Sakshi Mishra Biography, UPSC Marksheet, Age, Rank, Family, Caste

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Hi All,

This is the 24th Topper Journey & Strategy post from the Batch of 2023. Sakshi Mishra cleared CSE-22 with AIR-299 in her 2nd attempt and has detailed her Prelims, Mains and PSIR optional strategy in this post.

Sakshi Mishra UPSC


My name is Sakshi Mishra. I was born in a small town called Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh. I have done my schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya. After this, I did B.A. Prog (Political Science and History) from Lady Shri Ram College for Women (DU), which ended in 2020.

You can Contact Sakshi on her Instagram Profile

While in college, I was a part of a weekend batch in Raus IAS for GS. But due to various engagements in college, I couldn’t pay the required attention to the coaching.

My ‘serious’ preparation started around September 2020. I was uncertain about the 2021 attempt at this point. However, since the prelims got postponed to October due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, I decided to attempt that. At this point, my preparation was half-baked and I was still exploring the best strategy to cover the entire syllabus. Needless to say, this showed in my result and I missed the final cut-off by a close distance.

My second attempt was in 2022, where I was fully dedicated and had gained some amount of confidence in my preparation. My optional is PSIR. By the grace of God, I secured AIR 299 in UPSC CSE 2022. I have attached my marksheets here –

Sakshi Mishra UPSC Marksheet (Mains)

Sakshi Mishra UPSC Marksheet (Mains)

Sakshi Mishra UPSC Marksheet (Prelims)

Sakshi Mishra UPSC Marksheet (Prelims)


  1. My core focus was on relatively static subjects like Polity, Modern Indian History, Economy etc. I made notes out of the basic books (Yes, I am a ‘notes person’ – made notes out of Lakshmikant as well!) and revised them multiple times. I made notes in a format which is easier to revise. Topics such as uprisings and reform movements in history were compiled in the form of a table. I marked most locations of Geography and Environment on maps.
  2. For more dynamic subjects like IR, Environment, S&T etc; while I covered the basics from standard sources, my focus was more on current affairs (I went through two different yearly CA Compilations for these).
  3. For CSAT, I went through PYQs since 2015 and since I was scoring around 100 in most of them, I didn’t feel the need to do anything extra here. However, the actual paper turned out to be a bit difficult. So, I attempted fewer questions but ensured accuracy in them. Moreover, in light of this year’s CSAT paper, I would advise everyone to do some more practice in addition to the PYQs
  4. I gave around 30-40 mocks for GS from institutes like Vision IAS, GS Score and Forum IAS.
  5. Finally, one thing which I have understood about prelims is that while knowledge is important, having a calm and confident mindset is equally important. One might not know all the answers, but by being cool – headed, we can make more calculated guesses. I had studied from the same notes in 2021 and 2022. So, what changed in those eight months – I was nervous and under-confident in 2021 as I knew that I was not fully prepared. In 2022, I went with a confident outlook. I was patient even when I did not know five questions in a row.
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  1. Syllabus is the most important element here – I made sure to cover each and every word mentioned in the detailed GS syllabus.
  2. Revision of my notes was crucial here as well. I had made short notes of important topics which made it easier to revise them in the last few weeks. I had also compiled a basic list of statistics, important judgements etc. which became a point of value addition to my answers.
  3. I went through toppers’ copies to understand the basic structure of answers. Most of my answer writing was done after prelims. In the last few weeks, I also tried to write two full length tests in one day, just to get acquainted to the actual scenario. Most of my answers followed an intro-body-conclusion format. I tried to attempt all the questions in the papers and hence writing speed played an important role here.
  4. I had given a few tests of Vision IAS after the 2021 prelims. After 2022 prelims, I subscribed to the MGP of Forum IAS.

For PSIR –

  1. The basic source was here were the notes of Shubhra Ranjan madam, along with a couple of standard books.
  2. The key to writing decent answers in optional is to also understand the theoretical foundation of the topics.
  3. Most of my answers had some theory portion as well.
  4. I tried to present the criticism / counter viewpoint also.
  5. There is no need to stuff your answers with various scholars – but try to include one or two of them.
  6. For the 20 marks questions, I tried to make a quick structure before actually writing the answers.
  7. Time management is again a crucial skill here (I was a little slow in Paper 1 and could only finish one-third of my last 15 marker answer).
  8. Paper 2 Section B is the most dynamic of all. So, I tried to add some current affairs aspect to most of those answers.
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GS 1 –

  1. Modern India – Spectrum
  2. Art & Culture – Nitin Singhania sir’s book
  3. World History / Post Independence were roughly covered from my college notes.
  4. Geography – NCERTs
  5. Society – Googled stuff based on syllabus

GS II – (I had PSIR Optional as well)

  1. Polity – Lakshmikant
  2. Governance – Internet + Mains 365
  3. IR – Saw major CA themes from Rau’s Compass and Mains 365
  4. Social Justice – Googled stuff based on syllabus


  1. Economy – Indian Economy by Vivek Singh sir
  2. Environment – Shankar IAS + Mains 365
  3. S&T – Mains 365
  4. Disaster Management – Googled stuff based on syllabus


  1. Decode Ethics by Mudit Jain sir

I also selectively referred to some past year topper’s notes

  • Utkarsh Dwivedi sir’s blog (GS + PSIR both)
  • Telegram channel of Jayant Rathore sir & Rishabh Rewar sir (esp for Governance and Social Justice)
  • Telegram Channel of Shreya Shree ma’am for GS IV

Lastly, for both Prelims and Mains, I added a lot of stuff from mocks.

Lastly, all I want to say is that – in the beginning, this journey might look arduous, but if you keep going – patiently and consistently, one step at a time; it becomes doable. As Ginny Weasley said in Harry Potter & the Order of Phoenix, “Anything is possible if you’ve got enough nerve”.