Busting a few myths about the UPSC exams

The UPSC civil services exam is considered one of the toughest exams to crack in India. More than 10 lakh candidates apply at the preliminary stage for 1,000 or so vacancies. Naturally, this has lead to a lot of myths about the exams. Here are a few common misconceptions as well as clarifications.

Myth: You need to study 15-18 hours daily

Reality: This is probably the biggest one. It is nearly impossible to sustain this level of preparation for a year-long cycle. The number of hours put in does not guarantee success. What is required is a proper strategy. Ensure you get enough sleep and work on your physical and mental health to be able to focus properly.

Myth: A UPSC aspirant should know everything about everything

Reality: It is true that the syllabus is vast and diverse, but there is a pattern that can be deduced. Serious aspirants analyse the syllabus carefully by going through each topic/sub-topic and past question papers. Stick to a short and manageable list of books and give emphasis to being up-to-date with current affairs.

Myth: Only those with top academic credentials can clear the exam

Reality: UPSC only asks for a graduate degree in any stream. This implies that it is ready to welcome anyone who displays perseverance and leadership qualities as well as the intellect to help in nation building. While it is true that many from the IITs or IIMs clear the exam, there is a greater number from relatively modest academic exams who have also made it through.

Myth: Only people with good English can clear the exam

Reality: UPSC encourages candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply. The exam and interview can be taken in any of the 22 languages listed in the Constitution. The aspirant should be able to convey his knowledge and views in a simple and straightforward manner.

Myth: You cannot clear the exam without coaching

Reality: While coaching may help provide some direction, it is not a necessity. Plenty of online resources and guidance are available which help one create a smart personalised strategy and resource bank.

Perseverance, hard work, self confidence and proper strategy are the keys that can unlock your dreams of being in the Civil Services.

The writer teaches sociology to UPSC aspirants at IAS Gurukul and is the Convenor of Indian Civil Services Association.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 3:13:30 AM |

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