Curious case of Unnimaya who tamed poor memory to excel in PSC exams

Unnimaya. Image courtesy: Thozhilveedhi

“This is not just a government job but a landmark achievement in the history of women's emancipation in Kerala," says Unnimaya beaming with joy after bagging the appointment in the first batch of fire woman's post holding the third rank. Hailing from Vadookkara in Thrissur district, Unnimaya joined the training camp at the Fire and Rescue Academy in Viyyur, Thrissur.

Prolific quizzer at school
Unnimaya was active in quiz programmes in schools and colleges. She completed BSC in Zoology and then BLib ISc (Bachelor of Library and Information Science). Though she got temporary jobs as librarian in private schools she avoided them. “I was determined to earn a government job due to the conditions in the family. I couldn't get a higher rank in the LDC exams I wrote before. That's how I realised that reading and learning need to be done more effectively to earn a government job.

"It was some people's taunts that I would never get a government job that instilled in me the fire to win. I got the first and last lessons for the PSC exams from Thozhilveedhi (Malayala Manorama's career and competitive exam magazine). I never missed even a single issue of Thozhiveedhi for the past five years and that's what helped me earn the rank," says Unnimaya.

“My appointment as Assistant Librarian with the M G University helped me wrought better. The vast collection in the university library eclipsed my worries about not being able to buy a number of books myself. Many mocked me if I would ever be able to crack PSC exams since I had this known disadvantage of poor memory,” Unnimaya says. She overcame this problem by writing down the points she learned in a notebook. She had a large collection of solved question papers from previous years as well. Though she made use of online courses, it was her own prepared notes that helped her the most.

3rd rank in 3 years
Unnimaya pursued her PSC ambition with a well-charted strategy. She had kept aside three years specifically for the purpose. She stayed away from celebrations or family functions and studied systematically following a timetable. She used study materials from yearbooks to rank files to gather information. Though she was skeptic when the PSC made changes in the question pattern, she had observed that such alterations would not affect at all if learning is carried out deeply and comprehensively.

It was her liking for uniformed services that made her focus on such exams more. She was ranked 253 in the SI test, 700 in women CPO, and 198 in Assistant Salesman. Though her third rank in Fire Woman was quite unexpected, she considers it as a reward for her perseverance and dedicated efforts.

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