How KAS topper, Civil Service rank-holder S Malini cracked tough exams with ease

S Malini

S Malini, who topped the maiden Kerala Administrative Service examination, has decided not to join the new service which will be functional from November 1. She is keen on pursuing a career in the Indian Foreign Service which has been a long-held dream. Malini won the first rank in the Stream 1 of KAS exam soon after bagging the 135th position in the all-India Civil Services Examination.

She followed the same study pattern for preparing for both the Civil Services and the KAS examinations.

Malini, the eldest daughter of Advocate P Krishna Kumar and retired teacher S Sreelatha of 'Pratibha' House, Chettikulangara in Alappuzha district, shares her secret of success here

KAS and the Civil Services exams were around the same time. How did you manage both?
Both exams almost had the same pattern. The standard of the questions too were almost same. KAS exam came right after the Civil Services exam. So, I didn’t have to specially train or prepare for it.

How did you develop interest in KAS and Civil Service?
I had always wished to do something more for the society. However, I never prepared for it from my childhood itself. I was not a brilliant student in school or college. It was only after I grew up that I began aiming for these. Even though I wanted to achieve a good career, I didn’t study too much for it. I would study only what is just required. It was always difficult for me to study something that I didn’t like.

How was your style of learning?
As the syllabus was really vast, I had already prepared a time table to decide ‘when’ to study ‘what’. I had set timetable until up to a few days before the exam. I also had clear plans about the subjects that have to be covered each day. I studied for at least 8 hours a day. I watched web series and went for walks whenever I felt stressed. I stayed at my paternal aunt’s house at Thiruvannathapuram to attend the coaching classes. I played with their pet cats to relieve tension. I love the web series 'Madam Secretary'. Its theme deals with international relations.

Did you study giving up sleep?

Not at all. In fact, I sleep a lot. I make sure to catch at least 8 hours of sleep at night and one-and-a-half hours of afternoon nap too. I wake up only after 7 in the morning. I control my diet; but do not give up food as it would create acidity.

How was the KAS exam and interview?
It wasn’t really difficult. In fact, the interview was quite fun. I was asked to recite a poem. There were questions on education and judiciary.

What are your interests beside academics?
I am interested in sports. I like reading, swimming and watching web series. I had participated in games like running, high jump and kho-kho. I liked becoming an athlete.

How do you evaluate the KAS?
Kerala comes first in many areas. In fact, the social indicators show that we are better. It is a great honor working for Kerala. I think I was a bit stressful while studying for these exams. All I have to say to the KAS aspirants is to study systematically without any stress or tension.  

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