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Meet engineer who cracked UPSC IFS exam with AIR 90 after 5 failed attempts, shares tips to clear exam

Pawan Gupta was able to pass the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) examination in 2022 with an All India Rank (AIR) of 90 after seven years of persistent unsuccessful attempts.

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One of the lessons that those pursuing success must learn is how to learn from failure. Pawan Gupta was able to pass the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) examination in 2022 with an All India Rank (AIR) of 90 after seven years of persistent unsuccessful attempts. Even after five failed attempts, he remained motivated because of his perseverance and determination.

He started getting ready for the UPSC in 2015. He didn't succeed in passing the test until 2022, though. Now an IFS officer, Pawan talks about his experience and gives suggestions on how to prepare properly.

Who is IFS Pawan Gupta?

Pawan Gupta, who came from a modest Agra business family, pursued mechanical engineering. While attending NIT Durgapur for college, he was motivated to clear the UPSC test. But in order to become financially independent, he chose to work for a business that makes cars.

He was working for the company, but he still had to pursue his dream job. In 2015 and 2016, he was able to balance working and taking the UPSC exam, but he was unsuccessful in the prelims both years. In 2017, Pawan gave the exam another shot, but he failed to pass the preliminary round.

Then, in 2018, he was successful in passing both the Civil Services Examination (CSE) and the IFS preliminary exams. He took a year off this time and showed up for the Indian Engineering Services (IES) exam to apply for a job once more. Pawan, who received a 17 on the IES, began working for Indian Railways in Punjab's Kapurthala as an assistant work manager.

READ | Meet IIT, IIM graduate who bagged AIR 68 in UPSC; shared her success mantra for young aspirants

He put a lot of effort into 2020 and tried the CSE and IFS interviews, but he didn't make it. Due to his IES training, he opted out of the attempt in 2021. Despite every failure, Pawan persisted in pushing himself. Pawan finally reached his goal in 2022 and received an All India Rank (AIR) of 90, which allowed him to gain admission to the IFS.

Pawan Gupta offers insightful advice and highlights errors that aspirants should avoid based on his experiences.

  • Begin exam preparation as soon as possible.
  • When Pawan began studying for the UPSC, he found a shortage of quality online study resources. It's essential to get good advice.
  • Pawan chose mechanical engineering as his elective because it was his field of study. He advises students to choose an elective they are interested in and have plenty of resources for.
  • Keep your introduction brief, format your responses into points, highlight the keywords, provide a solid conclusion, and add diagrams to topics like geography.
  • Pawan advises using brief notes for hurried revision. 
  • Keep your composure during the exam. With time, everything will fall into place, Gupta assures.
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