Akhand Swaroop Pandit
Joining the Indian Civil Services is considered a dream career by many ambitious and talented individuals aspiring to become an IAS, IPS or IFS officer. These prestigious jobs mark authority and power in India along with job security, salary package, the opportunity of a foreign posting, job satisfaction, etc. Moreover, civil servants are the ones deciding the fate of the nation in terms of implementing all developmental and other government policies. However, securing a job in one of these three posts demands to undergo a gruelling, three-tier UPSC civil services exam which is considered one of the toughest competitive examinations. Lakhs of aspirants appear for UPSC every year but only a few get selected.
Although proper preparation is necessary for cracking this examination, it's also crucial for the candidates to handle the exam pressure and the myths floating around that further aggravates their fear, making them nervous towards pursuing such a field. So aspirants it’s time to debunk these common myths you might be hearing and gear up to ace the journey towards your dream career:
Myth 1: One needs years of preparation
Reality: UPSC might be a tough examination demanding complete dedication but that does not necessarily mean that one would need to start preparing from an early stage. Even a year’s preparation can be good to clear the examination if aspirants are studying with perseverance. There numerous success stories of aspirants cracking the examination in one go after just a year or even less than a year’s preparation.
Myth 2: IAS aspirants must be aware of every topic/subject
Reality: This is not true. Since this is a general exam, one needs to be well-read along with having a balanced outlook towards issues. Moreover, as the syllabus itself is so vast covering multiple subjects, aspirants are already more aware than the others. There is no need to mug topics and become experts. Instead, simply focus on all the NCERT books, current affairs, and books by a few renowned authors. The exam demands its aspirants to have a general awareness and analytical skills.
Myth 3: Aspirants need to make at least 2-3 attempts
Reality: This is just a misconception. There have been so many aspirants who have cleared the examination in the very first attempt. All it needs is to keep your head straight and focus on your preparation. Revise once you are done and take multiple mock tests to evaluate your pitfalls and work on it. If you have religiously revised everything in the syllabus and are confident to give the shot, nothing can stop you from clearing the UPSC preliminary exam in a go.
Myth 4: Candidates should follow the toppers’ strategies
Reality: There is no quick route to crack the UPSC. Even though you listen to the toppers revealing their strategies and study patterns, it is your hard work that will ultimately pay off. Thus, it is crucial for the aspirants to follow their own rhythm and routine and make an informed choice when it comes to creating a preparation strategy.
Myth 5: It is mandatory to have a good command over English to ace the interview
Reality: This is a misapprehension, particularly among the regional language-speaking candidates. The UPSC examination assesses your awareness and analysing skills, and not the medium of language you write in. The aspirants are allowed to attempt the paper and give the interview in almost 22 regional languages, as per their comfort level. So put your best foot forward!
While this exam can be a bit overwhelming, UPSC is just another competitive examination featuring a lengthy syllabus. So rather than losing your confidence on the ground of some baseless myths, stay disciplined, determined and believe in your hard work to make through this journey smoothly.
— The writer is Founder & CEO, Catalyst Group - Online Learning Platform
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