डॉ. अपाला मिश्रा: Age, Date of Birth, Qualification, and Attempt Analysis

Published by Adarsh on


The conclusion of the 2020 UPSC examination heralded the unveiling of the year’s top performers. Among the distinguished names is a figure synonymous with determination and brilliance – IAS Dr. Apala Mishra, who secured the 9th rank in the civil services examination of 2020. 

This article will delve into the life of Dr. Mishra, exploring her familial roots, educational background, and the strategic approach that guided her to UPSC success.

 For those aspiring to follow in her footsteps, insights into the foundational courses and online coaching that can propel your preparations forward will also be shared. Embark on this narrative to discover the making of an IAS topper.

Apala Mishra Biography:

Dr. Apala Mishra’s story is a beacon of inspiration for UPSC aspirants. Her journey to becoming an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 2020 batch and a top scorer in the UPSC exam is rooted in her upbringing in Jharkhand, India. 

With roll number 5903870, she achieved 9th place, a testament to her sharp intellect and unwavering determination. Raised to believe in her potential, Dr. Mishra embarked on her educational journey at Delhi Public School, Rohini, and further honed her academic prowess at the Army College of Dental Science, culminating in a bachelor’s degree that set the stage for her future ambitions.

Family Background:

Family influences play a pivotal role in shaping an individual’s aspirations and character, and Family influences are extremely important in forming a person’s goals and personality, Dr. Mishra’s family is proof of this. She was raised with the values of knowledge and service by her mother, a renowned professor, and father, a former army officer.  

Her brother, Abhilekh, and grandfather, a famed novelist, add to her rich familial legacy, underscoring a tradition of excellence and a commitment to national service. The values inculcated by such a family environment undoubtedly provided Dr. Mishra with the resilience and grounding necessary to navigate the arduous UPSC preparation and emerge as a beacon of success.

Dr. Apala Mishra’s Age & Early Life:

Apala Mishra’s formative years were spent absorbing the vibrant culture and rigorous education system of Uttar Pradesh, India. Apala Mishra’s formative years were spent absorbing the vibrant culture and rigorous education system of Uttar Pradesh, India. Born in 1997, her journey from an inquisitive child in Ghaziabad to an IAS official at the age of 24 is quite astounding. Each experience, and each lesson learned during this time, contributed to building the reservoir of knowledge and strength she would draw upon during her UPSC quest.

UPSC Attempts:

Dr. Mishra’s story challenges the normative trajectory of engineering graduates dominating the UPSC rankings. With her background in dental surgery, she has demonstrated that passion, coupled with unwavering dedication, can pave the way to success in this esteemed examination.

 Despite the initial setbacks of not clearing the preliminary exams in her first two attempts, Dr. Mishra’s resolve only strengthened. Her remarkable comeback, culminating in the highest interview score of 215, exemplifies that past failures are not indicative of future potential. Her journey serves as a profound lesson in resilience and the relentless pursuit of one’s goals.

Career Path:

Apala Mishra’s transition from the medical field to the administrative corridors of the Indian Civil Services speaks volumes about her adaptability and commitment to public service. 

The intricate workings of the nation’s healthcare system caught her discerning eye during her tenure as a dental surgeon. It was this insight that ignited her ambition to affect more substantial societal change.

Dr. Mishra saw the civil services not just as a job but as a platform to implement impactful reforms, especially in healthcare. Her career path, marked by a conscious pivot towards administration, embodies her desire to serve the larger good and showcases the diversity of backgrounds that enrich the civil services.

Apala Mishra Qualification Marksheet:

Apala Mishra’s academic prowess is starkly evident in her UPSC mark sheet, a testament to her strategic preparation and intellectual acumen. Her scores are more than numbers; they narrate the tale of her tenacity and disciplined approach:

Mains Total Marks: 816

Interview: 215

Grand Total: 1031

Rank: 9

This mark sheet is a beacon for UPSC aspirants, underscoring the heights attainable through dedication. It represents a balanced blend of theoretical knowledge and the ability to articulate well during the personality test, an integral component of the UPSC’s comprehensive evaluation process.

Apala Mishra’s Optional Subject:

Selecting Anthropology as her optional subject, Dr. Mishra aligned her academic pursuits with her passion for civil services. The subject’s relevance to societal development resonated with her, especially considering her keen interest in healthcare and women’s issues. 

Her commitment to study for 7-8 hours a day crafted a regimen that left no stone unturned in her quest for excellence. Her discipline in maintaining a study schedule and her eagerness to delve deep into her chosen subject matter were crucial in her impressive performance in the main examination.

Apala Mishra Strategy:

Navigating through the vast syllabus and varied demands of the UPSC examination, Dr. Mishra’s strategy was meticulous and well-structured. Recognizing the dichotomy between her dental background and the UPSC syllabus, she embarked on a journey of self-assessment to identify her strengths and areas for improvement. 

Her strategy was twofold: comprehending the exam’s pattern while simultaneously playing to her academic strengths. This introspection, coupled with a rigorous study schedule, laid the groundwork for her remarkable success in the UPSC examination.

Strategy for Prelims:

The preliminary stage of the UPSC exam, often a stumbling block for many, was a challenge that Dr. Mishra tackled head-on. Her approach was methodical—emphasizing the need for a thorough revision of basic texts and a relentless practice of multiple-choice questions. 

She advocated for an immersive study experience where each reading session brought new insights and reinforced previously covered material. Her advice to engage with past year papers post-2013 was not merely a study tactic but a way to inculcate a deeper understanding of the examination trend and question patterns.

Strategy for Mains:

The UPSC mains examination requires a nuanced preparation strategy, and Dr. Mishra’s approach was integrative from the beginning. She emphasized the importance of parallel preparation for prelims and mains, with a significant focus on developing answer-writing skills early on. 

Her advice to start writing answers from the static portion of the syllabus reflects her pragmatic approach to the vast syllabus. Dr. Mishra’s method—balancing the static and dynamic portions of the syllabus—ensures a comprehensive coverage that’s essential for main preparation.

Strategy for GS Papers:

General Studies papers in the UPSC mains require a breadth of knowledge and the ability to interlink various topics. Dr. Mishra’s approach was to go beyond rote learning. She opted not to make extensive notes for the static portion, relying instead on printed materials that she was comfortable with. 

For the dynamic and analytical aspects, she meticulously crafted digital notes, dividing them by topic to build a reservoir of knowledge that could be constantly updated with the latest information.

Time Management:

For Dr. Mishra, effective time management was a critical factor in her success. She approached her studies with a disciplined routine, using a timer to track her hours and ensuring that each study session was focused and productive. 

Her attention to disciplined study was not just about quantity but quality, as she aimed for consistency in her daily routine. This approach exemplifies the importance of self-regulation and structured study habits in preparing for an examination as demanding as the UPSC.

Books and Online Materials:

In her preparation, Dr. Mishra harnessed a combination of traditional textbooks and online resources. The standard texts laid the foundation, while online materials helped clarify and expand upon complex topics. 

She utilized the vast repository of knowledge available on the internet, including Google and YouTube, to supplement her studies, thus embracing a hybrid model of learning that has become increasingly relevant in today’s digital age.

Exam Preparation During COVID-19:

The unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic tested the resolve of many UPSC aspirants, including Dr. Mishra. 

The postponement of exams and the health crises in her family could have derailed her preparation, but she remained steadfast. Her ability to maintain focus and composure during such a tumultuous time is a testament to her mental fortitude and her commitment to her civil service aspirations.

How to Maintain Good Health?

The rigors of UPSC preparation can take a toll on one’s health, and Dr. Mishra was mindful of this stressed the value of mental and emotional health, and cautioned against the negative influences and self-doubt that can arise. 

Her emphasis on her health and preserving a nurturing atmosphere demonstrated the importance of a comprehensive preparation strategy that incorporates both mental and physical well-being.

Advice for Future Aspirants:

Dr. Mishra’s counsel to future UPSC aspirants is steeped in wisdom gained from her own experiences. She stresses the significance of balancing emotional and mental health with the academic demands of the UPSC journey. 

Her mantra for success is a blend of unwavering patience, self-belief, and the mental fortitude to face the challenges of this grueling examination.


The trajectory of Dr. Mishra’s educational journey, from her initial schooling in Dehradun to her dental studies in Hyderabad, culminated in her rigorous preparation for the UPSC, beginning in 2018. Her success in her third attempt is a narrative of growth, adaptability, and persistence.

Apala Setting a New Record:

Setting a new record in the UPSC interview with a score of 215 points, Dr. Mishra has raised the bar for future aspirants. Her exemplary performance in the interview round underscores the significance of self-confidence and thorough preparation.

Interview Tips from Apala:

Dr. Mishra’s interview tips highlight the importance of poise, self-assuredness, and leveraging one’s unique experiences to inform interview responses. Her insights into the interview process provide invaluable guidance for those seeking to excel in this critical stage of the UPSC examination.

Interview Questions Faced By Apala:

The spectrum of questions faced by Dr. Mishra in her UPSC interview reflects the examination’s comprehensive and multifaceted nature. From personal and professional topics to cultural queries, her experience encapsulates the depth and breadth of the UPSC’s evaluative criteria.

Apala’s Inspiration:

The inspiration for Dr. Mishra’s UPSC endeavor was fueled by her family’s disciplined approach to life and her own clarity of purpose. A motivational poster in her room served as a constant reminder of her goal, reinforcing her resolve to achieve excellence.

Her Goal:

Dr. Mishra’s aspirations to contribute to India’s foreign policy and her decision to shift from dental surgery to civil services were driven by a profound desire to serve her country at a macro level.

Future Goals:

As a dentist and a civil servant, Dr. Mishra envisions contributing significantly to societal progress through her work in the civil services.


The tale of Dr. Apala Mishra’s UPSC triumph is a narrative that weaves together the threads of hard work, strategic planning, and an unwavering positive spirit. Her journey serves as a blueprint for those aspiring to navigate the challenging path of UPSC, highlighting that continuous effort and a steadfast mindset are crucial for achieving success


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