Dr. Apala – UPSC Rank 9

Girl who broke all records to score highest in UPSC Interview 2020.


In UPSC 2020, Apala Mishra was ranked 9th. She has been studying for this difficult exam since 2018 and has succeeded on her third attempt. Her third effort was very impressive.



She attended school in Dehradun until class ten, then relocated to Delhi for classes eleven and twelve. She earned a bachelor’s degree in dental surgery from the Army College of Dental Sciences in Hyderabad and went on to work as a dentist.


Define your success strategy?

Apala’s first attempt was unsuccessful as she was taking the time to understand the syllabus. Unfortunately, she failed her second attempt as well. Even yet, she did not give up hope and took the exam a third time in October 2020, earning a 9th placemark.


Dr. Apala’s family background:

Amitabh Mishra, Apala’s father, is a colonel in the army, and Arik Mishra, her elder brother, is a major. Apala’s mother, Alpana Mishra, is a professor in Delhi University’s Hindi Faculty Department.


How many hours did you give for self-study on daily basis?

She set a daily study schedule of 7-8 hours and initially took coaching classes, but after that, she began self-study since she feels that coaching centres can assist you; still, self-study is paramount to achieving success in this exam.


Highest marks in Interview:

Last year, an aspirant scored 212 points in the UPSC interview stage, the highest score ever. This year, however, Dr Apala Mishra set a record by scoring 215 points.


Sets the new record:

She answered practically all the questions in the 40-minute interview session. ‘Although I was worried before the interview round began, I used my self-confidence as a winning technique and gave the interview,’ she explained. According to Apala, the interview round is crucial because it assesses your personality as well as your presentation skills.


Apala also shared some tips on how to ace the exam:


  • Don’t panic; have faith in what you’ve prepared.
  • She claimed that because her father was in the army, she had to prepare with enthusiasm. She used to spend a lot of time with her father getting information about the army and understanding everything about it.
  • Besides that, her mother Alpana Mishra, being a Hindi writer and a professor of Hindi at Delhi University, assisted her in comprehending and mastering literature.


What are the experiences you had?

In her third attempt, she was successful, and her preparation tale during Covid-19 is fascinating. Apala Mishra noted that in 2018, she concentrated on comprehending the exam and its syllabus, as well as her strengths and limitations, because the syllabus was unfamiliar to her.

According to her, understanding the pattern takes patience. It does, however, become better once you recognise it.


Please share your future goals.


Dr Apala Mishra had previously served honourably her country as a dentist. Nonetheless, she desired a better way to serve the public.

She believed she should take action to make significant, good changes. So, in 2018, she decided to study for the civil service exam to serve the people and her nation well.


How did Covid -19 effects your preparedness?

Due to the pandemic, UPSC exams were postponed twice. Secondly, her parents were also affected by the virus. During the second wave, her father was in the ICU. It was a difficult moment for her because she was preparing for the civil service interview.

However, she remained composed and continued her struggle for a respectable rank, hoping for the best.


Advice to future aspirants?

“Make a balance between your emotional and mental health as this exam tests your patience a lot. Have that self-confidence in yourself that you can crack it”.


Tell us about some tips on how to ace the exam?

  • Do the numbering wisely
  • Do not panic have faith in what you have prepared
  • She said that since his father was in the army, she had to prepare for it with much zeal. For many hours, she used to take information about the army from her father and understood things related to it.
  • Apart from this, she also got help in learning literature from her mother Alpana Mishra, who is a Hindi story writer as well as a professor of Hindi at Delhi University.

Highest marks in Interview:

Last year, an aspirant secured 212 marks in the interview round of the UPSC exam- the highest so far. But this year, Dr. Apala Mishra broke the record by scoring 215 marks.

Set the new record:

In the interview round of 40 minutes, she answered almost all the questions. She said, ‘Although I was a little nervous before the interview round started but used my self-confidence as a winning tool and gave the interview.’ Apala said that the interview round is important because it checks your personality skills as well as your presentation


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