topics.

# Study current affairs for better marks in General Studies pacers.

# Practice answer writing for more than 6 hours in 5 days a week for better efficiency.

# Study maps for better scores.

# Practice test series.

Kanishka Katariya

# Stay focused and avoid distractions.

# Be cautious while selecting your optional subject. Choose the subject in which you are most confident.

# Be consistent with your preparations.

# Practice answer writing.

# Allocate your time strategically.

# Make short and crisp notes.

# Take a Mock test for evaluation yourself.

# Take enough breaks in between to ensure better efficiency.

Pradeep Singh

# Prepare for 6 months prior-year prelims preparation.

# Choose an optional subject that intrigues you most.

# Practice essay papers well and take help from toppers answers.

# Practice Answer writing.


In the interview, the interviewer is likely to ask a lesson about yourself, Therefore explore more about yourself, such as hobbies, interests, reasons to choose subjects of your graduation, etc. Moreover, gather knowledge about your city and state.

#1. Positive Attitude

Maintain a positive attitude throughout your interview. This will set a good impression on your interviewer about you.

#2. Self-Confidence

Nervousness can ruin your interview. You would start stuttering, panting and sweating. This will give a clear indication to your interviewers that you are nervous and not well prepared.

#3. Communication skills

Develop your communication skills for a better score in your interview. This will help you to answer in a better way and communicate your opinions, feelings, interests

#4 Newspaper

Don’t leave the habit of reading the newspaper. Reading newspapers will help you to stay updated with recent issues.

#5. Hobbies

Prepare your hobbies as well as they can ask you to demonstrate your hobby or tell your reasons about why you like it.

#6. Revise Your Optional Subject

Interviewers are likely to ask questions from your optional subject therefore review your optional notes before your interview.

#7. Graduation

Revise your graduation subject once as they can ask your question regarding it.

#8. Develop a Strong Opinion

Read all current affairs wisely and maintain a strong opinion on this. As well as you should have the proper information, facts and stats for why you have this opinion.

#9. Honesty

Honesty is the best policy. Remember this and follow this firmly. Don’t lie to make your resume more attractive as they can catch your lies easily.

Also Read: What is the Best Way to Introduce Yourself in the UPSC Interview? Here’re Some Tips & Tricks

Tips From the Toppers for UPSC Interview

Tina Dabi

# Dress neatly and smartly.

# Re-read your DAF again and again and prepare all those questions which can be asked from it.

# Prepare your graduation subjects.

# Have a strong grasp of current affairs.

# Prepare well for such questions:

Why do you want to join the IAS?

What IAS means to you?

What is the future of civil services?

Nandini KR

# Read your DAF properly before your Interview and prepare questions that can be asked.

# Before developing any view, read and analyse first.

# Don’t stop and stay mum. Try to answer the question you know and be confident with what you don’t.

# Develop your English skills for a better impression.

Anudeep Durishetty

# The content of your answer matters the most.

# Explore more about yourself.

# Don’t hesitate to tell me about yourself whenever you get a chance.

# Prepare a question bank beforehand about all those questions the interviewer can ask.

# Be honest and don’t lie.

Kanishka Katariya

# Prepare well for some trickiest questions.

# Prepare to answer about your past i.e. education background and career.

# Form a firm opinion about recent issues.

Pradeep Singh

# Read different articles from the internet, newspapers and magazines.

# Prepare well about different government schemes.

# Know about recent issues and form an opinion based on factual information and statistics.

# Prepare well about your optional subjects and graduation also.


UPSC is one of the toughest competitive examinations in India. The unpredictability of this paper and competition makes it this hard. But with proper strategy, tips, guidance, and courses you can easily clear any obstacle and score well.

Here in UPSC Pathshala, you can find several courses, high-quality video lectures, and expert advice on your doubts. Therefore don’t wait and check out the site for success.

You can try out these courses by UPSC Pathshala: All India Prelims Test Series for Prelims and All India Mains Test Series for Mains.

Also Read: How you are studying Current Affairs all wrong!

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Who got the Highest Marks in UPSC Ever? How to Score Well in Prelims, Mains, and Interviews
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Who got the Highest Marks in UPSC Ever? How to Score Well in Prelims, Mains, and Interviews
This article has all the names of toppers of the various phases of the UPSC examination. Moreover, it contains tips and strategies to score well directly from them. Click to read more.
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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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