Self-belief made all the difference as Sandra cracks civil services exam in second bid

Sandra Satheesh

Sandra Satheesh began dreaming about cracking the Civil Services Examination when she was a BSc Physics student at the All Saints College in Thiruvananthapuram. The year was 2018 and Kerala had been battered by the worst floods in its history. Young Sandra was inspired by the social commitment displayed by K Vasuki, who was the district collector then. From then onwards, Sandra dedicated herself to a dream and began working hard for it. Finally, Sandra achieved her dream by securing 429th rank in the prestigious exam this year, as the results out a few days ago showed.

In the beginning, many tried to dissuade her by saying that she should rather focus on cracking the state PSC exam and get placed in the government sector. However, Sandra wasn’t ready to back out of her passion. She forgot about everything else and concentrated only on studies. She studied on her own, at her house, without enrolling at any coaching centres. Sandra’s parents too were supportive, motivating her at every step of her life.

Even though she could get through the preliminary exams in the first attempt, she wasn’t disheartened and continued studying with more confidence and dedication. She read many magazines and newspapers to learn and understand the current affairs. She would then prepare an analysis of her own about the issues and the current affairs.

Sandra didn’t forget to refer the text books and coaching guides that are specifically published for civil service aspirants. Instead of studying according to a time table, she read and studied for hours whenever she was in the mood.

It was while preparing for her second attempt that Sandra had attended the scholarship exam conducted jointly by Manorama Horizon and Fortune IAS Academy. She won the scholarship by securing the 3rd rank. Sandra says that it had given her the confidence to face the real test with much more clarity and dedication.

Mock tests pay off
After getting through the preliminary exam, Sandra attended countless mock tests by Fortune IAS Academy as training to the main exam. After each test, the academy provides proper analysis, instructions and guidance too.

Anton Banu who was Sandra’s mentor at the academy says that the latter was always open to their instructions and worked harder to improve her score.

A hiccup on the way
Sandra was diagnosed with a condition called lattice degeneration or thinning of the retina when the Civil Services (Mains) exams were being held. Even though it became extremely difficult for her to concentrate on her studies, Sandra overcame these adversities with her incredible confidence and determination.

Mantra for success
While preparing for the exams, Sandra was simultaneously studying for the MA Sociology course on distance education mode. Her final-year exams are yet to begin. Most people get easily disappointed and give up their civil service dreams if they fail a few times. However, Sandra says that one should set daily targets and goals and compete with one’s own self to achieve their dreams.

Sandra’s father Satheesh Chandran who works as a supervisor in the construction field and mother Anitha are incredibly proud about their daughter. Sandra too credits her parents for supporting and motivating her.  

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