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UPSC Success Story: Meet IAS Officer Who Secured The Highest Marks In Interview Round


New Delhi: Do you happen to know who holds the prestigious title for achieving the highest marks in the interview round of the UPSC exam over the last decade? If you’re guessing it’s Tina Dabi, Srushti Deshmukh, Kanishka Kataria, or Shruti Sharma, you might be surprised.

It’s none other than Zainab Sayeed who stands as the record-holder for securing the highest marks in the UPSC interview round. This remarkable individual from Kolkata attained an outstanding score of 220 out of 275 marks in the interview segment. Her remarkable achievement took place in 2014 when she successfully navigated the UPSC Civil Services Exam, amassing 731 marks in the main examination.

Zainab clinched the All-India Rank (AIR-107) and to this day remains unparalleled in terms of interview performance. However, Zainab’s journey with UPSC wasn’t without its challenges. She encountered setbacks in her initial two attempts, failing to clear even the Prelims in her first endeavours.

Despite these early setbacks, Zainab refused to be deterred and remained steadfast in her belief in herself. Her relentless dedication and perseverance eventually paid dividends, culminating in her triumphant success on her third attempt. She not only cleared both her Prelims and Mains but also emerged as the top performer in the interview round.

According to Zainab’s account, the interview lasted for approximately 25 minutes and revolved around a diverse array of topics, including current affairs, international affairs, foreign direct investments, and discussions on the European Union.

It’s noteworthy that Zainab hails from Kolkata and completed her graduation in English literature from St. Xavier’s College. Subsequently, she pursued her MA in mass communication at Jamia University, Delhi, graduating in 2011.

Following her post-graduate studies, Zainab made the decision to embark on the rigorous journey of UPSC exam preparation. Despite facing disappointments in 2012 and 2013, she persisted and ultimately tasted success in 2014.



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