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TOPPER’S STRATEGY: Mirant Parikh, Rank 67, AGe 24, First Attempt, Optional – Political Science

UPSC IAS Rank 67 – Mirant Parikh

Optional – Political Science and International Relations

Age – 24

First Attempt


Hello Everyone,

My name is Mirant Parikh. It’s a Surreal feeling seeing your name in the list and that too getting a rank of 67 and contemplating the realisation of your dream of becoming an IAS. It’s a feeling that is too good to be true but yet is so tangible. Civil Services is a Chakravyuh Challenge (Great Fan of the Economic Survey/Dr.Arvind Subramanian) that you embark on alone but you get many a Guide, friends and Philosophers whilst on this journey who ensure that you’re not alone while you reach on the other end. I’d be forever indebted to InsightsonIndia for guidance not just in terms of the Exam related stuff that it provides but also vis-a-vis  the Motivation that it provides while you’re traversing on this journey.

Plus i would like to take this opportunity to mention my Role Model – Deng Xiaoping. I would just read his Biography whenever I’m feeling low or depressed and all my self-doubts would vanish in thin air.

Mirant Parikh rank 67 Marks

A Brief Background about me:

I’ve done my BTech in Electrical Engineering from Nirma University, Ahmedabad. Post that I’ve worked as a Program Buyer with Ford Motor Company at Chennai for close to 2 years. I left my Job in March,2016 and started preparing dedicatedly for this Exam since. So, I’m penning this article hoping that my journey would be helpful to those who are working whilst they are preparing as well as would be of a great help to the aspirants in clearing this exam in their First Attempt.


I’d divide my Article into 5 Brahmastras :

P.S. : I won’t dwell deep into The Booklist as many other toppers have elaborately Articulated them in their respective articles.

P.S. 1 : Also a Caveat – My Strategies would sound a bit Unconventional, so I would request all those reading this article to take it with a Pinch of a Salt.


5 Brahmastras :-

I) Just a Simple Formula – Your Rank in UPSC is Inversely Proportional to your Knowledge. (Sounds Ironical – Well it is so).This might seem to be something which is contradictary to the requirements of this examination but believe me it can help you navigate through the myriad materials and resources that you find almost everywhere nowadays. If you have too much of unnecessary knowledge it’ll be detrimental to you clearing this exam in terms of

(1) Prelims – You’d get confused while selecting an Option as you would have read different materials and sources which would just build up on your Dilemma.

(2) Mains – Neither Do you have the Time nor do you have the Space to put up everything and anything that you know about the question. It’s rather better to prepare just 9-10 Points on any topic and you’re good to go. Having too much information about a topic will put you in confusion on which points to include and which to exclude and you’d lose valuable time.

So, I guess Ignorance truly is Bliss as far as UPSC Preparation is concerned.


II) “Don’t Play the Odds, Play the Man” – Harvey Specter

Harvey Specter is a Corporate Lawyer from the Series Suits. I’m a big Fan of his and of many of his other Life Mottos, i believe this one is the most apt as far as the Civil Services Examination goes.

If we slightly modify this we can make it to be – “Don’t Play with the Materials, Rather Play the Examination”

What i mean is that the more we keep our preparation Exam Oriented the Better it’ll turn out. Going through the Question Papers both for Prelims and Mains would go on a long way in keeping your preparation focused and circumscribed to the examination.


III) Be Ruthless

One cannot be at the top without trampling someone. Here, trampling isn’t used with a Negative Connotation. But is used as a motivational alignment. The more you think about your competition, the more are the chances that it’ll keep you on your toes. Whenever you’re wasting your time, if you have your competitor ingrained in your mind, you’d feel guilty for wasting your time and would rush back directly to your study table.

So, Ruthlesness always Triumphs.


IV) Abstinence is the Key

I would recommend all the Aspirants to abstain themselves during their span of preparation from Facebook and Family/Social Gatherings.

Facebook as a medium would depress you as you’d compare your mundane life with your friend who might would be visiting an Obscure location in the US or in Europe and you would spend the whole day rummaging the pages and history of your life. Psychology says that while glancing through the pages of Facebook One tends to compare the Lowest Moment of One’s life with the Pinnacle Moment of someone else’s life and thus leads to anxiety and depression.  


V) Practice Yoga/Meditation

This examination being full of Stress and requires consistency. Yoga or Meditation would help you in remaining sane during the entire course of this journey.


A Few Last Words :

This is an exam which not only is a test of your knowledge but also of your consistency, patience and tenacity. So, one needs to be immersed and be one with the whole process coz if one doesn’t invest himself/herself into the system on loses track and hence the rank. So, Keep up the Good Work and have faith in the omnipotent and omniscient being.



Mirant Parikh

Rank 67 (CSE 2016)