11 Myths around UPSC Exam Preparation

The Civil Services exam held by the Union Public Service Commission requires deep knowledge on a wider gamut of areas. This is one of the most coveted exams for Indian youth as cracking it opens the gateway to different central government positions like IAS (Indian Administrative Service), the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), the Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFS).

Considered the toughest of all Indian exams, only India’s best minds get enrolled as officers by taking this test. Apparently, more than 9,00,00,0 aspirants appear for the test every year while the success rate is only 0.1 -0.3 %. There are three levels of this exam, namely: Preliminary exam, main exam, and personality test or interview.

As a rule, candidates take the Civil Services Aptitude Test (SCAT) first and then process to write the main exam which is followed by personal interviews. Also, it is normal for candidates to wait for about a year after writing the exam before being informed about the personal interview – if selected in round one that is!

That said, a lot of myths and wrong ideas abound around this entrance exams. Let’s take a look at them.


11 Myths About UPSC Civil Services Exam


Toughest of all exams myth

Successful candidates say, it is just another exam. Like all other exams this too requires right strategy and approach. Civil Services Exam involves a long term process but that does not mean it is the toughest. At best you can call it uncertain given the vast syllabus. But if considered carefully there are some borders of the syllabus and can be managed in the stipulated time.

Aspirants need to study all day myth

Again a wrong conception as successful candidates claim that that 7-8 hours study in a day is enough to crack the exam. In fact many crack the exam while being in a full-time job. However, the hours should be used effectively in a focused approach. Selected of high quality study material is also important.

One must know everything under the sun myth

Not true. The UPSC has a very clearly defined syllabus that candidates are required to follow in order to prepare for the test. Topics revolve around important issues related to our nation and society. Standard books are readily available in the market also. Following the news events and latest developments are also an important part of the preparation as UPSC demands general comprehension and conceptual clarity of subjects given in the syllabus.

Only academic toppers crack it myth

If you look for the UPSC exam toppers you will find many students with average academic performance throughout their student life. Being a successful academic is in no way a prerequisite to crack the exam. Only the UPSC entrance exam marks count to be selected and there is no minimum percentage required in the degree exams.

Attending tutorials is must myth

There is no hard and fast rules and depends on the candidates and their requirements for understanding the subjects and topics. Among the successful candidates there are many who never attended any tutorial. In fact many agree that tutorials do not offer anything extra ordinary. And with the internet, everything is now a click away.

Only English medium candidates fair well myth

This is another colossal misconception among aspirants. Many IAS, IPS, IRS and other civil servants of India come from vernacular academic backgrounds. It is clarity of expression and original problem solving abilities to existing socio-economic problems that count. However, study materials being mostly in English, candidates with English medium backgrounds do have an advantage.

Cracking the exam is all luck myth

Hard work will make you lucky as luck comes to those who have dedication and puts in real efforts while taking the preparations. Only luck can never assure success to anyone. 

One must stay in Delhi to prepare myth

With the internet one can now study from home itself. Sincere and dedicated study from anywhere is enough. Moreover, plan your studies and execute them, practice writing, take tests. This will make you confident.

IAS officers are District Magistrates myth

The post of District Magistrates is not allotted to everyone who becomes IAS. Besides, the DM post is only for 4 to 5 years in the whole career of an IAS Officer. Some never get the opportunity also.

IAS officers enjoy more power than IPS, IRS, IFS myth

There is no such mention anywhere. Powers and responsibilities depend on departments and IAS officers do not head any particular commission or board. Whereas, CBI can be only headed by an IPS officer and Commission of customs, excise or income tax is always an IRS.  On the other hand, the secretary post in the ministries is generally headed by an IAS officer.

IAS officers can’t be removed from service

An IAS officer can be suspended by the state government on the grounds of corruption, misconduct and ineffectiveness or can be removed from service by the President of India. The removal procedures are same as any other Group A officer working under Government of India. Many IAS officers in India are suspended, arrested and removed from service for various reasons.

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