Hello Students. Welcome to IASbyheart.

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 tour, job satisfaction, etc.

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 and anxiety, making them nervous towards pursuing such a field.

Let us debunk these common UPSC myths to clear your head and prepare with a fresh mind.

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 you 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.

The time you are providing for your study is not the important part but at the end of the day, the quality of time does matter the most.

Make the process fun, enjoy reading, love what you do and do everything to please your heart. Not the society.

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 up topics and become experts. Instead, simply focus on all the NCERT books, current affairs, and books by a few renowned authors.

The UPSC exam demands its aspirants to have a general awareness and analytical skills.

“Studying properly and doing the revision of some good books for a hundred times is more important than following a hundred books with revision for one time.”

Myth 3: Aspirants need to give 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 exam (prelims) in a go.

Myth 4: Candidates should follow the toppers’ strategies

Reality: There is no quick route to crack the UPSC. Even if 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 UPSC 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!

Myth 6: Aspirants from well-off families or urban areas are the ones who crack the UPSC exam

Reality: Anu Kumari (Rank-2 UPSC CSE-2017) is a shining example of how untrue this misconception is. Anu’s father used to work in the HR department at a hospital, and her mother was a homemaker. Having grown up in a typical middle-class family in Sonipat, Anu’s success can be wholly attributed to her hardwork and perseverance alone.

CSE 2018 successful candidates and brothers Pankaj and Amit Kumawat who hail from a small town in Rajasthan are the sons of a tailor. What their upbringing taught them was to be determined and sincere.

Myth 7: Aspirants with better academic record excel

Reality : Very common myth again. Several Toppers have failed at various stages of their Education or secured less than average marks. In fact, the beauty of this exam lies here. It is a platform which treats all graduates/post graduates equally and those with dedication and smart work are rewarded.

Myth 8: Pass percentage is too low

Reality: Around 10 lakh candidates apply for Prelims examination. Less than half of them appear to take the exam. Of all those who are appearing, hardly 10000-12000 candidates will be serious, who get through the prelims stage. Of them, those who have prepared really well for the main exam can enter the next stage, the interview. Here the competition is among 5000 odd students.

In a nutshell, if you are preparing for the exam holistically from the start, your competition is only with these 5000 aspirants. You can now calculate the pass percentage.

Myth 9: There is corruption in recruiting IAS officers.

Reality: This allegation is utterly false. The whole examination is so opaque that you have to trust it blindly. There may be lacunae in the way examination is held, or there may be loopholes in how an UPSC member is appointed, but there is never corruption involved in the recruitment of civil service officers. The steel produced is pure. You can trust it.

Myth 10: Some say this exam is like a vast ocean and questions are asked from  outside the syllabus.

Reality: Again this is wrong. UPSC strictly adheres to the syllabus. Though sometimes it seems like questions are asked from outside of the syllabus, they are actually in some ways related to it. For example, if there is a question like this, ‘Opportunity on Mars‘, one should not get bewildered why UPSC is asking questions from other sources and start answering like, ‘If  Nuclear war takes place and the Earth is destroyed, the opportunities on Mars are immense for the Humankind……’

Opportunity is the name of a Robot that was sent to Mars in 2003. Awareness on ‘Robotics‘ and ‘Space‘ is part of the UPSC syllabus (Paper-IV).

So, at the end of the day those who have their patience, struggle a lot and maintain a consistency over the years get success in this battle and at the end of the day the word, “Luck” does matter to all.

While this competitive examination can be daunting, it is certainly not unachievable. A well-planned strategy and correct knowledge of things will lead you to success. Officers we have interviewed over time have dispelled the myths and proved that hard work most certainly pays off.

“Civil Services is not the result of a day or two, it’s a process and it gives results with the process.”


Thank you.

All the Best


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