We all have heard of that one particular student who is the star in everybody’s eyes. The same falls for the UPSC Topper Surabhi Gautam. This young-spirited soul never failed to believe herself. It is her beliefs and dedication that won what she always wanted to achieve and become an IAS officer. 

Read: How to Start IAS Exam Preparation At Home?

Surabhi Gautam’s Biography

Surabhi, a native of Amdara village in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh, always missed something amid her rural backdrop. The school village was short of basic amenities and good teachers were altogether a dream to come by.

Belonging to the family of intellects, Surabhi’s father is a civil service lawyer while her mother is a high school teacher. Surabhi Gautam, since her schooldays, was an academic achiever. Amidst the lack of basic necessities, she scored the aggregate of 93.4% in her 12th boards. 

Soon after completing her schooling, she gave the All India Engineering Entrance test and joined a college in Bhopal, MP. IAS Surabhi Gautam did her graduation in Electronics and Engineering. Her academic spree is the proof of many accolades she won during her academic cycle. 

Surabhi also worked as a nuclear scientist for BARC. Side by side, she gave many national level exams like GATE, MPPSC, etc. She excelled in all of them. However, it was her dream to become an IAS officer that never deterred her from her path. 

Read: Why I Should Join IAS?

Her Preparation Strategy               


Surabhi Gautam cracked the UPSC exam in the year 2016. She received the AIR-50. Looking into her preparation strategy, the aspirants can clearly learn a lot from this IAS Topper. 

In Surabhi’s words,

“Be extremely precise and specific about your optional subject. Remember that the difference between aspirant ‘A’ and aspirant ‘B’ actually lies in which optional subject they choose”.

She always believed that suitable optional subject impacts the overall preparation directly. Choose wisely and proceed accordingly instead of indulging in wide discussions.

This IAS achiever believed in the power of qualitative over quantitative. She never engaged in the piling of books and study materials. Instead, she adopted a suitable time cycle that could enhance her knowledge by engaging in as little as possible. 

The foundation needs to be strong. IAS Surabhi believes that it was 80% of the Prelims syllabus that complimented her whole Mains preparation. In order to make sure that she never forgot her past lessons, Surabhi always focused on revising subjects.

She never took any pressure while preparing for the examination. It was her time management skills that released the tension off of her shoulders. This becomes more evident when she says,

“I would randomly pick a topic and attempt writing an essay on it. I did not consume any new content a week prior to the exams.”

Alongside her preparation, it was parents’ support that helped her to deal with every obstacle that came on the way. 

Read: Types Of Questions asked in UPSC Interview

Surabhi’s Tips while writing the Exam

ias surabhi gautam

IAS Surabhi Gautam suggests the fellow aspirants go through the exam paper completely. This will help them in dividing the sections having the utmost importance. At the same time, ascertaining the time to be given to each question while writing.  

The paper inculcates many essay-type questions. Writing two pages for a 5 mark question will only waste the aspirant’s time. Therefore, it would be wise to allocate time as per the marks sanctioned to each question.

In order to make sure that the aspirant has attempted all the questions, he/she should go through it completely. By putting the right mark against every attempted question will serve the purpose of ensuring. 

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At last, IAS Surabhi though always a brilliant one in class, never considered herself to be any different from the lot. However, her academic achievements always stood out among the best. 

Currently, IAS Surabhi Gautam is serving as the Assistant Collector of Vadodra, Gujarat.


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