How Hard Is It To Clear UPSC Exam – Popular Myths (2024)

Many students dream of becoming an IAS officer right from their early days. It’s certainly not an easy task to accomplish, but it’s not impossible either.

However, a person who wants to start his UPSC CSE exam preparation journey or is already preparing for this exam often finds himself stuck in some myths and misconceptions about the exam, which can create unnecessary worry and confusion for them.

In this article, we will talk about the top 10 myths surrounding the UPSC IAS exam to help you navigate your preparation journey with clarity and confidence.

  1. They claim the IAS Exam is the ultimate exam. Is it?

Incorrect. It’s merely another exam. The ultimate exam is Life itself. Failing in the IAS is manageable, but failing in Life isn’t. Thus, approach IAS preparation or UPSC exam preparation as a phase in Life, not your entire existence.

  1. They say the IAS Exam is not for the faint-hearted. Is it?

If you perceive yourself as faint-hearted, it’s time to prepare for the IAS; it toughens you up.

  1. A topper mentioned studying 20 hours a day for 365 days. Is this true?

Perhaps she suffered from insomnia. Even now, she likely works 20 hours a day as an officer. However, adequate sleep is crucial for UPSC exam preparation to maintain good health. Avoid studying beyond 14 hours unless you suffer from insomnia.

  1. Now you suggest 14 hours! Are you serious?

Calm down. If you’ve left your job, consider devoting this many hours as a form of self-discipline. After all, you likely worked 12 hours a day for your company. Nonetheless, aim for at least 8 hours of planned study daily. Studying more is commendable, but ensure you also get 6-8 hours of sound sleep.

  1. My English skills are lacking. Does this mean I’m out of the running?

Not at all. You’re still in the race. Recognizing your English deficiency is the first step. Work on it. Basic English suffices. Moreover, you can write the exam and interview in your mother tongue. Invest in a basic grammar book, read it, listen to English news, and practice writing in English daily. Necessity should drive your learning. Push yourself. Win the race.

  1. I’m concerned. I can’t relocate to Delhi due to personal reasons. They say it’s essential for IAS aspirants.

Unable to go to Delhi? No problem. These days, effective studying can be done from home. IAS preparation isn’t a religious pilgrimage; it’s about sincere duty. If deemed fit, the UPSC will recognize your efforts. There’s no need to go there uninvited.

  1. How can I study effectively from home?

Today, you can purchase books online. Every successful candidate studies the same books as countless aspirants yearly. The difference lies in planning, execution, practice, confidence, and a bit of luck.

  1. Is luck truly a factor in this exam?

Yes, only if you believe you’re unlucky. Remember, success is mostly perspiration, with a hint of luck. Don’t disregard the hard work; luck often follows sincere effort.

  1. I failed in Prelims on my last attempt and feel despondent.

Feeling hopeless? Redirect your focus. Failure in Prelims doesn’t signify the end. Start anew. Life isn’t just about successes; it’s about the journey. What matters is how well you live your life, not the number of triumphs.

  1. The competition is intimidating. How can I overcome my fear?

Despite the vast number of aspirants, only a fraction are serious contenders. Those who study diligently and consistently prevail. Enter the race without fear. Remember, enjoyment and passion make the journey worthwhile, not societal expectations.

  1. Is corruption rampant in recruiting IAS officers?

No, such claims are baseless. Although the examination process may have flaws, corruption isn’t involved in recruiting civil service officers. Trust the process; it’s reliable.

  1. Veterans suggest saying “civil services” instead of “IAS.” Is there a difference?

Yes, there’s a distinction. Saying “civil services” implies uncertainty about entering IAS/IPS. Saying “IAS” reflects confidence and clarity about your goals. Choose what suits you best, not what others suggest.

  1. Note-taking is overwhelming. How can I manage it?

Remember Tolstoy’s words: “If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” Stick to one or two sources for each topic. Avoid chasing perfection; instead, focus on effective time management. Revisit materials as needed, but don’t waste time seeking an elusive perfection.

  1. Is IAS truly the best job?

Opinions vary. While some tout it as the ultimate job, others disagree. It depends on individual perspectives and experiences.

  1. Is it the best job in India?

Yes, if you seek to positively impact thousands of lives, IAS is unparalleled. However, be prepared to navigate through challenges and be armed with integrity and compassion.

  1. Is the exam as vast and unpredictable as an ocean?

No, UPSC adheres strictly to the syllabus. Although questions may seem unrelated, they are often indirectly related to the curriculum.

  1. I’m addicted to buying study materials. How can I overcome this?

Recognize the root cause of your habit. Finish reading existing materials before acquiring new ones. Awareness of your buying patterns will help curb unnecessary purchases.