Debunking the myths of UPSC Civil Services Exam

There is usually an overall sense of overwhelming anxiety among the candidates applying for the UPSC civil services examination – not only because the exams are extremely competitive, but also because clearing the exam will shape the career of an individual to redefine his future prospects of success. Some of the key factors that most candidates fear as challenges can be that the vacancies are fewer and applicants are many, the syllabus is vast, there is an age limit, and attempts are also limited.

Prevalent fear among applicants

There usually have been extensive discussions among candidates and former candidates, faculty and parents on what the hacks of clearing the UPSC civil services exams can be. However, through these deliberations, often some myths may come out and the challenges the applicants mostly fear of can be among those myths. In actuality, the challenges regarding competition and syllabus are mere mental fears created through misinformation and misguidance and should not be considered actual challenges.

Debunking the myths

After setting up the target in what to achieve in life and which career to pursue, the foremost focus of an individual should be to break the myths surrounding that particular career.

Extremely fierce competition

In UPSC civil services exam, it is indeed a myth that there is too much competition. What is true is that while too many people fill up the application form, the actual competition is among far less number of candidates. For example, if 10 lakh aspirants might have filled the application form, half of them might actually appear for the preliminary round. Again, even after clearing the preliminary round, many fail in the mains. This is primarily because those clearing the pre have prepared themselves for the objective questions and attempt the mains with the same mindset. It should be remembered that the mains consist mostly of subjective questions and how a candidate has developed analytical skills during preparations for the mains becomes a key criterion for passing.
There are several applicants who lack proper guidance and training or the opportunity to access them. So only a fraction of the total number of applicants might remain relevant till the interview round or the final round. These candidates are the actual competitors and to be among them dedicated efforts should be put in with the right and relevant guidance.
Vast or unending syllabus
Another myth surrounding the UPSC civil services exams is that the syllabus is vast. However, in real-time, the syllabus is quite justified and relevant. The general study and aptitude sections of the syllabus are as per the 10+2 standards and the language test as per 10 standards. Only the optional subject is of the graduation level. UPSC has fixed guidelines and during preparation, the key factor is how individuals are re-structuring themselves for an administrative role irrespective of his/her educational background or what subjects they selected while graduating.
The Luck Factor
One common belief among many including parents, faculty and students is that luck plays a major role in clearing the UPSC civil services exams. While it is easy to wait for lady luck to smile and later blame failure on it, dedicated efforts put towards extensive preparation with the right guidance is the only secret behind clearing the exams. The UPSC exam is conducted in three steps, which are well-defined and will evaluate a student extensively by examining all aspects of the candidate’s preparation. Hence, luck has no role to play in it and only well-prepared students will get to crack the exam.