The preparation of the UPSC Examination is an uphill task and requires a couple of years of focussed preparation.This article aims to refute all the myths surrounding the IAS examination and shall enable you to target the exam with a positive attitude, proper preparation regime and self-belief. All these factors can play a vital role in perceiving the civil services examination as not an arduous entity but the one that is easy to crack. It is however important that before the start of the preparation of the IAS examination, the candidate should clear all the blocks from his mind regarding the examination, followed by laying of a targeted strategy for the preparation of the exam. All the examination requires is following a proper targeted strategy and clear all
MYTHS ABOUT THE CIVIL SERVICES EXAMINATION
IAS examination is one of the most arduous examinations of the nation conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The CSE examination is divided into 3 stages namely The Preliminary, The Mains and The Interview. In order to achieve success in the examination, one has to be familiar with not only the study material but all the other aspects related to the examination. A small error at any stage of the examination can lead to the candidate's failure. With over eight lakh aspirants sitting for the exam, the candidates are expected to have a thorough knowledge about the exam.
This must sound scary to over seven lakh aspirants who will be sitting for the exam. While beginning their preparation, many students have partial knowledge about the exam, its quintessence aspects and most importantly the preparation strategy involved. Partial knowledge accompanied by examination stress may lead to myths that can prove to be distractful to the candidates. This blog is aimed to shatter the most common myths that prevail.
1. UPSC CANDIDATES ARE EXPECTED TO HAVE A KNOWLEDGE ON EVERYTHING
The IAS exam is the most onerous examination of the country and as per the prevailing myth, the candidates are supposed to have a detailed understanding of each and every topic. However, in reality, the UPSC examination requires an individual to have a smart study approach, with generally being well read and having a balanced outlook towards issues. The syllabus of each subject is exhaustive, covering many subjects in all the three stages of the examination, and in order to succeed in the examination, the candidate is required to have clarity on the concepts and a general idea rather than an in-depth understanding. We however never would like to give an impression here that the candidate should present himself as a novice, but what is implied here is that the candidate should have a general awareness and strong analytical and reasoning skills.
2. THE IAS ASPIRANTS NEED TO MEMORIZE A LOT OF FACTS AND FIGURES
Another common myth prevailing in the minds of the candidates is that in order to be successful in the examination, the candidate needs to know a lot of facts and figures. However, in reality, it is far from true. The IAS exam is a test of an individual's ability to understand the concept and make a proper inference out of it. Though we don't deny that the candidate is expected to know a few basic facts such as GDP, Demographic Data, and important Government policies and its implications. We recommend the students to enjoy your study rather than stressing yourself to get a higher rank. Studies have shown that candidates who accompanied their IAS studies with relaxation resulted in better ranks rather than the ones who prepared continuously for long hours.
3. THE CANDIDATES NEED TO BE A TOPPER
While there is no doubt in admitting that the candidates clearing the IAS examination are some of the most intelligent minds of the country, yet one doesn't need to be a topper in order to guarantee success in the exam. The candidate is expected to follow the smart preparation strategy rather than detailed preparation focussed on general awareness, logical reasoning and good writing skills. Enhancing your skill set on these topics can still get you through even if one hasn't been outstanding in Academics. Having said so, we never want to create an impression that a candidate who has been academically great has a lesser chance.
However, the truth is that there are many candidates like Mithali Sethi with an AIR rank of 56 in UPSC 2016 and Hasan Safin with an AIR rank of 570 in UPSC 2017 are proof enough that one can rely on their commitment, focus and grit in order to prevail in the examination. The candidate has to ensure that he delivers his best performance in the examination and not pay any attention to his credentials or achievements of the past. We clearly state that neither being a topper or being just a mere first divisioner can guarantee you success in the exam.
4. THE WRITING SKILLS OF THE CANDIDATE CAN'T BE IMPROVED
Most of the candidates have an impression that the written skills and communication are some of the traits that are inherent and can't be improved under any circumstances. However, this is far from true. With practice over the years, one can improve his written skills tremendously by leaps and bounds. Also, the writing in the examination is a test of a candidate's endurance as he is expected to accomplish the task in a given period of time. Constant practice on a daily basis accompanied by an evaluation from a mentor and expert can help you enhance your written skills and raise your level from a novice to an expert. However, the candidate should understand that these skills take time and the candidate has to be patient Some of the skills the candidate is rated on are consistency, articulation and expression.
5. QUANTITY PREVAILS OVER QUALITY
Rated as the mother of all the other competitive examinations, most of the candidates perceive the IAS examination like the one which requires the candidate to burn the midnight oil and put in a serious long term study hour for an extended period of time. However, on the contrary, the success of a candidate more or less is dependent on how much he has imbibed during the hours of study rather than the number of hours spent. Results of candidates studying for 6-7 hours daily accompanied by revision and relaxation has given better results rather than candidates following longer hours and eventually getting burnt out as the D-Day arrives. There are people who have accomplished the task while working full time. Thus it is vital to find your balance in order to be successful in the exam.
Also one of the most important misconceptions floating around is reading a vast amount of books on a single subject is a sure shot key to success. The truth, however, is far from reality. Reading a single book on the subject with an in-depth understanding would fetch you better results rather than concentrating on multiple books which are more likely to confuse you. We however strongly advise making it a mandatory point to go through the NCERT books as a part of their study regime. Also, make it a regular practice to prepare notes alongside which can prove handy as the exam draws near. Also referring to notes from time to time is a great way of strengthening your concepts and improve retention ability.