10 mistakes Every IAS Aspirant Should Avoid

Cracking UPSC Exam is not an easy task but definitely not an impossible one.  All it takes is your consistency, determination, dedication and a right strategy of preparation. If you are dedicated and determined and have a right strategy of preparation then make sure you avoid these 10 mistakes during your preparation to make it more organized and effective.


Mistakes to Avoid while Preparing for UPSC

1. Ignoring the UPSC Syllabus

Contrary to popular belief, UPSC syllabus does not comprise of everything under the Sun. The syllabus must be treated as a boundary line for your preparation. It is indicative – and sticking to the syllabus will help a lot in saving time and being well prepared for the paper. The UPSC Syllabus is the roadmap in your preparation process; hence it is advisable to know the syllabus thoroughly before preparing. Therefore, it is recommended to by-heart the syllabus and it will cover at least 20% of your preparation making the rest easy.

2. Not solving UPSC Previous Years’ Question Papers

Previous Years’ UPSC Question Papers are one of the most important tools that will help you in the UPSC exam preparation. Referring previous years’ question papers is very important as solving these papers will give you an idea about what kind of questions have been asked in the UPSC Exam and how the questions are framed as well as in what context the questions are asked. Solving the previous years’ question paper will mold your preparation. 

3. Not collecting the right resources

Most candidates spend a lot of time gathering all the study materials related to UPSC ever known to mankind. In the end, they have too much to read and too less time.  Therefore, the aspirants must make it a point to make a list of books that they are comfortable with and buy only those books. But make sure that those books are genuinely relevant for the Civil Services Exam Preparation. Multiple revisions for a subject from one book is far better than reading many books for that one particular subject. 

4. Misjudging NCERT Books

The importance of NCERT Books in IAS PReparation is underestimated by most of the aspirants. It is essential to understand that studying from the NCERT Books is the groundwork in your Civil Services Exam Preparation that makes the foundation of your preparation strong. As these books help to understand the basic concepts of each topic mentioned in the UPSC Syllabus. 

5. Not making own notes

Your own handwritten short notes alone will come handy during revisions just before the examination. It is impossible for an aspirant to revise the entire book for each of the subjects just before the examination. Note making right from the beginning of your preparation will not only help in revising but is also the foundation for answer writing practice. While making notes for the IAS prelims exam preparation, aspirants should start writing short notes on each topic; this will enhance your answer writing in the UPSC Main Exam.


6. Not choosing the optional wisely

Marks scored in both the optional papers of your choice is very significant in determining your rank in the final merit list. One huge mistake that most of the aspirants do is, choosing the wrong optional subjects. One has to be extremely careful while picking an optional subject. It has to be made sure that the selection of optional for UPSC is not based on silly reasons but is out of interest for the subject and other factors such as availability of study material, coaching etc.  It is even better if you can choose the subject of your graduation as your optional subject. 

7. Not understanding the concept of Newspaper reading

Every aspirant is aware of the importance of current events in the UPSC Civil Services Exam. But one has to read in depth and analyze only those issues in the news that are relevant to the Examination. Before blindly reading the newspapers, candidates should understand the bottom line of newspaper reading and should learn how to read newspapers and what to and what not read in the newspaper. Also, candidates should learn how to correlate the issues in the news with the UPSC Syllabus and start making notes based on this.

8. Ignoring Answer Writing

In the UPSC Mains examination, a candidate will have just about 9 minutes to answer each of the questions. One must quickly analyze the question, frame the answer and put it onto the paper in such a short span of time. This comes only and only with practice. Ignoring answer writing practice is the biggest mistake that any aspirant can make.

9. Not practicing time management

The UPSC syllabus is huge. One cannot waste many months on one single subject. Doing this will either result in under-preparation or the candidate not having enough time for revision. Hence, making a timetable is essential. It is better to fix a timeline to complete a topic or chapter or subject and make sure it is completed within the allotted time. Procrastination is a UPSC aspirant’s biggest enemy!

10.  Not revising regularly

Since the Civil Services Exam syllabus is huge, there are high chances that the student could forget what was studied in the beginning. The only way to remember everything is to make short notes and revise them regularly. An aspirant must plan the study schedule in such a manner that there is ample time for multiple revisions before appearing for the paper. 


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