Shazia Rasool has made her parents proud by securing 40th rank in the recently held KAS exam. She shares her success story with Kashmir Life Assistant Editor, Showkat Nanda
When Shazia failed to crack the CET exam a few years back, she felt that all the routes to her success had been blocked. Her dream of becoming a medical doctor didn’t easily leave her mind for quite some time. For many years she couldn’t think of anything else. But now she has no regrets. She recently cracked the Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) exam securing 40th rank.
Shazia Rasool of Baramulla’s downtown is the eldest among the three sisters. She has proved that it’s not only sons that make their parents proud.
A soft-spoken girl, Shazia grew up with the dream of becoming a successful doctor. Her penchant for medicine and a conviction to help people prompted her to appear for the Common Entrance Test. But when she couldn’t make it to the MBBS list, she felt utterly disappointed.
After graduating from college, Shazia joined Kashmir University for a Master’s course in Zoology.
“The University provided me with an environment where I could think of my future in a broader context. I felt that my obsession to become a doctor was actually a miscalculation that took away almost four precious years of my life. Though a little late but this realization gave a new dimension to my life and career,” says Shazia.
After completing her post-graduation, she did her M.Phil in the same subject. It was during her M.Phil that she decided to appear for the KAS examination.
KAS just came as a great opportunity to make her forget all her previous setbacks.
“ KAS for me was a chance to prove that I was capable and talented. But before I could convince others, I had to convince myself first. It took many years for that thought process to actually mature. And one fine morning I woke up with a strong conviction and told myself that this is what I want to do,” she says.
“I always had a feeling that being the eldest daughter, I have a responsibility towards my parents. I always wanted to do something that made them proud, ” she says with apparent satisfaction.
Shazia had an entirely different approach to studies. She believed in the old adage that ‘slow and steady wins the race’.
“I never stressed myself too much. I studied for 3-5 hours on an average but those were quality hours. In preparing for such highly competitive exams, it is not the quantity but the quality of study that matters.
Her optional subjects were Zoology and Anthropology. “The moment I decided to sit for this exam, I knew exactly what optional subjects I was going to take. Zoology was the subject that I was extremely comfortable with because I have a master’s in the same subject. The second optional wasn’t too difficult to choose either. Anthropology being closely related to zoology seemed to be the best choice,” she says Asked about the average time that a student should devote to qualify this exam Shazia says, “I think rather than putting in more hours of study, it is important to manage the time properly. I think 4-6 hours of study are enough to crack this exam.”
Shazia has become an inspiration for scores girls of Baramulla who also want to excel like her. She started her preparation last year when Kashmir was going through a long phase of political unrest.
Asked what she would like to suggest to the future aspirants, Shazia says that the choice of the subjects is extremely important. “A lot of students make the mistake of choosing an optional because others tell them to do so. A student should not chose a subject as an optional because all others are opting for it or it’s scoring. Always chose a subject you are in command of.”
Besides, she asserts that keeping books and study material to a minimum and mastering them is more important than trying to study each and every book on the subject.
“Most of the students try their hand at anything and everything. They collect a lot of study material but end up confusing themselves. So they should choose their study material intelligently and study it intensively.” She says Shazia’s parents say that they always had faith in their daughter’s capability and they never pressurized her when it came to studies. Shazia has two younger sisters. One is doing M.Phill in English and the youngest one is a class 12 student.