UPSC 2015 topper Tina Dabi studied for eight hours every day. She also spent at least two hours reading newspapers to stay on top of current affairs. But she says her success truly lies in being able to follow her dreams without any pressure from peers or parents. In a family of engineers, she is the first one to make it to civil services. She talks to HT about her preparation and the choices she made
Why did you decide to study humanities in class XI?
I had great interest in studying political science since I was young. So I pursued it. I did my graduation in political science and took the same subject for my UPSC as well.
How much time did you devote to studying?
I started preparing for UPSC after I graduated in 2014. I would at least study for eight hours in a day and read a lot. I was an active debater in college and participated in several events. So all that helped me in cracking the exam.
3. Did you ever think you would qualify in the first attempt itself?
I knew I would be a part of the merit list but had never thought I would top the exam.
4. Were there any dull moments during the preparation time?
Some days were frustrating and that is when we need the support of the family. I was fortunate I always got it. For what I have achieved today is because my father, mother and sister have made sacrifices along the way.