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Busting Myths Related to the IAS Examination


The Union Public Service Commission conducts the IAS examination every year. Aspirants who are graduates and have attained the age of 21 can apply for the examination on the website of UPSC.

UPSC CSE is a highly competitive examination in which lakhs of candidates appear every year, but only a few are able to crack the exam. The Civil Services Exam is conducted in three phases, which include the preliminary examination, main exam and interview. Candidates who wish to pursue a career in Civil Services have to clear the cut-off marks determined by the UPSC in all the phases of the examination.

Given that the examination is a highly competitive and coveted one, there are some myths associated with the IAS examination. Some myths and the reality behind them are given below.

     Myth 1: You require more than one attempt to crack the UPSC CSE

Reality: With dedicated preparation, aspirants can pass the CS examination in the first attempt. Revision and mock tests are key components of an effective strategy and study plan that can help candidates in getting through the examination.

     Myth 2: Coaching is necessary to pass the IAS exam

Reality: Gone are the days when CSE aspirants had to go to Delhi to prepare for the examination. Nowadays, books and study materials are freely available online. Candidates can easily access these materials and can also join test series that can help them in evaluating their performance.

     Myth 3: You need to be from reputed colleges and universities

Reality: Aspirants need not be from well-known colleges and universities to pass the examination. Anyone who is ready to work hard is consistent and has a good study strategy can clear the CS examination.

     Myth 4: You need to be a topper to get through the Civil Services Exam

Reality: Candidates who want to succeed in the exam should work hard and set aside the necessary time required for revision and mock tests. They need not be toppers or first-rank holders from universities or colleges. The UPSC CSE selection process is indeed rigorous, but any candidate who is ready to put in the required effort can ace the exam.

     Myth 5: You need to study 24/7 to clear the UPSC CSE Exam

Reality: UPSC CSE is a highly competitive exam. However, consistency, a good study plan, regular revisions and frequent evaluation are what are required for candidates to pass the examination. Studying for very long hours is not what determines the success of any candidate. Aspirants should take breaks while studying and make a study plan that works for them. Their aim should be to complete the syllabus of the exam and leave enough time for revision and mock tests.

     Myth 6: You should know everything under the sun to crack the IAS exam

Reality: The UPSC has laid down a syllabus for the Civil Services Examination. Candidates have to ensure that they are through with all the topics that are part of the syllabus. They need not study all the books and study materials. Reading newspapers and being aware of relevant information is important.

     Myth 7: You must be exceptionally good at English

Reality: Aspirants who want to be part of the Civil Services need not be exceptionally great at English. Candidates should have a basic knowledge of English so that they can understand the questions clearly and write well-structured answers as per the requirements of the question. The aim of the examination is to recruit candidates who have the necessary leadership qualities and intellect to be able to carry out the responsibilities well.

     Myth 8: It is the toughest exam in India

Reality: It is a highly competitive exam but not the toughest. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) indeed follows a rigorous process to select suitable candidates for various posts and services. However, any candidate from a modest academic background who is ready to persevere and remain consistent throughout their preparation can pass the exam.

These are some of the myths and realities surrounding the UPSC CS examinations. Candidates should not believe such myths.

Aspirants should primarily focus on devising a good strategy and adhere to it strictly. They should go through past question papers and syllabus before commencing their preparation. Candidates should know what to study and how to study for the exam. For instance, while studying for modern history (prelims exam), candidates should be aware of the chronology of important events like the battle of Plassey, Battle of Panipat, Government of India Acts etc.

CSE aspirants should ensure that they remain consistent throughout their preparation. They should revise frequently and take mock tests to examine their performance and improve their scores.

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