Poonam Singh

The Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is known for its tough question pattern and vast syllabus, often prompting aspirants to consider alternative plans. Sonal Goel, a Panipat resident in Haryana, faced a similar scenario when her father advised her to have a backup plan. Undeterred, Sonal not only pursued her UPSC aspirations but secured an impressive All India Rank 13 in her second attempt.

Born in Panipat and educated in Delhi, Sonal completed her schooling in the capital. After finishing Class 12, she graduated from Delhi University's Shri Ram College of Commerce and earned a CS degree.

According to a UPSC Pathshala report, Sonal said that earlier she did not even know about the civil services exam but decided to become an IAS officer after reading an article written on a civil servant in a magazine.

"During my CS studies when I told my family about my decision to become an IAS officer, my father did not want me to prepare for UPSC." Sonal said, "My father knew that UPSC exams are one of the toughest. Though he knew that I was smart he said that if I wanted to take the exam, I should also keep plan B ready," Sonal was quoted as saying.

Despite her family's initial reservations, especially her father's concerns about the exam's difficulty, Sonal was determined.

During her company secretary studies, when she expressed her desire to pursue the UPSC exam, her father, acknowledging its toughness, advised her to keep a Plan B. Sonal then decided to take the UPSC exam while simultaneously enrolling in an LLB course at Delhi University. Juggling her studies and work as a company secretary, she embarked on her UPSC preparation journey.

In 2006, Sonal faced disappointment when she didn't succeed in her first attempt. Undeterred, she persisted, balancing her job, LLB studies, and UPSC preparations. Her tenacity paid off in 2007 when she secured the 13th rank nationwide, realising her dream of becoming an IAS officer.

Sonal Goel's journey stands as a testament to determination, proving that with meticulous planning and unwavering dedication, success in challenging exams like the UPSC is achievable.